Pomp and Circumstance

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With the month of May here, high school and college graduations will be in full swing. And what is the number-1 expected piece of music to be played at these memorable and special occasions? What else but Edward Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance! Here is a bit of history and background concerning this delightful and dignified march. Composed in 1901, it’s original purpose was to accompany the coronation of King Edward VII of England, succeeding his mother Queen Victoria. The title ...

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Composition Sessions for Students Part 2

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Composition Sessions for Students Part 2

The last blog focusing on how teachers can guide their students on how to compose their own pieces discussed basic composition elements and tips. It can be found here in case you didn’t get a chance to read it and are interested: Composition Sessions for Students Part 1. Now we will delve a little deeper into how to progress this essential component of music education that will help grow the next generation of musicians!

Improvisation

Incorporating this ...

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Spring-Time Songs & Pieces

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Spring-Time Songs & Pieces

“Ah! Spring is in the air!” Well, at least intermittently, with the unseasonably warm temperatures that keep popping up every so often. However, with it being March now, spring really is around the corner, and we were inspired to do another quick gathering of seasonally appropriate pieces and songs to get you excited for those gorgeous blossoms and happy chirping of the birds. Parents, ask your child’s teacher to start teaching him or her these musical gems. Teachers, it’s not ...

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Structuring Beginning Composition Sessions for Students

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Structuring Beginning Composition Sessions for Students

Teaching our students the basics of music theory is a necessity in a holistic training of a well-rounded musician. It serves to help them understand ideas and symbols behind the notation they are reading and playing. We may have them complete written assignments in theory books and other supplemental material, and even quiz them with flash cards that focus on notations and terms. That is all fine and well; however, having them actually compose their own original songs and pieces ...

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New Year’s Resolution: Music Lesson Tips

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Another year has come and gone, and we find ourselves in 2017. Around the new year’s, many people make noble resolutions to quit bad habits, or to start new, good habits. Others take it upon themselves to learn new skills, and one of the more popular picks is to learn a musical instrument or sing. If you or a loved one has made this excellent decision for the new year’s, here is some expert advice to consider before going head-first ...

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Spooktacular Halloween Playlist

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Spooktacular Halloween Playlist

Halloween is just around the corner, and some of you may be “haunting” for the scariest, eeriest playlist to set the mood for your Halloween party or get-together, give the best impression of a haunted house on the block when those little trick-or-treaters stop by your place, or simply to get you in the mood! Well rest assured, this playlist compiled by our music friends at Classic FM is sure to put a classic twist on this season’s spooky soundtrack—enjoy! ...

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Tips to Overcome Upper String Problems, Part 2

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In the last post about this topic, we discussed various problems violinist and violists face when learning or perfecting basic technical issues: Producing a smooth, steady, consistent tone, getting a clear, pure tone quality when fingering pitches, changing between strings without accidentally playing another string, playing double stops successfully, especially when fingering notes, and producing basic hand and arm vibrato. Now we will look into more complicated, advanced problems and technical issues to overcome and master!

Triple and Quadruple Stops: These ...

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Playing Duets With Your Students

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Having our students practice and then show us their solo work during a lesson is a great way to check on their progress, and has been a standard way of doing this for decades, even centuries. But as suggested by a previous blog, “Keeping the Interest ALIVE Part 2” by PLIYH teacher Amanda Munson, it is a worthwhile idea to engage in duet work with our students. This definitely shows that we are willing to put in the effort of ...

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Debussy: Master of Colors

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Achille-Claude Debussy was born August 22nd, 1862 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the outskirts of Paris. Deemed one of the foremost Impressionist composers along the likes of Ravel and Satie, he did much to push music in his day to new heights and expressions. He was quite a musical prodigy, notwithstanding that he came from a very poor family. Early on he attended the Paris Conservatory at the age of 11, after only have taken piano lessons for 4 years. While he was ...

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Classical Indian Music

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Classical Indian Music

If you’re a private music teacher in the suburbs of a big city, chances are you have a handful of Indian families, as they happen to be a large immigrant group that primarily settles in these communities. Chances are, as well, that the parents have expressed to you a need that they would like YOU to teach their children the basics of classical Indian music. Now, unless you have spent a significant portion of a World Music class in college ...

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