Organize Your Sheet Music – What’s Your System?

Sep 14, 2012

“One of these days, I’m going to organize my music!” I have heard that threat many times from students and colleagues, and sometimes myself. Nothing is more frustrating than to be in a hurry to leave the house and be searching frantically for that one piece you thought was right in that stack under the table.

Everyone has their own preferred system to organize their music, but...

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How to Practice When You Don’t Want To

Sep 12, 2012

We all have times when we don’t want to practice. We wish we wanted to practice, but for whatever reason, we seem to have lost our self-discipline. Maybe the house is too messy, the piece is too hard, we are worried about something else, the weather is too nice, the weather is too rotten, we didn’t get enough sleep, or we have too much homework.But the practice must be done.

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Learning and Teaching Key Signatures: Step 1

Sep 10, 2012

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Many music students hate learning key signatures. It can seem too much like “homework,” and too little like playing music. As a teacher, my job is to make sure that students learn key signatures thoroughly; it’s both necessary and important. (For the “WHY” of key signatures, see this previous blog post.) When students have mastered...

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Don’t practice for perfection!

Sep 05, 2012

 

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If you are practicing for perfection, working to make a piece or an excerpt note-perfect, you may not be using your time wisely and you may be missing out on the real benefits of good practice. You may be frustrated, and even setting yourself up for failure.

A music student was telling me about his practice. He was discouraged; the things he...

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Harping on Pinterest

Aug 31, 2012

I’m new to Pinterest.

It usually takes me awhile to figure out new social media sites, but Pinterest intrigues me. I love to learn about people, places and ideas. I could wade through web pages for hours looking for an elusive bit of information or possibly just exploring, looking for a serendipitous discovery.

And Pinterest is the perfect “bulletin board” for organizing...

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Why not pretend to be organized?

Aug 29, 2012

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I pretend to be organized, and I think you should too.

If you’re one of the few truly organized people, this post is not for you.

But if you’re like me, you want to be organized, but it’s a constant struggle. With concerts, students, family and just daily life moving so fast, there’s no time left for organizing. At the same...

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Allow Enough Preparation Time in Your Music Practice…

Aug 27, 2012

…or, You Can’t Rush the Pig

Trying to hurry through your music practice? When practicing music for a concert, or even for your weekly lesson, it is vital that you allow yourself enough preparation time.

Lately in this blog, we have discussed how to create your personal musical vision statement. This process includes setting intermediate goals as steps toward your ultimate vision,...

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The Value of a Personal Musical Vision Statement – Part 2

Aug 24, 2012

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Do you have a personal musical vision statement? By turning your dreams and goals into your own musical vision, you can achieve more, enjoy productive practice time, and take more pleasure in your playing.

In part one of this two-part blog post, I explored the differences between dreams, goals and vision. Here in part two, I will help you create your own...

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Musicianship Rule #11 – Practice with Your Brain

Aug 22, 2012

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Practice with Your Brain, my Musicianship Rule #11, is all about “informing your performance.” It means bringing the best of your musical knowledge to your practice and paying attention to everything on the page. It means going beyond just playing the notes, and seeking to understand everything you are able about the piece of music you are learning.

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The Value of a Personal Musical Vision Statement – Part 1

Aug 17, 2012

Do you have a personal musical vision statement? By turning your dreams and goals into your own musical vision, you can achieve more, enjoy productive practice time, and take more pleasure in your playing.

In part one of this two-part blog post, I explore the differences between dreams, goals and vision. In part two, I will help you create your own personal musical vision statement. ...

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