Violin Tips: Stiff Shoulders and Arm Pain

violin techniquePlaying the violin should be fun – not a pain! Some arm fatigue is normal when you’re first starting out, but anything more than that may be a sign of poor posture, technique or instrument placement. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you practice and play…

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Violin Tips: Mastering the Double Stop

violinAfter you learn the basics of playing the violin, you can start exploring more exciting techniques and tricks. Double stops, for example, are when you play more than one string simultaneously, which can add a lot of color and flair to your playing. However, it’s not the easiest technique to master. We found a great read on All Things Strings online, jam-packed with tips to help you along the way; here’s an excerpt to get you started…

First and foremost relax, relax, relax. Any tension in your left hand will quickly tie it up and cramps are sure to follow. Don’t mistake tension for strength. They are very different sensations.

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50 Music Goals and Ideas for 2013

setting music goals2013 is right around the corner, and you know what that means – New Year’s Resolutions! A fresh new year is the perfect time to consider what you’d like to work on, especially when it comes to music as a hobby or a career. Setting goals establishes the road map you need to truly progress and improve.
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How to Set Up a Drum Set

drum setNew to the drums? Learning how to set up a drum set properly should be your first priority. Read on as Mundelein drum teacher Jonah D. shows you the way…






Before I even touch the drums I have to set up my drum throne.  I adjust the height so that I can lift my legs easily using my thighs.  I start with a height that puts a 90-degree angle at my knees.  I sit higher up, but you can raise or lower the seat to make it comfortable.  Sitting too high or too low will actually impede your ability to play.

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The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Recital Preparation

music recital tipsDo you have a holiday recital or performance coming up? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. From practicing effectively to overcoming stage fright, we have a lengthy list of resources to help you prepare for the upcoming event. Let’s start at the very beginning…

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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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Video: Learn and Master Major Scales

Gibson guitarGuitarists, want to master your scales once and for all? Practicing scales and training your fingers goes hand-in-hand with improving your overall technique, especially when you start working on soloing and improvisation. We were excited to come across Gibson’s series of tutorial videos, and this one in particular is great for guitar players who want to learn a few major scale exercises.

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Dubstep Violin with Lindsey Stirling

We simply can’t get enough of Lindsey Stirling! Her amazing violin skills, modern integrations of hip-hop and dubstep, and creative videos (many of which have gone viral) have launched her into YouTube celebrity fame ever since she impressed audiences nationwide on America’s Got Talent. She has performed globally and recently embarked on a U.S. tour, and her first self-titled album was released on September 18th. Take a look at her most recent music video here:

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What the iPhone 5 Means for Musicians

iPhoneThe duel between Android and iOS fanatics doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, but Apple is certainly making headlines this week with the announcement of the iPhone 5, set for release later this month.

As technology improves and new products are launched, musicians of all types can benefit from the various music apps and programs available, bringing the world of music right to your fingertips. Want to quickly look up a guitar chord chart for A minor? There’s an app for that. Looking for an easy way to manage a busy schedule of music lessons and band practice? Yup, there’s an app for that, too. Who knew technology would take us this far?

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Helping Your Child Set Music Goals

bandSo you’ve booked your child’s music lessons, organized your schedule, and made the decision between purchasing or renting an instrument. Parent involvement can be a big factor in your child’s success, so your job doesn’t end there!

Younger students in particular may need help with establishing good practice habits, tracking progress, and staying motivated outside of the lessons. There are a ton of ways you can provide that support, and simply sitting down with your child to set a few goals for the school year is a great way to start. And not only will it help their success in music lessons, but developing the skill (and habit) of setting goals will carry over into other areas of their life.

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