© 2017-2018 by Rowell Jao. All rights reserved.

    Music Lessons - Getting your Money's Worth

     

    Music teaching lessons can be expensive.  How can we make sure that it is a worthwhile investment.  We all know that music teaching lessons can make you brighter because of the workout that music gives the brain.  Hang on a moment…… music by itself don’t make you brighter, it is the practice that does the trick.  So, how do we stack the deck in favor of your child benefitting from music teaching lessons? Read more...

     

    Squeezing Practice Into Busy Family Life

     

    Squeezing music teaching practice into busy family life doesn’t work… or does it? Read more...

     

    3 Reasons Why Some Kids Don't Like Music Practice

     

    Ask any child why kids don’t like music practice and you will hear these three reasons over and over again:

    • Music practice is too boring and difficult.

    • I don’t like all the shouting and fighting.

    • It’s easy to get out of it anyway.

    Read more...

     

    The Right Kind of Praise

     

    Praise is a good thing, isn’t it?  We’re always told that the children should be praised.  After all, we want to improve their self-esteem.  BUT, did you know that praising your children for their intelligence can make a them anxious and unprepared to deal with failure, creating a generation of Praise Junkies.  Yes, praise IS good but it’s all about using the right kind of praise. Read more...

     

    Music Practice Builds a Better Brain

     

    The right hemisphere of the brain lights up when listening to melodies or playing by ear.  The left is stimulated when reading and understanding musical scores.  It is not surprising that those who have music training in early childhood, develop a larger and more efficient corpus callosum (the bridge between the right and left hemispheres of the brain).  Dr. Frank Wilson from the University of California’s School of Medicine in San Francisco. Read more...

     

    Practice Makes Perfect?

     

    “Practice does not make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.”  Everything that you repeat will be learnt and that you would up your chances of getting it right if you slowed down. Slow down and give yourself a chance to play the notes right in the first place.  You have to be able to play the notes, before you can speed up the tempo. Read more...

     

    Does Practice Make Perfect?(part 2)

     

    “Practice makes perfect and nobody’s perfect, so why practice?” Billie Joe Armstrong – American musician 1972

    Does practice make perfect? Unfortunately, the answer is, “NO!” Practice makes permanent and only perfect practice makes perfect.  Oh dear, there appears to be a bit of a problem developing here, the pressure to be perfect in the first place.

    Read more...

     

    Why Practice Does Not Make Perfect

     

    “If practice makes perfect, why are we progressing so slowly!”  “It’s so boring doing the same stuff, over and over.”  “Why are we being held back?”  “3 years on Twinkle?  I just give up!”

    When you repeat something over and over you will learn it, right or wrong.  Isn’t that what we do when we practice?

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    Listen, Listen

     

    ...Scroll forward a lifetime and I am learning Suzuki violin with my children.  The teacher tells us that we have to listen to the recording every day.  Suddenly, I can learn and remember long pieces with ease, something that I couldn’t have dreamt of as a child.  My daughter can even pick music up by ear.  Why, the music is there, inside us, begging to be played. Read more...

     

    Fitting Music Practice into Busy Family Life

     

    Regular practice is essential if you want to enjoy the benefits of learning a musical instrument.  Before committing, pause for a moment to think about your reasons for spending money on lessons for your child.  There could be hundreds.  Improved self confidence, better muscular co-ordination, quicker neural connections, exposure to a motivated peer group, scholarships, entry to better schools and orchestras, learning a skill which will give pleasure for life and developing a fine young person with a kind heart are just a few.  When you find many reasons for doing something, you will find many ways to see that it gets done. Read more...

     

    Helping Your Child to Perform

     

    When children become aware, that performing is giving their music, as a generous gift to an audience, it will make positive changes in their body language.  An open face, relaxed shoulders, freedom of movement, all help the audience to see the soul of the music.  If the gift is given grudgingly, or diffidently, the audience will sense the incongruence and feel uncomfortable. Read more...

     

    How to Practice Your Teaching Point

     

    What is a Teaching Point?

    •1  A Teaching Point is the main point of the lesson:

    When you are taking notes at your child’s lesson, you will probably hear one thing mentioned or worked on several times throughout the lesson.  It could be anything from maintaining a bow hold to developing more musical awareness. 

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    How NOT to Start the 100 Day Challenge

     

    Practice? My mind rebelled, my arms ached at the thought of it. “Ooh, I do feel tired and I have to cook supper in an hour. Maybe I’d better sit down and have a nice cup of tea.” Before I knew it, supper had been cooked and eaten and who practices in the evening? Certainly not me. “I’ll start again tomorrow,” I reassured myself. Read more...

     

    How Do I Get My Child to Slow Down?

     

    Whiz whiz whiz, fumble, stumble, crash, “Slow Down!”  Whiz whiz whiz, fumble, stumble, CRASH!  “Slow Down!  Go slower, Susan!”  Repeated ad nauseam.

    Oh if only I could have shut out my teacher’s nagging voice, but I was too flustered by my mistakes, caught in a nervous cycle of rushing and crashing, over and over again.  In fact, I really didn’t learn the importance of slow practice, till own children started music teaching lessons and suddenly I was the one tearing out my hair wondering, “How do I get my child to slow down?”

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    Music Practice, Slow Progress?

     

    If you are frustrated that your child isn’t progressing as quickly as you think he should, it’s time to consider what’s really going on.  It takes ages to create firm foundations for basic instrumental technique.  We all know what happens to a skyscraper when the foundations are neglected.  The whole building eventually collapses.  The same is true funnily enough, of learning a musical instrument.  Unfortunately, you can’t get round the fact that there are many basic things we have to get right, before we can have fun making beautiful music. Read more...

     

    The Key to Making Music Fun - Learn Slowly

     

    “If you learn something slowly, you forget it slowly.  If you learn something very quickly, you forget it immediately.”  Itzhak Perlman. Read more...

     

    Practice Routine for a Young Beginner - 8 Tips for Helping your Child to Practice

     

    We all start music teaching lessons with high hopes but when it comes down to sorting out a practice routine for a young beginner it can be rather hit or miss.  In order to turn knowledge which a child is gaining from music lessons into ability, he will need to repeat things correctly many times. Read more...

     

    Practice is Boring

     

    “Practice time, darling.”

    “I don’t want to practice today.  Practice is Boring!“  What follows next, is a quarrelsome half-hour, during which you attempt to teach a child to play various music teaching practice tasks correctly, several times in a row.  Does this sound familiar?

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    My Child Won't Let Me Help with Music Practice

     

    Jack and his mom have turned up for yet another music lesson, without having made any progress on his practice task, which was all about making bow holds together.  Jack is looking sour.  He clearly isn’t in the mood for music practice.

    “Oh, Jack won’t let me help him to do that!”  This is followed by a rueful giggle and an arch look at young Jack, who in his turn, glowers sulkily at his mom.

    Read more...

     

    Refusal to Practice - 10 Steps Forward

     

    Your child has made a really promising start with learning an instrument, lots of enthusiasm and hard practice and steady progress.  Then bang, the honeymoon is over, with sulks tantrums and outright refusal to practice.  Practice is, after all hard work.  What do you do to get back on track? Read more...

     

    Top 21 Suzuki Quotes

     

    “When love is deep, much can be accomplished”

     

    “Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart.”

     

    “Any child can be developed, it depends on how you do it”

     

    “Children learn to smile from their parents.”

     

    “Every child grows; everything depends on the teacher.” Read more...

    Helpful Stories and Tips about Music and Practicing

    from Sue Hunt's "Music in Practice" Archives