The Musician’s Path to Rock Star Status

rock starMany students begin taking music lessons with an ultimate goal of making it on stage and selling out shows. But what exactly does that path look like? It’s different for everyone, but here’s one possible timeline, as outlined by Mission Viejo, CA teacher Pierre L...

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Winter Care for Violins – 3 Crucial Tips

violin careEarlier this month we featured a few tips for violin bow maintenance – but what about the rest of the instrument? As we move into the Winter season, string instruments like the violin are susceptible to the colder temperatures, which can cause warping and cracks in the wood. Most instruments can outlive the season without harm, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind…

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Awesome Music Apps for Drummers

android music appsWith all of the music apps available these days, musicians have tons of resources right at their fingertips. Guitarists can pull up their phones instead of packing their tuners; vocalists can Google song lyrics for impromptu karaoke nights. So what are the must-have music apps specifically for drummers? Here are a few to get you started…

Metronome / Tempo – iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, $2.99; Android, Free.
Everyone needs a good quality metronome app.  Set your time signature, rhythm pattern, sound and tempo, and start practicing!

Song Beats – iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Free
Play along with your favorite songs! Similar to games like GarageBand, users play along with popular tracks by tapping highlighted parts of a virtual drum set.

Drum Kit – Android, Free
Explore and record beat loops on this virtual drum kit, best for beginners who just want a fun way to create music.

TakeLessons Live – iPhone and Android, Free
Easily find a local or online drum teacher who can help you master specific techniques, or advance to the next level of drumming. You can even take lessons directly from your phone!

Looking for some new apps to add to your smart phone? Here are 11 more awesome apps for drummers!

While these apps can’t take the place of true practice on your drum set or give you a reason to skip your drum lesson this week, they’re a great way to get in a musical mindset when you have some spare time!

Photo by onigiri-kun

Could This Glove Replace Your Piano Teacher?

pianoWhen you’re learning how to play the piano, coordinating your mind and fingers, and developing your dexterity and muscle memory, are all important skills. Because of this, a dream of playing music used to be near impossible for spinal cord injury patients. But now, Georgia Tech researchers have found a way to help.

Enter the Mobile Music Touch (MMT), an electronic glove that vibrates a student’s fingers to indicate which keys to play on the piano. After an eight-week study, researchers found that patients using the glove to learn how to play the piano saw improved motor skills and finger sensation. Read more

Recognizing Chest Voice vs. Head Voice

What’s the difference between chest voice and head voice? Recognizing each – and learning to seamlessly transition from one to the other – can help you really take advantage of your full vocal range. Valencia, PA voice teacher Melody M. explains in this informative video:

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5 Reasons to Fit Jam Sessions Into Your Guitar Lessons

guitar jamIs jamming with friends and noodling around on your guitar beneficial? We say yes! In fact, incorporating jam sessions into your guitar lessons can be a great way to build your chops. Check out Wheaton, IL teacher Scott C.‘s thoughts here…

 

 

 

Anyone who has ever taken or taught music in some capacity has probably come into contact with what I call “Human Tablature” lessons. In short, this is where you show up, you ask the teacher to teach you a song, and they teach it to you. A perfect example is when “American Idiot” by Green Day came out; it was almost like every guitar teacher in the country was given a full month’s lesson plans – all they had to do was show up and show the student where to put his or her fingers. These lessons are usually so boring you can audibly hear your life getting duller, and both the teacher and the student are constantly shooting shifty glances at their watch.

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holiday and christmas sheet music

Where to Find Holiday & Christmas Sheet Music

christmas sheet musicThanksgiving is just barely over, but we’re ready for the holiday madness to really start! Time to break out the goofy reindeer sweaters, Bing Crosby CDs and nostalgia-inducing decorations. ‘Tis the season, also, for student recitals, caroling, and holiday gigs rolling in! However you celebrate, it’ll be hard to get away from songs like “White Christmas” and “Silver Bells.” And to help you get your repertoire solidified, we’ve compiled a list of resources – whether you’re looking for sheet music or maybe even a note-by-note tutorial. First up, here’s where to find holiday and Christmas sheet music for piano, violin, voice and more…

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Music, Math and More: How Do They Relate?

music and mathMusic is often seen as a creative art, but believe it or not, math plays a heavy role in learning how to read the language. Read on as violin, vocal and piano teacher Blythe Q. explores just a few ways music can help students in other subjects…

 

Most of us have heard of the “Mozart effect,” the set of research indicating that early exposure to classical music can improve the brain’s ability to perform certain tasks, particularly related to spatial-temporal reasoning. As a lifelong classical musician, I have noticed these effects first-hand. The correlation between music and math, language, and other subjects is clear to those who have studied music throughout their lives.

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What is the Moeller Method?

You may have heard drummers refer to the Moeller Method, but what exactly does it mean? Is it something you should specifically look for in your drum lessons? Here’s a quick overview…

 

The Moeller Method, or Moeller Technique, was named after drummer Sanford A. Moeller, who shared his way of teaching in his book The Art of Snare Drumming in 1925. His lessons were based on his observations of Civil War drummers, who played on level snares (as opposed to titled) and gripped their drum sticks with their little fingers.

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5 Practicing Mantras for the Holiday Season

practicingLast-minute trip to the grocery store? Check. Turkey thawing in the fridge? Check! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and if you’re like most families, you’ve got a thousand things on your “To Do” list from now until the New Year! So how can you or your child stay committed to practicing? The following tips come from Mary W., one of our newest piano teachers in North Hollywood, but they can be easily applied to any instrument…

 

Practicing. Easy in concept, hard in realization! Almost every single parent with a child in music lessons deals with the screams, arguments and outright tantrums that children throw to get out of practicing. It happens to everybody. I’ve put together some helpful tips and ‘mantras’ so to speak, to help parents brave this struggle:

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