Covid-19 has changed our lives so much, yet students, parents, and families still want a strong music education that will deliver.Continue reading
Peter has been a teacher and drummer for over 30 years. He has been teaching with Imagine Music Inc for over 10 years. I decided to interview Peter about drums lessons to inform anyone new to drumming what to expect.Continue reading
Keep in Shape For the Fall With Summer Music Lessons
Students work hard all year building up their music repertoire, learning new theory concepts, and keeping their fingers nimble.
They also keep their brain in shape with daily music exercise.
In May and June many students prepare for recitals, performances and possibly exams. Then summer hits, and they pause to do other things.
So what happens when we stop playing for a month or two? Usually when students start playing again they are slower to respond when they read music.
Advanced students can start up quicker than a new beginner or intermediate student. Usually, advanced students don’t stop playing for months as they want to keep their music in shape. However, a beginner or intermediate student can really feel the decline. To their teacher’s dismay, most beginners forgot important aspects on how to read music or count rhythm. Their fingers respond slower almost forgetting where to go with hand placement. Sometimes, it feels like starting all over come September.
There is an easy solution! Play your instrument 3 times a week. Play favorite songs or better yet, have a summer project song.
Having a music lesson periodically throughout the summer is also a great goal to work towards as it can help keep students on track. For those students taking exams over the summer, lessons are even more important. Summer music exams can be easier when it doesn’t compete with school work.
Covid-19 is still with us unfortunately but taking a few lessons in the summer can help students keep busy, keep brains exercised and keep fingers in shape.
Our teachers are here to help you over the summer.
3 GREAT TIPS for Improving Your Musicianship
In more than 30 years as a piano teacher, I have taught students with different physical and mental abilities, learning styles, and musical tastes.
In my opinion, music can be learned, played and enjoyed by anyone; all that is required is hard-work, perseverance and dedication!
Here are 3 GREAT TIPS as you learn to play music:
No matter what level you are at, using a metronome can be a useful tool. Playing in time and understanding the feel of rhythm is satisfying. Most students using a metronome for the first time get frustrated by it; often it is because they are out of time. The constant ticking can be irritating and confusing, but believe me, nothing is more satisfying when you master playing with a metronome. As a teacher, I’ve heard a lot of incorrect rhythms, but it amazes me how students can instinctively know when they are in or out of time. Tricks like writing in the counting, counting out loud, and clapping will help you play the rhythms in time. Eventually, you may hear and feel the rhythms instead of having to mechanically count it out.
Work on Technique
Playing scales, triads and arpeggio exercises may seem boring to some but these exercises have so many benefits for the fingers and body in general. Focusing on how your body and your fingers move correctly can teach you how to play with accuracy and minimal stress to the body. Using the metronome and playing technical exercises can elevate your musicianship with the ability to play faster and with better control.
Read Notes and
Get to Know Chords
Some students read a little music, some read quite well, and some play-by-ear who don’t read at all. I believe that learning how to read notes is a great asset. It opens your world to music that maybe too hard to learn by ear. I personally love learning arrangements by other musicians, taking their ideas and incorporating them into my own playing. A good piece of sheet music outlines notes, harmony and chord structure and shows you how these ideas were formed!
Summer Tips for Thinking Music
It’s here, the lazy days of summer! A time for doing other activities that you love to do. After all summer is short!
So how do you keep your fingers limber and your mind, musically sharp!
Here’s a few summer music tips I use to keep #thinkingmusic :
- Summer is the perfect time to learn that new song you always wanted to play. Just pick away at it slowly a few lines at a time. Then in your lessons in the fall, you can go for it!
- Play around on the BLUES. Learn the basic 12 bar blues form and improvise using the blues scale. No notes are needed, just play by ear.
- Have a summer only song . . . nothing too long . . .maybe something easier than what you usually play.
- Pick up a “how to play” YouTube tip on your instrument and implement it. Make sure it’s at your level and then have fun with it.