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Showing posts from May, 2013

Every Child Can... Not Every Parent

This post is for all the parents that are thinking about starting their young child in music lessons.

Music is a HUGE commitment.  Teaching music is my career and I will be the first to admit that leaning to play an instrument well is going to take a lot of time and a lot of money.

Many parents, with good reason, like the idea of giving their child the gift of music.  As a field of study it helps develop areas of the brain that regular school subjects will not.  It opens up the possibilities of new social circles and opportunities (scholarships, tours abroad, etc...).  Plus it's a pastime anyone can enjoy no matter how old.

But there's a reason why only a small percentage of people play a musical instrument proficiently.  In fact, there are several reasons.  These are basic reality facts:

Instruments cost money.  Your child will have to have multiple instruments throughout their music career as they grow both in size and ability.  Instruments are an investment.  If an acoustic …

Review of I Can Read Music Volume 1

I've yet to find a book that introduces sight reading as smoothly as this book.  Do keep in mind that this book is designed for the student that knows nothing about reading notes.  A student that knows beginner level basics might not find the material to be challenging enough.
"I Can Read" separates pitch reading from rhythm reading which is absolutely brilliant since they really are two completely different skill sets.  This separation of skills makes this sight reading book perfect in the Suzuki Method setting but could really be used with any teaching approach.
Because the concepts are so simple, there's a high probability that any at-home sight reading assignments will be done correctly.  This is advantageous when the student is young and the parent is not musical themselves.  The less confusion, the better.
This book is definitely worth checking out if you teach beginner students of any age.

"Adaptation is the Key to Survival"

I never quite outgrew watching cartoons.  It's not like I get up every Saturday at 7am to watch them like  I did back in the good ol' days.  But I rent series on Netflix on a pretty regular basis.  Good cartoons can have very provoking plot lines and interesting characters.  "Avatar: The Last Airbender" being an excellent example.

One of the lastest series I've been going through is "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."  At the beginning of every episode they have what one of my students calls "a Yodaism" (we bond over the episodes we've seen).  It's a little one or two sentence bit of wisdom/life advice that usually has something to do with the episode that will follow.

So one one of the episodes I recently watched it said: "Adaption is the key to survival."  It struck me as really relavant to a topic that has been coming up a lot lately in lessons.  I currently have this large batch of students that have "stuck it out."  M…