The Best way to Practice Your Scales Part 2-Understanding the Major Scale


This article us a continuation of The Best Way to Practice Your Scales Part 1. You may want to begin with that one, as this is a continuation of it and some parts may be confusing otherwise. 5. Improvement of passage playing-Whether playing Chopin's nocturnes, a Mozart piano sonata, or improvising a long improvised musical line a la Bill Evans, we want to be able to execute the music with ease, prowess and musicality. 6. Improvising Skills-Let's now watch another video. As you watch think … [Read more...]

The Best way to Practice Your Scales


Though teachers and players would almost all agree that knowing your scales is important, 10 different players might have 10 different views on the "right way" to practice scales. For me, the first question is what do we intend to glean from the practice and study of scales? In no particular order, we probably hope to achieve all or some of the following: Manual Dexterity. Familiarity with tonal centers (keys) and modalities. Manual and Aural fluidity (within keys). An understanding … [Read more...]

List of Useful Music Sites


Now that the internet has become the go to place for just about everything, it means that there are thousands if not millions of websites and blogs for every topic and function. Though this is a great thing for giving us access to information, it means that it is difficult to weed out the bad and find the good. This great site (which is another project of mine), The Musicians' Repertoire Database has a list of Useful Music Sites which is constantly being updated. It focuses on lesser known … [Read more...]

Glossary for Parents

Glossary Of Musical Terms and Symbols

I truly believe in the importance of the parents¬† to the succes of the young student.¬† Part of the process, is to make sure that the parents are educated enough to be of help and offer feedback. If there are any terms that are not on here that you could use some help with, please leave your suggestion/question in the comment section below. Key-This refers to what scale your tune comes from. You can think of it like this: If you were having a sing-along and you found that the song was … [Read more...]

Practice Tips For Parents Part 2

Be encouraging and patient as you help them follow the music.

Practice with your child From the very beginning, until into the teens (and beyond them in a reduced quantity), you should be there to help your child practice. Focusing on students aged 4-10 there are many ways to help including: helping them follow the music, stay on beat, observe articulations and dynamics, workout difficult passages, analyze, stay focused, make sure no materials are left behind and more. Helping your child follow the music It is hard for most kids and even adults to play … [Read more...]

Practice Tips For Parents

Help Your Child Practice Piano

Out of all the variables in a child's life, commitment of the parents makes the biggest impact on their child's success. This may seem obvious, but what I mean is that the support they offer and their commitment is more impactful on the student's successes than talent, interest, and even the work ethic of the child. Though children can have very strong and seemingly formed personalities, we need to remember that they are sponges and they soak-up everything around them. Every teacher can … [Read more...]

#3 Learning From Recorded Music


Though I will be talking mostly about jazz, this method works and has been one of the primary ways of learning most genres of music since the invention of recording devices. I would recommend starting with something relatively classic and straight foreword. If you already have some records of your own that you like and find accessible, use them. Great jazz records or artists to start with include: Miles Davis Bill Evans Thelonius Monk Billy Holiday Count Basie Lester Young Louis … [Read more...]

#2 Learning to Play Melodies

If you've never played before If you've never played before, I would recommend starting by exploiting what you already know. No matter how little you think you know about music, you know enough to start teaching yourself. In my private teaching studio, I use this method with people ages 6-76. There is much more to be gained from this than is immediately apparent so I recommend sticking with it. This addresses the fundamentals aspects of learning music- Ears, and melody. 1) Think of a tune … [Read more...]

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