Posts

Top 50 Quotes from Musicians About Life, Love, Work & More

Quotes from musicians

Looking for some of the best quotes from musicians? Musicians have done much more than just give us great songs to enjoy. They have also provided some very wise and inspirational quotes to keep us going through life, work, and relationships.

Here are 50 quotes by musicians such as Beethoven, Madonna, and Ed Sheeran. From every era and genre, these musicians know just how to relate to us, in ways that few others can.

The Top 50 Quotes From Musicians

Quotes By Musicians About Life

Sometimes you just need to embrace life, accept your mistakes, and not take things too seriously. These inspiring quotes from musicians will remind you of that!

quotes from musicians

“Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” John Lennon

quotes from musicians

“If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.”  Beyoncé

quotes from musicians

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”  Taylor Swift

quotes from musicians

“You see, we are here, as far as I can tell, to help each other; our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our enemies. That is to help each other and not hurt each other.” Stevie Ray Vaughan

quotes from musicians

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” Frank Zappa

quotes from musicians

“Find someone who has a life that you want and figure out how they got it. Read books, pick your role models wisely. Find out what they did and do it.” Lana del Rey

quotes from musicians

“I’ve had great success being a total idiot.” – Jerry Lewis

quotes from musicians

“Do the things you believe in, in the name of love. And know that, you aren’t alone. We all have doubts and fear.” Carole King

quotes from musicians

“Imagination creates reality.” Richard Wagner

quotes from musicians

“Never stop fighting no matter what anyone says. If it’s in your gut, your soul, there’s nothing, no worldly possession that should come between you and your expression.” Kanye West

quotes from musicians

“Dare to wear the foolish clown face.” Frank Sinatra

quotes from musicians

“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” BB King

quotes from musicians

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” John Cage

quotes from musicians

“Everything is scary if you look at it. So you just got to live it.” Mary J. Blige

Quotes By Musicians About Love

Is there a special someone in your life, but you don’t know how to tell them how you really feel? Leave it to these musical greats to help turn your feelings into words.

quotes from musicians

“Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same.” Schubert

quotes from musicians

“Love is like nothing else on this earth, but only when it is shared with someone wonderful like you.” Mandy Moore

quotes from musicians

“I can live only wholly with you or not at all.” Beethoven

quotes from musicians

“Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”  Mozart

quotes from musicians

“What force is more potent than love?” Igor Stravinsky

quotes from musicians

“For suddenly, I saw you there

And through foggy London town

The sun was shining everywhere…” George Gershwin

quotes from musicians

“And, in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Paul McCartney

quotes from musicians

“‘Love’ is supreme and unconditional; ‘like’ is nice but limited.” – Duke Ellington

quotes from musicians

“Love is a special word, and I use it only when I mean it. You say the word too much and it becomes cheap.” Ray Charles

quotes from musicians

“I can do nothing but think of you…what have you done to me? Can’t you remove the spell you have cast over me?”  Johannes Brahms

Quotes from musicians

“I know of no better definition of love than the one given by Proust – Love is space and time measured by the heart.” Gian Carlo Menotti

quotes from musicians

“Love is like a faucet, it turns off and on.” Billie Holiday

Quotes by Musicians About Work

Need a pep talk? Whatever you’re going through at work, these quotes by musicians will give you the confidence to go for what you really want.

quotes from musicians

“One thing I’ve learned is that I’m not the owner of my talent; I’m the manager of it.”  Madonna

quotes from musicians

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”  Ella Fitzgerald

quotes from musicians

“You can’t knock on opportunity’s door and not be ready.” Bruno Mars

quotes from musicians

“You build on failure. Use it as a stepping stone and close the door on the past. Don’t try to forget the mistakes, but don’t dwell on it.” Johnny Cash

quotes from musicians

“The roughest roads often lead to the top.”  Christina Aguilera

quotes from musicians

“You can’t give up something you really believe in for financial reasons.”  Robert Plant

quotes from musicians

“To some extent I happily don’t know what I’m doing. I feel that it’s an artist’s responsibility to trust that.”  David Byrne

quotes from musicians

“I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.” J. S. Bach

quotes from musicians

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” Leonard Bernstein

quotes from musicians

“Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.”  Aretha Franklin

quotes from musicians

“So put your heart and soul into it and give it everything you’ve got, and more power to you.”  Vinnie Paul

quotes from musicians

“If you do something you hate and have success, you’ll still hate it, if you do something you hate and fail, all the worse, if you do something you love and fail, at least you did something you loved, if you do something you love and succeed, double win.” Moby

quotes from musicians

“Make mistakes, make mistakes, make mistakes. Just make sure they’re your mistakes.” Fiona Apple

quotes from musicians

“It’s like if you want something so badly go out there and grab, just keep on doing it.” Ed Sheeran

Quotes By Musicians About Ourselves

Need some words of encouragement? These inspirational quotes will help you shine just the way you are, and discover what makes you truly unique!

Quotes from musicians

“Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people.”  Prince

Quotes from musicians

“Increase your confidence in your self-worth and in your ability to contribute good things to the world.”  Lindsey Stirling

quotes from musicians

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” Kurt Cobain

quotes from musicians

“Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.”  Janelle Monae

quotes from musicians

“You don’t have to believe everything you think.” Erykah Badu  

quotes from musicians

“Where’s your will to be weird?”  Jim Morrison

quotes from musicians

“There’s always that argument to make – that you’re in better company historically if people don’t understand what you’re doing.”  Elliott Smith

quotes from musicians

“Trying to please everybody is impossible—if you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You’ve just got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it.” John Lennon

quotes from musicians

“Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.” Cher

quotes from musicians

“I’m one of those regular weird people.”  Janis Joplin

Each of these quotes from musicians made our top 50 list for various reasons. Some are famous and others are unexpected, but they all have something in common. They’re there to motivate you and help you view things the way only a true artist can!

Feeling inspired to hone your craft? Consider music lessons with an experienced teacher, or the free online classes at TakeLessons Live.

Need Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Can You Pass This Basic Music Theory Quiz? Test Your Knowledge!

music theory quiz

A knowledge of music theory is absolutely indispensable to musicians. For beginners, it can seem intimidating, but experienced musicians will attest that theory is well worth the effort needed to master it.

While you can certainly acquire proficiency on an instrument without a knowledge of theory, you’ll miss out on the depth of understanding that it provides. Music theory is also extremely useful for musicians.

Think of music theory as your tool box. It enables you to analyze, transcribe, and replicate songs. It also equips you to communicate effectively with other musicians.

A sound knowledge of theory enables you to compose your own music with confidence and enjoy a whole world of possibilities!

Can you pass a music theory quiz for beginners? This quiz is an excellent way to test your knowledge of basic theory. Give it your best shot and if you get stuck, we’ll go over each answer in detail below.

Music Theory Quiz: Review

How did you score on our music theory test? Let us know in the comments section below! To check your work, here is a review of each question and answer.

1. The numbers at the beginning of a piece of music represent the: (C) Time signature.

The time signature indicates the meter of the music, with the upper number representing the number of beats per measure and the lower number indicating the value of each beat. For example, 4/4 tells you that you have four beats per measure, and the quarter note gets the beat.

2. The lines in the treble staff are, from bottom to top: (C) EGBDF.

Think, “Every Great Band Draws Fans” or “Every Good Boy Does Fine.” Don’t confuse this with the bass staff, which we asked about later in the quiz.

3. A 16th note will have the following: (B) Two flags.

These indicate that the beat has been subdivided twice. Sixteenth notes break a quarter note into four parts, for example. They are very common in music.

4. A dotted half note equals how many quarter notes?  (B) Three.

One dot after a note indicates that half of that note’s value is added to the duration. A half note is equal to two quarter notes, so the dot adds one quarter note. Now you just have to solve the simple math equation: 2+1=3.

5. The musical term used to describe differences in volume is: (C) Dynamics.

This is a very expressive element of music. In the most basic sense, pp = very quiet, p = quiet,  mp = moderately quiet, mf = moderately loud, f = loud, ff = very loud. The performer has a bit of creative license with interpretation.

6. The symbol used to denote the range of a particular staff is a: (C) Clef.

The clef at the beginning of a staff indicates the pitches and range of that piece of music. We use the treble clef, the bass clef, and the C clef. The rhythm clef is an exception, as it is used for non pitched percussion notation.

7. The small lines above or below a staff are called: (C) Ledger lines.

These indicate notes that extend beyond the range of the given staff. When reading the bass or treble staves, middle C will always be on a ledger line (one above the bass or one below the treble).

In the treble staff, any note A5 and above will be on ledger lines. In the bass staff, anything E2 and below will be on ledger lines. These are also used often in music.  

8. The spaces in the bass staff, from bottom to top are: (C) ACEG.

Think, “All Cars Eat Gas.” Notice that this question is specifically asking about the spaces, not the lines.

More Music Theory Tests

Want to take another music theory quiz to sharpen your skills? Here are a few excellent resources to check out.

Enjoy exploring music theory and the freedom of expression that it can afford you. Music theory translates to all instruments, so learning it will make you a more versatile and well-rounded musician!

If you want to take your knowledge of theory to the next level, you can easily find affordable and reputable music theory instructors for online or local lessons.

TracyDPost Author: Tracy D.
Tracy D. teaches music theory, guitar, piano and more in Edmond, OK, as well as online. She’s been teaching since 2010 and has her Bachelor’s in Music Education from Oklahoma Christian University. Learn more about Tracy here!

Need Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!


Famous Black Musicians From Then Til Now [Interactive Timeline]

Black History Month is an excellent time to highlight the many famous black musicians who made their mark in American history. The music of these talented composers and performers transcended cultural borders and inspired many to follow in their footsteps.

Some of these musicians overcame obstacles throughout their careers to raise awareness of black music. Others used their skills to fight social injustice and make a positive impact on society. Although they came from different backgrounds and musical styles, each of the artists below contributed to the music we know and love today.

*Click the “Play” button next to each artist to hear a sample of their music!*

Famous black musicians

Inspiring, World Famous Black Musicians From Different Eras

James Reese Europe (1910s)

famous black musicians - James Reese Europe

James Reese Europe is referred to as the “Martin Luther King of music” because of his contributions during the early days of ragtime. Europe, who was born in Alabama in 1880, became the first black bandleader to perform at Carnegie Hall. He later led his band to France, where they performed for Allied armies during World War I.

Europe’s bands were full, symphonic ensembles – a contrast from the smaller groups of New Orleans that became the face of early jazz. Instead, Europe brought ragtime together with the military band tradition of John Philip Sousa and other composers. This hybrid style led to Europe’s appeal with multiracial audiences in a segregated society.

Historians now refer to Europe’s style as “proto-jazz” or “hot ragtime.” His work introducing white audiences to the skill and creativity of black composers and performers helped create an environment where jazz could thrive.

William Grant Still (1930s)

famous black musicians - william grant still

William Grant Still created the first symphonic work by a black composer that was performed by a major orchestra. Still was born in 1895 in Mississippi, and he grew up surrounded by music. His stepfather took him to symphony performances and Still learned to play both the cello and clarinet.

After serving in World War I, Still became an arranger for some of the most famous jazz acts of the 1920s. But his true passion remained symphonic work. His first symphony was written in 1930 and premiered the following year by the Rochester Philharmonic. Although the piece is for a traditional orchestra, it includes blues idioms and music from Still’s childhood.

There were many famous black musicians by the 1930s in jazz music, but Still inspired other black composers to focus on symphonic music. He demonstrated that traditional black music was as powerful with a symphony as with a jazz band.

Berry Gordy Jr. (1950s)

famous black musicians - berry gordy jr

Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown, was born in Detroit in 1929. Gordy’s leadership of Motown Records led to the success of many famous black musicians including Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

Gordy got his start as a songwriter who specialized in crossover hits. In the 1950s, Gordy wrote songs for Jackie Wilson and Etta James that reached the top 10 on both the R&B and pop charts. This convinced Gordy that black musicians needed their own national record label to produce and promote their work to a larger audience.

Over the course of the 60s and 70s, Motown would become a major force in the recording industry, exposing the country to black musical groups and helping launch the careers of many famous artists. Gordy’s ability to find, develop, and promote musical talent led to Motown being among the most successful African-American owned businesses of the 20th century.

Nina Simone (1960s)

famous black musicians - nina simone

As a child, Nina Simone dreamed of being a classical concert pianist. She began playing piano at the age of three and with the help of her family, she enrolled at Juilliard for a summer to prepare for classical piano program auditions. Her family moved to Philadelphia to help support her, but she was not accepted to the prestigious piano program at the Curtis Institute.

Instead, she began performing jazz at cocktail bars to make money and during this time she also began singing. Simone performed songs based on her African-American heritage as well as her classical background. During the 1960s, she became known for her protest music, releasing original songs that specifically addressed the civil rights movements.

Simone began to speak and perform at civil rights rallies and events, including the Selma to Montgomery marches. Her music directly addressed social injustice while combining jazz, classical, and spiritual influences. In 2018, Simone will be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Afrika Bambaataa (1980s)

famous black musicians - afrika bambaataa

Afrika Bambaataa not only transformed hip hop culture, but he used music to turn a street gang into a positive community force. Born Lance Taylor in the Bronx in 1957, Bambaataa grew up in the projects and eventually became a warlord of the Black Spades gang. However, a trip to Africa led him to change his name, and his worldview.

Upon his return he began transforming the Black Spades into a group focused on positive community impact. Bambaataa saw hip hop music as the vehicle that his new group could use to create socially aware communities like the ones he saw in Africa. In 1982, Bambaataa took his hip hop group on a national tour to begin spreading his approach outside of New York.

Bambaataa’s music combines early forms of rap, sampling from disco and funk, and advanced turntable techniques. Bambaataa focused on social messages in his music, referencing American leaders from Thomas Paine to Malcolm X. Without Bambaataa’s work, hip hop would not have the international appeal it has today.

Get Inspired

Each of these famous black musicians overcame obstacles to create music with a lasting impact. Let us know which musicians you find the most inspiring in the comments section below. If these stories inspired you to grow your own musical skills and talents, check out the free music classes at TakeLessons Live today!

Guest Post Author: Ryan Sargent is the Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators. He is also Social Media Manager at SmartMusic, where he shares music education tips with teachers across the country. 

5 World-Famous Hispanic Musicians With Inspiring Stories

Hispanic Musicians

Many of the world’s most well known and talented musicians come from a Hispanic background. The music of these singers, guitarists, and pianists has won globally recognized awards and transcended cultural borders.

Several Hispanic musicians, such as Santana and Gloria Estefan, have overcome the odds to chase their dreams and here, we’ll share their inspirational stories. Keep reading to learn about five artists that are sure to leave you motivated, encouraged, and moved.

5 Inspiring Hispanic Musicians

Gloria Estefan – Pop Singer

Hispanic musicians - Gloria Estefan

Source: Jesus Cordero

Gloria Estefan was born in Havana, but her family fled from Cuba to Miami when she was a young girl. After serving in Vietnam, Gloria’s father became very ill. With her mother working and attending night classes, Gloria was left at home to care for her father and sister.

These responsibilities were a lot for a teenager, but Gloria turned to music as an escape. She would lock herself in her room and sing for hours. In 1975, Gloria became acquainted with a keyboardist who later became her husband. He led a band called “the Miami Latin Boys” and asked Gloria to be the lead vocalist as soon as he heard her sing.

The band’s name was later changed to “the Miami Sound Machine.” Their albums launched to the top of the charts, and Gloria was called a demure, Hispanic version of Madonna.

Her story doesn’t stop there, though. A car accident while on tour in 1990 left Gloria with broken vertebrae in her back. Never one to stay down, she made a miraculous recovery and was back on tour and making albums within the year. To this day Gloria Estefan is still making music, with many projects paying tribute to her native home of Cuba.

Santana – Guitarist

Hispanic musicians - Santana

Source: Libby Fabro

Santana has become a very familiar name, working with artists from every genre such as Michelle Branch and DJ Khalid, but it hasn’t always been that way. Growing up in Mexico, Santana’s father originally taught him how to play the violin, but he found that he liked the electric guitar much more.

As a teenager living in Tijuana, Santana started out performing at a variety of small venues.  He later moved to San Francisco and spent his days working as a dishwasher in a diner and playing for change on the streets. B.B. King and Ray Charles were two of his biggest musical inspirations.

Santana never gave up on his dreams though, and eventually decided to pursue music full time. What started out as “The Santana Blues Band” later became known as “Santana” and gained a mass following, even performing at Woodstock.

The crowds loved Santana’s sound – a mix of blues, rock, and jazz. The band released multiple albums that went platinum and Santana has continued to win Grammy awards. He also recently published a memoir called “The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light” with the hope of inspiring others, and it became a national bestseller.

Ruben Gonzalez – Pianist

Hispanic musicians - Ruben Gonzalez

Source: Ebet Roberts

Ruben Gonzalez is proof that it’s never too late to pursue your passion. He released his debut album at the age of 78! Ruben originally studied medicine, but later in life he decided to pursue music.

He was known for his Latin jazz sound and was requested by many bands and ensembles. Ruben was best known for working with the Afro Cuban All Stars and the Buena Vista Social Club, specializing in Latin dance and traditional Cuban music.

His album with the Buena Vista Social Club won a Grammy in 1997, and that same year Ruben decided to release his first solo album – “Introducing…Ruben Gonzalez.” After releasing a second album in 2000, he died three years later knowing that he had done what he loved with his life. His music is still enjoyed by many.

Placido Domingo – Opera Singer

Hispanic musicians - Placido Domingo

Source: Barbara Davidson

Both of Placido’s parents were singers for Spanish operettas in Madrid, which definitely contributed to his remarkable tenor voice and musical abilities. This didn’t mean that his success came easily, though.

After moving to Mexico at eight years old, Placido began appearing alongside his parents in performances. He originally played the piano and enrolled in school to become a conductor, but later decided to focus on singing. Placido had a few small television appearances and often played in piano bars to earn money.

At 18 years old, he began landing roles in various opera productions. Placido continued to work hard and eventually won a Grammy award for Best Opera Recording in 1971. Fourteen Grammys later, he is now in his seventies and lives by the motto, “If I rest I rust.”

Placido didn’t even let health problems such as cancer slow him down. He is still performing, recording, and running a prestigious voice competition called “Operalia” to discover and nurture new talent.

SEE ALSO: 20 Spanish Traditions, Customs, and Superstitions

Selena – Tejano Singer

Hispanic musicians - Selena

Source: Dave Einsel

We can’t discuss Hispanic musicians without mentioning Selena. Known as the “Queen of Tejano,” Selena’s legacy lives on today despite her early death. (Tejano is a type of music that incorporates Mexican and other styles of music such as country.)

Selena began singing as a child. She was the lead in her family’s band alongside her brother and sister. The band originally performed at her parents’ restaurant, weddings, and fairs. As their music became increasingly popular, the band started to record albums and go on tour.

Eventually Selena was signed as a solo artist, and her Spanish-language albums received major accolades and awards. She began to work on her first English album, but before she could see its release, she was killed by one of her own fans at just 23 years old.

Selena’s untimely death was shocking to all who enjoyed her music. Her English album, “Dreaming of You,” was later released in 1996. The album sold more than a million copies and introduced many people to Tejano music. Selena’s story lives on, and she continues to inspire many with her impressive accomplishments in such a short career.

Each of these Hispanic musicians are inspiring in their own unique way. From different regions and different walks of life, they all overcame obstacles to introduce the world to their musical styles and abilities. Tell us about a musician you love in the comments below!

Feeling inspired to work on your own musical talents? Learn how to become a better musician and performer from expert instructors in the online courses at TakeLessons Live.

Health benefits of playing an instrument

17 Surprising Health Benefits of Playing an Instrument

Health benefits of playing an instrument

Playing an instrument has many benefits – learning self-discipline, strengthening mental capacity, and spreading the joy of music, just to name a few. And research shows that these benefits aren’t just for kids. Musicians of any age can take advantage of the physical and emotional health benefits of playing an instrument.

It doesn’t matter what instrument you choose to play, either! Keep reading to discover how the act of playing music can drastically improve your overall health.  

Health Benefits of Playing an Instrument

Physical Benefits of Music

Health benefits of playing an instrument

  • Deep Breathing – Most of the time our breathing is very shallow, but activities like singing or playing a wind instrument require deep breathing from the diaphragm. This strengthens your lungs and respiratory system. Playing the harmonica can even help with pulmonary disease!
  • Immune Response – When we learn to play an instrument, we often become inspired to create our own music. According to an article by Live Science, making music “enhances the immunological response, which enables us to fight viruses.”
  • Stress Relief – Playing music brings your energy and focus into a positive activity, which can help alleviate stress. Those reduced stress levels can help get your blood pressure and heart rate down to a healthy level.
  • Fine Hearing – Learning music refines your hearing skills by training you to isolate sounds as they occur. Studies have even shown that musicians are better at picking out specific voices and sounds in a noisy environment.
  • Exercise – Playing an instrument naturally leads to increased physical activity. Whether you’re playing the piano, guitar, strings, or a wind instrument, you’re using your arm and back muscles to play and/or hold up your instrument. And if you play the drums, you even get to do some cardio!
  • Posture – Any good music teacher will correct your posture during lessons. This can help you get into the habit of sitting up straight and having proper alignment even when you’re not playing. These are all great ways to alleviate neck and back pain.

Mental Benefits of Music

Health benefits of playing an instrument

  • Mental Performance – Playing music is like doing a workout for every part of your brain. It helps improve your mental performance and memory. There’s even evidence that music can help a patient’s brain recover from a stroke, as well as slow the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Coordination – Using your fingers, hands, and feet in a rhythmic manner for a sustained amount of time, while also being conscious of playing the correct tones, can be a challenge for even the most coordinated people. Over time though, playing music refines your motor skills that go beyond the hand-eye.
  • Time Management – Learning an instrument requires practice, of course! But more specifically, it requires consistency and routine. Figuring out how to fit practice into your busy schedule and really stick to it helps you develop better time management and organization skills.
  • Reading Skills – Reading music helps strengthen your ability to process information by creating new connections between the synapses in your brain. As a result, reading and absorbing information from other sources becomes a lot easier.
  • Listening Skills – Learning music doesn’t just improve your ability to hear details; it also makes you better at listening. Whether you’re practicing on your own or playing with other people, you have to listen for timing, expression, and whether you’re in tune. This can make you a better listener even in everyday conversations as well.
  • Concentration – Focus is a necessary part of learning an instrument. Improving your musical skills forces you to use all the parts of your brain involved in concentration, making you better able to concentrate in other life situations. This is another reason why music is beneficial for those with disorders like ADD.
  • Mathematics – Learning music is all about pattern recognition, which is mathematical in itself. But even more than that, learning about how music is divided into equal measures and beats, and how those beats are in broken up, can help improve your math skills!

SEE ALSO: The 5 Easiest Instruments Perfect for Adult Learners

Emotional Benefits of Music

Health benefits of playing an instrument

  • Self Expression – Whether you’re writing your own piece of music or playing someone else’s, music allows you to express yourself in new ways. You also get to be creative when choosing your own unique style and genre.
  • Therapy – Playing music can help with stress, insomnia, and depression because it acts as an outlet for difficult emotions. It can be a form of self-soothing in tough situations, and a healthy distraction from a stressful day.
  • Achievement – There’s nothing like the feeling of finally mastering one of your favorite songs! Setting a goal, putting in the work, and eventually reaching that goal gives you a strong sense of achievement. It will improve your confidence in other areas of life in the process.
  • New Friends – Whether you use music as an icebreaker when meeting new people, or as a way to actually meet new people – playing in a choir, band, or orchestra, for example – music is a great way to make new friends.

These are just a few of the remarkable health benefits of playing an instrument. To begin reaping the benefits of music in your life, check out the online group music lessons at TakeLessons Live today.

You can access hundreds of live classes on a variety of instruments – completely free for your first month. Start playing that instrument you’ve always wanted to, and your body, mind, and spirit will thank you!

JasmineTPost Author: Jasmine T.
Jasmine T. teaches piano, academics, yoga, and more in San Diego, CA. She has her Power Yoga Level 1 200-Hour Certification, as well as a Certificate of Merit for Piano and Theory from the Music Teachers’ Association of California. Learn more about Jasmine here!
Most unique instruments to learn

Top 10 Most Unique Instruments to Learn

Unique instruments to learn

Tired of fitting into the status quo? Want to impress and surprise your friends with something different? If piano and guitar seem boring to you, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading as we share 10 of the most unique instruments to learn from across the globe.

Top 10 Unique Instruments to Learn

Bagpipes

Fun Facts About Bagpipes 

  • The bagpipe is a wind instrument that has been played for an entire millennium.
  • Although commonly believed to have originated in Scotland, historians believe it was first played in ancient Rome and Persia.

Finger Cymbals

Fun Facts About Finger Cymbals

  • Finger cymbals are also known as “zills.”
  • This set of four small, metallic cymbals is often used in belly dancing performances.

Banjo

unique instruments to learn - the banjo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts About Banjos

  • Not all banjos are alike – the instruments can have anywhere from four to six strings.
  • It’s now associated with country music, but the banjo was initially designed by the first African Americans.

Harmonica

Fun Facts About Harmonicas

  • The harmonica is also known as a French harp or mouth organ.
  • There are several different types of harmonicas, including diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, octave, orchestral, and bass.
  • Because playing the harmonica helps promote deep breathing, it’s often used in physical therapy programs for pulmonary rehabilitation.

SEE ALSO: The 5 Easiest Instruments Perfect for Adult Learners

Accordion

Fun Facts About Accordions

  • An accordionist performs by expanding the instrument’s bellows while pressing down keys with both their right and left hands to play the melody and accompaniment.
  • The accordion is commonly used in Brazilian pop music.

Harp

Unique instruments to learn - the harp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts About Harps

  • The use of harps can be traced all the way back to 3,500 BC, but they gained popularity during the middle ages and renaissance period in Europe.
  • Harps vary in size – some are small enough to be played on your lap!

Oboe

Fun Facts About Oboes

  • Oboe is pronounced “oh-boh” and it stems from the French word “hautbois.”
  • This woodwind instrument is most commonly played in concert bands and orchestras.

Ukulele

Fun Facts About Ukuleles

  • One of the most popular unique instruments to learn, the ukulele originated in Hawaii before making its way to the mainland.
  • Multiple celebrities have picked up the easy-to-learn instrument, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Ryan Gosling.

SEE ALSO: 15 Awesome Musical Instruments You Can Make At Home

Bassoon

unique instruments to learn - bassoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts About Bassoons

  • Like the oboe, this woodwind instrument is common in orchestras and concert bands.
  • The bassoon is known for its wide range and its sound is comparable to a male baritone voice.

Mandolin

Fun Facts About Mandolins

  • The most commonly played mandolin has eight strings and was first designed in Italy.
  • Considered an easier instrument to learn, the mandolin can be heard in country, folk, and bluegrass music.

Learn any one of these instruments and you’re sure to stand out from the crowd. With the right teacher, becoming a pro at banjo or mandolin is easy. Need help finding a music teacher who is experienced in an unusual instrument? You can easily search for a qualified music teacher here.

If you know of any more unique instruments to learn, leave a comment below and let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

Need Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

music and autism

Music and Autism: The Benefits of Music for Special Needs Children

Music and Autism

More and more parents and teachers of special needs children are starting to realize the remarkable connection between music and autism. Research has shown that when autistic children interact with music on a regular basis, their communication and behavior improve.

Keep reading to learn more about how music affects autism, and how your special needs child can begin experiencing the benefits of music today.

Quick Facts About Autism

  • Autism is a developmental disorder that negatively affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with other people.
  • Symptoms of the mental condition, which begin to appear in children ages 2-3, can be reduced but not entirely cured.
  • Each child diagnosed with autism faces his or her own individual challenges.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that autism occurs in approximately one in 68 children in the United States.

The Surprising Connection Between Music and Autism

In the first reports of autism dating back to 1943, there are multiple references to autistic children’s musical ability and interest. Dozens of studies have been conducted since then that clearly show a strong tie between music and autism.

Although individuals with autism are slower to develop verbal communication skills, evidence suggests that they are actually able to process and understand music just as good if not better than their peers.

Specifically, autistic children have demonstrated advanced abilities in pitch categorization, memorization of melodies, and labeling of emotions in music.

Take 13 year old Jewels, for example. At three years old, Jewels was unable to speak or move his fingers. But with the help of music therapy sessions, he is now a talented pianist. Check out the video of Jewels below.

Playing piano didn’t just become a fun hobby for Jewels; it helped improve his behavior and develop fine motor skills. Learning to play an instrument can have numerous benefits such as these for autistic children.  

The Benefits of Music for Autism

Communication

The struggle of trying to communicate with an autistic child can weigh heavily on any parent or caregiver, but incorporating music into the child’s routine presents a ray of hope.  

Music interventions have been found to improve speech output among individuals with autism in the areas of vocalization, verbalization, and vocabulary. Singing can be especially helpful for teaching autistic children to effectively express their emotions.

Social Skills

A 2009 study showed that during play sessions with music, children with autism showed more social engagement with their peers than in those without music. How? Music encouraged the children with autism to interact in more appropriate ways with other children, including sharing and taking turns.

Behavior

Music can also be an avenue to improving an autistic child’s behavior by helping them learn to follow directions. A recent study found that music connects the auditory and motor parts of the brain. This helps autistic children better understand and obey verbal commands.

In another study of 41 children over a 10 month period, music therapy helped decrease negative behaviors such as aggression and tantrums.

Cognition

Teachers of autistic children often take advantage of the benefits of music for improving cognitive development. Music’s rhythmic patterns provide a structured way for autistic children to organize auditory information.

This makes music a very helpful tool for memorization and learning daily routines. With repetitive training, music can also help improve a child’s attention span.  

SEE ALSO: How to Find the Right Tutor for Special Needs Students

Emotions

Autistic children are more likely to experience anxiety than the average child. Introducing music into their routine helps increase their tolerance for frustration and decrease anxious behaviors. The repetitive and predictable rhythms of classical music are particularly beneficial for relieving anxiety.  

Introducing an Autistic Child to Music 

There are a couple different ways to introduce your child to the benefits of music for autism. Music therapy is one potential route. Music and Autism

The American Music Therapy Association defines it as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”

Music therapy is similar to physical therapy in the sense that a therapist will assess the individual and provide a unique treatment plan based on his or her needs. You can easily search online for a Board Certified music therapist in your area.

An alternative and often less expensive option is to sign your child up for private, in-home music lessons. With a tool like TakeLessons, it isn’t hard to find a qualified teacher who has experience working with special needs students.

Keep in mind that either option works best when done repeatedly over longer periods of time. Overall, the evidence supports that making music a consistent part of your child’s routine will not only be an enjoyable activity, but a key to unlocking their full potential.

Need Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

13 Super Effective Ways to Motivate Your Child to Practice Music

MO - 13 Super Effective Ways to Motivate Your Child to Practice Music

So your son or daughter has just started music lessons. You’ve found a kind, knowledgeable teacher, set up a practice space, and bought an instrument.

But here’s the kicker: No matter how excited your child is initially, there comes a point in time when your son or daughter simply doesn’t feel like practicing.

To help you avoid endless fights and keep you from pulling your hair out, we’ve put together this collection of strategies from music teachers, bloggers, and child psychologists to help you motivate your child to practice.


Treat Music Like a Different Subject

Think back to when you were in school. You had your academic classes and your after-school activities. You knew your daily routine: Math, English, Science, etc. Then after school: piles of endless homework!

With so many different subjects, it’s no wonder adding time to practice music can seem like a burden to a kid. That’s where you come in — you can help shift your child’s mindset!

What’s the bottom line? It’s up to you to help your child see music in a different light!

Rather than treating music like any other subject, create a distinction so your child sees music as something he or she wants to do. The best way to shift your child’s mindset is to let him or her play an instrument they’re actually interested in.

“If you want your child to be motivated to play an instrument, music needs to be different than other educational subjects,” says Bobby K. from Guitar Chalk. “Your child shouldn’t see music as a forced discipline, like Math or Geography. This ultimately comes down to choosing the right instrument, which is going to be the one the child is excited about and wants to play on his or her own.

“For me, that was the guitar, which had me practicing (voluntarily) three to four hours a day at 11 years old. That couldn’t have happened with piano because piano wasn’t “my” instrument. It was just another subject. But guitar was different in that it felt like play, not school work. Getting your child into a similar situation, where their instrument doesn’t feel like just another school subject, is absolutely critical. If it’s not happening, that might be a signal that it’s time to switch instruments.”

This also means you may need to be flexible. While it can be expensive to allow a child to start and stop several different activities, try to work with him or her to find one he or she enjoys and is intrinsically motivated to practice.

Like this tip? Click here to tweet it


Put Your Child in Control

It’s no secret that when we’re told to do something, we don’t always want to do it. During the course of a day, there are several different people (parents, teachers, older siblings, coaches) telling kids what to do. Add music to that list and it’s no wonder motivation seems to dwindle!

Combat this problem by putting your child in control. Let him or her determine the practice schedule, that way they’re more likely to stick to it.

“Kids hear adults tell them what to do all the time; to catch their attention, let them plan their own practice schedule,”  says Nicole Weiss, LCSW Psychotherapist and Coach. “Start with the end in mind. Basically, you want to get your child to make the decision that he or she needs to practice so that he or she can play the way he or she wants to play. After the decision is made, the parent can help the child research and figure out how often a good musician practices. The child then sets a schedule based on the reality that, to be good, one must practice.”

Not only will this allow your child to feel a sense of control, it will also help him or her to learn the value of practice.

“The child makes the schedule, then the parent reinforces it,” Weiss says. “I’m sure many parents reading this would say…’yeah but will they do that day to day?’ That’s where you come in — but you have more weight in your reminder. It was the child’s desire to make the goal. Additionally, the reward should be for accomplishing little goals. For example: ‘practice every night this week and we can download that song you want.’ Reward the work.”

More: Motivate Your Child to Practice With a Reward System


Help Your Child Understand the Gift of Music

Show your child that playing a musical instrument is a special privilege and an opportunity that isn’t necessarily available to everyone. Teach your child to appreciate music and all it has to offer. Help them discover that music can enhance their life.

“I believe that we’re here in this world to do great things with the gift of our lives, and we’re here to serve others,” says Heather F. from Music for Young Violinists. “Learning to play [the violin] helps us in both of these areas — we’re drawn up into a level of greatness through the discipline required to study this art form, and in this process, we cultivate a gift that we can share with others.”

This also includes helping your child develop a love for music. Take them to concerts or shows, play music at home, and help them discover what they like.

Many adults wish they had stuck with a hobby or endeavor they started as a child, like playing a musical instrument. While this can be a difficult concept for young kids to grasp, teaching them to appreciate music can help them understand why practice is important.

According to this article from MusicTeachersHelper on motivating students to practice, “…I can’t count how many times I’ve heard adults say to me, ‘I quit taking piano when I was young and it was such a mistake. I wish I could go back and take lessons again.’ Parents can help children know the value that musical talent brings to society.”


Don’t Make Practice an Obligation

This one may seem a bit counterintuitive, right? After all, you’ve invested the money in an instrument and lessons, and you want your child to make the most of it. Plus, if your son or daughter wants to be good, he or she needs to practice!

The key here is to not make practice seem like an obligation, as compared to other fun activities. For example, if your son or daughter loves to play video games or play outside, don’t allow him or her to do this until after completing practice.

Using a fun activity as a reward will create the mindset that practice is the obligation that stands in the way of the fun activity, and this could create resentment or dread for practice.

As Why We Teach Piano suggests, “Don’t set an arbitrary amount of practice time, without specific goals, and then reward them with playtime or video games afterwards. This just reinforces the notion that playing piano is not fun and video games are fun.”


Plan Performances

When it comes to any sport, hobby, or endeavor, it’s important to keep your eye on the prize. The same thing applies when it comes to your child learning an instrument; your son or daughter has to have a goal in sight, otherwise, he or she may question the need to practice.

“If you want to keep students engaged and excited about their music education, make sure they’re performing consistently throughout the year,” says Anthony M. founder and author of The Music Parents’ Guide. “There are other profound effects on more scheduled performances for all school programs, as well. We, as parents and teachers, need to foster a growing curiosity and even an excitement about music in our children’s lives. Consistent performances are the best way to do this and continue to motivate our children.”

It gets better:

Not only do performances help to increase excitement, they also work to hold children accountable. Ask any music teacher — even the most unmotivated student will be more likely to practice if it means avoiding embarrassment at a recital!


Let Your Child Choose

Just because you loved playing piano as a kid doesn’t mean your child will love playing just as much. Your child may have other interests, and it’s important to allow him or her to explore different endeavors.

“First of all, I think it’s critical that the child choose the instrument they’re going to learn,” says Matt T. from Unlock the Guitar. “I’m a guitarist, and I’d love nothing more than my son to be interested in learning guitar, but he’s undeniably drawn to the piano. Plus, if an instrument is thrust upon them, practicing it will also be thrust upon them. Letting the child choose the instrument turns this on its head, and into your favor, even if they didn’t choose the instrument you would have liked them to play.”


Be Their Cheerleader

Let your child know you’re his or her biggest fan, especially early on when your child may feel frustrated or discouraged.

Eighty-eight notes school of music suggests listening to your child at home as often as you can and making encouraging remarks about their progress. Also, make sure to ask them how their lessons went.

Take a genuine interest in your child’s musical journey. Your son or daughter will be excited to play for you and show off new skills!


Help Them Engage With Music

Your child is more likely to practice music if he or she feels connected to the process. Help your son or daughter develop an interest and curiosity for music.

To help your child stay engaged, become a part of the process. Whatever you can do to get involved is likely to increase their interest and motivation.

“Motivating your child by reward or punishment will stop working very quickly; instead, help your child get curious about music and develop an inner desire to engage with music,” says Jonas G., the founder of flowkey.”Let your child play around with different instruments. Listen to music and sing together. Your child will naturally want to imitate you, so a big motivation for children to practice is seeing their parents engage with music themselves.”


Create Challenges

Rather than telling your child to practice, help him or her set specific goals and challenges. This will help them progress faster because they’ll work on accomplishing specific tasks or mastering particular skills. This idea can be applied to any instrument.

Practiceopedia author and practice expert, Philip J., has a completely different take: “Don’t ask your kids to ‘practice’ — they won’t know what to do. Instead, give them bite-sized, clear challenges to complete: (1) Work out a fingering for measures 24-35 (2) Gradually speed up section B to 85bpm. (3) Be able to play the left hand of the coda from memory.”

Having trouble coming up with the right challenge? Check out Phillip’s website, thebootcampedition.com, for a huge collection.


Celebrate ALL Accomplishments

Learning to play an instrument is a long journey full of peaks, valleys, and plateaus. While you’ll definitely be proud when you watch your child perform, it’s important to celebrate the little victories along the way.

While verbal praise is important, you may also want to create another way to celebrate achievements; familyshare recommends keeping a journal of your child’s accomplishments. When you put it in writing, you’re less likely to forget. If journaling isn’t your thing, you can keep a white board on the fridge, or make a chart that you can display in the house!

Celebrating the little victories will help your child keep a positive attitude when they’re struggling or having difficulty tackling a new concept or song.


Let Them Play Music They Like

While there are always certain signature songs and classics for various instruments, your child will lose interest if he or she doesn’t like the music they’re playing.

Work with your child’s teacher to make sure your child is playing some music they truly enjoy.

According to the Academy of Music and Dance, “As children get to be around 10 years old, sometimes younger, they start to develop preferences for musical style, largely influenced by radio, TV, and whatever they’re most exposed to at home. They will also typically gravitate to whatever their friends are listening to, especially for boys at around age 13 and girls around age 11.”

Use this as a motivational strategy; allow your son or daughter to play at least one familiar song as part of their weekly routine.


Make Practice Fun

This should come as no surprise — no one wants to practice when it’s boring! Incorporate fun games, activities, and challenges, and your child will look forward to practice!

According to PianoDiscoveries, “appropriate goals and positive reinforcement will make practicing fun and rewarding. Very few children are self-motivated in their practice. Most need incentives and reminders to keep them focused and moving forward.”

Ask your child’s music teacher for some creative ways to make practice more fun!


Find the Right Teacher

This brings us to our last strategy and one of the most important: find the right teacher! Although practice is done outside of lessons, if your child connects with his or her teacher, they’re much more likely to practice on their own time.

According to Music Central,”…finding the right teacher will make or break the whole experience. Don’t be afraid to try a new teacher if your child isn’t connecting. The best teachers are usually the ones who not only teach, but know how to be a good friend and mentor to your child.”

Find a teacher who understands your child’s learning style, and a person who’s able to teach concepts in a way that keeps your child interested. When your son or daughter likes his or her teacher, they’ll be more willing to take direction and practice consistently.

how to motivate your child

Share this Image On Your Site

Which of these strategies have been successful for you? Do you have other methods that you use to motivate your child? Let us know in the comments below!

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource

75 Songs Sure to Make You Happy

SL - 75 Songs Sure to Make You HappyIt’s time to boost your mood and make you happy! In this article, singing teacher Liz T. put together a list of some of the happiest songs you’ll ever hear…

 

What’s better than being happy? That’s a hard question to answer. In fact, there may not even be an answer at all. Happiness is the reason the world goes ’round, after all.

Songs that make you happy aren’t just for boosting your mood – they’re an effective short-term solution for increasing productivity. In other words, you can increase your productivity by 12% if you’re happy. If that sounds too good to be true, listen to a few below as you work or study.

We’ve included a handy Spotify playlist at the bottom of this article so you can listen to all 75 songs on the list. Click below to scroll right to it.

The following songs range from the 1960s up until now, which means we’ve got a music for every generation. Take a look at our list and see if you recognize any of these foot-tappers!

75 Songs Sure to Make You Happy


 75. Sunshine On My Shoulders by John Denver

74. Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves

73. All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow

72. O Happy Day from Sister Act

71. Happy Together by The Turtles

70. I Wanna Hold Your Hand by The Beatles


69. Happy Days Are Here Again by Barbra Streisand

68. Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus

67. Don’t Worry be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

66. Just Got Paid by *NSYNC

65. This Will Be by Natalie Cole

64. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel

63. September by Earth Wind and Fire

62. Feeling Good by Michael Buble

61. Macarena by Los Del Rio

60. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

59. Spice Up Your Life by Spice Girls

58. Wouldn’t It Be Nice by the Beach Boys

57. Fame by Irene Cara

56. Footloose by Kenny Loggins

55. Smile by Nat King Cole

54. Singing in the Rain by Gene Kelly

53. Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

52. The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow from Annie the Musical

51. The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens

50. Put On a Happy Face by Dick Van Dyke

49. I’m a Believer by The Monkees

48. Love Shack by the B52’s

47. YMCA by The Village People

46. Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder

45. Blue Skies by Frank Sinatra

44. Beautiful Day by U2

43. Best Day of My Life by American Authors

42. Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

41. Lovely Day by Bill Withers

40. Turn the Beat Around by Gloria Estefan

39. Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez

38. Dancing Queen by ABBA

37. I Want You Back by Jackson 5

36. What the World Needs Now by Dionne Warwick

35. Bubbly by Colbie Caillat

34. Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles

33. The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) by Jason Mraz

32. Don’t Worry by Madcon feat Ray Dalton

31. Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis

30. Hey Ya by Outkast

29. Forget You by CeeLo Green

28. The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson

27. Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations

26. All Star by Smash Mouth

25. Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO

24. Baby by Justin Beiber feat. Ludacris

23. Come On Over (All I Want is You) by Christina Aguilera

22. Independent Women Pt. I by Destiny’s Child

21. MMMBop by Hanson

20. Mr. Saxobeat by Alexandra Stan

19. You Light Up My Life by LeAnn Rimes

18. 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton

17. Last Dance by Donna Summer

16. You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder

15. Hot Hot Hot by The Merrymen

14. The Best is Yet to Come by Frank Sinatra

13. L-O-V-E by NatKing Cole

12. Steal My Sunshine by LEN

11. Music by Madonna

10. Who Let the Dogs Out by Baha Men

9. Mambo No.5 (A Little Bit of…) by Lou Bega

8. Troublemaker by Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida

7. Price Tag by Jessie J feat B.o.B

6. My Girl by The Temptations

5. Love Train by The O’Jays

4. Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin

3. Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

2. Get Lucky by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams

1. Happy by Pharrell Williams

 

Spotify Playlist

The End

There you have it – 75 songs sure to make you happy! Do try to listen to them all when you get the chance. If you want to learn more about music like this, be sure to ask your private music teacher more about it. Maybe you’ll discover how to write your own songs like the ones on this list. Happy learning!

Know anymore songs that make you happy? Comment below and share with us!

LizTPost Author: Liz T.
Liz T. teaches singing, acting, and music lessons online. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M in Vocal performance and currently performs/teaches all styles of music including Musical Theater, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Country. Learn more about Liz here!

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource

 

Tuning In To Twitter’s New Music App, #music

After weeks of buzz as celebrities and VIPs test-drove Twitter‘s new music app, #music, the platform has finally been released to the public, available for iPhone and iPad. #music is designed to help tech-savvy music fans discover new music. The app also promises to turn Twitter into a powerful tool for artists to reach even more new fans than before.

Does #music live up to the hype? Read on to learn more about how the app works and what it might mean for the future of music discovery online. Read more