Bringing the Metronome to Life Creative Metronome-ing Can Help Us Play Artistically

It’s ironic how something perceived as strict and mechanical can help us learn to move a room with not only pulse, but musicality. Creative uses of the metronome help us play more loosely and musically than if we just keep the beat with it. As musicians and music teachers we should be creative people. How we use the metronome should be a creative art in and of itself.

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Why I Stopped Asking Students to Memorize Music Removing layers can unlock peak performances

I was once rehearsing with a multi-platinum record recording artist. I was given a few cd’s of music days before the rehearsal and jotted down keyboard lines, progressions, etc – whatever I needed to get through a two-hour gig of music I’d never heard before. There were no charts – just my transcriptions/notes. At some point the band leader turned to me and asked, “What are you looking at all that paper for? Music doesn’t exist on a piece of paper.”IMAG1552 » Read more

Want First – Play Next How to Play with More Intent...

I think it’s important that music students and musicians only play what they want to play – all the time. At a time when kids have so many activities to choose from, I’ve found this to be key in maintaining and developing engagement with students. As a musician, it makes practicing and playing way more rewarding. The cool thing is that you can do this with any repertoire.
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Practicing the Unknown

Once students establish an effective routine in practice, it is always fascinating to see what they do when they practicing.  Often we practice something for a long time only to feel that our progress doesn’t match our efforts.  In my opinion, this is a choice to feel this way.  It is a choice in how we practice.  I only say that because I often fell into the pitfall of associating the amount of time to the success of my practice. » Read more

Creating Positive Musical Experiences Through Practice Routines

Several students have recently come out of musical ruts because we were able to get organized with their practice and they were willing to embrace a simple practice routine. It is always frustrating when we as students or teachers think that something sounds better the previous lesson than it does at the beginning of the current lesson.  In group lessons, students get frustrated when they start to lag behind the others even when they are more than capable of keeping up. » Read more

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