New beginnings are often exhilarating but we all know that in time some of that initial thrill can begin to fade. At some point all new music students come to the very real understanding that attaining those dazzling dreams will require some work and we don’t want that to scare you away. Learning to play an instrument doesn’t come naturally to anyone, it requires practice. It is our job, as a music school to help make this new endeavor a successful one and to keep the long journey ahead pleasant. We realize that many of you don’t have music lesson experience and that you might benefit from a guide; whether you are the student or the parent of one.
To that end I have been writing this blog for the past three years. It is chock full of helpful information and suggestions to help explain the art of practicing (the single most important activity required of all music students), the importance of recitals, the benefits of music education, interesting facts about music lessons and much, much more. I know that this blog will provide a great deal of helpful information for all of our new students (as well as those who have been with us for a while). I realize that the blog has become quite lengthy and so I have created an index (scroll down) for ease of finding helpful articles. Please note that the posts on the actual blog are organized in reverse chronological order.
I hope you will take the time to read those posts that seem most pertinent to you and that you will refer back to it from time to time. You can always find access to it by going to the bottom of home page of our website, scroll down to the bottom and click on the “W” (for WordPress).
NJSM Blog Index
October 10, 2014 through May 12, 2017
10/ 10 Let’s talk about practicing for your music lessons
10/17 Let’s talk about practicing – Practice tips part 1
10/29 Let’s talk about practicing – Practice tips part 2
11/05 Let’s talk about practicing: Overcoming frustrations and challenges – Part 1
11/14 Let’s talk about practicing: Overcoming difficulties and challenges – Part 2
11/26 Let’s talk about practicing: Overcoming difficulties and challenges – Part 3
1212 Let’s talk about practicing: Overcoming difficulties and challenges – Part 4
1230 Getting back to practicing after a break
01/20 Let’s talk about practicing: Overcoming difficulties – Part 5
02/25 Let’s talk about practicing: Overcoming difficulties – Part 6
04/14 Let’s talk about recitals
04/21 Let’s talk about recitals – Part 2
05/05 Let’s talk about recitals – Part 3
05/16 Let’s talk about summer music lessons
01/18 Why schedule private music lessons when your child gets group lesson in school
01/28 Starting lessons and working through the initial learning curve
02/08 Playing a musical instrument is good for your health
02/17 Why make up lessons and substitute teachers?
Series of four posts on what to expect when beginning lessons on different instruments: 02/25 Focus on piano and drums
03/04 Focus on stringed instruments – Part A
03/11 Focus on stringed instruments – Part B
03/19 Focus on brass, woodwind and vocal
03/28 Passively vs. actively listening to music
05/04 How long does it take to learn to play the __________? (fill in the blank)
05/19 Suggestions for keeping your child interested and excited about their lessons
08/26 What music students need to stay motivated
10/07 Playing music and creativity
10/21 Healthy instrument practice habits
10/26 Recitals – why all of the fuss?
12/12 Note reading and sight reading
01/30 The importance of group playing
02/09 Why do I play worse at my lessons?
02/15 Ever feel like more practice leads to worse playing?
02/21 How many times do you want me to play that?
03/02 Busy week – no time to practice
03/10 The science behind practicing
03/17 The need for continuing private lessons while playing in groups and ensembles
03/24 How to tell if your child is practicing effectively
04/07 Music for aging well
04/10 Music competitions aren’t for everyone
04/20 Preparing for your recital
05/01 It is important to attend live concerts
05/12 How to create a great recital audience
05/19 Recitals are not just for kids
05/26 Keeping your musical skills fresh when life gets in the way
08/22 What to expect when resuming music lessons after a break
08/29 I haven’t practiced all summer and my lessons resume next week.
09/13 What to expect as a student new to private music lessons