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New Years Resolution: Learn to Play an Instrument.

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It?s that time of year again; the time when people makes the decision to alter their lifestyles and better themselves. One of the most common resolutions is to learn something new. Wondering what new talent you should learn? How about learn to play an instrument! Learning to play an instrument will have lasting benefits, regardless of your age, gender, demographics etc.

Where to begin learning an instrument?

First. Decide what instrument you would like to learn. Don?t just listen to your friends, or learn to play the piano simply because you have access to a piano. Take some time to think about what instrument truly interests you. You may hear that some instruments are easier to learn than others, but that?s not necessary true. If you chose an instrument that you?re actually interested in learning, then you?ll have the motivation to practice and overcome obstacles.

Second. Pick a plan of action. Are you going to take private lessons, group lessons in a classroom setting or just watch online tutorials? For some instruments, you will be able to learn the basics by watching online videos. However, I definitely recommend taking lessons. Deciding whether to take group lessons or private lessons depends on your learning abilities. Private lessons will offer a more tailored teaching method, but group lessons will allow you to take lessons with friends or peers.

Third. Invest in an instrument. If you already have a piano at your house and that?s the instrument you would like to learn, then hire a piano tuner to come and check out your piano. There?s nothing worse than trying to learn to play an instrument if it?s not in tune. If you need to buy your instrument, shop around first. Don?t jump on the first ?best deal? you find. Do some research into the instrument you?re purchasing and decide if you?re going to rent it, buy it new or buy a used one. If necessary, bring along a friend or teacher that knows more about the instrument than you since he or she will know what to look for and what questions to ask.

Learning to play an instrument is a process; it?s not something that one picks up overnight. New years resolutions are meant to be challenging, and if you?re up for the challenge, learning to play an instrument will be worth it.

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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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Music Lesson Myth: I?m a beginner so I don?t need an experienced music instructor.

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Myth: I?m a beginning music student so I do not need an experienced music instructor yet. Sounds right, doesn?t it? Since you?re a beginner yourself, why spend more money on an accomplished music instructor when you?re just starting out? There are plenty of high school students looking to make extra money teaching piano lessons and that seems like it would be perfect for beginning music students.

Fact: When you?re a beginner is the most important time to have an experienced instructor! Beginning music students are going to start out learning the basics and the foundations of their instrument. Instructors that only have basic knowledge of an instrument are only going to be able to teach you what they know, rather than teach you why techniques are important and create a lesson plan tailored to you. If your instructor has only has one teacher in the past, he/she will only be able to teach you how he/she was taught rather than creating a teaching approach specific to your needs.

Sometimes having an inexperienced teacher can harm your learning ability. Inexperienced teachers may have picked up bad habits unintentionally simply because they do not have a broad range of experience. You don?t want to pick up back music habits because they could either turn you off of music for good or make it so you have to start over once you get a new instructor. It?s better to learn things right the first time than to have to condition bad habits.

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Vocal Lesson Myth: Singing lessons are not for me because I?m interested in singing popular songs.

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Myth: Vocal lessons are for people who want to sing opera or classical music. Since I?m interested in singing popular music, singing lessons are not for me. Opera and classical singers will usually say they started taking vocal lessons at a very young age. Similarly, many rock legends say they have had no professional vocal training. It makes sense to think that singing lessons are only for people who want to become classically trained, but that?s not true.

Fact: Music lessons are for everyone and many instructors teach a variety of styles, including pop and rock. A vocal instructor?s job is to improve the student?s singing ability and range. They do this through breathing techniques, tone productions, expansion of ranges etc. They want the students to have well-rounded musical knowledge and talent. Vocal instructors will be able identify the student?s voice type and characteristics. If they feel you?re voice would do better more classically trained, then they might try to steer you in that direction. However, if you are completely against classical music training and only want to be able to sing karaoke like a pro, your instructor will listen to your needs and get you where you want to be.

Not all vocal teachers are alike and you may find an instructor that believes you should be classically trained before learning any other styles. If this really is not for you, you will be able to find an instructor that can meet your needs. Before signing up with music lessons, make sure and ask if your instructor is able to teach a variety of vocal style or if they only specialize in one genre. Switching instructors may not seem ideal, but if the choice is quitting music or switching instructors, finding a new instructor is definitely the way to go.

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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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Music lessons = Better Communication Skills

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The benefits of music lessons for children are numerous.

Many of these benefits can be seen right away in school classes like math, where children who have taken music lessons show greater ability to solve more advanced mathematical problems. Music lessons do not only benefit children in the short term, music lessons give students skills that will last them a lifetime.

You may think that music lessons are a waste of time because your child does not stick with new activities; and actually most students will not continue lessons after secondary school. That does not mean that there are not lifelong benefits of music lessons.

Here are some lifelong benefits of short-term music lessons.

-Better scores on standardized tests. This may not seem like a lifelong benefit, but when children perform better in school and on SATs/ACTs, they will have their futures set for them.
-Enhanced listening and learning skills throughout life.
-Better understanding of frequencies and noise in loud situations. Similar to better listening skills, adults who have had at least some musical training will be able to converse in noisy situations better than those who have no music background.
-It?s easier for children and adults to learn new languages.

The benefits above are only some of the benefits of music lessons! Music lessons benefit each child in many different ways!

Give your children a chance to get ahead of the game by signing them up for in-home music lessons!

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10 Tips to Motivate Students to Practice Music

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Now that school?s started again, children?s practice schedules just got hectic.? Kids have their favorite after school activities and hobbies that they can easily make time to practice.? After the school day ends, kids have after school clubs or sports (which can last hours), homework and dinner.? By the time night falls, kids are exhausted and just want to relax.? So, how can you motivate them to make some time to practice their instrument?

Here are some tips to keep kids motivated to practice their instrument.

1. Aim to practice everyday.? This might seem daunting, but practicing everyday can shorten practice times so it doesn?t seem like such a chore.
2. Praise their efforts.? Kids get bored and discouraged easily.? If they feel they aren?t making any progress with their instrument, they won?t even want to try.? By commending them for their hard work, they may become more motivated.
3. Keep a set schedule.? Set aside 15-20 minutes every day at the same time everyday for your children to practice.? After awhile, this routine will become second nature.
4. Create a practice area.? Not many students are going to want to practice the piano when their sibling is sitting on the couch in the same room watching TV.? Separate practice areas from common areas so they are comfortable and free of distractions.
5. Remove distractions.? Try to make it so your children aren?t thinking about other things, like food or sports by having music be the last thing they focus on before homework.? After sport practice, make a snack and have your child sit down for a couple minutes to practice.? If they know homework comes right after practice, they won?t want to rush through it.
6. Reward practice.? Keep a calendar of all the days or minutes that your children practice their instruments and have a reward (pizza party, new movie etc.) at the end of a set amount of time.
7. Sign them up for recitals.? Kids will practice much better if they know they are going to be playing their instrument in front of people.
8. Create a musical home.? Play music while cleaning or making dinner.? This will put your children in the music mind set so music and practice seem second nature.
9. Make sure they are practicing efficiently.? Since kids get bored easily, if they are not making progress, they will not want to continue.? Speak with their band teacher or private instructor to make sure they are maximizing their practice time.
10. Take private lessons.? If children know they have an instructor coming to their home weekly to see what they?ve accomplished and teach them new things, they might be more apt to practice to impress their instructor.

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Music Lesson Myth: Children should not begin music study until they can read.

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Myth: Children should not begin music study until they can read. This myth came about because sometimes children have trouble focusing and it?s thought that by ?reading age,? which is about 6 years old, children are able to maintain their attention and learn.? Music study also requires children to sight read and it’s believed that children who cannot read, cannot learn to sight read.

Fact: During the first year of a child?s life is when rapid brain development takes place. Music study at a young age can enhance children?s brain development and growth. Young children take in everything they hear and love to mimic others. Music requires a good, well trained ear, so the earlier you expose children to music, the more success they will likely have with music later in life.

There are music lessons for young children that focus on moving to beats, counting, clapping rhythm etc. These are group classes so children are having fun with their peers and learning at the same time. This is a form of music study and is extremely beneficial once the children are mentally capable of taking private lessons.

Children are never too young to be introduced to the world of music!

Lesson Match offers a wide variety of music lessons aimed towards younger children, some of our instructors even specialize in group lessons for children. If you think your children are capable of private lessons at a young age, contact Lesson Match for their free lesson!

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Vocal Lesson Myth: I cannot sing in pitch and therefore am tone deaf.

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Myth: I cannot sing in pitch and therefore am tone deaf and will never be able to sing. Tone deafness is the inability to hear and reproduce relative pitch that is not due to lack of musical training. Tone deafness has nothing to do with actually being deaf, that means just because someone may not be able to hear how bad they are singing, they can hear you talk about how bad they are.

Fact: In reality, less than 5% of the population is tone deaf. While the ability to hear and produce relative pitch is inherent in humans, some people do need classic training in order to distinguish pitch. Someone who is unable to reproduce pitches because of lack of musical training would not be considered tone deaf. Vocal lessons can help people who are having trouble producing pitch or identifying notes sing beautifully and in-tune. Tone deafness can also be associated with other music-specific impairments, such as a lack of rhythm or inability to recognize songs. Though those impairments can appear separately, some suggest that they are more likely to appear in tone deaf people.

If you think you might be tone deaf, don?t write off singing just yet!

Contact Lesson Match to schedule your free vocal lesson and let a professional help you!

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Why Summer Music Lessons are a Great Idea!

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Summer is a time when children can run free without any obligations.? They have the much-needed time from school to play and re-energize for the upcoming school year.? However, this free time does not need to be spent with mindless activities!? Kids can learn and have fun at the same time by enrolling in summer music lessons!

Here are 5 reasons to take summer music lessons.

Fun Hobby! After a while, kids will get bored without structure in the summer.? Music lessons can be a weekly activity to keep kids occupied and give them something to look forward to.? Practice time will also keep them busy when it?s too hot or rainy to play outside.

Get Ahead. For students who struggle to keep up during the school year, summer can be the perfect time to take private lessons and get ahead of the game.

Fun. Parents can talk to instructors about making summer lessons a little more relaxed than school lessons.? The lessons can have more play time rather than a strict schedule to make sure the kids have fun and do not want to take a break for the summer.

Skill Maintenance. By postponing lessons for the summer (typically 3 months), students can lose some of the skills they acquired the previous year.? Summer music lessons make sure that kids are picking up their instrument at least once a week.

Garage Bands. With so much free time in the summer, kids will naturally meet up with their friends and do group activities.? If all their friends are able to play an instrument then they could form a band.? Music lessons will help ready students to play with groups of people and enhance their performance skills.? On the plus side, many of our instructors are in bands themselves and could have a few words of wisdom for prospective rockstars!

There are plenty more reasons to enroll in summer music lessons, including a love of music!

Keep your kids busy and enjoying the summer by getting them in-home music lessons!

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