Protect your hearing now, because it’s one of those things where once it’s gone, it’s next to impossible to get back.
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:
These things should always be in there.
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.
Now that school is back in session, we are met by... chair tests.
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.
The semester is over, and you know you should keep practicing over the summer months, but what is there to play?
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.
Productive and quiet... two ways to stay out of trouble during downtime!
You're in band or orchestra class every day, but we sometimes don't take advantage of the time we're given. Not all of class time is spent playing, so what do you do with the down time?
Scales are important. Sounds simple, but students often don’t believe it. Here are a few reasons why all of us need to play scales and arpeggios on a regular basis.
It sounds contradictory, but you can practice and improve your sight-reading skills. And, it's actually not that hard.
Even though you see classmates do it, you really shouldn’t play on the same reed, every practice, every day. That single reed will wear out more quickly because it’s taking the brunt of the work.
It's an absolutely fabulous day. The sun is out, the temperatures are in the 70's, and my students have just had their first day of school. Which means they've been inside... all day. As much as I like the classroom where I teach private lessons, how could we stay inside on a day like this??
I'm regularly asked by parents how they can help motivate their kids to practice at home.
Clarinet and oboe players - does your right thumb hurt and look red after you've been practicing? Flute players - does your left index finger feel sore
A student of mine was in her lesson, and I asked about an exercise she had for homework. She answered, "it didn't go so well." "How so?" I asked. "I just didn't get it. It didn't make sense to me...
All of your reeds look a little sad. Some have a corner chipped off, some are cracked down the middle, one even looks like it got a spiky haircut! Trendy, but not good for playing. Time for a new box...
The most often-asked questions about private lessons.