For those majoring in music, I like to sit down with them and chat about what they’re looking forward to, what they’re nervous about, and a few pieces of advice to help them make the most of their experience. If you are heading off to music school soon (or are in it now!), here is some generally applicable advice for you to take to school with you:
If you already knew and could do everything, there would be no reason to learn anything.
You know you’re supposed to practice. You just have so many other things to do. Homework, soccer practice, friends, volunteering… it gets so overwhelming. Practicing? You just don’t seem to have the time.
I ask this question in my studio more than one might expect.
I’m sure you’ve met performance anxiety. And unless you’ve had some very unusual experiences, it’s internal - it’s all in your head. And that’s what makes it so frustrating. So. Frustrating.
This ought to get you started, but check back occasionally for additions!
Yes, adults can learn to play an instrument, and to a high skill level. You are not too old. But the process will be a little different than it is for children. Understanding what those differences are will help make your learning more successful.
It’s a question that you may have caught yourself asking every now and then: “Could I play an instrument, too?” And I bet your answer comes pretty quickly and is some variation of: “No, I’m probably too old.”
Really, this article could have been named “My Two Best Pieces of Advice for Solo & Ensemble.. or Auditions… or Exams… or Concerts." Two. One is easy, the other not so much.
The holiday season is coming up fast. That means traveling, family, awesome food, and - your instrument? Well, it can.
Live concerts are an important part of musical learning.
The problem with perfectionism is that it robs us of the enjoyment of performing. We become so bogged down with every minute, trivial detail that the slightest variance distracts us and makes us believe we are less because we made a mistake.
It's getting close to Christmas, and you're stumped for stocking stuffers. You want to get something to help motivate your child musician, but how do you know what to get?
Your favorite professional musicians have all had experience with failure. They aren't some magical league of super-human talent that just effortlessly glide through their careers. The performance that you hear is determined beforehand with many, many hours in the practice room. Professionals are where they are because they've worked for it. You can be excellent, too, but you will have to earn it.
I'm regularly asked by parents how they can help motivate their kids to practice at home.
You love playing your instrument, but you don't think you want to make a career out of it. So, you'll play until graduation, then sell your instrument or put it away as a souvenir, right? Wrong!