Music is a language…
When we learn music the way we learned our native language, the process is easy and intuitive. Children absorb everything. If they are fully immersed in a musical environment, listening to high-quality music and playing their instruments every day, they will learn to make music just as naturally as they speak their native tongue.
My goal is for all students to attain musical fluency
Musical fluency is attained through a well-rounded music education in which students master skills in these areas:
- Proper technique on the instrument
- Playing by ear
- Music theory
- Singing solfege (for younger students)
- Improvisation & Composition
- Listening (passive and active)
- Producing beautiful music
In order to make beautiful music on any instrument, these elements must be present:
You must have LIFT!
This is by far the most important element to producing beautiful sounds on any instrument. Too often, students make music without listening to their own playing. In order to make any improvements to your own playing, it is important to listen actively. When playing with others, listening to the blends of sounds produced by everyone results in greater cohesion where rhythms are aligned and harmonies are vibrant. It is also important to listen to a lot of music in order to develop a larger “vocabulary” of music.
Rent or purchase the highest quality instrument you can afford. The quality of the instrument directly affects the quality of music you produce. The better the instrument, the better the sound. Make sure to care for your instrument by tuning it regularly and keeping its parts in working order. Read more about choosing and caring for your piano and ‘ukulele.
Mental concentration is vital to producing beautiful sounds. Without focus, the other two important elements–listening and technique–become lost and playing becomes sloppy. It is better practice for 30 minutes with good mental focus than spend an hour practicing with a wandering mind.
Playing an instrument is akin to playing a sport. It requires specific physical movements that must be coordinated in a particular way to achieve success. These detailed movements must be repeated many times in order to improve one’s skills. There are many steps necessary to achieve technical mastery in each instrument. Finding a great teacher can make the path to mastery more smooth and easy.