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Where Are You Going Next Year? Consult the GPS!

music miscellany Nov 10, 2014

It happened again. I looked up and the calendar said “November” at the top. The calendar year is winding down, even as the performances gear up for the holidays, and it’s time to plan for next year.

For me this is the golden time to plan what next year will look like. What do I want to fix or change? What new project do I want to start? What should my theme be for the new year?

Before the holiday performances take over, and leave me no time to breathe, let alone think and plan, I am taking a half-hour long mini-retreat to get my thoughts for next year organized.

I encourage you to do the same thing. You will find this especially helpful if you feel like you would like to stretch yourself, learn new music, improve some aspect of your playing, or just make big strides next year. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know if you get there? And I have a three-step “GPS” system to help you start the planning process.

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Uncategorized Nov 08, 2014

Carol Bundle Want the English AND the German Carol sets?

Purchase the bundle for only $15 – that’s almost a 25% savings!

Why not???

$15.00 – PURCHASE

 

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Got Rhythm?

aural skills musicianship Nov 03, 2014

How is your sense of rhythm? Are you not sure if you have one? rhythm Before we can decide whether you do or don’t, we should get our terms straight.

Let’s look at the building blocks of rhythm:

The Beat

The beat is the basic unit of time. It can be expressed by a particular note value, a quarter note for instance, but essentially it is a duration of time. We experience this time span as a beat when it is used in a series of identical time spans. Remember the “thump, thump, thump” of the stereo in the car stopped next to you at the traffic light? Almost everyone can “feel” the beat.

Tempo

A tempo is established by a series of beats. Tempo is the speed at which the beats repeat. Tempo can be described by a metronome marking, which indicates the number of beats per minute, or by those familiar terms like Allegro or Andante.

Meter

Meter is a repeating pattern of beats where some of the beats are more accented than others; the first beat in the...

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Does Your Musical Fire Need Relighting?

musicianship performing Oct 27, 2014

Does one of these stories sound like yours?

1. You’re busy living the hectic modern life – teaching, performing, practicing, family – and you’re just not getting the emotional lift from your music that you used to.

2. You know what you want. You want to play music, and you’re doing all the things you’re supposed to, but you’re still not getting results. Your frustration level is mounting, and you’re not sure if you should stick with it or find something else to do.

3. Everything was going fine, until…your family needed more of your time, you had an injury, you had to help care for a sick loved one. There were other important things that needed your time and attention, and now you’re finding it hard to get back into making music.

Sometimes it feels like the spark is gone. The joy that you could count on in your music just isn’t there.

Before you give up and try stamp collecting instead, read my story of when I...

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Got College Auditions? What You Need to Know (and the rest of us do too!)

news Oct 26, 2014

It’s October, the time of year when upcoming college auditions are weighing heavily on the hearts of music students. It’s a stressful time with so many questions that seem impossible to answer and so much preparation to be done. I routinely give my students four points to remember to guide them through these rough waters with the least amount of turmoil possible. And even if you aren’t preparing for college auditions, keeping these four points in mind will help your everyday music making too.

1. Decide what you want. We could talk about goals or career decisions, but really it’s simpler than that, and easier too. What do you WANT? An education, to study with a famous teacher, an urban environment, a friendly campus? Whatever it is that you want, there are multiple possibilities for you to choose from. There is no one perfect place, that if you aren’t accepted there, your prospects are ruined. There will be several “great fit” schools that...

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Don’t Be a Grumpy Musician! The 7 Steps to Staying Happy

news Oct 22, 2014

As the weeks rush toward the busy holiday season, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. So many performances, so much music to learn, so little time to relax. At times like this it’s easy to feel…well, grumpy.

But feeling grumpy does not help you make beautiful music.

So before the grumpiness takes hold, take action. Follow these seven steps, and enjoy the busy times!

First, a couple of basic rules:

1. Eat right and get enough sleep. This same advice that our mothers always gave us is really the best way to avoid stress and burnout. When your schedule won’t accommodate a sit-down, home-cooked meal, try packing some power snacks like cheese, nuts, fruit or veggies so you can avoid the fast food trap. And there is no substitute for a good night’s sleep when it comes to restoring your energy, spirits and stamina.

2. Move it! If you can make time for exercise, that is ideal. A regular routine, whether it’s yoga at home or weight training...

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Got College Auditions? What You Need to Know (and the rest of us do too!)

music miscellany Oct 19, 2014

               ©iStockphoto.com/AnsonLu

 

It’s October, the time of year when upcoming college auditions are weighing heavily on the hearts of music students. It’s a stressful time with so many questions that seem impossible to answer and so much preparation to be done. I routinely give my students four points to remember to guide them through these rough waters with the least amount of turmoil possible. And even if you aren’t preparing for college auditions, keeping these four points in mind will help your everyday music making too.

1. Decide what you want. We could talk about goals or career decisions, but really it’s simpler than that, and easier too. What do you WANT? An education, to study with a famous teacher, an urban environment, a friendly campus? Whatever it is that you want, there are multiple possibilities for you to choose from. There is no one perfect place, that if you aren’t accepted...

Continue Reading...

Don’t Be a Grumpy Musician! The 7 Steps to Staying Happy

As the weeks rush toward the busy holiday season, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. So many performances, so much music to learn, so little time to relax. At times like this it’s easy to feel…well, grumpy.

But feeling grumpy does not help you make beautiful music.

So before the grumpiness takes hold, take action. Follow these seven steps, and enjoy the busy times!

First, a couple of basic rules:

1. Eat right and get enough sleep. This same advice that our mothers always gave us is really the best way to avoid stress and burnout. When your schedule won’t accommodate a sit-down, home-cooked meal, try packing some power snacks like cheese, nuts, fruit or veggies so you can avoid the fast food trap. And there is no substitute for a good night’s sleep when it comes to restoring your energy, spirits and stamina.

2. Move it! If you can make time for exercise, that is ideal. A regular routine, whether it’s yoga at home or weight training...

Continue Reading...

Carol Bundle

sheet music Oct 08, 2014

Want the English AND the German Carol sets? Purchase the bundle for only $15 – that’s almost a 25% savings! Why not???

$15.00 – Purchase

Continue Reading...
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