Music Instruction
by Professionals

Music on My Mind: Music’s Effect on the Brain

Last week when we were reviewing some of the positive benefits that are associated with starting an education in music, I may have glossed over something that, under other circumstances, would probably shock many readers into action. I am specifically referring to the fact that learning to make music has a profound physical effect on the developing brain. In most situations when we are discussing alteration of the physical structure of a human being's brain it is in the context of substance abuse or mental health, both subjects which carry a negative connotation. However, in the case of music, the... << Read More >>

The Academic Benefits of an Education in Music

Over the last few weeks we've spent an awful lot of time talking about some pretty specific topics. We've recently looked at methods for over coming stage fright. We've looked at reasons for buying or renting a new instrument. We've even looked into picking the right instrument for yourself or your child. But now, with spring just starting to show its sunny face on this part of the world, it's time to take a step back and look at things a little broader. This week, instead of telling you about the history of this kind of music, or what you... << Read More >>

Overcoming Stage Fright

Last week we took a somewhat brief look at a few tips and tricks to help you prepare for a performance, as well as for during said performance. This week we're going to take a little bit of a closer look at possibly the most dreaded aspect of that preparation: performance anxiety, also known as stage fright. Stage fright is consistently cited as one of the most common phobias in the Western world. It is so ubiquitous that even hugely successful celebrities suffer from it. Grammy award winning artists like Sir Elton John and Adele have to deal with it... << Read More >>

Pre-Performance Tips

Last week we talked about how making music with others can be a vital part of your ongoing musical education. Playing with others can teach you a lot of things that learning alone would never touch. And there is so much more than just the learning experience. There is just something about being there, in the moment, making music with your friends. You pull energy from one another, play off each other's sounds, find a groove, and just jam. And for many people, this is all they really want out of making music; a good time with their friends, doing... << Read More >>

Join the Group: Making Music With Others

For many people, making music is a very private thing. Music has a very strong connection to our emotional core, and the act of making music can be a cathartic experience you may not want to share with others. For others, usually beginners, sometimes the thought of playing with another person, or even a group can be daunting. But if you fall into one of these groups, or have another reason to keep your music to yourself, today I am going to try to change your mind. Music is social magic, and as such, begs to be shared. Needs to... << Read More >>

Expand Your Musical Tastes

So you've picked your instrument. You've decided if you're going to rent or buy. You've settled on acoustic or electrical. Now it's time to get down to the good stuff and play some music. A lot of people go into beginning a music education knowing what they want to play. Often the genre they look forward to playing most is the one they listen to most often, but what many of these people don't realize is that sticking to only one genre, regardless of whether they are listening or playing, is extremely limiting. There is so much to learn from... << Read More >>

Tradition Vs Digital: Picking Out Your Piano

A few weeks ago we talked about the pros and cons of acoustic guitars versus electric guitars. This week we're jumping back on that wagon, this time with a focus on pianos. As technology has improved, so too have digital pianos. And while they have better sound reproduction than ever before, many pianists and musicians feel like it will never really compare to the quality of an acoustic piano. So the question is posed: which is better, a traditional acoustic piano, or a digital keyboard or piano? Each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so let's get down to the... << Read More >>

Buying Your Instrument: New or Used

A few weeks ago we talked about the basic pros and cons of buying versus renting an instrument for yourself or your children. We also talked at length about how to go about helping your child choose the right instrument for your child. So let's move on to the next step. Let's say that you've made your choice of instrument, and after weighing the facts about expenses and maintenance, you've finally settled on buying your or your child's instrument. Well, now there is yet another step to consider. Now that you know you wont be renting, it is time to... << Read More >>

The Age-Old Question: Acoustic or Electric?

Last week we took a look at some of the “dos” and “do nots” of helping find the proper instrument for your child. With all the ins and outs of picking from the nearly endless selection of musical instruments we weren't able to go into too much detail, but the basics are fairly universal regardless of which direction your child wants to take. That being said, this week we're going to continue that discussion, but with a little more focus. Yes, that's right, we're going back to that old faithful, that most popular of western instrument, the “coolest” of the... << Read More >>

Choosing The Perfect Instrument For Your Child

Over the last few weeks we've been looking at some easy songs to begin learning for the guitar and the piano, and we've also taken a brief look at the differences between buying and renting your instrument. Now, some of you out there may feel like we've been putting the cart before the horse a little. Before anyone can begin to learn to play music, they must first decide on which instrument they want to play. For adults this can be a difficult decision, but at least they can think about the options critically, keeping in mind their own strengths,... << Read More >>