Scales are important. Sounds simple, but students often don’t believe it. Here are a few reasons why all of us need to play scales and arpeggios on a regular basis.
The problem with perfectionism is that it robs us of the enjoyment of performing. We become so bogged down with every minute, trivial detail that the slightest variance distracts us and makes us believe we are less because we made a mistake.
Your instrument goes through a lot each week. Assembly, playing, and the occasional minor mishap can take its toll. Even though you may not be knowledgeable in woodwind repair, there are a few things you can do to help keep your instrument in good working order.
It sounds contradictory, but you can practice and improve your sight-reading skills. And, it's actually not that hard.
There are some things to take into consideration when we mix children and instruments.
Buying an instrument is an investment, and not one to be done in a hurry. Before you start looking, you need to do some thinking...
It's getting close to Christmas, and you're stumped for stocking stuffers. You want to get something to help motivate your child musician, but how do you know what to get?
Your favorite professional musicians have all had experience with failure. They aren't some magical league of super-human talent that just effortlessly glide through their careers. The performance that you hear is determined beforehand with many, many hours in the practice room. Professionals are where they are because they've worked for it. You can be excellent, too, but you will have to earn it.
Even though you see classmates do it, you really shouldn’t play on the same reed, every practice, every day. That single reed will wear out more quickly because it’s taking the brunt of the work.
It's an absolutely fabulous day. The sun is out, the temperatures are in the 70's, and my students have just had their first day of school. Which means they've been inside... all day. As much as I like the classroom where I teach private lessons, how could we stay inside on a day like this??
I'm regularly asked by parents how they can help motivate their kids to practice at home.
Clarinet and oboe players - does your right thumb hurt and look red after you've been practicing? Flute players - does your left index finger feel sore
see it every year - at some point in the marching season, a clarinetist comes to me saying their instrument isn't working. A short investigation uncovers a crack in either the barrel or upper joint...
A student of mine was in her lesson, and I asked about an exercise she had for homework. She answered, "it didn't go so well." "How so?" I asked. "I just didn't get it. It didn't make sense to me...
You love playing your instrument, but you don't think you want to make a career out of it. So, you'll play until graduation, then sell your instrument or put it away as a souvenir, right? Wrong!
Watch the end of a band class in many schools and you'll see it - students in a hurry to get their instruments put away. Even when you’re short on time, pulling the swab through the instrument should be part of your pack-up routine...
All of your reeds look a little sad. Some have a corner chipped off, some are cracked down the middle, one even looks like it got a spiky haircut! Trendy, but not good for playing. Time for a new box...
The most often-asked questions about private lessons.
My students see me use it every week: the scale sheet comes out, my phone goes on the stand, and the metronome app opens and starts ticking. But, the musical usefulness of your smart phone isn’t limited to just one app...
The only way to test students' ability to make music is to ask them to make music.