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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Singing Lesson Myth: Singing should hurt since it?s building the muscles.

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Myth: Singing should hurt because the muscles need to be built up. This makes sense if you think about learning to play other instruments. When learning to play the guitar, your fingers will hurt for weeks or even months. Even when you?re exercising, your body hurts since it?s building up the muscles. The more you sing and practice, the less it will hurt later.

Fact: Singing should never hurt! Your voice is a delicate instrument that can be destroyed and overworking your voice is great way to do that. Singers need a lot of practice to build their voice, but practice should not hurt and you should not try to sing if you have a sore throat. Pain is your body?s way of telling you to stop and it?s imperative that you listen to it, especially when ignoring it can mean ruining your voice for good. The more you practice, the stronger your throat muscles will become, but don?t overdo things. Singers should practice only as long as is comfortable for them and you should always take days off and frequent breaks.

If you feel pain while singing, something is not right. A qualified instructor can help you and try to diagnose the problem. Professional singers and teachers know the correct ways to sing and build muscles. If after taking singing lessons you still experience pain, then there could be something more serious going on and you should seek medical help. When singing your throat and voice are you instrument, but they?re also part of your body and they need to be taken care of.

If singing hurts, don’t keep singing and hope the problem goes away!

Lesson Match has great singing teachers that can give you tips and teach you to sing properly.

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Music Lesson Myth: I?m not musical and incapable of learning an instrument.

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Myth: I?ve taken lessons before and am just not musical; therefore, I cannot learn any instrument.? This is a common but damaging myth.? Many people assume that since they were forced to play the piano as a child, or hated playing the flute in elementary school, that they just aren?t musical.

Fact: By nature, humans are musical.? If you can sing along in the car or tap your foot to the sound of a drum, guess what?? You can learn a musical instrument.? Learning to play an instrument is difficult for most people.? There are a number of reasons as to why previous lessons didn?t work out.? Maybe your teacher did not understand your learning style or maybe your parents didn?t encourage you to practice enough.? Sometimes young children do not have the maturity level or dedication to learn an instrument without constant encouragement, especially if they aren?t interested in learning the instrument in the first place.

If you?re worried you might not be musical, take a second and think about an instrument that you would actually like to play.? If you hated the piano, maybe you?ll love the guitar.? If you love jazz music, maybe you?ll enjoy the saxophone or the piano.? There are many instruments out there so everyone can find something they are interested in.? Don?t give up on lessons just because things aren?t working out with a specific instrument or instructor.? Both can be switched and you should not let one bad experience ruin music lessons for you!

Everyone is musical!

Sign up for your free lesson today and find out just how musical you are!

More Music Myths:
Music Lesson Myth: I can?t learn to play the piano well because I only have a keyboard.
Music Lesson Myth: Children should learn to play the piano before any other instrument.
Music Lesson Myth: Children should not begin music study until they can read.

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Guitar Lesson Myth: The cheaper, the better.

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Myth: I am motivated and have natural musical ability and therefore do not need to spend money on guitar lessons or a nice guitar. Natural ability can be very helpful when learning a new instrument, especially if you can count and keep beats in your head. If you can?t keep a beat or do different things with each hand at the same time, then learning to play the guitar is going to be quite a challenge.

Fact: Just because you have natural talent does not mean that you will not benefit from instruction from an accomplished guitar teacher. Guitar instructors have typically graduated with a music degree and have been teaching lessons for years. Similarly, all guitar teachers have taken some kind of lessons themselves. Most teachers now did not have the opportunity to go online and search for guitar tutorials, they had to meet with a teacher and learn the basics. Now that they have taken courses and lessons, they are capable of teaching their craft to others. Guitar teachers often learn different techniques and tricks from one of their many instructors. This can be helpful if regular techniques are not working for you.

Buying an old worn out guitar doesn?t always have to be a bad thing. Sometimes you can find great guitars that just need a little TLC to bring them back. Remember the old saying though, ?you get what you pay for.? This is definitely true when buying instruments. If you go to a garage sale and buy a 30-year-old guitar and expect to learn to play the guitar like a master, it?s probably not going to happen. Older guitars will need more upkeep than newer guitars simply because of wear and tear. Older guitars might not be able to stay in tune as long which can hinder your ability to learn chords.

Learning to play the guitar is an expensive hobby, but you don?t need to go bankrupt.

There are lots of tips for saving money when buying a guitar, you just need to learn what you can and cannot skimp on.

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Tips to Save Money on Music Lessons

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Anyone who?s played a musical instrument knows that it?s not a cheap endeavor. The cost of the instrument, music lessons etc. can cost thousands of dollars. This is quite an investment for some, but it?s definitely worth it.

Here are a few tips to save money on music lessons.

Shorten your lesson time. This is not an ideal solution, but if you are dedicated enough, you could cut down your lesson duration to save money. Make sure and talk to your instructor about ways to practice and see if they can give you homework or supplemental music lessons (book/online practice) to keep you on track and progressing.

Take in-home lessons. In-home music lessons may seem more expensive at first, but if you think about time and gas you?ll be saving, it can be cheaper in the long run. Time is money so the more time you spend driving to and from lessons, the more money you?re actually wasting.

Buy used instruments. New instruments are expensive! Pianos can cost tens of thousands of dollars and guitars and other instruments cost hundreds! On top of the music lessons you?re already spending money on, buying a new instrument will skyrocket the budget you?ve set aside for learning your instrument. Just because an instrument is used does not mean it will not play as well as a new one. Used instruments can be picked up at a garage sale and refurbished to play good as new. Used instruments are also only a fraction of the cost simply because they aren?t new, it has nothing to do with their sound.

Take group music lessons. If there is an option to take group lessons rather than private, try that! Most of the time group music lessons are longer in duration and cost less. If you?re someone who learns new things easily without the one on one time with an instructor, this could be the perfect way to cut your music lesson costs!

Practice! The best way to save money on music lessons is to make sure you are making the most of your lessons! Practicing every day and asking your instructor for practice tips will make sure you are progressing. The less time you need to spend taking music lessons, the less money you will spend learning the instrument.

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10 tips to Prepare for an Honor Band Audition

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When you?ve got musical talent or are a serious musician, there will probably be a time when you audition for an honor band. This can be a stressful time since honor bands are very prestigious. The key to nailing the audition is to relax and be prepared!

Here are some tips to prepare for an excellent honor band audition.

1. Know the requirements! Every audition is different, so just because one band audition didn?t require you to do something, doesn?t mean another one won?t. Different instruments have different requirements as well; make sure you are familiar with your instrument requirements, not just the general requirements.

2. Bring the piece you are auditioning with. The director might have the piece there for you, but don?t count on it. It?s better to have it and not need it than to not have it.

3. Bring extra pieces of all your equipment. Having your instrument fail you when you?re completely prepared can be about the worst thing to happen! Don?t let your instrument wreck your audition; have extra reeds etc. just in case.

4. Memorize as much as you can! Just like preparing for an exam, make sure to have enough memorized so you look prepared. You will be able to use sheet music for the audition piece, but octaves and scales will likely need to be memorized.

5. Show off, but don?t overdo it. You get points for everything you can do, but you?ll earn more points by playing 3 octaves than by playing a more difficult octave and messing it up.

6. Ask for help before the audition. If the required piece is more difficult than you anticipated, ask a musical friend or instructor to assist you with practicing. It never hurts to ask for help, especially if they can give you pointers about the piece or audition.

7. Make sure you?re instrument is in its best shape! You don?t want to get to the audition and have your instrument be what fails you. Take it to be professionally cleaned or looked at before the audition.

8. Arrive early to the audition fully prepared. Warm up and get everything together before leaving for the audition and get there early. This will give you time to calm down and scope things out before the audition.

9. Practice! Even the little things that you have been doing since you started playing an instrument can be forgotten or get rusty (sight-reading). Make sure and practice everything you can so you know you won?t make avoidable mistakes.

10. Stay calm. Nerves can wreck an audition! If you?ve practiced and are prepared, then all you can do is try your best. It?s only one audition; there will be more.

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More Tips for Starting Your Own Band

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Start a band.

Sounds easy enough, right? Find musicians, pick a cool name and start jamming together.

Starting your own band might sound easy, and to some extent it is, but there are some obstacles to overcome before your first gig.

1. Find people to join your band that you work well with and make decisions together. Band always have a front man, but all decisions should be a consensus. If half the band wants to do one thing and the other half wants to do something else, work together to find a solution. If some band members are constantly losing battles and being walked over, eventually they?ll leave, and probably not at a convenient time.

2. Have clear goals! Make sure all band members are there for the same reason. If some members only want to play and have fun and others want to work hard and play gigs, there is going to be some nasty disagreements. Things might work with your band at first if you?re trying to prove playing gigs and making records is worth it, but eventually things can go bad and you?ll be back to square one.

3. Deal with problems right away instead of hoping they?ll fizzle out. If one of your band mates is a stage hog or refuses to practice the basics even though they should, these issues should be handled right away. Bands are a team effort and if one person feels like it?s their band, there will be more problems and power struggles later on.

4. Remember that things take time! Just because you read an article about a band that became famous over night does not mean that will be your band. Keep practicing and working towards your goals and don?t give up! Many famous bands had doors slammed in their faces early on, but they were persistent and determined and it paid off.

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When to Buy a Used Musical Instrument

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Parents of musical students know that buying a new musical instrument is quite an investment.

Pianos can cost upwards of $10,000, guitarists will easily spend $500 on the guitar alone (not to mention equipment and upkeep). So when should you buy a used instrument rather than a brand new one?

It may be tough to know when to buy the used trombone instead of buying the used one from your neighbor. Children often get very excited about a new hobby and are convinced they will stick with it forever and become a famous orchestra member. It becomes difficult as well when required school band classes force parents to go out and buy the instrument their child is assigned to play. When I was in school, I desperately wanted to play the saxophone (like my mom played), but instead I was assigned the flute. My parents knew I did not want to play this instrument, but I had no choice. This is a common occurrence in schools where some instruments are more sought after than other. So what is a parent to do when their child has to learn an instrument that they are not particularly interested in? This is definitely a good time to buy a used instrument. If you know your child will only play this instrument for a year and then switch, it?s probably not the wisest to purchase a brand new instrument.

Some parents might argue that giving a sub-par instrument to a child to learn is setting them up for failure. Parents typically have a good idea about whether or not their child can/will stick with an instrument. A good way to test out the water is to rent an instrument. You can typically rent instruments from local stores (or possibly even your child?s school) to see if your child warms to the instrument. If they still hate their instrument, don?t purchase it?find a used instrument to get them through the year and then once they decide what instrument is their true passion, then you can shell out the big bucks for that instrument.

The best way to ensure that your children succeed with any instrument is to sign them up with private lessons! Children who are progressing at learning an instrument will be more apt to continue with that instrument.

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Piano Lesson Myth: My hands are too small to play the piano.

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Myth: My hands are too small to be able to play the piano. This is a common myth that many people have probably heard. In fact, when I was younger and wanted to take piano lessons, my parents told me that my sister had ?piano fingers? but I didn?t because my hands were too small. The myth makes sense since sometimes there are songs that require you to be able to reach distant keys at the same time, but this doesn?t mean you need to count out piano lessons in general.

Fact: Just because you have small hands does not mean there are no songs you will be able to play! Small hands are considered to be less than a span of eight inches. If your hands are smaller than that, then you may have a more difficult time learning to play piano. A good test to see if your hands are really too small is to stretch out your hand and try to play a C with your thumb and the above C with your pinky. If you can do that, then you will be able to play most any song! If you can?t reach both keys, don?t fret; there are still plenty of songs you will be able to play!

Pianists with small hands will learn to be able to stretch their fingers further with practice. Just because you start out not able to reach a full octave, does not mean you will not be able to reach this feat. There are also smaller keyboards that are built for people with small hands. Small keyboards are 7/8 the size of a regular piano and still have the required amount of keys.

Small hands might be a bit of a burden when first learning the piano, but eventually you will be able to overcome this and make beautiful music!

More piano lesson myths:
Piano Lesson Myth: I Have to Practice Everyday.
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Music Lesson Myth: I can?t learn to play the piano well because I only have a keyboard.

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Myth: You can?t learn to play the piano well because you don?t have a real piano at home, only a keyboard.

Fact: Piano lessons can be taken on a keyboard, as long as the student is dedicated. Learning to play the piano well is difficult whether you?re learning on the keyboard or piano. Now days, keyboards can function very similar to a piano. With weighted keys and built in speakers, the student will get the feel for how an actual piano would sound.

Keyboards actually have some advantages over traditional pianos:
? They never go out of tune
? They have headphone capability so practicing in an apartment where you can?t be noisy would be possible
? They take up less space and are portable
? They can easy be integrated with a computer for digital remixes and sound

Most students who only have a keyboard at home find ways to balance their practice time on their keyboard and a real piano. Pianists can usually practice on pianos at school, church, family or friends? houses etc. There are many ways to have access to a real piano! If you are concerned about learning to play on a keyboard, look for used pianos that you can buy and tune for relatively cheap.

With enough practice, you can learn to play the piano on the keyboard or a real piano!

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10 Tips to Start your own Garage Band

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So you want to start a band and don’t know where to start!

Here are a few things to consider before starting a band.

1. Learn to play your instrument well! This seems like a no-brainer, but make sure you are confident enough with your instrument to play it in front of an audience and mesh your sound with others.
2. Find other musicians like you. Don?t just pick someone because they?re the best; make sure they have similar goals to you. Otherwise the band won?t last.
3. Decide what style of music you want to play. Make sure everyone is on board with this so you can develop your style together.
4. Find a place to practice! You can?t have a band without a garage or place to practice.
5. Make sure everyone has an instrument. If you know someone who can play piano really well and you want him/her in the band, go out and get a keyboard. It?s unrealistic to think there will always be a piano around.
6. Write your own music. This isn?t a necessity since you can cover songs, but if you want your band to go places, you?ll need to write your own music.
7. Make times to practice together. Even if you?re all taking lessons and practicing your parts of the song, you will need to play together to identify weaknesses or what needs to be changed.
8. Set up small concerts or play for your neighborhood to get feedback. If you want to start getting gigs, it?s best to play in front of a smaller crowd first and ask for suggestions.
9. Buy gear! If you want to play a concert, just your instruments will not suffice. You need amps, mics, pedals etc. Make sure you have access to all these things before signing up for a gig.
10. Create a catchy band name. Think of a name that means something to you and the band, or that identifies you. Unique names are catchier and easy to remember!

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