When I slow down to reflect on this past year, this past month, these past few days even - I am blown away by how many exciting adventures I have been involved in! Being a young-professional working in the creative sector, a musician, and a teacher is so busy - but SO exciting!! I honestly can't imagine my life without music. It is such a blessing to be able to live life every day creating and/or supporting something that I feel so passionate about. I am thankful I can hear so I can experience a subject matter that can help us express our souls and feelings. Where words fail, music truly does seem to speak. If for some reason I couldn't hear, the people I've met through being involved in music and the connections I have created working in the arts are also incomparable. I just wanted to write this all down. It is fun documenting my adventures on this blog. Looking back through my feed, I have seen so much growth in my own life. Re-living some of my own experiences is a nice reminder. I am so grateful. Sometimes I can't believe how much I have been involved in, how much I have learned, and how many hurdles that at first seemed daunting I was able to overcome.
Speaking of hurdles, one of my students this week was a bit discouraged at learning a daunting piece of music. I encouraged them to continue moving forward. They thought they couldn't play a certain piece, they said it was impossible, "it's too hard!" But one note at a time we walked through the piece together. I would demonstrate one finger at a time and have the student mimic me. It was a slow process, but guess what my student was able to do? They played the entire piece. They had said it would be impossible. It wasn't. That's a bit like a lot of our lives, isn't it? We have goals, we have dreams, we can feel so overwhelmed by situations we think are stressful. But one note at a time, one step at a time - we can learn. We can keep putting one foot in front of the other, and one day we will look back and realize we have accomplished more than we ever could have thought was possible. How encouraging, how exciting, how refreshing. That's what I've been reflecting on tonight.
I hope you are able to reflect and appreciate your own individual accomplishments and life this week. Count your blessings, I bet you've got more than you could imagine. I sure do. You're important. Don't forget it. You are capable of amazing things!
As some of you may know, Music Theory (the explanations and meanings about how music works, and the science and notations that explain it) really interests me. In college, music theory was somewhat of a challenge to me. Because it was such a challenge to me, I ended up taking more of an interest in it after college. I see now how vital this knowledge is for young musicians. I have grown passionate about incorporating music theory into every lesson I teach. No matter what age or level of my students, I try to include theory. To be a fully engaged and educated musician, it is important to understand the language of music. Understanding theory helps one relate to other instrumentalists in any genre or style. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of ‘I’m learning the violin’, and then only think about playing the instrument. In reality, being an instrumentalist is just one part of being a musician. Yes, you need to learn the intricacies of your instrument. But what about rhythm, scales, intervals, harmonies, chords, vocabulary, ear training and notation?
Recently I have found some more great resources to use during lessons. If you have questions about them, please let me know.
For me, there will always be more to learn. This is somewhat intimidating, but also exciting!
Happy Thursday everyone!!
I have started the process of recording a few supplemental video lessons for my students to help aid their weekly practice. I think these videos will be useful in reinforcing concepts I teach during each private lesson. It can be hard to remember everything we touch on, so these can be little reminders during your practice times. If you have requests for video lessons please contact me. Below is a sample of a few lessons I recently recorded to give you an idea of what they look like.
Stay sharp my friends! (unless the accidental tells you differently)
When first starting any instrument one of the hardest things for me (when learning violin and piano) was learning the notes names & associating them with certain fingers. Knowing note names is like learning a musical alphabet. You may not necessarily need to know the names of the notes and may be able to play music by ear which is wonderful! But, if you do know the note names it is a reference point that will help you connect with other musicians and instruments that may play in different keys.
For instance you probably know that C-A-T spells cat. You first needed to learn the alphabet, then how the symbols made certain sounds, and then how when in a certain order they spelled a certain word.
The same thing happens in music: D-F#-A spells a D Major chord. First you need to learn the note names, then how to associate them with fingers, and then how in that order they sound really great together and make a chord.
Below are some wonderful websites to help you in your beginning journey to learning the first position notes of the violin which is an instrument that is written in the treble clef.
P.S. The survey from my last post is coming up with some great responses! Keep it up. I will start my next blog post from your feedback soon.
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