All posts by AbsolutelyInTuned

How To Take Your Flute Lessons To The Next Level

How To Take Your Flute Lessons To The Next Level

Many students will reach the point at some time during their learning when they decide that they are ready to put in a little extra time and effort in order to take their flute lessons to the next level. It’s really important that you make the most of your lessons and practice in order to truly progress and develop as a flautist. Let’s have a look at the ways that you, as a student, can take your flute playing up a notch.

Maximize teacher-student contact time

This is a no brainer really; the more time you spend learning with your teacher, the faster and better you will improve. If you currently have half an hour lessons once a week, why not ask that you extend it to an hour? Or, maybe, request an additional half hour session later in the week.

It’s also a great idea to discuss with your teacher ways in which you can get more involved with the structure and direction of your flute lessons. The more invested you become in your learning, the more likely you are to make the most of your lessons and practice.

Practice makes perfect

Consistent practice is absolutely key to progressing as a flautist – you should be aiming to do a little practice every day, even if you just grab a spare 10 minutes to go over a couple of pieces or arpeggios. The secret to effective practice is quality over quantity; there’s no point in committing yourself to 90 minutes of flute practice as you will lose focus, become frustrated and will be much less likely to pick up your flute tomorrow and start over.

To keep your interest, why not mix up your practice a bit? If you normally practice only at home, perhaps aim to take some time out of your lunchtime and use the practice rooms at school or college. You’ll find that the change of scenery will do wonders for your playing and may even inspire you!

Extra-curricular activities

While we’re on the subject of inspiration, you should be looking at seizing as many opportunities as possible to learn from other musicians and to spread your wings as a flautist. Many school, colleges and workplaces will have an in-house orchestra which will meet once a week for practice and will hold periodical recitals and performances – join! You will find that your technique and skills are honed immediately as you learn to listen to and play with other musicians. These newfound skills can be transposed to your lessons and will show your teacher how you’re ‘upping your game’!

Enrolling in grade examinations or signing yourself up to perform at a school recital will also see your flute playing improve. Targets such as these events will inevitably provide a new focus for your lessons which you and your teacher can work towards.

There are plenty of ways to take your flute lessons to the next level in order to improve your technique and gain new skills. Discuss with your teacher how you can become more invested in your learning and don’t forget to practice!

Saxophone Teachers: Which Age Group Is The Best To Teach?

Saxophone Teachers: Which Age Group Is The Best To Teach?

Many teachers, particularly those who are newly qualified or who have not been teaching the saxophone for long, spend a long time considering which age bracket they would most like to provide saxophone lessons for. The answer is not straightforward; it is not a case of which age group is the best, rather which age group are you, the teacher, most equipped to teach. Let’s have a look at some of the things you should be considering.

Qualifications

This is certainly the most obvious place to start if you’re pondering who you’d like to teach: who are you qualified to teach? Children, in particular, require a certain teaching style which is quite different to how you would teach the saxophone to your adult students. Just because you are a great teacher to your more mature students does not mean for a moment that you will be good at teaching children! If you have the proper certification and qualifications to teach younger students then you should be well equipped to teach them well.

Experience

In a similar vein to the above point, you should take heed from your prior teaching experience before diving in at the deep end and deciding to only teach a certain age group. It certainly takes a while to ‘find your groove’ when it comes to teaching saxophone lessons so take the time to teach as many different age groups as possible so you can see to whom you provide the best lessons.

Personality

Your personality and your teaching style are key to working out which age group you are best equipped to teach.

For example, teachers for younger students generally have the following attributes:

• Super organized – children require a lot more structure to their lessons in comparison with their adult counterparts. You must have thoroughly planned the lesson beforehand and be ready for any unexpected events!
• Sensitive – obviously, all teachers should be kind and sensitive to their students needs but the need is even greater if you are teaching children. They are incredibly impressionable and don’t have the same mature perspective as adults.
• Vocation – Playing the saxophone and teaching children are both vocational activities. This is not something to be doing just for the sake of a bit of extra money – you’ve got to love teaching saxophone to young students!
• Fun – it’s imperative when you’re teaching children that you mix up your lessons and include some lighter touches, particularly when you’re preparing for grade exams, for example. Little rewards are a great way of keeping your student’s attention and focus!

Of course, all the above attributes will certainly come in handy when you’re teaching adults but you have much more capacity to be flexible with older learners. Generally, adults will have much more of a clear vision for the direction of their lessons and will need less hand-holding than youngsters. Obviously, it’s really important that you tailor your lessons to the wants and needs of each individual learner.

You should now have some idea of what age group you are best placed to give saxophone lessons to. The three things to bear in mind are: qualifications, experience and personality. If you follow this, then you can’t go too far wrong!

Drum Teachers: How to Adapt Your Lessons for Advanced Students

Drum Teachers: How to Adapt Your Lessons for Advanced Students

Many teachers may be under the impression that it is much easier to teach more advanced students than it is to start from scratch with a beginner student. Although this is true in some aspects, it is very important that drum teachers adapt their lessons to ensure that their advanced students are making the most of their teaching time. It is not enough to simply expect them to get along with minimal guidance! Let’s have a look at some of the ways we can adapt our lessons…

Student involvement

One of the best aspects to teaching with more advanced drummers is that you can have much more of a reciprocal relationship with your student which should mean a higher level of learning satisfaction from them and a more enjoyable experience for you as the teacher.

Ways to get your students more involved:

• Ask them to bring in some music that they are interested in playing
• Asking how they would prefer your lessons to be structured
• Get their feedback on what they think they need to improve on
• Make informed decisions together on whether to take grade exams
• Perform together

Focus on performance

Once your students have acquired all necessary skills, you should start tailoring your drum lessons to start focusing on performance technique. You want to inspire them to drum with panache and grow in confidence with their drumming. Why not put a date in the diary where they can perform in public? If you play another instrument, you should arrange for your student to play with you. Many drummers aspire to accompany a band – if your students are looking to join a group, it will be well worth your time to do some research and use your musical contacts to arrange for them to audition.

Progress is everything

As your students are already at a high ability in their drumming, it will be worth your time to encourage them to take their talent further. If they haven’t yet attempted to take any grade examinations, it’s a great idea to advocate for them acquiring these qualifications so they can prove that they are at a certain standard.

Occasionally, a student will come your way who is obviously in command of a prodigious drumming talent. It lies with you, as their teacher, to make suggestions to them regarding auditioning for music college or to become more heavily involved in performances and bands. Obviously, you shouldn’t push your students in the direction of anything they are reluctant to do but there is no harm in recognizing great talent when it comes your way! Do your best to inspire and encourage your students to continuing getting better, acquire new skills and grow in self-confidence. The rewards are huge if you are prepared to put the effort in!

It should be clear that you definitely need to adapt your drum lessons for your more advanced students as they will struggle to progress if you leave them to get along without any specialized teaching from you. Make sure to get them more involved with the content and direction of your lessons and be sure to focus on performance and progress.

Analyzing the skill levels of your students should be done in a careful and systematic manner. Intuition is a good thing to have for a music teacher but a little help from math and science will also go a long way. Try to find help online on how to do this properly. With drum lessons, students should definitely feel that they are progressing and advancing in skills and knowledge and that a professional is handling their training.

Saxophone Teachers: Working With Younger Students

Saxophone Teachers: Working With Younger Students

If you are teaching saxophone to beginners, you will most likely have a large contingent of school-age children wanting to make their first foray with the instrument. It is important that you tailor your saxophone lessons to their wants and needs rather than just sticking with the lesson structure that you use with adult beginners. Children need more specialized attention and, occasionally, take a little more effort to teach effectively. Let’s have a look at some of the things you will need to watch out for when teaching younger students…

Keeping attention

Many teachers of young children, whether Music or Math teachers, will tell you that keeping their students’ attention is the hardest part of their job. When you are teaching the saxophone for an hour, you will need lots of tips and tricks to keep your student interested and motivated for the full lesson.

Attention-holding tips:

• Rewards – children respond well to rewards for good work and effort. The reward could be anything – a sweet at the end of the lesson, perhaps, or a chance to play their favorite song. Be sure to tailor the reward to the wants of the child.
• Mix it up – younger students will get bored quickly if their saxophone lessons are too monotonous. Ensure that any drilling of skills are done in small 5 minute segments and remember to move on quickly if they are struggling – avoid frustration at all costs!
• Student investment – give your student some responsibility over the structure of the lesson so they feel like they have a hand in the lesson and aren’t simply just turning up because their parents want them to. It’s a good idea to start every lesson asking them want they want to do today and structuring your lesson accordingly so there is a good mix of what they need to do and what they want to do.
• Be kind – this should be obvious but take care to be sensitive to your younger students as they are so impressionable at their young age. Some of them will doubtless only be taking lessons because their parents want them to so. It is important that you don’t chastise them if they are struggling with any new skills. Make your lessons a ‘safe place’ for them to make mistakes and learn from them.

Set targets

It is a well known phenomenon that children respond well to target setting. This could be on a micro or a macro scale – perhaps you’ve targeted to help them pass a grade exam in 6 months or maybe you want them to conquer an arpeggio by next week’s lesson. It’s beneficial and motivating for anyone, regardless of age, to see improvement in their playing and children are no different. If they fail to meet their target, remember to use constructive criticism and lots of encouragement so they don’t lose heart and stop their lessons.

As saxophone teachers, it is incredibly important that you tailor your lessons appropriately for your younger students. Keep them motivated by setting achievable targets and rewarding them accordingly. Holding children’s attention can be difficult but it’s a great feeling when you manage it!

Focus on your goals

Children easily absorb knowledge, especially when you pique their interest. Having different daily goals and plans should be a staple in saxophone lessons. Be sure you create an environment that is fun, wholesome and entertaining for the small ones. Do not let their playfulness distract you from those goals, otherwise, you may not accomplish much in accordance with your timetable. It would be wise to have a timer for ever activity that would sound a reminder to the kids of the time that you have to follow every day.

Flute Teachers: How to Get the Most From Your Students

Flute Teachers: How to Get the Most From Your Students

‘How do I get the most from my students?’ is a question perennially asked by teachers, whether they are teaching math or music! There are a few strategies which all flute teachers worth their salt ought to have up their sleeves which will ensure your students are engaged and working hard on their flute playing.

Engage your students

As soon as you induce your students to start taking responsibility for their learning, you can be sure that they will engage much more in your lessons and with their flute playing in general. At some point in their teaching career, every flute teacher has had to deal with a reluctant or disinterested student – let’s have a look at some tricks to bring those students out of their shell…

• Get to know your students – what genre of music do they like playing? What sort of teaching style do they respond best to? Be sure to find out and act accordingly!
• Mix it up – make sure that you and your student don’t fall into a rut every lesson. Keep skill drilling, such as scales and arpeggios, to a minimum and be sure to interject the drills with some more fun performance work.
• Target setting – when students know they have an impending exam or performance around the corner, they will work with much more focus in their flute lessons.

Know your skills

Correct application of your teaching style is half of the way to ensuring your students are making the most of their lessons. It’s imperative that you accept your students on the basis of your own teaching strengths; if you are experienced and enjoy teaching advanced adult flautists, don’t accept a beginner child as a flute student! Although you may view it as a teaching challenge, the student deserves a teacher who is experienced in their craft and with that specific student clientele.

Motivate and inspire

One of the most important, yet undervalued, aspects to teaching is the gift of the teacher to inspire and motivate their flute students. This skill is imperative in getting the most from your students and ensuring that they go far with their playing. Let’s have a look at some of the best ways to inspire your students:

• Include as much performance work in your lessons as possible! Your students are much more motivated by the concept of free flute play rather than getting bored practicing scales every lesson.
• Encourage your students to do some extra-curricular playing – you could ask them to get involved with their school orchestra, for instance.
• Offer to play with your student in a duet – they will be able to learn from your playing and aspire to reach a similar standard.
• Feel free to discuss opportunities to take grade exams or audition for chances to perform the flute. You obviously shouldn’t push your student into anything they don’t want to do, but it’s always worth starting the conversation.

Getting the most from your students is a question that many flute teachers will ponder at some point. You can’t go wrong if you focus on engaging, motivating and inspiring your students – make sure you recruit students who you are experienced with and happy to teach too!

Be creative

Musical people are often artistic also in temperament. It would not be easy creating a plan that would suit all the types of attitude your students have. You would have to be creative in thinking up ways you can sustain their interest and bring out their best during your flute lessons. Good thing there are a number of help you can get from the internet. Just have patience sorting through the mountain of information and you sure will find the right formula for your efforts.

How to Make Acoustic Guitar Lessons Easier For Adults

How to Make Acoustic Guitar Lessons Easier For Adults

Now is the time to break the spell that has kept you frozen since forever. ‘One of these days, I’ll learn how to play the guitar’. Yes, you’ve heard that little voice inside you say it many moons ago. Now is the time you to take heed, get into action, and sign-up for acoustic guitar lessons.

Age is but a number, in learning to play the acoustic guitar. Passion, creativity, feeling good, and having fun are what count the most. Here are tips on how to get started:

Start Now. Guitar playing requires an investment of time and effort. There is no easy-street that could provide you with a short cut.

Know your motivation. As an adult, it may be clearer to you now the reasons why you want to play the guitar. Unlike kids who may be heavily influenced by their parents. Your purpose or motivation will be the fuel that will fire your passion.

Be realistic. You’ve held on to your rock star fantasies all these years. But rock and roll success does not come overnight, right? Start with basic and easy pieces until you work your way up to the “Stairway To Heaven”.

No pain, no gain. Acoustic guitar strings are usually made of steel. Expect to feel pain. Unlike kids, your tolerance for pain is definitely much higher. You’ll get blisters, sores, or your fingertips might bleed a little. But you can handle it.

Maturity. Your acoustic guitar lessons are not always a walk in the park. There will be challenging moments that will get you frustrated. Your patience will always be tested. You may often find yourself on the verge of quitting. You’ve been through and are going through life. Channel all these into your playing. Going through these and overcoming them could bring you to an amazing level of progress.

Connect and socialize with other guitar players. Positive energy is contagious. When you share the same vibe with the people around you, things get easier. Guitar playing is more enjoyable. Aside from learning guitar playing techniques from each other, you also get a boost of confidence.

It’s not a race. There’s no use in sulking in regret of not learning to play the guitar earlier in life. Run at your own pace, but push yourself as well. Don’t think of it as a competition, but set your sights on your goal. Fix your eyes on the prize of fulfilling your passion and enjoying the moment.

Be consistent. You may have your moments of procrastination, but you can fight it, right? Consistency in playing and practicing are essential keys in unlocking your potential as a guitar player. The need to consistently practice could not be stressed enough. Your fingers need to have muscle memory in chord fingering. And yes, build those calluses.

In acoustic guitar lessons, age truly does not matter. Do not get intimidated when you see students half your age or even tiny tots winging it. This is not a competition. Play at your own pace and enjoy the journey!

Where and How To Find the Right Teacher for Cello Lessons in Your Community

Where and How To Find the Right Teacher for Cello Lessons in Your Community

If your child tells you that he / she wants to learn to play the cello, how would you react? Excited? Puzzled? Affirmative? Negative? Your answer may be any one or two of the above. Yet one thing will probably cross your mind. Where and how can you find good cello teachers? Of course, you want the best, but you need to find someone who is accessible. Travelling great distances could add unnecessary stress to your child. Thus, you definitely prefer someone who is within or in close proximity to your community.

Your community is your best starting point. Here are some places where you could start:

References.
a. Word-of-Mouth: A friend-who-knows-a-friend could be one of your best reliable sources.

b. Word-of-mouse: A random shout-out on your Facebook or other social media accounts could give you good recommendations and results.

c. Cello Students and / or Parents: Cello students or a student’s parent can give you personal insights about the teacher’s personality and teaching style.

d. Local Music Stores: Your friendly neighborhood music shop may have a list or know regular cello customers. Perhaps some of them could most likely be cello teachers.

Concerts and Recitals. Attend school recitals and local concerts where cello and other string instrumentalists and students will be playing. You may directly ask the students who their teachers are. Perchance, you could meet a cello teacher who is part of the show or a spectator as well.

Colleges and Universities. Try to inquire at the music department of universities or colleges. Professors may agree to give private lessons or can recommend other teachers. Or they may offer the gig to an advanced cello student who may want to teach to earn extra income.

Community symphony or chamber group. Check out your local symphony or orchestra cellists and other musicians. They could be good resource persons or they, themselves may be willing to teach.

The internet. Your search for a cello teacher could happen at your fingertips. Without leaving your seat, you may find their names, locations, profiles and credentials.

When you have narrowed down your list of potential candidates, a face-to-face meeting should be in order. With this, you ought to given them an evaluation of their skills, credentials, and experiences. Here are activities that you can request from them:

Interview: By talking to them, you can get information on their qualifications, terms and conditions, and teaching styles.

Observation: You may request him to allow you to ‘sit-in’ in one of his classes. From here, you can observe his actions and methods. If he ‘walks the talks’, so to speak.

Trial Lesson: This would be a good starting point for both teacher and student. This gives the teacher a chance to show and convince the parent and/or the student of his capability to teach. Moreover, this is the starting point where student and teacher could get to know each other. In this way, both could determine whether their personalities click or not.

Let’s face it. Cello teachers may be few and far between. However, if you know where and how to look, you could definitely find one.

Knowing how to play the cello can really be a rewarding achievement. You can either make a career out of it or just enjoy playing it for your own enjoyment. You may also provide entertainment for your family and friends for every formal or informal gathering. Attending cello lessons will also gain you new friends and connections. They can help you further your career in music. With the right teacher, you will never go wrong in taking up lessons on this wonderful instrument.

The Challenges of Broadway Singing Lessons and Beyond

The Challenges of Broadway Singing Lessons and Beyond

As the song goes…”they say the neon lights are bright on Broadway…” The shows’ casts razzle and dazzle onstage with their song, dance, and acting routines. With the myriad of talent and versatility, a Broadway performer is an epitome of a star. Yet these ‘stars’ were not born brilliant. It takes years of rigorous training and practice. One of the important steps they go through is taking-up Broadway singing lessons.

A Broadway performer should not be complacent. Natural talent is not the ‘be all and end all’ to make it. What does it take to be a Broadway star? How does a star earn its brilliance? Prepare yourself for these challenges ahead:

Stand-out versatility. A Broadway performer should be armed with a triple threat and more. Singing. Dancing. Acting. Yes, there are a multitude of aspiring Broadway stars who can do that. There are specific roles to fill in a Broadway show. There are certain nuances of a character that you are required to execute. For instance, in the Broadway production of “Spiderman: Turn-Off The Dark”, the dance routine includes a lot of acrobatics. In “Once”, the lead characters have to know how to play a musical instrument. What’s your edge? How would you fit in and fill-in?

Regular vocal coaching. A number of Broadway stars have pursued college degrees in performing arts. However, being cast in Broadway show requires you to go back to basics — Broadway singing lessons. The casts are still closely monitored and supervised by a vocal coach. From the lead star to the chorus line, everyone is under the watchful eye of a coach.

Watch what you eat and drink. Subjecting performers to a healthy diet is necessary. Your body should be fit inside and out. Your body’s energy level should be at its peak majority of the time. Dance routines require strength, grace, flexibility and endurance. Singing requires healthy vocal cords. You should have a checklist of food and drink musts and must-not’s that could affect your overall performance

Yoga training. The body should have a proper balance between work and rest. Performers pump-out energy during a performance. Yet there should be a time for rest, relaxation, and re-charge. With the burst of energy that it releases, muscles become tense and constricted. The body should open-up to absorb in-flow of renewed energy. With this, Broadway coaches recommend the discipline of yoga. Annie Piper (anniepiper.com), faculty member for NYU and the Yale School of Drama, says, “I believe yoga augments vocal training, it opens up the body and the musculature and the breath.”

Working 6 to 8 hours before show time. In a Broadway show, an actor’s work does not start at show time and end at curtain call. Six to eight hours are dedicated for training, classes, individual practices, and show rehearsals. Performers go on voice lessons, dancing classes, yoga training, and other specific skills training that could supplement their performances.
When the sound of applause fades and the lights on the Broadway marquee is switched off, how do Broadway stars shine and keep their brilliance? Training. Learning. Be it Broadway singing lessons, ballet, tap dancing, or acting workshops — the polishing should never stop.

You will never go wrong when you take up Broadway singing lessons because of the many advantages you can gain from it- physically, mentally and socially. The physical discipline alone should motivate you to really try this out. Mental toughness comes along with this and can help you out with fighting off stress and depression. You also gain a lot of friends and connections as you go through the lessons and try out performances. So what are you waiting for? Go and enrol now!

Saxophone Teachers: Benefits Of Teaching At Your Students’ Homes

Saxophone Teachers: Benefits Of Teaching At Your Students’ Homes

Teaching at your students’ homes is a great way to reap all the benefits of teaching the saxophone but will afford you a little extra flexibility and perhaps even better pay than you would expect teaching at a school. As a result, many saxophone teachers are turning to this way of teaching as they realise that there are benefits to be reaped for both student and teacher.

The power of convenience

As a teacher, you should never underestimate just how much your students will value convenience and pay accordingly. When you decide to start teaching at your students’ homes you immediately become more useful as you will be able to teach whenever they need a lesson and you won’t be shackled by the school timetable. Many parents do not want their children to miss out on important school lessons so will much prefer for them to be taught outside of school hours and at their own home – much easier for everyone!

By cutting out the school as a ‘middleman’, you are now in a position to potentially negotiate a higher fee for your saxophone lessons as you are able to work around your students’ timetables and will cut any travel time for them where they would normally be travelling to a lesson. Remember that when you start to teach at your students’ homes, you will need to travel between students and will need to take into account your commuting costs so you don’t end up out of pocket at the end of the day.

Flexibility: the Holy Grail

As soon as you start teaching at your students’ homes and away from a school, you have much more freedom and flexibility to teach who you want, what you want and when you want. This is great news for any teachers who tire of the usual school curriculum fare and are looking for a way to bring new inspiration to their teaching.

When you teach at a school, you are obviously very much tied to teaching whatever the bracket is of students who attend that school. When you branch out on your own, you can recruit an array of potential students amassing wide age and ability ranges. This is sure to keep you on your toes as a teacher and will stop you falling back into the familiar routines of working at a school.

Things to consider

Before you decide to make the move to teaching at your students’ homes, there are a few things you should consider. Firstly and most importantly, will you be able to recruit and maintain a student base which will be the cornerstone of your business? When you work at a school, you have a ready-made client base waiting to be taught, but when you step out on your own, there is much more work to be done to find stable sources of income. It’s also worth making sure that you have appropriate transport options to help you travel between students so you’re not spending too much time or money in transit. Planning is key!

There are many benefits to be reaped when you decide to teach saxophone lessons at your students’ homes. Just make sure that you have planned well and have a solid client base you can call on – good luck!

Keyboard Lessons For Advanced Players

Keyboard Lessons For Advanced Players

When one thinks of taking up music lessons, it is natural to think that they are only for beginner or intermediate abilities rather than for students who are already well-versed and talented musicians. Advanced students, however, can still expect to get a great deal out of their keyboard lessons – many musicians have weaknesses they would like to work on or performance aspects they can improve. Let’s see how lessons can be beneficial to advanced players.

It is imperative that as an advanced keyboard player, you make sure to choose your teacher carefully. At this level, they should be incredibly skilled, a great coach and in possession of some good contacts that will help you in your journey through the industry.

Inspiration

Often, when you’re playing keyboard at an advanced level, you don’t necessarily need as much drilling in the technical side as a junior player would require, but instead look to your teacher as a source of inspiration. It is easy to get stuck in a rut with your playing at any level; if you are still attending lessons you are in the unique position of being able to ask your teacher for new styles of music to try or innovative ideas to bring an additional dimension to your playing. If your teacher is well connected, they may be able to hook you up with a group or a performance which you could work towards together. It is much harder finding performance opportunities if you don’t have a teacher to assist you.

Preparation

Having keyboard lessons at an advanced level is a great idea for musicians who are preparing for something like an exam or even for an audition into Music College. Your teacher will be able to point you in the direction of various things you should be looking to improve on and provide a much needed second set of eyes (and ears!) on your playing which you wouldn’t have the benefit of without lessons. They will be able to coach you to overcome any weaknesses you may have in your musical arsenal and even improve on your strengths and reach new levels of quality playing.

A two-handed relationship

As an advanced keyboard player, you will naturally have much more of an equal relationship with your teacher as opposed to beginner players who will require a lot more direction and hand-holding during their lessons. You will be able to work with your teacher to determine what is the right path for you in your player and will be on much more of a level playing field when it comes to suggesting new music and developing new skills. As a consequence, your confidence in your ability as a keyboard player will continue to grow and thrive during your lessons.

Keyboard lessons for advanced players are a great idea and you should not be put off thinking that just beginner players need lessons. You will be inspired by your teacher, your confidence and technical skills will increase and you will be able to prepare effectively for any performances, exams or auditions you have.

Starting Flute Lessons: Home vs School

Starting Flute Lessons: Home vs School

If you’re still at school and you decide you’d like to start playing the flute, you have an important decision to make which will certainly have an impact on how you develop in your playing: should you have your flute lessons at home or at school? At first glance, you may think that this is a relative non-issue and maybe that you’ll just go for whichever option is the cheaper but it is certainly worth making an informed decision so you give yourself the best chance to master the flute. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of both options.
Reliability

Generally, if you decide to take your lessons at school, you can rely upon the fact that your teacher will be of a certain standard, will have had all appropriate checks carried out and will turn up on time and well prepared for your lessons. They have a vested interest in being the best teacher they can be because they are employed by the school and will have to meet a certain standard or will face being fired. If you decide to take your lessons at home, however, you will be taking more of a chance on the standard of the teacher as there will be no school to overlook them. It’s always best to choose a teacher who comes with plenty of teaching experience and has excellent word of mouth reviews rather than just opting for whoever has the cheaper rates.

Distractions

The downside of taking your flute lessons at school is that you will probably have to either skip class to attend or will need to take time out of your break or lunch times. This is particularly difficult for younger children who don’t necessarily have the discipline and motivation needed to ignore their friends playing football and go and sit in their music lesson for an hour. This is probably one of the biggest benefits to taking your lessons at home; you can undertake your lesson with no distraction from friends or classes and will be more likely to practice at home too.

Practicalities

There are a lot of practical issues to consider when you decide to take your lessons at home. Is your house big enough for your teacher to conduct an effective lesson with you and not get in anyone’s way? Do either of your parents work from home who would be unreasonably distracted by your music lessons? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes”, it will probably be more sensible to arrange to have your lessons at school where you won’t have to have a household upheaval in order to have a lesson. Just make sure that you put in appropriate time and energy into practicing!

There are lots of things to think about when you decide you’d like to start flute lessons and one of the most important is to decide whether you should be taught at home or at school. If you decide to opt for school lessons, make sure that you have the discipline to commit to your lessons and practice and if you opt for home lessons, make sure that you have the space and permission of your parents to do so!

Classical Guitar Lessons: Getting To Know the Classical Guitar

Classical Guitar Lessons:  Getting To Know the Classical Guitar

Not all guitars are created from the same materials. The classical guitar is very similar to its brother — the acoustic guitar. Others may think they’re one and the same. Even students of classical guitar lessons, may not even be aware of the differences. In essence, both are considered ‘acoustic’ guitars. This is due to the fact that both produce sound from within the guitar itself, without the use of electric power. Yet, the classical guitar has its own merits.

If you are a guitar student, it is essential to know your instrument. What are its most distinguished features that make it stand out?  How does it sound, and what type of music is most suited for it?

A quick reference guide on getting to know the classical guitar:

Size:  Compared to the acoustic guitar, the classical guitar is relatively smaller in size.

Shape:  Both may have varying shapes. The classical guitar typically has a rounder body shape.  It is similar to that of an hourglass or a figure of eight.

Sound hole:  A classical guitar has a decorative artwork surrounding its sound hole.

Missing Scratch plate and Strap button:  Putting it side-by-side an acoustic guitar, you would notice that a classical guitar does not have a piece of plastic plate adjacent to the sound hole.  Also, a classical guitar is not usually played with a strap on  thus, it does not have a strap peg at the bottom.

Headstock:  The headstock of  a classical guitar have hollows and are uniform in design.  However, an acoustic or an electric guitar are not hollowed, and may come in various styles.

The Neck and Fret board:  

  1. A classical guitar has a wider neck than an acoustic guitar.  Hence, young children who are or would be taking classical guitar lessons, may find fingering chords more challenging.  Their tiny hands and fingers may not quite get a good grip and apply ample pressure on the strings due to the width of the guitar neck.
  2. In the neck, the strings are spaced farther apart in order for the player to have ease in maneuvering fingers while picking or plucking the strings.
  3. A classical guitar’s fret board does not come with dot fret markers.

Strings:  Nylon strings are used in classical guitars.  Nylon strings are said to be more ‘child and skin friendly’.  It is less irritating on the skin, thus, minimizes the likelihood of developing blisters and scratches.  This prevents young children from experiencing the trauma of pain while learning to play the guitar.

Sound and music style:  The classical guitar has a soft and mellow tone.  It sounds best when playing classical, Latin and Brazilian music like the flamenco.  Its melancholy tone is also suited for country and folk music.

Price:  The classical guitar is relatively cheaper. It has simpler  features as it does not have various buttons, knobs, pegs, and switches that come with its acoustic and electric counterparts. Yet price ranges may vary depending on the make, material used, and the brand of the guitar.

In classical guitar lessons, it pays to enrich yourself with knowledge about your musical instrument.  Exploring every nook and cranny of your guitar is a rewarding experience in itself.

Learning about a new instrument is always a challenging experience. With classical guitar lessons you learn about the fun ways this could be accomplished and how to make the experience really worthwhile. The right teachers will turn this into an adventure that you can both enjoy and profit from. So start your new adventure now and find the right school and teachers for you or your child.

 

Call Audrey at (65) 8168-8251     or     Email info@absolutelyintuned.com.sg