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Music Lesson Myth: I have to practice my instrument for several hours every day.

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Myth: In order to become the best musician I can be, I have to practice my instrument for several hours every day. It makes sense, right? The more you practice your instrument the better you will become. We?ve all heard those stories as well; about the musicians that practice for long hours every day to become successful. But that does not need to be the case for everyone.

Fact: It doesn?t necessarily matter how long you practice your instrument, just as long as you?re practicing effectively. Learning to play a new instrument should be a daily commitment but it does not need to encompass your whole life. Practicing correctly for an hour a day, or even every other day, can actually help you progress faster. Your body needs time to rest your fingers and arms and your mind needs time to soak up the new information. If you practice for too long then you could injure or overwork yourself.

Similarly, playing an instrument for several hours a day can actually harm your progress. If you?re practicing nonstop then you might not have time to take a break and assess your progress and mistakes. If you practice for hours a day but aren?t practicing correctly, then you?re spending hours learning to play the mistakes. This can be damaging because after a few hours of practicing poorly, you can pick up bad habits that could be hard to break.

The best way to practice is however feels right for you. If you can manage playing for long periods of time and are progressing, then that?s fine. But that does not need to be the case for everyone.

More music lesson myths:
Piano Lesson Myth: Practicing means playing a piece from start to finish over and over.
Singing Lesson Myth: Classically Trained Singers Can?t Sing Popular Music
Piano lesson myth: I haven?t played piano in years and now I have to start over.

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Piano Lesson Myth: Practicing means playing a piece from start to finish over and over.

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Myth: Practicing the piano means playing a piece from start to finish over and over again. When learning to play a piece, it makes sense that you would play it from start to finish. You want to make sure that you can play through the piece to perfection and while you?re doing that, you?re probably learning to practice notes.

Fact: Practicing the piano is not only playing a piece over and over. That?s just learning to play a piece. To effectively practice, students need to learn notes, practice measures and learn the basics. Otherwise, you?re just learning the one piece and when you try to play another piece, you?ll have to start all over again.

In order to efficiently learn to play a piece, you need to lay the groundwork first. Take your time when practicing, practice one measure at a time and focus on the ones that give you trouble and try to play with one hand. All of these things will ensure you?re actually learning to play the piano and not just learning to play one piece.

Eventually, you?ll be able to play through any piano piece from start to finish with ease.

More piano lesson myths:
Piano lesson myth: I haven?t played piano in years and now I have to start over.
Piano Lesson Myth: Mistakes are okay because I am just beginning to play the piano.
Piano Lesson Myth: My hands are too small to play the piano.

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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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Piano lesson myth: I haven?t played piano in years and now I have to start over.

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Myth: Since I haven?t played the piano in years, now I have to start from the beginning again. If you haven?t played the piano in years and you decide to sit down and play some Chopin one day, probably you won?t play as well as you used to (if you can still play at all). There are some things that you can pick up after not having done in years, like riding a bike or a horse. However, there are a lot of things that you can?t just pick up again, like doing cartwheels or double dutch jump rope. If you?re trying to play the piano again for the first time in years, then it may seem like playing the piano is something you have to learn all over again. Your fingers might be stiff and unable to reach a full octave or you may have forgotten the fingering for several notes. But that doesn?t mean you have to completely start over.

Fact: As with many things, you may have forgotten some of the basics overtime, but as soon as you get back into it, you?ll pick things right back up again. Taking some refresher piano lessons would be a good idea to help you remember the basics quicker, but it isn?t necessary. All you need to do is take some time to go over the basics and practice daily. It may feel like you?re starting over, but think about how long it took for you to learn these techniques in the first place; definitely not as long as it?s taking you now.

If you?re fingers are stiff and you feel like you just can?t master the fingerings, you just need to relax and stretch. Think about when you take off a few months (years) from the gym and decide to get back into it. You?re not going to be able to run ten six minute miles right away; you?re going to need to build up to it. Take your time and relax your hands and fingers. Your entire hand doesn?t need to be firm and press the keys; only your fingertips need to do the work. The more you practice the more nimble your hands and fingers will be.

More piano lesson myths:
Piano Lesson Myth: Mistakes are okay because I am just beginning to play the piano.
Piano Lesson Myth: My hands are too small to play the piano.
Piano Lesson Myth: I Have to Practice Everyday.

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Piano Lesson Myth: Mistakes are okay because I am just beginning to play the piano.

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Myth: Mistakes I make are okay because I am a beginner and just started playing the piano. Beginning piano players will often move past and excuse their mistakes because they feel it?s okay since they are just starting to learn to play the piano. Think about all the other things you started learning and how often you made mistakes, like missing a basket in basketball practice or tripping during a track meet. Since those mistakes are excusable, it seems logical that piano practice mistakes are normal as well.

Fact: If you?re making a mistake while practicing piano, it?s because you?re going too fast or not paying attention. Everyone will make mistakes at first, it?s only natural, but if you keep making those mistakes, you?re not learning. Once you make a mistake during piano practice, start over and slow down. Don?t allow yourself to make the piano mistake and don?t just move past it hoping you?ll get it right the next time. Make sure you get it right the next time!

Slowing down may not seem like it will solve all your problems, but think about typing on a computer keyboard. Odds are, when you first started out, you were not typing 90 words per minute with no errors. You started out slowly, taking your time to make sure you hit all the right keys. Probably even today, if you?re typing on a computer keyboard and you find yourself making lots of mistakes, you can slow down and type with no errors. The piano is the same. If you?re having trouble and making lots of mistakes, then you simply need to slow down and focus. Once you?ve mastered the piece and a slower pace, then you can bring it up to speed.

More piano lessons myths:
Piano Lesson Myth: My hands are too small to play the piano.
Piano Lesson Myth: I Have to Practice Everyday.
Music Lesson Myth: I can?t learn to play the piano well because I only have a keyboard.

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Guitar Lesson Myth: Since there are online tutorials, guitar lessons are no longer necessary.

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Myth: I don?t need to take guitar lessons because I can learn to play the guitar by watching YouTube videos and downloading tutorials online. It?s true that we live in a time when everything you would ever want to know is online and you can find guitar lessons demonstrations or tutorials on YouTube. ?How to? videos on YouTube can show you what?s in the video, it can?t tell you if you?re playing something right or wrong.

Fact: Online videos can never take the place of one-on-one personalized lessons with a professional instructor. It?s true that you can probably learn to play a song on the guitar by watching a video, but you will only know how to play that song. You won?t know how to practice or create your own music; you would need to watch another video to learn how to play another song. ?How to? videos will only be able to show you one approach to practicing or playing a riff, but an experienced instructor will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and show you how best to practice and play songs.

Not all songs are the same level of difficulty to learn and if you are having trouble learning a more difficult song or riff, you cannot ask a video what you?re doing wrong or for a different approach. A guitar instructor will be able to help you through more difficult riffs and give you tips about playing guitar. Online videos can give you tips, but not all may pertain to or work for you. If you?re serious about learning to play the guitar, professional guitar lessons are a must. YouTube videos are great for brushing up on some skills, but nothing beats the one-on-one time with an experienced guitar teacher.

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Guitar Lesson Myth: The cheaper, the better.
Common Mistakes Guitar Students Make When Practicing
10 Tips for Beginning Acoustic Guitar Players

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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.

More music lesson myths:
Music Lesson Myth: The flute is the easiest musical instrument to learn
Music Lesson Myth: Band instruments are gender specified.
Music Lesson Myth: I?m not musical and incapable of learning an instrument.

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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.

More music lesson myths:
Music Myth: Listening to classical music makes you smarter.
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.

Read More

Music Lesson Myth: The flute is the easiest musical instrument to learn

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Myth: The flute is the easiest musical instrument to learn. The flute has the reputation of being the easiest musical instrument to learn for a lot of reasons. It?s small and easy to transport. It?s cheaper to buy and is very popular. Since the flute is smaller, it?s much easier to handle than a tuba or trombone. Some instruments require you to be doing different things with your mouth on the reed or doing two different things with your hands, which can be challenging for some.

Fact: The difficulty of the instrument depends on the person playing. The flute may be easiest for some people but others may not be able to make a sound. The flute is smaller and takes the least amount of effort to make a sound, but it?s not going to be the easiest instrument for everyone to learn.

A lot of factors play into someone?s ability to learn an instrument.

Interest: If a student is more interested in learning one instrument over another, they will be more apt to practice and learn the instrument they are interested in.

Size: Instruments come in all shapes and sizes. A larger person with large hands may have more trouble making sound with the flute than a small person. Similarly, a small person may have trouble learning and transporting a brass instrument.

Accessibility: Some instruments may be easier for parents to acquire. If the family does not have a piano but their children would like to play piano, it?s going to be more difficult for the students to practice piano outside of studio lessons. Keep in mind that students will be carrying around their instrument. If the instrument is too large, then the student may not want to carry it back and forth from school and therefore it will never be practiced.

No instruments are easier to play than others! It all depends on the student. If you?re unsure of what instrument your child should play, contact Lesson Match to speak to a lesson coordinator about what instrument would suit your student best.

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Choosing Band Instruments
Choosing the Right Instrument

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Music Lesson Myth: Band instruments are gender specified.

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Myth: Band instruments are gender specified-girls should play woodwind instruments and boys should play brass and percussion. If you look at a school band ensemble, typically the girl will be playing the flutes and clarinets and the boys will be playing the drums and brass instruments. Seems legit right? If you look at a school band, most of the flute players are girls and very rarely will a female be playing the drums or tuba. So it would seem that girls should play woodwind instruments and boys should play brass instruments and percussion instruments.

Fact: Instruments are not gender specified, but instead, gender stereotyped. Boys can definitely play the flute and in fact, some of the best flute players in the world are men. The myth came about because the flute and other woodwind instruments are smaller and create a lighter, higher pitched sound; all things that are thought to be more appealing to females. While on the other hand, brass instruments are larger and create bigger sounds, things that males are thought to be more interested in.

In reality, both males and females can play any instrument. All instruments require practice and some children might be more talented at one instrument than another. If a girl has had piano lessons, she will most likely excel at playing the drums over a boy that has never taken piano lessons. Don?t limit yourself or your children to certain instruments simply because of gender stereotypes in music.

More music lesson myths:
Music Myth: Listening to classical music makes you smarter.
Music Lesson Myth: I?m not musical and incapable of learning an instrument.
Music Lesson Myth: I can?t learn to play the piano well because I only have a keyboard.

Read More