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All About Group Piano Lessons!

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What are group piano lessons?

Group piano lessons are piano lessons that involve multiple students of similar age and skill level. If the lessons are for one family of young children, often times, only one piano is needed and the students will sit and learn together. If there are multiple students in a larger setting, multiple pianos or keyboards will be needed as three or more students cannot comfortably play and learn on the same piano.

Are group piano lessons right for my children?

Group piano lessons on one piano typically work best with smaller children and only two students should be on the piano at one time. Students need to be able to comfortably sit at the piano together and that does not work well with more than two students.

Group piano lessons also work best if the students are all at the same skill level. If one child has already had two years of lessons and the other is a beginner, then the lessons will have to cater to the beginner.

The difficult part about group piano lessons is that the children need to stay focused, as there will not be as much individual attention. If you know your children cannot concentrate when they are together, you will be wasting your money with group lessons, as the children most likely will not learn much.

Are there any benefits to group piano lessons?

Group piano lessons can be beneficial for young students that might not be able to focus for a 30-minute lesson. If your children are young and cannot focus for longer periods of time, then having their sibling next to them learning can be motivation to do well. Time will go by quicker for the student if they are not alone.

Group piano lessons are also great for students who are easily discouraged. If only one student is taking lessons and he/she is not seeing any progress, he/she could become discouraged and want to quit lessons. With group lessons, both students would see that they are progressing at the normal rate, even if they aren?t making much progress.

Children who might be shy about playing piano in front of others will quickly overcome this fear if there is always another person sitting next to them. Group piano lessons can be a great way to overcome stage fright!

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Singing Lesson Myth: Classically Trained Singers Can?t Sing Popular Music

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Myth: Classically trained singers are not able to sing popular music without sounding strained or fake. Similarly, a pop singer would not be able to sing classical music. Think about how differently the two genres sound. Can you imagine Ke$ha singing a piece from La Traviata or Cecilia Bartoli trying to sing Ke$ha?s Tik Tok? The two styles of music are so radically different that it seems impossible the two artists could cross over. Classically trained singers are trained to focus on the vowels in the song rather than consonants. With popular music, consonants are absolutely not the afterthought and are often emphasized. The consonants are what give popular music its unique rhythm and beat. So, does that mean that the two genres cannot cross over?

Fact: Anyone can sing any genre of music, but it?s going to take a lot of practice! Classically trained singers are taught one way and in order to sing pop music, they need to forget most of what they already know. Classical singers will need to drop all their training and rules and just go with the flow to sing pop music. That sounds much easier than it is. However, half of learning something new is identifying what makes them different, which I just did above.

Here are some tips to switch from classical music to popular.

-Listen to as much pop music as you can. Try to mimic the techniques and sound like the artist.
-Understand the different techniques pop music uses. Pop singers often suppress their vibrato in most cases unlike classical singers who are taught to usually hold notes with vibrato.
-Try to sing with the emotion of the song. If you?re trying to sing a song about someone tough or seeking revenge, make your voice sound angry.
-Listen to other styles of songs and try to mimic them. The more you can add to your range and repertoire, the easier it will be to learn new techniques.

More singing lesson myths:
Vocal Lesson Myth: Singing lessons are not for me because I?m interested in singing popular songs.
Singing Lesson Myth: Singing should hurt since it?s building the muscles.
Vocal Lesson Myth: I cannot sing in pitch and therefore am tone deaf.

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Breathe Easy: 10 Tips for Vocal Students

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For most singers, it?s easy to identify problems and know when something is wrong with your voice. Singers know what their voice sounds like and feels like on a regular basis, so when something doesn?t seem right, it?s usually easy to identify the problem. While you may be able to identify vocal problems, it?s easier to prevent them than fix them.

Here are some tips for keeping your voice and vocal cords healthy.

1. Posture. Posture is one of the most important things singers need to master! In order to breathe easy and get the most air through your lungs, your rib cage needs to be open.
2. Relax. Your body and throat should never feel tense or like you are trying to force sound out. The best sound comes from relaxed singers.
3. Practice. Practice makes perfect. That saying definitely applies to singers. The only way to excel is to practice. Try to aim for 30-60 minutes 5 times a week.
4. Warm up. Vocalists need to remember to always warm up before a performance and practice! If you forget this important part, you can cause serious damage to your voice.
5. Diet. Singers should be conscious of what they are eating and drinking at all times. Some foods and drinks should be avoided before a performance. Other things, like alcohol, should be avoided at all times.
6. Tilt. Tilt your head back slightly when singing. This can open your throat and vocal cords more allowing for a relaxed sound.
7. Hydrate! Make sure to always keep your vocal cords hydrated by drinking lots of water. Dry throats will produce cracked sound and damage vocal cords.
8. Don?t clear your throat! Clearing your throat too much can irritate your vocal cords and make them hoarse. If your throat feels plugged, try drinking a glass of water and resting your voice.
9. Rest. Make sure to get plenty of sleep each night! Especially make sure to spare your voice when you?re sick. You never want to overwork your voice.
10. No smoking. Inhaling smoke, even secondhand smoke, can seriously irritate your vocal cords.

More vocal tips for students:
Dos and Don?ts for a Healthy Voice
10 Foods and Drinks Not to Consume Before a Vocal Performance
10 More Vocal Tips

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Unconventional Benefits of Music Lessons

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Music lessons can be fun for kids and help them excel in school and standardized testing, but those aren?t the only reasons to enroll your children in music lessons.

Here are some more benefits of music lessons.

Slow and steady. When first beginning music lessons, there are lots of techniques to learn. Children are used to trying something and, if not seeing immediate results, quitting. Music lessons are a slow progression that ultimately will give results if the students practice and take lessons seriously. Music lessons teach children the importance of sticking with something even if they don?t see immediate results.

Persistence pays off. Music lessons and practicing an instrument are not always going to be fun. Sometimes it will hurt and sometimes it will be boring. That?s life and that?s going to continue to happen. Eventually, children will learn the importance of pushing through the hard stuff to get to the end, but why not start young with music lessons. If children learn young that persistence pays off, then they will save themselves lots of regret by sticking with activities that might not be easy at first.

Self-esteem boost. Self-esteem can be an inherent trait that children come by naturally. For others, developing and excelling at a talent can help raise children?s self-esteem. Kids need to know that they are good at something and music lessons are something that anyone can excel at given enough practice. Not only will music lessons raise children?s self-esteem just by giving them a talent, they will have a built-in group of friends once they are able to join school band. Clubs are a great way for children to make friends and get involved.

Most children will not become a world-class musician, but they will benefit from music lessons for the rest of their lives.

More articles about the benefits of music lessons:
Improve your overall well being and start singing!
Music Lessons Help Raise Children?s Self Esteem
Music lessons = Better Communication Skills

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Improve your overall well being and start singing!

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I?ve already covered the mental health benefits to singing and music lessons, but there are many more reasons to learn to sing!

Emotional benefits of singing lessons:

-Singing lessons increase self-esteem and confidence because singing is something you will be able to do better than your peers.
-Singing enhances your mood. Think about when you?re feeling blue and your favorite song comes on. You can?t help but smile and sing along.
-Singing reduces stress. When you?re singing, you can?t really think about other things because you need to focus on the music and lyrics. If you?re not thinking about the things that stress you out, then you can?t be stressed.
-Singing is energizing. Most people have a playlist for when they work out of fast paced, upbeat songs to keep them energized. If you?re one of those people, think about how much faster you run when one of your favorite workout songs comes on.
-Singing can be healing and evoke emotion. Similar to songs enhancing your mood, songs can also evoke sad feelings. Sometimes that?s a good thing and can be healing if you just need a good cry.

Social benefits of singing lessons:

-Singing enables you to meet new people. Local choirs, church choirs etc. have different people coming together to sing. This is a great outlet to meet new people with similar interests.
-Singing provides support. Choirs often act like support groups where everyone in the choir is supportive of others. The people you meet while singing can become a great place to turn to in times of need.
-Singing brings people together and creates a sense of community. Think about how you feel if you?ve ever watched a choir perform. Often the audience sings or claps along because they feel engaged by the performers.

More singing lesson articles:
Dos and Don?ts for a Healthy Voice
Music lessons = Better Communication Skills
Singing Promotes Youth

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Making the Most of Music Lessons

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Music lessons can be an expensive investment; you have to pay for the instrument and materials that go along with it, upkeep, lessons etc.? With the money you?re spending on lessons, it?s definitely a good idea to make sure you?re making the most of each lesson!

Here are some tips to make the most of music lessons.

1. Begin music lessons at the right age.? Adults can begin lessons at anytime because their success is based on their dedication.? For children, they need to be mentally and physically able to play an instrument.? Starting a three year old out with vocal lessons isn?t a great idea because they aren?t developed enough to get everything from the lessons.?
2. Take private in home music lessons.? With group lessons or lessons in a classroom setting, students do not get much one-on-one time.? If you?re trying to get the most you can out of each music lesson, private lessons are the way to go.
3. Make sure you have a qualified instructor.? If you want to learn to play the piano like a professional but you?re getting music lessons from someone only qualified to teach beginners, then you won?t progress past beginner level.? Not qualified instructors could also teach you bad habits, which would be hard to break later.? It?s best to learn from a qualified instructor from the beginning if you would like to progress quickly and efficiently.
4. Use practice time wisely.? Don?t sit and practice your instrument in front of the TV or try to cram in practice right before bed.? Set aside designated time each day to practice your instrument and always practice in the same place.? If you?re practicing at the same time in the same place, practice will become routine.
5. Have fun!? If you hate practicing or taking music lessons, then you?re not going to want to progress.? Try finding a different teacher that uses different techniques before giving up on lessons.? Sometimes a new teacher can make things fun again!

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Benefits Of In Home Music Lessons
10 Benefits of Music Lessons

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Should You Be Practicing the Guitar Right Now?

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There is no right amount of time per day that everyone should be practicing the guitar. Practice duration depends on a number of factors:

-What do you want to get out of guitar lessons?
-How motivated are you?
-How much time per day do you have to practice?

You probably know someone who practices for hours everyday and is making quick progress, but that doesn?t mean you need to practice six hours a day to achieve the same results.

Here are some guitar practice tips.

Identify your goals. Figure out what you?re trying to get out of guitar lessons. Are you trying to join a band or have a real love for the guitar? Or are you just looking for a new hobby? Once you decide what you?re trying to get from the guitar, it?ll be easier to figure out how long you should practice per day. If you?re friends are starting a band and need a guitar player in three months, you should probably be practicing for a couple hours a day. If learning to play the guitar is on your bucket list, then you can leisurely practice for 30-60 minutes per day, or however long you get enjoyment from it.

Motivation. If you?re determined to learn to play the guitar and you?re practicing efficiently, then there is no reason you need to practice for hours every day. If you know what you?re doing, then efficiently practicing for 30 minutes a day will yield the same results and someone less motivated who practices for two hours a day.

Stay positive and have fun! If you enjoy playing the guitar, then you?re more likely to enjoy the journey than if you?re learning the guitar for someone else. If you want to progress quickly but cannot stay motivated for a three-hour practice session, break up your practice through out the day. Wake up a little bit earlier in the morning and practice, then right after school and maybe again before bed. Regardless of when you?re practicing, always have fun!

More guitar practice tips:
Guitar Lesson Myth: Since there are online tutorials, guitar lessons are no longer necessary.
Guitar Lesson Myth: The cheaper, the better.
Developing Guitar Calluses

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10 Piano Practice Tips

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There are lots of ways to maximize your piano practice time. With all the other activities you or your children are involved in, finding time to efficiently practice can be difficult.

Here are some piano practice tips to make sure you are practicing efficiently and using your time to maximize results.

1. Create a practice area. Make sure your area is clear of distractions and is someplace comfortable where you can practice daily.
2. Get organized! Not only should your piano practice materials be in order, your piano practice schedule should be organized as well. If you?re having trouble figuring out what to practice, your piano instructor will be able to help you create a practice schedule.
3. Don?t become discouraged. Everyone struggles with piano lessons and piano practice at one point or another. The key to success is to not get discouraged and realize that even if you?ve hit a plateau, you will begin progressing again soon.
4. Dedicate time to piano practice. Set aside time each day when you know you can practice. If you don?t have time to practice or you aren?t focused on the instrument, then don?t practice. If you?re practicing in the wrong frame of mind, you can pick up bad habits and not progress at all.
5. Focus on one area of study at a time. If you?ve been trying to get through a Mozart piece for the past couple practice sessions, don?t move onto another composer before you?ve finished this piece. While it might be nice to take a break from a piece, going back and forth between composers and pieces will waste more time.
6. Always warm up! Take a few minutes before each piano practice session to warm up by playing a few scales.
7. Don?t make mistakes! Everyone will make mistakes when they?re starting out, but once you?ve been taking lessons for a while, mistakes happen because you?re being careless or going too fast. If you make a mistake, stop, start over and slow down.
8. Break it down. If you?re playing a piece but constantly getting stuck on one part, break the piece up. Don?t keep playing from the beginning and starting over if you?re constantly messing up in the same place. Take the section you?re having trouble with and practice that separately until you master it.
9. Keep a piano practice log. Not only of the time you practice, but also of what you practiced and what you had trouble with. You may think that you?ll remember how you overcame a difficult piece or a tip you just learned, but keeping a practice journal will ensure you remember everything you do.
10. Don?t only practice with the piano. Some things can be done without the distraction of the piano. If you are trying to work on ear training or analyzing a piece, step away from the piano and give the task your full attention. This will also help you learn to practice when you do not have access to a piano.

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10 Piano Tips for Beginners
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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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Music Lessons Help Raise Children’s Self Esteem

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Self esteem is an issue that parent?s worry about for their children. Children are constantly comparing themselves and being compared to other children. In school, students are trying to be the best and find their niche. Music lessons can be something that children excel at or it can help with their hand eye coordination with sports. Music lessons benefit children in immeasurable ways!

Here are some ways music lessons help children?s self esteem.

Music lessons help children make friends!
Just like all clubs and organized sports, music lessons bring together groups of children with similar interests. Even if your children take private lessons, you can still enroll them in recitals or music programs through school. Lasting friendships are made when people have similar interest. Making new friends and bonding with others over common interests will help raise your child?s self esteem.

Music lessons could be where your child shines!
Most schools have talent shows at the end of the year or solos in choirs. Singing lessons can help prepare your child for their talent show performance or land them the lead in the school musical. Children who are singled out for their talents will often have higher self esteem. Even if your children have natural musical talent, music lessons can take their skills to the next level and refine their techniques.

Music lessons make kids smarter!
Okay, so music lessons don?t necessarily make kids smarter, but they do help with standardized testing, listening skills, hand eye coordination, spatial reasoning etc. Like I said before, children will have higher self esteem if they are excelling at something; that includes school classes. Music lessons can help your children excel in school and find their niche among other students who excel in school.

Music lessons show children a whole new world of music!
Well-rounded, cultured children will be more open minded to change and new challenges. Music lessons introduce children to different cultures and genres of music. Kids love being right and feeling like they know more than others, and they will definitely know more than others if they are interested to new things with each music lesson.

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Music lessons = Better Communication Skills

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Benefits of In Home Piano Lessons

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Besides wondering whether or not to sign their children up with piano lessons, parents have to decide whether to do in home piano lessons or lessons in a studio. As with anything else, there are pros and cons to taking in home piano lessons or studio lessons. With in home piano lessons, the benefits simply cannot be overlooked.

Here are some benefits of in home piano lessons.

Prepared. How many times have you gotten your children to school or practice and they have forgotten an integral part of their gear or homework? This happens to all parents and children periodically. If you show up to piano lessons and your child has forgotten his/her piano book, then lessons for the day will have to be review rather than something new. With in home piano lessons, there?s no way the student cannot be prepared! Everything needed for lessons will already be in your home.

Involved. With in home piano lessons, parents have the chance to get involved with their children?s lessons. At a studio you would most likely have to wait outside or observe from another room, but with in home piano lessons, you can sit in the same room. This will allow you to hear the progress you child is making and help them with homework the teacher assigns them.

Money. Time is money! So, if you?re spending 15 minutes driving to and from piano lessons and another 30-60 minutes waiting for the lesson to end, you?re spending a lot more on lessons than you would if the only time you lost was the time the instructor was at your house for in home piano lessons. While the upfront cost of in home piano lessons might be more expensive, if you add up driving time and gas spent driving to and from the lesson, odds are you?re spending more in the long run driving to a studio.

Familiar. When lessons are in a studio setting but practice takes place at home, there is never a chance to become familiar with a lesson on a piano. Different pianos could play a little differently or one piano bench might not be comfortable. When you?re having a lesson and practicing on the same piano, things seem familiar. Similarly, if you don?t play piano so you don?t know if your piano is out of tune, your child will be practicing songs and techniques with an out of tune piano and progress will be very slow.

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Benefits Of In Home Music Lessons

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