Music Instruction
by Professionals

The Birth of Musical Notation: The Why, When, & How

Music is often referred to as a universal language. And as such, pretty much anyone who can play an instrument and read music can pick up sheet music from anywhere in the world, and from any time in the history of written music, and play it, just as it was intended to be played. But it wasn't always like this. In fact, for the vast majority of human civilization, music wasn't written down at all. We really have no idea what people played throughout most of our history. We will never know the songs they sang or the beats they played.... << Read More >>

7 Famous Musicians – Who Can’t Read Music

It's hard to imagine that some of your favourite recording artists, and indeed, some of the world's most famous musicians, can't read or write a single note of music. But the fact of the matter is that this small deficiency could be much more common among musicians than you might think. But why is that so? For most of us, some of the very first things we learn when starting out with music is how to read it. But many musicians, including a large percentage of those who have made it big, are self-taught. Their inspiration doesn't necessarily come from a detailed... << Read More >>

Learning to Play: By Ear Vs Sight Reading

No one who has ever played music has claimed that it was an exact science. No, it is an art through and through. And as such, there are different ways to achieve almost any goal you set for yourself in the wide world of music. This is even true of the most basic principles of learning music. In fact, this week we're going to take a brief look at the very first step in learning to play (after you've chosen your instrument, of course), and the pros and cons of two very different styles of learning. That's right, this week... << Read More >>

What is The Orff Approach to Childhood Music?

Learning to make music is a wonderful opportunity for growth throughout life. And the best way to reap all the rewards associated with music, as we have discussed at great length before, is to start early. An early childhood education in music is associated with all kinds of long lasting benefits, including improved social skills, better self-esteem, and even better academic success. This week we're going to focus our attention on one child-centered form of musical instruction in particular. Called the “Orff Schulwerk” or simply the “Orff Approach,” this technique for introducing young children to music has been around since the... << Read More >>

Private or Group Lessons: Pros & Cons

So, you've chosen a musical instrument for yourself or your child to start learning to play. But now comes a new decision that you hadn't even thought to consider when deciding that you wanted to start learning music: should you go with private, one-on-one lessons, or try a group or ensemble setting? If you're not sure which would be the best fit, don't worry, you're not even close to being alone. It's a hard choice for many people to make, and it's made even harder by the fact that there are advantages to both styles of learning. Your decision will... << Read More >>

Socializing Through Music: Benefits For Both Kids & Adults

Over the years we have spent a lot of time talking about the huge variety of benefits that music can bring to absolutely everyone's lives. We've talked about the physical changes that go on in the brain, as well as how learning to play in a group can help to teach teamwork and working towards a common goal as a group, in much the same way that sports teaches the same lessons. But this week I want to focus on a particular effect that music can have on all of us, no matter what the age; this week we're going... << Read More >>

6 Ways Music Therapy Can Help Mental Health

Anyone that has listened to a meaningful song from their childhood, or one that brings back the memory of a lost loved one, or one that pumps them up before a big game or presentation knows that there is a very powerful connection between music and emotional well-being. Emotion is translated into lyric, melody, and rhythm. From the earliest days of human civilization, music has been seen as powerful medicine for both the body and the mind. The Greeks used music for therapeutic purposes. There were even shrines dedicated to combining the power of medicine with that of music. Today, we... << Read More >>

5 Benefits of Group Music Classes

Over the years we've spend a fair amount of time here discussing all the variety of benefits that an education in music can have for children and adults alike. There's no denying that picking up an instrument can have lasting benefits no matter what age you are when you start. But that being said, human being are social creatures, and we usually do even better with most things when we're in a group. Which brings us to an interesting question; what kinds of benefits can both children and adults reap from practicing and playing with a group? Social & Emotional Benefits While every... << Read More >>

4 More Celebrities With Surprising Musical Talent

Last week we took a little look at a list of some famous people who play a musical instrument on the side. And while that was fun, the list ended up being made up of entirely entertainers. And out here, in the real world, it's not just people with a flair for creativity or drama who have hidden musical talents. In fact, this week, we're going to do a whole new list of famous people who play or played a musical instrument, only this time, not a single one of them will be part of the entertainment industry at all.... << Read More >>

7 Celebrities With Surprising Musical Talent

Is it just me, or does it sometimes seem like a lot of celebrities aren't happy unless they're known for two different things? For example, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson thrilled fans as “the most electrifying man in sports entertainment history,” before bringing his undeniable dramatic flair to the silver screen. And while he isn't the first professional wrestler to make the jump from the ring to the screen, film stars trying their hand at music is even more common. Jared Leto, the most recent “Joker” on-screen, is also the founder and lead singer for the band Thirty Seconds to Mars.... << Read More >>