4 Little-Known Secrets for Drumming Success

drummers

So you’re taking drum lessons, and you want to know how to take your drumming to the next level? Here, San Diego, CA drum instructor Maegan W. shares four lesser-known secrets to help you succeed…

Have you ever watched a band or artist and thought to yourself, “I’m just as talented and I work hard, how come I don’t get gigs?” Well the answer may surprise you. In fact, I hope it does.

I found out long ago that getting a good gig, playing big festivals, and making money as a drummer doesn’t come from being a great musician. Of course, this is a key ingredient, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate drummer, if you practice and dedicate yourself, you have the potential to be an amazing drummer. If you want to take your drumming to the next level, pay attention to these lesser-known secrets to drumming success.

1. Mindset

Adopting the right mindset is the first step to attracting better gigs and experiences.

When you watch other bands, pay attention to your energy and the way you feel. Do you feel jealous or envious, or do you appreciate other artists’ talent? What are you saying as you watch these bands or artists?

It’s important to recognize and appreciate another artist’s talent. This allows you to operate from a place of inspiration, as opposed to a negative, jealous head space.

2. Define Your Goals and Go After Them

Professional drummers are always looking for opportunities. They don’t just sit back and wait for things to happen.

Successful drummers know exactly what they want, and they make a commitment to make it happen. This don’t mean you should be rigid and stubborn. In fact, the opposite is true: you must be able to go with the flow and allow the magic to happen.

Be clear about your goals. It may be helpful to share your goals with your drum teacher so he or she can keep you on track and hold you accountable.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice!

OK, I know this isn’t exactly a secret, but for some reason, the pros try to hide how much time they really practice. When they play, they make it looks effortless and natural, but this is the result of hours of hard work. Remember, every successful drummer has put in the time to develop their skills.

Think of it this way: When you’re not practicing, someone else is! You can always find ways to improve; keep on practicing!

4. It’s Not Just What You Know…

The last secret most pros don’t share is that it’s not just what you know, but who you know. This is not to say that talent and work ethic aren’t essential, but there are also intangible factors that can help you succeed.

Always remember: it’s a small world and people talk. It’s helpful to maintain a positive outlook and attitude. Also, successful drummers spend just as much time marketing themselves as they do working on their drum technique. Make connections with other drummers. You can always learn something, and you never know who will be able to help you get to the next level.

These lesser-known secrets should give you a new perspective, and help you achieve your drumming goals.

Want to improve your drumming skills? Find a drum instructor today!

Maegan-WMaegan W. teaches drums, songwriting, and more in San Diego, CA. She earned a degree in Percussion from the Musician’s Institute, and has been teaching private lessons since 2004.  Learn more about Maegan here!

 

 

 

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rolling-stone-instruments-berklee-online header

Can You Identify the Weird Instruments Featured in Rolling Stone’s Top-100?

What do the contrabassoon, the swarmandal, and the finger cymbal all have in common? They all play an important part in the greatest songs of all time! Berklee Online recently took a look at Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and focused in on the top 100 to give us an inside look at the music that has shaped our lives. From pop songs with flute to songs for alto sax, there’s something special about hearing unique instruments used in creative ways by some of the world’s most famous and beloved musicians.

So, think you can identify some of the weird instruments on this list? Check out the awesome infographic below to test your knowledge of these classic tunes!

rolling-stone-instruments-berklee-online

So how’d you do? Were you able to name some of the weird instruments in this list? If anything, this infographic proves that great music comes from unique instruments and dynamite musicians – and great things happen when the two come together!

No matter what instrument you play, taking private lessons with a quality music instructor can take your musical skills to the next level! Who knows — someday we might see one of your songs on this list!

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Raising Bilingual Kids: Expert Tips from a Parent Who Has Been There

How to Raise a Bilingual Child

As you probably know, being bilingual has many amazing benefits, from increased brain health to higher salaries, and more! You may have also heard that for many people, learning languages is far easier in childhood than it will be in their adult years.

If you’re a parent, or about to become one, you’re probably wondering how to raise a bilingual child. Have no fear, many other parents have embarked on this journey, and they are happy to share their discoveries with you. Even if you don’t speak a second language yourself, you can still help your child grow up bilingual.

So what do you need to know to raise a bilingual child? Adam Beck of Bilingual Monkeys has lots of experience and great advice for doing just that! Here’s Adam…

My best advice for successfully raising a bilingual child, from birth, can be summed up in these three principles…

1. The two “core conditions” for fostering active ability in the minority language are exposure and need.

The child must receive sufficient interactive exposure to the target language (there’s no “magic number,” but a good benchmark for most families seeking active ability would be roughly 25 hours a week), while also feeling an organic need to use that language.

Your aim, for the first few formative years, is to “condition” your child to communicate with you in the minority language by the time he or she begins to speak. And you’ll raise the odds of achieving this if you proactively emphasize that language and “de-emphasize” the majority language.

In other words, the more openly you use the majority language around the child, the more you may undermine his or her need to use the minority language with you. So, although I know it may not be realistic to avoid using the majority language entirely, I would be cautious about how freely you speak that language in front of the child, especially in those early years.

2. Generally speaking, the results of your bilingual quest will be in proportion to how high you make this a priority in your life.

If your sense of priority is high, if you make this aim central to your daily lifestyle, then your approach will be more mindful and proactive. This will result in more persistent and effective efforts, and greater success over time. The reverse of this is also likely true: The lower your sense of priority, the less action you’ll take and the less progress you’ll make. As Gandhi once said (though I don’t think he was talking about raising bilingual kids): “Action expresses priorities.”

3. Flood your home with minority language resources—particularly books—and read aloud to your children every single day, from birth and throughout childhood.

A large home library and a daily read-aloud routine should be the bedrock of your daily efforts to promote the minority language. Again, when it comes to resources, emphasize the minority language and “de-emphasize” the majority language. Assuming the future will bring schooling in the majority language, it’s to your advantage to make the home far richer in minority language resources.

At the same time, talk, talk, talk to your baby in the target language. The more input the child receives through books and speech, the more output he or she will eventually produce.

Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo. For many more helpful tips from Adam, see My Best Tips for Raising Bilingual Kids.

 

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Playing the Drums

8 Talented, Adorable Animals Playing the Drums

Playing the Drums

When you’re learning drums, you may need some inspiration or a practice break. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Nothing is cuter or more entertaining than some adorable animals playing the drums.

From funky monkeys to puppy percussionists, here are eight adorable, talented animals rocking out on the drums.

1. K9 on the Kick Drum

These proud dog owners shared this home video of their German Wirehaired Pointer playing the hi-hat and bass drum.

2. Musical Monkey

This is Tito the monkey, and he obviously loves playing the drums! We’re not quite sure about Tito’s backstory, but we’re definitely grateful that YouTube user mmannddalla shared this video with the world.

3. Little Drummin’ Dachshund

This dachshund has obviously mastered speed and tempo, and he proves you don’t need a drum set to rock out!

4. Primate Percussionist

We’re not sure if this little guy is practicing or monkeying around, but either way, we still love him!

5. Doggy Duet

Watch this dog providing back up on the kick drum for his owner. Dogs really are man’s best friend, especially when it comes to making music!

6. Music by Maple

Maple is a Border Collie/Golden Retriever mix with a huge fan following on Vine. Besides The White Stripes, Maple plays along to songs by Imagine Dragons and The Script.

7. He Can Feel it (“In the Air Tonight”)

Check out the soulful solo from this gorilla drummer. Actor Garon Michael suited up in a gorilla costume and played along to Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight” for a 2007 Cadbury commercial.

8. The Puppet Master

No list of musical mammals would be complete without Animal, the drum master himself. Besides his drum solos, watch the Muppets star play with famous artists like Buddy Rich, Rita Moreno, and Travis Barker.

If these adorable animals can do it, then you can too! Grab your drum sticks, and get ready to practice!

Want to see more musically-inclined pets? Check out these 10 incredibly talented animals playing the piano.

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kanji

The 9 Most Popular Kanji Tattoos

kanji

When you’re taking Japanese lessons, you will be introduced to the three different writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Although kanji is generally considered the most difficult to learn, because of the symbols, it’s the most popular writing system among non-Japanese speakers.

Kanji consists of thousands of characters which were derived from the Chinese writing system. Because of the way they look, and the fact that they can convey a meaningful message in a limited amount of characters, kanji symbols are very popular in T-shirt designs and tattoos.

Kanji tattoos are common among celebrities like David Beckham and Justin Bieber. A-list stars, however, aren’t the only ones who have caught the kanji tattoo craze.

Here some of the most popular kanji tattoos.

Respect

respect

Photo from lovetoknow

 

Patience/Endurance

PATIENCE

Photo from Gecko & Fly

 

Live for Today

Live for Today

Photo from Bullseye Tattoos

 

Strength

 

Believe

 

Love

love

Photo from Slodive

 

More Popular Japanese Tattoos


Cherry Blossoms

cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms hold a special significance in Japanese culture. They represent the beauty of life, and Japanese people look forward to the trees blooming each year.

Koi Fish

The Koi fish is part of Japanese and Chinese history and culture. In an ancient Japanese legend, a koi fish is transformed into a golden dragon. Because of this legend, koi fish are now associated with strength, perseverance, and power.

Family Names

Tattooing an individual’s name or a family member’s name in kanji characters is a huge trend among celebrities and everyday ink enthusiasts.


Avoid Kanji Tattoo Mishaps

Although kanji tattoos are extremely popular, it’s also a well-known fact that it’s easy to confuse the actual meaning behind the characters. There are countless stories of people with kanji tattoos, who don’t actually know what is inked on their body.

The best way to avoid a permanent mistake is to learn Japanese, or ask a Japanese-speaking friend to translate your tattoo design.

Want to learn more about kanji? Find a Japanese teacher near you!

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Photo by Kristin Andrus

Nintendo

Blast From the Past: 6 Japanese Toys From Your Childhood

6 Japanese Toys

When you’re taking Japanese lessons, it’s fun to learn about certain aspects of Japanese culture. Japanese pop culture has made a significant impact in the United States and worldwide.

From electronic game consoles to action figures, Japan has had a long-standing influence on the worldwide toy market. You probably remember a lot of the items on this list, but never really knew their true origin.

Go ahead and embrace your inner child, it’s time to get nostalgic. Here are six popular Japanese toys you may remember from your childhood.

1. Nintendo®

Before today’s popular gaming consoles with real-life graphics and motion sensors, there was an Italian plumber named Mario who set out to save his beloved Princess from the forces of evil. The Nintendo® Entertainment System, which was created by the Nintendo Company in Kyoto, Japan, was released in North America in 1985. The game console was released along with the Super Mario Bros game, which became the best-selling video game of all time.

Since it’s creation, the Nintendo® brand has sold more than 4.3 billion video games, and the company has launched several popular game consoles like the Game Boy, Nintendo 64, and  Nintendo Wii.

You may remember some of Mario’s friends like Donkey Kong and Zelda, in fact, they were probably an important part of your childhood.

2. BeyBlades

Beyblades

Photo by Dennis Amith

Beyblades are relatively more recent than a lot of the toys on this list, but the spinning, top-like contraptions bring us back to a simpler time. In the digital age full of iPads and electronic devices, Beyblades’ simple design took the toy market by storm.

The tops were made of plastic and metal, and with a limitless amount of color variations, they were very popular to collect. You could also square off with friends and compete to see who’s BeyBlades could stay spinning the longest.

According to the New York Times, the original wave of Beyblades were released in the early 2000s and were based on the Japanese fighting tops called bei-goma. The toys were reintroduced in Japan in 2008, with some more modern, high-tech upgrades. Since then, the toys have taken off in the United States.

In addition to the tops, there are also electronic Beyblade games and a Beyblade series on DVD.

3. Power Rangers

Power Rangers

Photo by Kikomachi

With several TV series, movies, spinoffs, and action figures, the Power Rangers are one of the most popular franchises in history. If you were a fan of the show, you probably had multiple action figures, complete with weapons, vehicles, and other super-hero type gadgets.

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” TV show started in the United States in 1993, and was based on the Japanese show “Super Sentai.” Action figures were created as a result of the show’s popularity, and new toys continued to be developed as other shows were created. The Power Rangers action figures were manufactured by Bandai, a toy company which was founded in Japan.

Although the show has been around for 20+ years, the toys are still popular. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Power Rangers toys generated $80 million in revenue in 2012.

4. Tamagotchi

Tamagotchi

Photo by Robyn Lee

Another Bandai product, the egg-shaped digital toys called Tamagotchi hatched in 1996, selling more than 40 million units worldwide. Aki Maita created the original virtual pet in Japan, and she did her market research in shopping districts in Tokyo.

The digital toys were widely popular and many brands released their own similar products. You may have had a love-hate relationship with your own Tamagotchi, but one thing is for sure, the electronic virtual pet probably gave you one of your first early lessons in responsibility.

Good news for you Tamagotchi fans, if you own an iPhone you can download the Tamagotchi classic app, which is also available for the new iWatch. Maybe you’ll have better luck taking care of your digital pet this time around!

5. Hello Kitty

hello kitty

Photo by Katey

One of the world’s most famous cats (or maybe not a cat, but we don’t need to get into the specifics), Hello Kitty was introduced in Japan in 1974. Created by the Sanrio toy company, Hello Kitty’s image has been used on toys, stationary, stickers, accessories, apparel, and even a toaster that imprints her face onto your bread.

The Sanrio company has been around in Japan since the 1960s, but the franchise has expanded to the United States and worldwide. Besides Hello Kitty, you may  remember some of Sanrio’s other characters like Keroppi, Badtz-Maru, and Pochacco.

6. Pokémon

Maybe you remember the cards, maybe you remember the games, but when it comes to Pokemon, you definitely remember the madness!

Pokémon was created in 1996 when Satoshi Tajiri collaborated with Nintendo to create the video game. Nintendo released a Game Boy game, and a few months later the first Pokemon trading cards appeared in Japan. Three years later, the cards made their way to store shelves in the United States.

Since the release in 1996, Pokémon has been turned into an animated show, a movie, action figures, plush toys, and more. You may not be able to catch them all, but you probably caught Pokémon fever as a child.

These are just some of many toys created in Japan that became worldwide sensations.

How many of these toys do you remember? Which ones were your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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®

Ultimate Resource Guide for Korean-Language Students

The Ultimate Resource Guide for Korean-Language Students

Ultimate Resource Guide for Korean-Language Students

When you’re taking Korean lessons, some reliable, thorough online resources can help you brush up on your skills between sessions with your Korean teacher. From Korean-language websites to fun YouTube videos, here are the best online resources to help you learn Korean.

Websites


How to Study Korean

Learning any new language isn’t just about memorizing grammar rules and vocabulary, mastery of a language requires the ability to apply it in real-life situations. How to Study Korean understand this and is designed to help you learn to actually speak and apply the Korean language. The website is divided into units and lessons with tests at the end of each unit to make sure you understand the material.

According to the website, by the time you’re done with the lessons, you will know “nine thousand of the most common Korean words and 99.9 percent of the grammar that is used in Korean conversations.”

Learn-Korean.net

Start with the basics of the Hangul alphabet and work your way up to sentence structure, grammar, and vocabulary. This website takes a gradual approach, so you wont feel intimidated, and you can study at your own pace.

If you get stuck on a specific topic, check the website’s community forum for support from their Korean teachers.

Remember, you can also go over anything that confuses you with your Korean tutor.

Sogang Korean Program

This website is provided by the Korean Language Education Center at Sogang University, and its mission is to promote education, culture, and language.

The lessons will give you a great overview of Korean grammar and pronunication, and there are interactive practice exercises to reinforce the lessons.

KoreanClass101.com

KoreanClass101.com is a fun, interactive website to help you learn Korean. The website uses lots of different types of media like audio and video lessons featuring Korean hosts, downloadable PDF guides, and smart phone apps to help you learn on the go.

Learn Korean Language

One of the best parts of studying a language is learning about the history, culture, and traditions. This will broaden your knowledge and enrich your learning experience.

The Learn Korean Language website offers Korean-language lesson, a Korean blog, Korean news, and information on Korean history and culture.

If you’re looking for an introduction to the Korean language and information about traveling to Korea, bookmark this website, now!

KOSNET

KOSNET offers e-Books and video lectures for Korean-language students. No matter your level, you can find the right resource to expand your knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of the Korean language through reading, listening, and speaking.

In addition to Korean-language textbooks, you can also find educational materials on Korean history and culture.

Omniglot

Omniglot is an extensive online encyclopedia of languages, writing systems, and alphabets. Omniglot has educational materials for many different languages, but you can find some excellent resources to learn the Korean writing system, and learn about Korean vowels, consonants, phrases, and more.

Life in Korea

Life in Korea is an excellent resource for Korean-language students and travelers. The site is broken into sections which group different real-life situations so you can learn useful, applicable Korean phrases.

If you’re planning to visit Korea, Life in Korea is a fantastic place to find accommodations and information for your trip.

Korean Learning for Correct Pronunciation

If you don’t have native Korean speakers you can practice with, then this website is great to perfect your pronunciation.

The audio files will help you learn the correct pronunciation for Korean words. There is also a character glossary for a quick reference for Korean characters.


Flashcards

Study Stack

Memorize Korean vocabulary with these digital flashcards. Choose from the pre-made sets or create your own.

LearnWithOliver

LearnWithOliver offers audio flashcards, learning exercises, and tests to help you memorize Korean words and phrases.

You can also compete with other users with fun, interactive online games.

Anki Korean Deck Flashcards

Study online or sync these digital flashcards across multiple mobile devices.


Videos

Videos are a fun and entertaining way to learn Korean. Here is a list of some of our favorite videos to help you learn Korean:

The Best YouTube Korean Videos for Beginners


Books

Whether you’re looking for textbooks, workbooks, or eBooks, here are the best, most resourceful books to help you learn Korean.

The Best Korean Books for Language Students

5 More Fantastic Books for Language Students

What other Korean-language resources do you love? We want to hear from you, let us know in the comments below!

While these resources are all very helpful, remember, the best way to learn Korean is through private lessons with a Korean tutor. Find a Korean teacher near you and start learning Korean today!

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Photo by Oneterry Aka Terry Kearney

 

15 Struggles All Triple Threats Can Relate To

15 Unique Struggles All Triple Threats Can Relate To

15 Struggles All Triple Threats Can Relate ToDo you consider yourself a “triple threat”? If so, you’ll find these 15 struggles — rounded up by Fayetteville, GA voice teacher Alexandra R. — all too familiar… 

 

The stars have aligned and that dream to be on Broadway, to be a superstar, to be unstoppable is just at your fingertips. The auditions and opportunities of a lifetime are waiting for you on the horizon. You walk through the door of that audition room and you know you’re the one they’ve been looking for… but we all have our constant struggles that stop us dead in our tracks and make us question if we really should pursue this passion as a career. This article is here to show you that you are not alone!

But first, what is a triple threat?

A “triple threat” is a performer who has three notable skillsets. This can be anything including acting, singing, dancing, or playing piano or another instrument. Each skill is high and can be considered equal. Most Broadway performers are triple threats, as well as some celebrities (Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway, for example).

Now that you know what a triple threat is, does that sound like you? If so, the following 15 struggles will also be familiar for you…

1. Identifying your superpower.

Can you play piano? Cool. Belt your face off? Check. Perform the entire “The Wizard of Oz” with costumes, voices, and choreography to a T? Awesome. But what is your best talent? Making a slight change to your performance resume can determine how a director perceives you. Are you a singer/actor/dancer, an actor/singer/mover, or a juggler/dancer/actor? The slight change and reverse of any of your triple talents could determine how great you actually are at your talents. Can you stand the pressure?

 

2. Deciding how to market YOU.

In high school you always played the “mom” character. You’ve also played the tree and the sidekick. In college, you were the ingénue, the villain, and then something completely opposite. Marketing yourself and creating a brand/type for yourself can be hard. Take time to really step back and see what you honestly can bring to the table. Ask your teacher for advice, ask your agent, and ask your other triple-threat friends. Ask anyone who will be honest with you, and then make your own decision!

 

3. Settling on a location.

We all want to reach our goals, but where should we go to pursue them? Should you move to New York? Will LA suit you better? Should you pick another town like Atlanta or Chicago with a smaller competition pool and be the big fish in the small pond? You might worry about missing an opportunity by choosing the wrong place to start your career, and that decision can tear at your heartstrings.

 

4. Keeping your audition material up to date.

The dreaded repertoire book. Do you have contrasting monologues? What about legit songs, jazz cuts, pop cuts, and 1960s pop cuts? There’s always something missing from your book and there’s always something that is outdated and overused. It may seem like you are always looking for something else to fit in your encyclopedia of a repertoire book!

 

5. Keeping your audition material not too mainstream.

So you walk into an audition room and you are ready to perform your go-to song, and what do you hear? The girl in front of you is singing the EXACT same cut of your song. How frustrating is that! Your diamond-in-the-rough song could very well be everyone’s diamond-in-the-rough, so find a backup plan and keep researching in order to avoid the overdone audition songs.

 

6. Being unique.

So, the breakdown calls for a Mickey Rooney-type that can move and belt high Gs and can waddle like Godzilla. So, what do you do? Do you dress like Godzilla and research all of Mickey Rooney’s movies? Do you dress like the character breakdown? Do you learn catchphrases and movements that can help you stick out in a crowd? What if you walk into the audition room and everyone is wearing the EXACT SAME thing? If you think there is a role that you and only you can play, sometimes walking into a room with each person looking just like you can be frustrating.

 

7. Scheduling auditions.

It’s been months since you’ve had an audition. Is your agent alive? Did he or she forget about you? Now all of a sudden, you have five auditions in the same week and you have a part-time job, and you’re still making your beauty YouTube tutorials and meeting your deadline for those 55 subscribers! What do you do? Maintaining your schedule and deciding which auditions are worth going to can be intimidating.

 

8. Handling your arch-nemesis.

She’s there. She’s the one you always look for every time you’re in an audition. She’s the girl that looks just like you, sings like you, acts like you, and almost ALWAYS beats you for that role. You two are always supportive of each other, but you can’t deny the underlying rivalry.

 

9. Deciding which gigs to book.

After months of auditioning, you finally book it: you got the role of your dreams! You also get called in for a head-to-head death match between you and your arch-nemesis for a new hip TV show. Both are great for your career. Both can change your life, but they will start you in different fields. Deciding which role or job to take can be hard. Deciding if you can schedule both can be frustrating as well.

 

10. Dealing with headshots.

The slightest change in your life can be cause for new headshots. Did you get a haircut? New headshots. Did you dye your hair? New headshots. Lost more than 100 pounds? New headshots. Want to have a more commercial look? New headshots. You’re auditioning for a dance company? New headshots. Your manager thinks your headshots are outdated? New headshots. It seems like every time you just spent hundreds of dollars to get new headshots, you have to go out and take new headshots again! The struggle is so real!

 

11. Budgeting.

So you want to take lessons with the best vocal coach in the city, take that Bikram yoga class with the cute instructor, brush up on jazz and hip hop dance, learn piano, and still have money for rent, food, transportation, and those dreaded school loans? Being a triple threat can be tough; we have more things to brush up on and only so much our budget can handle. Along with budgeting comes another important aspect: finding the time to fit it all in!

 

12. Making time to practice!

Yes, you’re Sasha Fierce. You can sing runs like it’s the Boston Marathon. You can dance like Fred Astaire. You can play piano like Billy Joel. You can act like Laurence Olivier, but even the greatest performers had to find the time to practice. But when?!? In this career, we already struggle with work and money. There are great times for us and there are times where we just can’t catch a break. There is always someone out there better than you, so why not keep everything in check? Make time for voice lessons, try new dance/acting classes, and meet with friends to go over audition materials regularly. Patch up and finesse yourself so when you do have an audition, you’ll be on your “A” game.

 

13. Maintaining a schedule.

So, you are in Tampa for five days performing in “Spring Awakening” and then you have to leave after the matinee to fly in for the first rehearsal (which is really the second week of rehearsals) to Pittsburgh to do a weekend run of “The Fantastiks” while leaving in the middle of the week to perform at Carnegie Hall and fly back — and then don’t forget that performance in Toronto next month! Maintaining a schedule when the iron is hot is tough! Sometimes scheduling months in advance can be overwhelming. It can even get to the point that you’re scheduling time to sleep between studying lines and practicing songs. Forget about the gigs! It’s about keeping a regular schedule in each show we perform.

 

14. Sacrificing your social life.

So, you want me to be in your wedding party? Awesome! When is the date? So many of us have friends and family that find it mind-boggling that any second, our plans to be part of a family trip, a wedding, or a family reunion can change. At the drop of a hat, we could book the role or tour of a lifetime and have to catch a plane to pursue our career. We don’t have a nine-to-five job where holidays are the same. When opportunity knocks, we pack our bags and catch a cab to the nearest airport!

 

15. Answering the question, “What’s next?”

The question we all dread. What happens when the river runs dry? What happens when the show closes? What do we do? Sometimes as triple threats, we cannot find a job right off the bat. Others plan six to eight months ahead on shows perfectly so they can budget what they need to pay bills. Sometimes, that means working at a coffee shop to stay on track.

But no matter what, remember: this is what you love to do.

This is your passion. You chose this career for a reason. Our passion and love for the arts propels us to make others happy. Keeping each skill refined is important, so always find time to practice. Take private lessons and always be working on your craft. Half of this industry is what you know and who you know, and trust me, someone is always willing to help you achieve your dreams!

Alexandra RAlexandra R. is a singing, piano, and acting instructor in Fayetteville, GA. A Berklee College of Music graduate, she earned her BM in Music Business and Vocal Performance cum laude. Learn more about Alexandra here!

 

 

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Photo by renamon

YouTube piano tutorial

Learn 8 Easy Piano Songs With These YouTube Tutorials

YouTube piano tutorial

Looking for easy piano tutorials? You’ve come to the right place! On this list, we’ll share how to play eight famous piano songs everyone will recognize.

No matter what kind of music you’re interested in — be it rock, pop, jazz, or anything else — there are certain songs and melodies that are sure to wow a crowd.

While not all the songs on this list are for beginners, these tutorials break down the piece into easily-digestible sections, helping you learn even faster. Without further ado, here are eight easy piano tutorials for some classic songs — enjoy!

8 Easy Piano Tutorials

How to Play “Ode to Joy”

This is a fantastic piano tutorial from YouTuber Bruce Siegel at DoctorKeys.com. After playing the piece in entirety, Bruce then demonstrates how to play each hand, slowly, along with a visual representation of which keys are being played.

Watch and follow along a few times, and you’ll be ready to show off this easy piano song in no time!

How to Play “Clair de Lune”

This tune plays in one of the best scenes in the movie Ocean’s Eleven. While “Clair de Lune” isn’t the easiest song to play on the piano, this video tutorial from JJ Bartley Music breaks it down super slowly to make it much less scary.

This three-part tutorial will take some time to get through, but the end result is worth it!

How to Play “March Funèbre”

While you may not recognize the name of this piece, you’ll definitely recognize the tune! This somber song is demonstrated by YouTuber John Nelson on a keyboard with the note names clearly shown, which can help if you haven’t yet learned how to read piano music.

(Tip: John has a TON of other YouTube piano tutorials on his channel, including the top 40 songs from Taylor Swift and Sam Smith!)

How to Play “Moonlight Sonata”

This 8-part video series by YouTuber Claude Aylestock — though not the full version of the piece — is a great introduction to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”.

If you already know your way around the piano a bit, but just need some practice reading along with sheet music, this tutorial is a great option. It shows both the sheet music AND the host’s hands!

SEE ALSO: 8 Piano Apps Worth Downloading

How to Play “Ave Maria”

One of the most popular and easy piano tutorials is this video featuring “Ave Maria” from YouCanPlayIt.com.

As you follow along, you’ll be introduced to the left and right hand parts separately and slowly. Put it all together, take the tempo up a notch, and you’ve got it!

How to Play “The Entertainer”

This piece, performed by Dr. Cory Hall at BachScholar, is more for intermediate to advanced piano players — it’s a tough one!

You’ll need to have your sheet music in front of you for this, as the video is less a piano tutorial, but more an interpretation and explanation of the style and feel of the piece.

How to Play “Love Song”

This easy-to-follow YouTube piano tutorial by HDPiano slowly demonstrates the right and left hands, showing you how to play the intro and the verses of the song.

Only the first part of the tutorial is free, but it’s a great way to get started!

(Want more pop tutorials? Check out our extended list of easy pop songs for piano!)

Finally, if you want to be the life of the party, look for lists of the most-requested dueling piano bar songs. These songs are guaranteed to get everyone singing along and having a blast.

How to Play “Don’t Stop Believin'”

Another fantastic YouTube piano tutorial from HDPiano! In this one, you’ll learn the intro and verse for Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”.

The syncopation is a little tricky — but the more you practice, the easier it’ll get. And trust us… the minute you start playing this one, everyone around you will pay attention!

So there you have it: eight easy piano tutorials for playing some of the most popular songs! Of course, these videos should be considered just a starting point.

So what’s next? Working with a piano teacher to learn how to read sheet music, understand tempo and dynamic markings, and more! Not sure you’re ready for that yet? Don’t worry. Start by taking some free online piano classes.

Do you have another piano tutorial to recommend? Let us know about it in the comments section below!

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Artists like the Piano Guys on YouTUbe

5 YouTube Celebrities Who Remind Me Why I Love the Piano

Artists like the Piano Guys on YouTUbe

Photo from http://thepianoguys.com/

What inspired you to play piano?

Maybe your parents made you take piano lessons as a child, and you quickly discovered how fun and rewarding it was to play your favorite songs. Maybe you can pinpoint that one classical piece that made you first realize how music can affect your emotions and mood.

Or, perhaps you were inspired later in life, after years of listening to artists like Billy Joel and Elton John, or even contemporary artists like John Legend, Alicia Keys, or Norah Jones.

These days, video content has practically taken over the Internet. YouTube stars have become modern-day celebrities, garnering millions of views of their piano covers and original compositions, and building the kind of loyal fan base that every musician dreams of. So it’s no surprise that many musicians have taken to the Internet-stage to share their music and message!

Some artists keep it simple… while others are known for creating elaborate sets and visual effects (The Piano Guys are well-known for this!). What do they all have in common? Artists like The Piano Guys showcase the piano with gorgeous music, and remind us why the piano is such an amazing instrument!

Here are five of the best piano players on YouTube, all worth checking out:

1) The Piano Guys

Yes, their videos are quite a spectacle… and they’re also a TON of fun! Listen through their video playlist, and you’ll hear everything from covers of One Direction and Bruno Mars to original compositions. My personal favorite? Their rendition of “I Want You Bach” — because everyone loves a music pun.

2) VKGoesWild

Remember, playing the piano isn’t just about classical or jazz! And that’s why we love Ukranian pianist Viktoriya Yermolyeva (or VK, for short). Her YouTube channel features piano covers of Nirvana, Iron Maiden, Depeche Mode, and the like — all arranged by her. This System of a Down cover is one of my favorites:

3) Kyle Landry

Who says you have to play piano songs exactly as written on the sheet music? We love the video below by pianist Kyle Landry, who takes a simple theme (Pachelbel’s Canon) and improvises the heck out of it!

4) Jason Lyle Black

When I first watched the video below by Jason Lyle Black, I was impressed with his arrangement skills in this mashup-duet… and then… well, fast-forward to 1:04 and you’ll see what I mean!

5) Lara de Wit

Video game music has come a long way since the days of old-school Nintendo, so it’s no surprise that many artists are covering these songs on all sorts of instruments (including full orchestras!). This is YouTuber Lara de Wit’s niche; her channel is full of nods to video games, anime, and films of all kinds. As a Game of Thrones fan, I especially love her violin/piano arrangement of the theme, below:

 

Feeling inspired yet? We definitely are! Who else should make the list of best piano players on YouTube? Leave a comment below and let us know! 

 

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