Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quote of the day...

" If only the whole world could feel the power of harmony."
Wolfgang Mozart

Why study Music Theory?????

Why study music theory?

Contrary to what some people may say learning music theory does not reduce your ability to enjoy music. In fact you may enjoy music even more after you learn some theory because the more you know about how music works the more you will be able to do as a musician.
There are many reasons to study music theory but the top reasons are:
  1. You will be a better performer. - If you don't know much music theory and you are playing some music and you encounter a passage that has the notes C, E, and G, you would have to mentally process those three notes separately, and this will slow down your ability to perform. If a musician who knows music theory plays the same passage they would instantly recognize that the notes C, E, and G make up a C Major chord and they would play those notes more easily because it took less mental effort to understand the music. Music theory makes learning, practicing and performing much easier.
  2. You will have more options as a musician. - All musical activities will be much easier. Performing, composing, improvising, arranging, teaching music, or getting a music degree will be much easier if you know music theory.

How to study music theory

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quote of the day.....

"Compare music to drinks. Some like a strong brandy. Some is like fine wine. The music you are playing sounds like diet coke."

I'm back.......

Sorry to be away for awhile...out of town with no Internet..but I'm back and ready to get to pickin' if you know what I my new blog for info on clefs

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bluegrass festivals..

Hey...check out this site to locate festivals or to find out where your favorite group is playing...

Quote of the day...

"Playing scales is like a boxer skipping rope or punching a bag. It's not the thing itself, but the preparatory to the activity." Barney Kessel Jazz Guitar

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quote of the day....

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.
- Ludwig Van Beethoven

Do you want to progress further in your music??

Check out these fantastic practice tips to help you achieve good results:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quote of the day

Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul..     Plato

Tips for the New student practice....

Featured on the Fine Living Network
by Larry Newman, Director of Children's Music Workshop
The excitement of a new adventure is enough to provide an ample supply of positive motivation for the first several weeks of the instrumental music experience. Once the initial enthusiasm wears off, it is important to immediately develop wholesome practice habits which will guarantee a successful and personally gratifying process for your child. Your support and guidance will be the key factors in establishing the practice schedule insuring the attainment of musical goals.

For our first year elementary players, we like to see three days per week of home music practice - even if just a few minutes. The first year is "exploratory" and our goal is to instill a love for music. We encourage students to play at home for their parents. Practice is encouraged but not heavily stressed.

The most effective home rehearsal program for the second year elementary players is based on a fifteen minute session four to five times per week dedicated to quality practice. It is suggested that you and your young musician mutually agree on a practice time, and a special area of your home designated for their area of musical study. A final one or two minute recital is always effective in building performance responsibilities.

Every instrumentalist enjoys the opportunity to display their talents. You might even ask for a paragraph of what new progress was made during the practice. A special calendar can also serve as a reminder as well as a reward poster for the commitment needed to accomplish the assigned material. Remember, positive reinforcement is the most effective communication you can share in this important quest.

As students mature, it is vital to develop a discipline which makes home music practice a natural part of the day. Although many new concepts are taught during instrumental music rehearsals, the limited time does not afford the personal attention which is vital in developing the technical facility required for the upcoming years of musical exploration. The cooperative efforts of the instrumental music director, the student musicians and the willing parent/s constitute the proven recipe for success.
Let your kids explore music.
The first year a child plays an instrument is an exploratory year. The goal of the music educator is not to quickly turn a child into a virtuoso, but to help instill a love of music.
Try group lessons.
We find that most kids do better in group lessons because they like the social interaction.
Show up for lessons.
Parents should try to attend a child's first few music lessons. Knowing what's going on in the class will allow you to better help your young music student at home.
Help kids learn the basics.
Learning the fundamentals is very important. Violin students, for example, will need to learn to hold the bow correctly and develop proper posture.
Stay connected.
One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to stay in touch with your child's instructor. You may find that email is the easiest way to do this.
Keep the instrument handy.
Children can get really attached to their instrument. It's important for parents to leave the instrument out, rather than storing it away, so that the child can always have access to it.
Don't make practice a chore.
In the first year of study, don't force practice. Instead offer encouragement and show that you're interested in how your son or daughter is doing. When you're folding laundry or doing paperwork, for example, have your child perform a mini concert of songs he or she is learning.

Don't expect flawless play from your young musician. The clearest indication that child is successful in music education is that he or she will show love and enthusiasm for the music.

Instrumental music means more to your child than just playing an instrument. It offers an opportunity to experience a whole new level of communication. This artistic language will be with them for a lifetime. These formative years of music education can open up a world of aesthetic possibilities which will bring new meaning to the growth and development of your child. Let us join hands in establishing a solid foundation of growth by creating a disciplined practice schedule at the onset of their instrumental music career.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quote of the day...

The joy of music should never be interrupted by a commercial. 
~Leonard Bernstein

Just Starting Out With Music????

Just Starting Out With Music?

April 20th, 2011 by JuiceHarpJester

So, you just found out your child may be a future “bluegrasser”  because she has an interest in music but does not know what instrument to play or how to play it. This is common amongst youngsters that have a desire to play music and many parents are not sure what they can do to feed that inspiration to become actuality. Especially if they cannot play music themselves.
Well, here are some ideas that may help:
  • Discuss the importance of the dedication needed to become a musician with your child in terms she can understand and agree to.
  • Start your child out with something simple to play, a recorder (straight flute) is the normal first instrument for teaching music.
  • Find a reasonable music instructor to teach him.  You might be thinking “I have never heard anyone play a flute in bluegrass before, why should I bother having my child learn it?” Well the next idea will help explain.
  • Music theory pertains to all music. An inexpensive instrument can prove vital the sincerity your child may or may not have to learn it and potentially save you the cost of a more expensive instrument that just sits around and collects dust.
  • Once your child has a grasp on music theory, ask her some questions about what she likes about music and what instrument interests her the most. The information, from music class, will prove beneficial with her choice of instrument.
  • Do not buy a cheap instrument. By cheap, I mean low quality. It will be difficult to play, sound bad when played properly and your child may loose interest. Shop around to find a quality instrument at a reasonable price. Your music instructor may be of some help.
  • Make sure the instrument is the right size for your child and encourage him to practice daily.

Different guitar tuning...

Standard tuning on the guitar is: EADGBE
  • Suggestions: this tuning is standard for your guitar to sound like a guitar.
Tuning your guitar to: CGCGCE
  • Suggestions: this tuning is useful if you want your guitar to sound like a mandolin.
Have fun experimenting with different tuning arrangements on your guitar.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bill Monroe's Beanblossom Bluegrass Festival

Hey, if you are in in Indiana this weekend, try this festival out...It has a great cast of players and then you can come here andlet us know what you thought about it. 
Beanblossom Indiana..

6/11 thru 6/18
Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival.

The Mecca of bluegrass music and home of the oldest, continuous running bluegrass festival in the world! The late great Bill Monroe founded this festival in 1966 as a way to bring his buddies together to play that high lonesome sound he pioneered. The oldest bluegrass festival in the world keeps his memory bright through eight days of the very best bluegrass and country music have to offer. Always boasting the top talents in this genre, the event attracks pickers and grinners (as well as plain old bluegrass lovers) from around the country. While the hillbilly music tradition goes back hundreds of years, it was Monroe, a high-mountain tenor and mandolin player extraordinaire, who made bluegrass into a unique musical form. Its this music that is celebrated all week through the intricate, quick-tempo instrumental and vocal harmonies of small groups of virtuoso musicians.
Since bluegrass is an art form that attracks participants as well as listeners, you just might find as much entertainment in the campground as up on stage. Also featured at the fest are workshops and competitions. Festival organizers invite their guests to visit Uncle Pens Cabin, the spot where Monroe spent his early years. And a Walkway of Stars paves the entry to a museum with Hollywood-style bronze stars for the bluegrass greats. Stop by to learn about the story of bluegrass beginnings and to enjoy the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, which includes innovators like Lester Flatt and Earl Scrugs.

Over 50 bands during the 8day span. Check website for updated information. Dr. Ralph Stanley & Clinch Mountain Boys, The Grascals, JD Crowe & New South, Goldwing Express, Lonesome River Band, Jr Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Little Roy & Lizzy Show, Sierra Hull, Larry Sparks & Lonesome Ramblers, Carolina Road, Larry Gillis Band, James King Band, Ronnie Reno & Reno Tradition, Audie Blaylock & Redline, and many, many, many more great bluegrass bands.

Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground

I-65 to exit# 68 Columbus, IN. Go west on SR 46, 15 miles to Nashville, IN. Turn right on SR 135- Bill Monroe Memorial Highway and go 5 miles to Bean Blossom. The park is located on the right a 1/2 block passed SR 45 junction.

10am-11pm EST




Quote of the day...

I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water.
Ray Charles

Are you prepared mentally for performance?

Check out this article "Master your adrenalin".by Elizabeth Robinson..a great read for all that perform or speak in public.

Master Your Adrenalin…
Are your students prepared mentally for their performance?
To be anxious is to be human. Recently I watched Michael Parkinson interview Matthew Perry and Hugh Jackman – both accomplished, successful Hollywood stars. They both confessed that they feel nervous before a show.
Many music teachers are required to perform. It may be a solo, as part of an ensemble, or accompanying a soloist. The likelihood is that those who choose to go on with music professionally don’t experience crippling levels of ‘performance anxiety.’ Music teachers are self-selecting. Those who do suffer from excessive stage-fright drop out of music. If you like, we are the ones who have survived the traumas of performance.
Whatever your own experience, the students we teach experience performance anxiety in a range of intensities. Some of our students will drop out of music altogether, rather than face up to regular concerts. Even if children perform regularly from an early age, they experience increased nerves through the teenage years. From adulthood on, fears reach an all-time high. Adult students will often be terrified at the prospect of performing. As teachers, are we ensuring that our students are adequately prepared mentally as well as technically and musically?
The good news is that for most people, these fears can be overcome. Most music teachers feel ill-equipped to help their students overcome performance anxiety. Help is available. Music teachers should be aware of the resources available and direct their students toward that help where necessary. There may even be teachers that could benefit from this training too.
Years ago I attended a lecture on performance anxiety. I was in the middle of a series of accreditation performances, and I was severely inhibited by my nerves. I had the classic dry mouth, total distraction, sweaty palms, loss of memory, loss of concentration, loss of fine motor control, inability to sleep or focus. In short, I was a wreck. I viewed my assessors as a pride of hungry lions, waiting to devour. I exaggerated the results of possible failure and replayed over and over in my head, images and words of doom. The lecturer told us that it is possible to learn to control nerves – to arrive at a point where we are free to perform to the best of our ability. In my ignorance, arrogance and mainly fear, I did not believe her.
Later I got so desperate about my lack of control, that I examined the facts. There is overwhelming evidence testifying to thousands who have learned to control anxiety. I set about my own research and after months of practise and training, proved to myself that control is possible. Control of this kind is not learned overnight, but like anything, comes with practise.
Our aim is not to banish nerves completely. In fact, research supports the notion that some anxiety is helpful to an artist. There is an optimum level of anxiety which enhances our performance. If we can control the amount of adrenalin pumping
Copyright  2003 Elizabeth H Robinson 1

Monday, June 6, 2011

Using a metronome

One of the best tools for learning bluegrass rolls is using the metronome. Set it at 45 beats per minute and practice until you can get it at that speed and gradually increase to 50 and so on. You learn to stay in time and you have a sense you are playing with someone else. Give this a try and let me know how it works for you. If you have other positive practice hints, post them here and we can all learn music online.....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hey check out the article on 50 quick music practice tips and let me know what you think:

A banjo.....

Thought for the day: John Hartford once mused..." A banjo will get you through times of no money, but money won't get you through a time with no banjo."

If you have any banjo quotes or info on jams, camps or festivals, send them to me here and I will post them for all to see. Let's all stay connected and informed....