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Showing posts from April, 2013

7 Steps for Introducing Improvisation to Young Musicians

Giving students a chance to tap into their creative juices can be a very refreshing exercise. Everyone has, at some point or another, fallen into ruts while learning a particular piece, even when the teacher is consistently encouraging. Offering students opportunities for success is critical. Improvisation can bolster confidence by providing an environment where there are no “wrong notes.” This leads students to become more self-assured performers.

Introducing improvisation can be an intimidating prospect for both the student and the teacher. If the teacher has no previous experience with improvisation the concept can seem totally foreign. But a classically trained teacher may have more improvisation tools than he or she realizes.
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Martial Arts and Music

I remember a few years ago I was having a conversation with one of my adult students about martial arts and music.  I always looked forward to my conversations with this student because she happened to be a fabulous Montessori teacher and founded what ended up being one of the biggest Montessori schools here in San Diego.  So she was this wealth of knowledge and it was such a privilege for me to be able to "pick her brain" from time to time.

Going back to the conversation, she observed that music and martial arts work really well together because they both required the same type of focus.  I have practiced martial arts for almost ten years so this is an opinion I have had for a long time but it surprised me to hear it coming from someone else.

Both music and martial arts revolve around the idea of a focused body and mind.  Teaching an extremely young student how to keep their instrument in place for one Twinkle is more mental training rather than physical.  Holding a light …