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7300 France Avenue South
Edina, Minnesota 55435
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Tips for Supporting your Child’s At-Home Practice

Thank you to NSMS Faculty member and parent, Allison Fog, for sharing some tips for establishing effective at-home practice routines.

1) Establish a Consistent Routine

  • In order for a behavior to become a habit, consistency is essential.
  • Work together to decide a practice schedule that works for your family, and stick to it!
  • Use rewards if necessary. They don’t have to be expensive or full of sugar! The best is spending quality one-on-one time with your child or family.
  • Try practicing before school. Your child will be well-rested, and may do his/her best thinking early in the day.
  • If a full practice session in the morning is not possible, consider breaking up your routine into smaller segments.
  • It will be easier to remember to practice if it occurs at the same time each day.
  • Check out the sample practice schedules below. One may work for your family!

2) Create a Functional Practice Space

  • Be sure your practice space has everything your child needs to complete his/her practicing.
  • Take care of your instrument–have it tuned regularly, and be sure the pedals work properly.
  • Minimize distractions. Turn off the TV or computer, especially if they are in the same room or close to the piano.

3) Be Enthusiastic!

  • Ask your child to play their favorite piece for you.
  • Have your child teach you about a good hand position or posture. Let them correct you!
  • Make a recording, then share with family and friends.
  • Listen to music together. Share some of your favorite music with your child! Any style is fine!
  • Jump, swing, or clap a rhythm from one of your child’s pieces. (You may ask your child’s teacher for a suggestion).
  • Ask your child to show you how to notate music.
  • Draw some simple rhythms together, then clap or walk the rhythm. You can use the piano, or anything in your home that makes noise! Pots and pans and spoons work well.
  • Attend a concert together.

Sample Practice Routines

Child #1: Before School Routine

Weekday Schedule

7:30 am—Breakfast

8:00 am—Practice piano

Weekend Schedule

12:00 pm—Lunch

1:00 pm—Practice piano and complete written work, if

assigned.

Child #2: After School Routine

Weekday Schedule

3:45 pm—Snack

4:00 pm—Practice piano

Weekend Schedule

8:00 am—Breakfast

9:00 am—Practice piano and complete written work.

Child #3: Evening Routine

Weekday Schedule

6:00 pm—Dinner

6:30 pm—Practice piano

Weekend Schedule

12:00 pm—Lunch

1:00 pm—Practice piano and complete written work.

***For all of the sample schedules above, piano practice immediately followed a meal or snack, since those are activities we routinely do throughout the day. This type of “chunking” may work very well for your family.

***Consider keeping a practice journal for 1-2 weeks as you work to establish a consistent routine

Top 10 skills children learn from the arts

You don’t find school reformers talking much about how we need to train more teachers in the arts, given the current obsession with science, math, technology and engineering (STEM), but here’s a list of skills that young people learn from studying the arts. They serve as a reminder that the arts — while important to study for their intrinsic value — also promote skills seen as important in academic and life success. (That’s why some people talk about changing the current national emphasis on STEM to STEAM.) This was written by Lisa Phillips is an author, blog journalist, arts and leadership educator, speaker and business owner. To learn about Lisa’s book, “The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World,” click here. This appeared on the ARTSblog, a program of Americans for the Arts.

By Lisa Phillips

1. Creativity – Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.

2. Confidence – The skills developed through theater, not only train you how to convincingly deliver a message, but also build the confidence you need to take command of the stage. Theater training gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them in rehearsal. This process gives children the confidence to perform in front of large audiences.

3. Problem Solving – Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. This will help develop important problem-solving skills necessary for success in any career.

4. Perseverance – When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.

5. Focus – The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.

6. Non-Verbal Communication – Through experiences in theater and dance education, children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those movements communicate different emotions. They are then coached in performance skills to ensure they are portraying their character effectively to the audience.

7. Receiving Constructive Feedback – Receiving constructive feedback about a performance or visual art piece is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful. The goal is the improvement of skills and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. Each arts discipline has built in parameters to ensure that critique is a valuable experience and greatly contributes to the success of the final piece.

8. Collaboration – Most arts disciplines are collaborative in nature. Through the arts, children practice working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal. When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theater or dance production, they begin to understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences children gain confidence and start to learn that their contributions have value even if they don’t have the biggest role.

9. Dedication – When kids get to practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. They practice developing healthy work habits of being on time for rehearsals and performances, respecting the contributions of others, and putting effort into the success of the final piece. In the performing arts, the reward for dedication is the warm feeling of an audience’s applause that comes rushing over you, making all your efforts worthwhile.

10. Accountability – When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea that their actions affect other people. They learn that when they are not prepared or on-time, that other people suffer. Through the arts, children also learn that it is important to admit that you made a mistake and take responsibility for it. Because mistakes are a regular part of the process of learning in the arts, children begin to see that mistakes happen. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

Reposted from the January, 2013 Washington Post article.

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.

Christmas Deals on Pearl Flutes
Prices good on Phone Orders Only @ 952-924-4141 until December 24, 2012 only

http://www.Music2Master.com

Special Christmas pricing on these models for PHONE ORDERS ONLY

Elegante 795 rbe coda PEARL FLUTE $4395.00

PF 105 PEARL Piccolo $900.00

PF 201 SU PEARL ALTO FLUTE (combo with straight and curved headjoints) $1499.00

Find them at Music2Master.com or call us at 952-924-4141 for assistance

Christmas Deals on Pearl Flutes...prices good on Phone Orders Only @ 952-924-4141 until December 24, 2012 only!

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com  or http://www.PearlFlutes.net  or http://www.MusicFunTime.org  call us at 952-924-4141
 

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday, two days exclusively dedicated to shopping and buying. Now comes Giving Tuesday, a new day designated to giving rather than getting. This year, the Christian humanitarian organization World Visionis joining nearly a thousand organizations nationwide to challenge Americans to take part in the new national movement on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

#GivingTuesday takes place this November 27 with a simple goal: let’s all give back together.

“Giving Tuesday is intended to open the holiday season on a philanthropic note and put heart back into the holidays.” says Sarah Renusch, World Vision’s Gift Catalog Director.

So, on that note, Music2Master will be collecting donations made out to World Vision and combining our financial efforts to make a difference for those in need!

The first $320.00 collected will go towards Education for 10 children.

The next $500.00 will go towards $6000.00 worth of clothing for children

The next $500.00 will go towards $6000.00 worth of medication for children

The next $500.00 will go towards 13 farm animals for families to have some sustainability

If we collect $22,000.00 we can build a school!

How? Send your checks to Music2Master by December 7th. Make them out to World Vision and we will send them in all together and keep you posted with how much we raised!

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organizationdedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

Working in nearly 100 countries around the world, World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.


In 2011, 86 percent of World Vision's total operating expenses were used for programs that benefit children, families, and communities in need.

Music2Master
Best to you in the meantime!
http://www.Music2Master.com(check us out on the web!)
http://www.yellowpages.com/info-IY245047819/Music2Master-com(Check out our Video!)
7300 France Avenue South
Suite 112
Edina, Minnesota 55435
952-924-4141
Authorized Pearl Flute Dealer
Authorized Band and Orchestra Instrument Rentals
Authorized Band and Orchestra Instrument Sales
Hours By Appointment
Band and Orchestra Programs Available for Private, Parochial or Home School Students.
Private Lessons on ALL Band and Orchestra Instruments and Piano, Voice and Guitar!
MusicFunTime (Ages 18 months to Age 7)
Music Themed Birthday Parties (Ages 3-7)
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Music2Mastercom/39032802473
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Music2Master
Follow Music FunTime on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MusicFunTimeEdina?ref=hl

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals on Pearl Flutes
prices good until Monday November 26, 2012 onl

http://www.Music2Master.com

Special Black Friday/Cyber Monday pricing on these models

665 rbe
765 rbe
765 rbe coda
795 rbe coda
PF 105 Piccolo

Find them at Music2Master.com or call us at 952-924-4141 for assistance
 
 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals on Pearl Flutes...prices good until Monday November 26, 2012 only!
 
For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.
MUSIC2MASTER.com
BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL

$100.00 to Spend on Instrument Purchase, Music Books and Accessories!

If you or your child wants to road-test a new instrument or sharpen his or her musical skills, take this deal for a spin: $75 for...
$100 to spend on music merchandise at http://www.Music2Master.com/ . Music2Master.com sells everything from amps to xylophones, sheet music to recording devices, and accessories to apparel. Pick up professional tools for yourself, help your student practice for band or orchestra with a new songbook, encourage creativity with a beginner's guitar or keyboard, or let your son or daughter proclaim their love for rock 'n' roll with cool apparel and accessories. We are available to give you guidance on the proper products and help you compare products and make the perfect selection -- all while staying within your budget. Great to use NOW for Christmas shopping OR you have until February 1, 2013 to use the full promotional value.

PAID VALUE DOES NOT EXPIRE
PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES ON February 1, 2013

• Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion
• Tax and shipping (if applicable) are not included

Limit 1 per customer • Limit 1 per transaction • Can apply to multiple purchases until balance is used • Please contact the merchant with any issues with your product(s) after redeeming your voucher at 952-924-4141 • Not redeemable for cash or toward gift certificates • Not applicable towards Music Lessons • Not applicable towards Registration Fees • Not valid on Instrument Rentals (but YES on instrument sales)

Purchase at our Secured Website Here: http://music2master.com/index.php?contentID=211&product_category=195&productID=6959

Black Friday Offer Is Available now until Monday November 26, 2012

Need your piano tuned? We offer Piano Tuning at Music2Master.com! Call us today at 952-924-4141 to schedule an appointment!

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.

Music participation provides a unique opportunity for literacy preparation. Whether the children are singing, playing, or listening, teachers direct them to listen and hear in new ways which exercises their aural discrimination. Playing ins...
truments and adding movement to the lessons teaches children about sequential learning which is essential in reading comprehension.

Plato once said that music “is a more potent instrument than any other for education”. You will find many teachers of young children who would agree with him. Recent research has found that music uses both sides of the brain, a fact that makes it valuable in all areas of development. Music affects the growth of a child’s brain academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Music is academic. For some people, this is the primary reason for providing music lessons to their children. A recent study from the University of California found that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Second graders who were given music lessons scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who received no special instruction. Research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance.

Music is physical. Music can be described as a sport. Learning to sing and keep rhythm develops coordination. The air and wind power necessary to blow a flute, trumpet or saxophone promotes a healthy body.

Music is emotional. Music is an art form. We are emotional beings and every child requires an artistic outlet. Music may be your child’s vehicle of expression.

Music is for life. Most people can’t play soccer, or football at 70 or 80 years of age but they can sing. And they can play piano or some other instrument. Music is a gift you can give your child that will last their entire lives.
 
For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.

Music2Master is pleased to provide birthday parties for girls and boys ages 3-7 and their friends!

Music Themed Birthday Party Includes:

*A private studio reserved for 1 1/2 hour

*45 minutes of Group Music Class and Music Games

*15 minutes Music Craft

*30 minutes of birthday party, opening gifts, etc.

*A personal Instructor

*Music2Master gift for the birthday child

Best of All….We clean up the mess!

Price:

Option A: $175.00 for up to 8 children. $10 for each additional child. $175.00 Includes all party supplies, (napkins, plates, cups, candles, utensils, tables, chairs, table cloths, etc) Includes balloons, set up, clean up, and the director of the party.

Option B: $275.00 includes everything in Option A plus cake, punch and party favors.

Option C: $325.00 includes everything in Option A and B plus pizza and Invitations.

Call us today at 952-924-4141 to schedule your party!

Music2Master is pleased to provide birthday parties for girls and boys ages 3-7 and their friends!

Music Themed Birthday Party Includes:

*A private studio reserved for 1 1/2 hour

*45 minutes of Group Music Class and Music Games

*15 minutes Music Craft

*30 minutes of birthday party, opening gifts, etc.

*A personal Instructor

*Music2Master gift for the birthday child

Best of All….We clean up the mess!

Price:

Option A: $175.00 for up to 8 children. $10 for each additional child. $175.00 Includes all party supplies, (napkins, plates, cups, candles, utensils, tables, chairs, table cloths, etc) Includes balloons, set up, clean up, and the director of the party.

Option B: $275.00 includes everything in Option A plus cake, punch and party favors.

Option C: $325.00 includes everything in Option A and B plus pizza and Invitations.

Call us today at 952-924-4141 to schedule your party!

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.

Two Private 30-Minute Music Lessons in Guitar, Piano, Band, or Orchestral Instruments
$37.00 for Two 30-Minute Music Lessons
Vouchers per purchaser: 2 (limit 1 per student per household)

Description:
Your kids play a mean video game, but they're all thumbs when it comes to the real thing. Let Music2Master in Edina push their playing to the next level with today's deal: Pay $37 for two 30-minute private music lessons for a child or an adult (a $74 value). Depending on his or her favorite type of axe-grinding, your son or daughter (or you) can choose between acoustic guitar or electric guitar lessons. Or, let your child take lessons in piano or a band or orchestral instrument including flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, baritone, french horn, oboe, violin, viola, cello, or string bass. Each lesson is held in the studio to eliminate distractions and encourage complete focus and concentration. Long-time regulars rave about the structured lessons, the motivating teachers, and overall high-quality, professional environment. Because these lessons instill pride, good work habits, and a love of music, you and your kids are sure to find this deal truly heroic.

Want more? Check out Music2Master on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Music2Mastercom/39032802473

Voucher print instructions:
1) To redeem, call 952-924-4141; scheduling required and subject to availability
2) Be sure to mention your 2 Lesson deal and voucher number
4) Enjoy!

• Cancellation/re-scheduling policy of 24 hours applies; voucher subject to forfeiture

Redemption locations:
7300 France Avenue South, Edina, MN, 55435 952-924-4141

Little details:
Limit 2 per household (limit 1 per student per household)
• All lessons must be redeemed by same customer; cannot be shared
• Valid for new students only
• Books and instruments not included
• Valid for acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, keyboard, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, baritone, french horn, oboe, violin, viola, cello, or string bass only
• May be used over multiple visits
• PAID VALUE DOES NOT EXPIRE
• PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES 90 Days after purchase

Except where noted in the fine print:
• Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion
• Tax and gratuity are not included

Expiration date:
PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES 90 Days after purchase

Myth: Children should not begin music study until they can read.This myth came about because sometimes children have trouble focusing and it’s thought that by “reading age,” which is about 6 years old, children are able to maintain their attention and learn. Music study also requires children to sight read and it’s believed that children who cannot read, cannot learn to sight read.

Fact:During the first year of a child’s life is when rapid brain development takes place. Music study at a young age can enhance children’s brain development and growth. Young children take in everything they hear and love to mimic others. Music requires a good, well trained ear, so the earlier you expose children to music, the more success they will likely have with music later in life.

There are music lessons for young children that focus on moving to beats, counting, clapping rhythm etc. These are group classes so children are having fun with their peers and learning at the same time. This is a form of music study and is extremely beneficial once the children are mentally capable of taking private lessons.

Children are never too young to be introduced to the world of music!

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.  Servicing Students from Edina, Eden Prairie, Richfield, Bloomington, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Chaska, Chanhassen, Eagan, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Wayzata, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Burnsville, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Woodbury, more!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Music2Mastercom/39032802473?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/MusicFunTimeEdina?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/pages/PearlFlutesnet/113589972040411?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/minneapolisbandandorchestrainstrumentrentalssales?ref=hl

Benefits of Music Funtime

Pre School Music Classes at Music2Master (Ages 18 months through Age 7) Edina MN 55435

In succession of all the popular reports out of Congress and studies at Johns-Hopkins Research Center about themagical Connection between Math and Music, we are happy to announce Music Funtime teaching music to children ages 18 months thru 5 years through rhythm, pitch, theory and technique.

Math and Music unitethe two hemispheres of the brain – a powerful force for learning. Did you ever consider the skills your child uses when he/she sings a song such as “This Old Man”? He/she is matching and comparing (through pitch, volume and rhythm), patterning and sequencing (through melody, rhythm and lyrics), counting numbers and adding. Add dramatic hand movements or clapping to the beat and you have created an entire package of learning rolled into one song.

In recent years, there has been considerable amount of research on the effect of music on brain development and thinking. Neurological research has found that the higher the brain functions of abstract reasoning as well as spatial and temporal conceptualization are enhanced by music activities. Activities with music generate the neural connections necessary for using important math skills.

Music is considered a right brain activity, while Math is a left brain activity. When combined, the whole child is engaged not only in the realm of thinking, but in all the other domains of social, emotional, creative, language and physical development. Together they make a complete developmental package.

Music Funtime is different than the typical preschool music program.

Music Funtime is not a simple play group where children sing, dance, jump & play instruments. We offer an innovated new program, geared from the Johns-Hopkins Research that children 7 and under can learn to read music notation and symbols, eventually, learning to play instruments.

If a child can learn their letters, numbers, shapes, animals etc., why can’t they learn to read music?

Through crafts, worksheets, games, instruments, singing, & very small group classes, we teach children in a fun & exciting way, how to play and read music. Class excitement has proven over & over, the children’s enthusiasm to look forward to weekly music lessons.

Our classes are 8 week sessions for a half hour. We change the curriculum every 5 minutes accommodating child’s attention span.

At the end of each 8 week session, students are eligible to graduate into the next level of music education. All lessons are geared towards the piano because the piano is a string & percussion instrument. Children not only learn timing, rythm & tempo they also learn the notes on the grand staff, such as…e,g,b,d,f (every good boy does fine) etc.

Our children also perform at public facilities singing with their instruments, a minimum of 2 times per year.

Your child will explore music, dance and sing together and more. Your child learns to share, take turns and develop the skills they’ll need in school and on the neighborhood playground.

Our Music Funtime classes are fun, yet educational and an important part of your child’s development.

In this special place for musical, social and emotional learning, your children will strengthen their ties with each other!

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.

We will have the following PRIVATE LESSON offerings this School Year 2012-2013

• Piano, Keyboard
• Flute, Piccolo
• Violin, Viola, Cello
• Voice
• Oboe
• Clarinet
• Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Bari Saxophone
• Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar
• Trumpet
• Trombone
• Baritone
• Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo
• Tuba
• French Horn
• Drums, Percussion
*These are 30, 45 or 60 minutes each depending on age, ability & teacher recommendation

We will have the following CLASSES AND ENSEMBLE offerings this school year 2012-2013 to enhance your private lesson experience:

• Clarinet Ensemble (For Middle School HS, Adult)
• Classical Destinations (Middle School, HS)
• Composition, Arranging, Theory Classes (For Middle School, HS, Adult)
• Flute Ensemble (For Middle School, HS, Adult)
• Flute Performance Class (HS and Adults)
• Group Guitar Lessons (For Elementary, Middle, HS, Adult)
• Group Piano Lessons (For Elementary, Middle, HS, Adult)
• Guitar Ensembles (For Elementary, Middle, HS, Adult)
• Introduction To Piano Lessons (Ages 4-5) Group Keyboard/Piano Lessons
• Music FunTime (Ages 18 months to age 7)
• Mini-Mozarts (Ages 3-5)
• Music Theory (HS and Adult)
• Orchestral Excerpts Class for Flute Students (HS and Adult)
• Rock Band 101 (Middle School, HS, Adult)
• Saxophone Ensemble (Middle School, HS, Adult)
• String Ensemble (Middle, HS, Adult)
• Trumpet Ensemble (Middle School, HS, Adult)
• Vocal Ensembles/Choirs (For Middle School, HS, Adult)
• Vocal Performance Classes (For Middle School, HS, Adult)
• Wind Ensemble (Middle School, HS, Adult)

Call NOW to register-952-924-4141

Music2Master
Best to you in the meantime!
http://www.Music2Master.com  (check us out on the web!)
http://www.yellowpages.com/info-IY245047819/Music2Master-com  (Check out our Video!)
7300 France Avenue South
Suite 112
Edina, Minnesota 55435
952-924-4141
Authorized Pearl Flute Dealer
Authorized Band and Orchestra Instrument Rentals
Authorized Band and Orchestra Instrument Sales
Hours By Appointment
Band and Orchestra Programs Available for Private, Parochial or Home School Students.
Private Lessons on ALL Band and Orchestra Instruments and Piano, Voice and Guitar!
MusicFunTime (Ages 18 months to Age 7)
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Music2Mastercom/39032802473  
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Music2Master
 

As with anything, there are plenty of myths that go along with piano lessons.

These may have started out as accepted truths in the olden days, but now we know better. Many piano students will hear these myths throughout their lives, but one might wonder if there is any truth to these myths.

Myth: You should practice the piano every day.

This is a very common myth because it seems to make sense; the more you practice, the better you will play. This is true, in a sense, because you cannot progress without practicing, however, those days of rest without practice are necessary. Similar to lifting weights, you should alternate working different parts of your body because your muscles need time to heal. With playing the piano, your brain needs time to absorb what it just learned. 

Another reason not to aim to practice every day is because some days you simply will not be able to practice. Whether you’re out of town, not feeling well or something came up, there are times when practicing the piano will not be a top priority. If you’re set on practicing seven days a week, then you might stress out about this one day of missed practice and try to “make it up” the next day. This can lead to over exerting or rushing to practice and making errors. Learning to play the piano should be something you enjoy and look forward to. Trying to practice every day makes this a chore and will eventually be something you dislike doing. Learning to play the piano is a fun hobby and is shown to be beneficial later in life, so keep things fun!

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.

Summer is a great time to relax and take a break from school and other academic activities. It’s also a time when kids are bored with nothing to occupy their time!  Music Lessons are a great way to keep kids busy and out of trouble.

Studies show that Music Lessons not only expose children to other cultures, but also can help with their academic success. There is a correlation between music lessons and higher scores in math, reading and on standardized tests! A great way to keep children occupied, without worrying that they’re up to no good, is to get them interested in a beneficial hobby.

This summer, if you’ve already exhausted all ways to keep kids busy, sign them up with private music lessons! Private music lessons make learning easy for the busy parents and bored children.

Music2Master has excellent instructors that specialize in making music lessons fun for kids!

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.

Children are notorious for getting excited about a new hobby and then becoming bored with it after a short amount of time. What happens when you just shelled out serious money for a new instrument and Music Lessons for your child because they “had” to learn to play an instrument? After a while of forcing your child to practice, it may seem easy to let them quit. Studies have shown that Music Lessons benefit children their whole lives and sticking with music lessons can teach them valuable lessons about commitment.

Here are a few ways to make music lessons fun for kids.

Music Outings. Children might not understand that their music lessons can be something they keep the rest of their lives. Go on field trips to local (kid-friendly) music scenes like orchestras, family oriented concerts or even musicals to show them their musical talent means something.

Switch Instructors. If your child shows a sincere interest in music, but after beginning lessons suddenly loses interest, it might be a good idea to find another teacher. Children learn at different paces and some kids might need a more outgoing instructor that specializes in working with younger children than someone who is more accustomed to working with adults. Before letting your children quit music lessons, try switching instructors and see if that renews their interest.

Praise their success. Kids love nothing more that their parents and peers recognizing something they excel at. Reward or praise your child every time they learn a new technique or play through a new piece of music. Eventually they will feel the accomplishment of learning new things and will not need to be praised daily. 

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.

Music Audition Tips

June 7th 2012

Intonation:
• To practice tuning, play your scales with a drone and compare each note to the drone so your pitch stays centered in the key.
• String players: check your pitches against open strings when you practice scales to make sure that your intervals are correct.

Sight Reading:
• Practice sight-reading every day with a metronome
• Practice sight-reading in duets, which will keep you from stopping to fix errors, and will also make this practice less of a chore and more of a fun activity with friends.

Dealing with Mistakes:
• If you hit a wrong note, think of it as a “different note,” and continue to perform with musical commitment – then it won’t injure your performance as much.

Dealing with Nerves:
• Envision very specific goals and mentally walk yourself through the entire audition.
• Devise mental, physical, and musical goals to define your own success.
• Keep your feet grounded on the floor, and use your nervous energy to propel you towards a great performance.
• Get a sense of where you are in the room and strive to fill the entire room with your forte sound.

Attire:
• Make sure that you are neatly dressed, which will communicate respect for the judges and seriousness about the task at hand. Wear something that your grandparents would approve of.
• Girls – stay away from those high heels, which will throw you off balance and affect your setup, especially if you don’t normally wear them.
• Practice your audition in the clothes that you plan on wearing.

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org call us at 952-924-4141.

(CNN) -- Michael Jackson was on to something when he sang that "A-B-C" is "simple as 'Do Re Mi.'" Music helps kids remember basic facts such as the order of letters in the alphabet, partly because songs tap into fundamental systems in our brains that are sensitive to melody and beat.

That's not all: when you play music, you are exercising your brain in a unique way."I think there's enough evidence to say that musical experience, musical exposure, musical training, all of those things change your brain," says Dr. Charles Limb, associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins University. "It allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music."

The connection between music and the brain is the subject of a symposium at the Association for Psychological Science conference in Chicago this weekend, featuring prominent scientists and Grammy-winning bassist Victor Wooten. They will discuss the remarkable ways our brains enable us to appreciate, remember and play music, and how we can harness those abilities in new ways.
There are more facets to the mind-music connection than there are notes in a major scale, but it's fascinating to zoom in on a few to see the extraordinary affects music can have on your brain.

Ear worms
Whether it's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" or "Somebody That I Used to Know," or even "Bad Romance" or "Bohemian Rhapsody," it's easy to get part of a song stuck in your head, perhaps even a part that you don't particularly like. It plays over and over on repeat, as if the "loop" button got stuck on your music player.

Scientists think of these annoying sound segments as "ear worms." They don't yet know much about why they happen, but research is making headway on what's going on.

The songs that get stuck in people's heads tend to be melodically and rhythmically simple, says Daniel Levitin, a psychologist who studies the neuroscience of music at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. It's usually just a segment of the song, not the entire thing from beginning to end. A common method of getting rid of an ear worm is to listen to a different song -- except, of course, that song might plant itself in your thoughts for awhile.

"What we think is going on is that the neural circuits get stuck in a repeating loop and they play this thing over and over again," Levitin said.
In rare cases, ear worms can actually be detrimental to people's everyday functioning, Levitin said. There are people who can't work, sleep or concentrate because of songs that won't leave their heads. They may even need to take the same anti-anxiety medications given to people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, drugs that relax the neural circuits that are stuck in an infinite loop.

How we evolved to remember music
Given how easily song snippets get stuck in our heads, music must be linked to some sort of evolutionary adaptation that helped our ancestors.

Bone flutes have been dated to about 40,000 to 80,000 years ago, so people were at least playing music. Experts assume that people were probably singing before they went to the trouble of fashioning this instrument, Levitin said. In Judaism, the Torah was set to music as a way to remember it before it was written down.

"The structures that respond to music in the brain evolved earlier than the structures that respond to language," Levitin said.
Levitin points out that many of our ancestors, before there was writing, used music to help them remember things, such as how to prepare foods or the way to get to a water source. These procedural tasks would have been easier to remember as songs. Today, we still use songs to teach children things in school, like the 50 states.

What about remembering how to play music?When you sit down at the piano and learn how to play a song, your brain has to execute what's known as a "motor-action plan." It means that a sequence of events must unfold in a particular order, your fingers must hit a precise pattern of notes in order. And you rehearse those motor movements over and over, strengthening the neural circuits the more you practice.
But musicians who memorize how to play music often find they can't just begin a remembered piece at any point in the song. The brain has a certain number of entry nodes in the motor-action plan, so you can only access the information from particular points in the song.
"Even though it feels like it's in your fingers, it's not," Levitin said. "It's in the finger representation in your head."

Music and pleasure
Music is strongly associated with the brain's reward system. It's the part of the brain that tells us if things are valuable, or important or relevant to survival, said Robert Zatorre, professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Montreal Neurological Institute.

One brain structure in particular, called the striatum, releases a chemical called dopamine in response to pleasure-related stimuli. Imaging of the brain can reveal this process is similar to what happens in your brain in response to food or sex.

But unlike those activities, music doesn't have a direct biological survival value. "It's not obvious that it should engage that same system," Zatorre said.
Musicians can't see inside their own brains, but they're aware of moments of tension and release in pieces, and that's what arrangers of music do.

Zatorre and colleagues did an experiment where they used whatever music participants said gave them pleasure to examine this dopamine release. They excluded music with words in order to focus on the music itself rather than lyrics -- the melodic structure, for example.
At the point in a piece of music when people experience peak pleasure, part of the brain called the ventral striatum releases dopamine. But here's something even more interesting: Dopamine is released from a different brain area (the dorsal striatum) about 10 to 15 seconds before the moment of peak pleasure.

Why would we have this reaction before the most pleasurable part of the piece of music? The brain likes to investigate its environment and figure out what's coming next, Zatorre explains.

"As you're anticipating a moment of pleasure, you're making predictions about what you're hearing and what you're about to hear," he said. "Part of the pleasure we derive from it is being able to make predictions."

So if you're getting such a strong dopamine rush from music -- it could even be comparable to methamphetamines, Zatorre said -- why not make drug addicts listen to music? It's not quite that simple.

Neuroscientists believe there's basically one pleasure mechanism, and music is one route into it. Drugs are another. But different stimuli have different properties. And it's no easier to tell someone to replace drugs with music than to suggest eating instead of having sex -- these are all pleasurable activities with important differences.

Rocking to the beat
Did you know that monkeys can't tap their feet to songs, or recognize beats?
It appears that humans are the only primates who move to the beat of music. Aniruddh Patel at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, California, speculates that this is because our brains are organized in a different way than our close species relatives. Grooving to a beat may be related to the fact that no other primates can mimic complex sounds.

Curiously, some birds can mimic what they hear and move to beats. Patel's research with a cockatoo suggests the beat responses may have originated as a byproduct of vocal mimicry, but also play a role in social bonding, Patel said. Armies train by marching to a beat, for instance. Group dancing is a social activity. There also are studies showing that when people move together to a beat, they're more likely to cooperate with each other in nonmusical tasks than if they're not in synch.

"Some people have theorized that that was the original function of this behavior in evolution: It was a way of bonding people emotionally together in groups, through shared movement and shared experience," Patel said.

Another exciting arena of research: Music with a beat seems to help people with motor disorders such as Parkinson's disease walk better than in the absence of music -- patients actually synchronize their movements to a beat, Patel said.

"That's a very powerful circuit in the brain," he said. "It can actually help people that have these serious neurological diseases."
There's also some evidence to suggest that music can help Alzheimer's patients remember things better, and that learning new skills such as musical instruments might even stave off dementia.

There still needs to be more research in these areas to confirm, but Limb is hopeful about the prospect of musical engagement as a way to prevent, or at least delay, dementia.

"That's a pretty amazing thing that, from sound, you can stimulate the entire brain," Limb said. "If you think about dementia as the opposite trend, of the brain atrophying, I think there's a lot of basis to it."

Music and emotions
You may associate particular songs with events in your life -- Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" might remind you of your graduation day, if you had a graduation in the 1990s or 2000s, for example.

Despite variation in any given person's life experience, studies have shown that music listeners largely agree with one another when it comes to the emotions presented in a song. This may be independent of lyrics; musical sounds themselves may carry emotional meaning, writes Cornell University psychologist Carol Krumhansl in Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Educational shows such as "Sesame Street" have been tapping into the power of music to help yo
ungsters remember things for decades. Even babies have been shown to be sensitive to beats and can recognize a piece of music that they've already heard.

Advertisers exploit music in many commercials to make you excited about products. As a result, you may associate songs with particular cars, for instance.
Here's one way you might not already be using music: Making a deliberate effort to use music to alter mood. Listen to something that makes you energetic at the beginning of the day, and listen to a soothing song after an argument, Levitin says.

Music as a language
Victor Wooten of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones isn't a scientist, but he has thought a lot about the process of learning to play music. For him, introducing a child to music shouldn't be different from the way a child begins speaking.

"I just approach music as a language, because it is," Wooten said. "It serves the same purpose. It's a form of expression. A way for me to express myself, convey feelings, and sometimes it actually works better than a written or verbal language."

Traditionally, a child learns to play music by being taught how an instrument works, and learning to play easy pieces that they practice over and over. They might also play music with other beginners. All the rules come first -- notes, chords, notation -- before they play.

But with language, young children never know that they're beginners, Wooten said. No one makes them feel bad when they say a word incorrectly, and they're not told to practice that word dozens of times. Why should it be different with music?

"If you think about trying to teach a toddler how to read, and the alphabet, and all that stuff, before they can speak, we'd realize how silly that really is," Wooten said. "Kids most of the time quit, because they didn't come there to learn that. They came to learn to play."

He remembers learning to play music in an immersive way, rather than in a formulaic sequence of lessons. When he was born, his four older brothers were already playing music and knew they needed a bass player to complete the band. "My brothers never said, 'This is what you're going to do,'" he said. Wooten took this philosophy and created summer camps to get kids excited about music in a more natural way.
"It's rare that I ever meet a musician who doesn't agree that music is a language. But it's very rare to meet a musician that really treats it like one."

There you have it: Music that gets stuck in your head can be annoying, but it also serves a multitude of other purposes that benefit you. If you treat it like a language, as Wooten suggests, you might learn new skills and reap some of the brain health benefits that neurologists are exploring.

It's more complicated than "A, B, C," but that's how amazing the mind can be.

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com  or http://www.PearlFlutes.net  or http://www.MusicFunTime.org  call us at 952-924-4141.
 

Music2Master Alumn/Former Music2Master Student Scott Palmer has submitted Eden Prairie High School for the NEMC contest to win $10,000 in free instruments for their school. Scott is a Band Director at Eden Prairie High School and he is AMA...ZING! Voting begins today May 2nd-May 20th. Please cast your vote and help them win this for their school. NEMC is the AWESOME company Music2Master uses for our band and orchestra instrument rentals and this is a great opportunity to help out a school and kids who want to continue in music education!
 
952-924-4141

"The department really valued the opportunity to connect with you and continue to believe in and support the fine private lesson instruction that comes out of Music2Master. We greatly value the relationship we have with Music2Master. All involved place great value in the many offerings Music2Master has, welcome future opportunities. Teachers will continue to encourage Edina Band students to make use of the excellent private music instruction that comes from Music2Master as well as the other services available."
Respectfully,
Edina Band Staff
 

Music2Master RENTS and SELLS INSTRUMENTS!

Best terms in the Twin Cities!

EDINA BAND INSTRUMENTS FOR RENT
EDINA ORCHESTRA INSTRUMENTS FOR RENT
MINNEAPOLIS BAND INSTRUMENTS FOR RENT
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Band, Guitar and Orchestra Instruments for Rent/Rent 2 Own/For Sale!

We Rent, Rent2Own and Sell The Following:

· Flute
· Clarinet
· Saxophone
· Trumpet
· Trombone
· Tenor Sax
· Piccolo
· Percussion Bell Kit/Drum/Snare Kit
· Violin
· Viola, Cello

Details of the Rental Program:

· %Rental payments apply toward purchase of the instrument
· An Early Purchase Option may be exercised at any time
· There is no obligation to buy and the full option to return at any time
· Maintenance and Service Plan Included (Normal use maintenance, not damage)
· A professional mouthpiece is supplied w/ every wind instrument (included in the rental fee)
· Each instrument is covered by a Damage Waiver (no deductible) and by a Fire and Burglary Waiver (No Deductible). No Additional Charge!
· Only name brand instruments in NEW or Like-New condition rented
· Authenticity of new instruments is guaranteed

Call us at 952-924-4141 to schedule a rental appointment
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Benefits of Music Funtime

In succession of all the popular reports out of Congress and studies at Johns-Hopkins Research Center about themagical Connection between Math and Music, we are happy to announce Music Funtime teaching music to children ages 18 months thru 5 years through rhythm, pitch, theory and technique.

Math and Music unitethe two hemispheres of the brain – a powerful force for learning. Did you ever consider the skills your child uses when he/she sings a song such as “This Old Man”? He/she is matching and comparing (through pitch, volume and rhythm), patterning and sequencing (through melody, rhythm and lyrics), counting numbers and adding. Add dramatic hand movements or clapping to the beat and you have created an entire package of learning rolled into one song.

In recent years, there has been considerable amount of research on the effect of music on brain development and thinking. Neurological research has found that the higher the brain functions of abstract reasoning as well as spatial and temporal conceptualization are enhanced by music activities. Activities with music generate the neural connections necessary for using important math skills.

Music is considered a right brain activity, while Math is a left brain activity. When combined, the whole child is engaged not only in the realm of thinking, but in all the other domains of social, emotional, creative, language and physical development. Together they make a complete developmental package.

Music Funtime is different than the typical preschool music program.

Music Funtime is not a simple play group where children sing, dance, jump & play instruments. We offer an innovated new program, geared from the Johns-Hopkins Research that children 7 and under can learn to read music notation and symbols, eventually, learning to play instruments.

If a child can learn their letters, numbers, shapes, animals etc., why can’t they learn to read music?

Through crafts, worksheets, games, instruments, singing, & very small group classes, we teach children in a fun & exciting way, how to play and read music. Class excitement has proven over & over, the children’s enthusiasm to look forward to weekly music lessons.

Our classes are 8 week sessions for a half hour. We change the curriculum every 5 minutes accommodating child’s attention span.

At the end of each 8 week session, students are eligible to graduate into the next level of music education. All lessons are geared towards the piano because the piano is a string & percussion instrument. Children not only learn timing, rythm & tempo they also learn the notes on the grand staff, such as…e,g,b,d,f (every good boy does fine) etc.

Our children also perform at public facilities singing with their instruments, a minimum of 2 times per year.

Your child will explore music, dance and sing together and more. Your child learns to share, take turns and develop the skills they’ll need in school and on the neighborhood playground.

Our Music Funtime classes are fun, yet educational and an important part of your child’s development.

In this special place for musical, social and emotional learning, your children will strengthen their ties with each other!

For more information on MusicFunTime Classes, Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or http://www.MusicFunTime.org  call us at 952-924-4141.

Cleaning Your Piano

March 15th 2012

Unless you have a badly stained piano, caring for the instrument needn't mean employing a professional cleaner or polisher. A soft buff regularly witha lint-free cloth is all it needs. Harsh chemicals and sprays will only damage the surface of the delicate ivory keys and will make the instrument look older and more worn than in truly is.

Cleaning Ivory keys

Do not:

-Immerse in water
-Scrub with a brush or even a scouring pad
-Use any chemicals whatsoever, even washing up liquid can damage the precious surface.
-Do not spray with furniture polish
-Do not use air-freshener anywhere near the keys or piano.

Generally speaking, ivory should be gently wiped with a soft clean cloth. For stubborn marks or fingerprints (it is always a good idea to wash your hands before playing the instrument) use a mild non-coloured toothpaste on a damp cloth. Ensure that you rub gently and do not scrub. Rinse with fresh milk with another lint-free cloth and buff well.

Leave the piano open on sunny days so that the keys will stay bleached and will not turn yellow. Keys that are badly discoloured or stained must be scraped and recovered by a professional piano cleaner.

Plastic Keys

Do not:
-Use chemicals
-Leave the piano open for long periods of time: this will cause discolouration of the keys.
-Do not use furniture polish, this can be too harsh.

Dust regularly and wipe occasionally with a weak solution of warm water and vinegar on a clean chamois leather. Buff well for added shine.

Cleaning the casework

The casework of the piano can get very dusty quickly. A good idea is to routinely use a vacuum cleaner attachment to get rid of any dust/cobwebs. This can take some time, but will be definately be worth it in the end. Do not use water or any liquids/chemicals when cleaning the casework. Even the wood surface just needs a dust with a soft cloth. For stains or marks consult a professional piano tuner/cleaner.

For more information on Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com  or http://www.PearlFlutes.net  or call us at 952-924-4141.
 

by Doug Yeo
Those who know me well are aware that I view my job as a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra as in inexpressible gift, an answer to a long held dream and an enormous privilege. Having been a full time orchestral musician since 1981, I am also well aware that many of my colleagues are either inexpressibly happy with their positions or dismally unhappy. I speak about this some in my article The Puzzle of Our Lives , a detailed look at my own personal journey to a life as an orchestral musician.

At the same time, while each person will view a career in a professional orchestra through a slightly different lens, allow me to point out several distinct advantages and disadvantages to consider for those thinking about such a career. Please note that what I am writing below is from my perspective as a member of the Boston Symphony, an orchestra that is in the top tier of world-clas ensembles. Working conditions, salary and benefits in other orchestras may be vastly different that what I describe here as many other major, regional and metropolitan orchestras have much lower scale salaries, benefits, and less optimum working conditions. Musicians in many orchestras are paid "per service" and the trombone is not always part of the "core" group of players in the orchestra. But here is one viewpoint from where I sit, as I assume most people who are aspiring for an orchestral career would like to play at the top level.
The Good News...
An opportunity to do something you love as your job . There are not many jobs that provide one the ability to do exactly what one trains to do. If you love playing your instrument, a career in a symphony orchestra provides a chance to do that on a daily basis and, on concert nights, have the satisfaction of 2000 people on their feet congratulating you for a job well done.

The potential for a stable career with excellent job security, salary and benefits . The base scale pay for members of the top American orchestras (Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia) for the 1997-98 season is approximately $1500+/week (minimum guaranteed scale). These orchestras typically offer 10 weeks paid vacation, full medical and dental coverage, generous sick leave, a pension (after 30 years service) of over $40,000/year, and many other excellent benefits. After passing an initial probationary period (of one to three years depending on the orchestra's policy), tenured members enjoy job protection and security as members of the American Federation of Musicians. Dismissal can only be made for cause which must be proven to an arbitration panel, often made up of peer members of the orchestra.
Recording benefits . Many orchestras make either audio or television recordings. Current AFM scale for a three hour recording session (symphonic scale) is approximately $300.00 not including yearly residual royalty payments made to the individual musicians.

Tour opportunities . Top orchestras regularly go on tour to various places in the world. Since I joined the Boston Symphony in 1985, I have toured (in most cases several times) Japan, China, Hong Kong, South America, Europe, The Canary Islands, and the United States. Orchestra members are provided with a private, single room in tour hotels as well as a daily food per diem allowance of approximately $60.00+/day.

Instant credibility in the music market . Simply by virtue of the fact that a person is a member of top symphony orchestra, many other doors open easily, particularly in the realm of teaching. For those in orchestras in large metropolitan areas, colleges, universities and conservatories of music usually draw their faculty from the ranks of the local symphony orchestra. In addition, upon retiring from the orchestra, symphony players often become leading candidates for full time jobs in colleges because of their vast experience.

An appealing schedule . While work in a symphony orchestra is demanding (see below), the fact is that the average 8 service week for most major orchestras is an attractive schedule. A typical Boston Symphony Orchestra work week will usually include four 2.5 hour rehearsals and 4 concerts. If a player chooses not to teach or engage in other work outside the orchestra, it is possible to be home for three meals a day on most days of the week and enjoy a "work week" of about 20 hours on the job. Of course, individual practice adds up to make a full work week, but such practice can be done on a flexible basis and usually at home. For players with young children, the job is one that provides significant time at home. For players with a spouse who does not have a full time job, having Sunday and Monday as days off (as is the case most weeks in the BSO) provides time for relationship building and time off when (on Mondays) most of the rest of the work force is busy at the office.

The Bad News...
Cynicism . Despite the fact that an orchestral job provides stability, a good income and the satisfaction of a life in music, many players become cynical and jaded because they feel their work as individuals is not appropriately recognized. Many musicians (particularly string players) train aspiring to a solo or chamber music career; a life ina symphony orchestra often seems "third best" to them. After years as a tutti player, some players become frustrated and choose to dwell on negative aspects of the job. Because most orchestras have contracts with the American Federation of Musicians, the union can also have a negative influence, beyond the average 3% (per week) work dues involuntarily attached from one's paycheck. Union activism can at times be frustrating, and while allegedly "democratic" in nature, players are not given a choice about many decisions made by the union. It is, however, always possible to find something to be unhappy about - scheduling, overtime, tour conditions, etc. But happiness is a choice, and one can make a calculated decision about whether he will focus on the positive or the negative. For a more detailed discussion of this issue, see my article The Modern Symphony Orchestra: Turmoil, Liberation and Redemption .

Limited advancement opportunities . Wind and brass players are usually hired to individual positions in an orchestra, say principal trombone or second trumpet. While some positions require specialty players (such as bass trombone, tuba, contra-bassoon, bass clarinet, english horn, piccolo, etc), second players (and most section string players) have few opportunities to move up to principal or premium chairs. Because players who are tenured often stay in an orchestra for a lifetime, the possibility for moving up in a section only comes when another, higher positioned player, leaves or retires.

The work is demanding . Keeping in daily shape for performing in a major symphony orchestra is hard work. Personal warming up and practice time can occupy many hours a day. Even on vacation, musicians must continue to practice less their musicle skills diminish. When one is not at work, the need to continually keep in shape is always there.

Diminishing public support for the arts . In recent years, public support for the arts has been diminishing as other forms of entertainment have begun to erode the symphony orchestra base. Because of this erosion, orchestras are increasingly turning to lighter, more commerically viable musical fare and the symphony orchestra as an institution is undergoing fundamental changes. Many smaller orchestras are having serious financial difficulty and some have folded or changed from full to part-time jobs. Even major orchestras have been undergoing a period of labor unrest as players in many cities have gone on strike to preserve what they consider to be a way of life to which they feel entitled. In a classic "Catch-22", such strikes have done little to engender public support for the musicians, and often contribute to the ever shrinking audience base.

More Questions...

Having given you some of my thoughts about the pros and cons of playing in an orchestra, there are still many questions a person must ask himself before embarking on this career path. It may sound attractive to play in a major symphony orchestra, but before you set yourself on that path, ask yourself some of the following questions (I am grateful for discussions I have had with my friend Bob Fraser in working through these thoughts)....

Do you love music?

Do you love all kinds of orchestral music? (Orchestras don't just play "classical" music anymore.)

Do you love ALL kinds of music?? (Solo, chamber, choral, opera/operetta, band, jazz/big band, rock, easy listening, country, new music.) Do you crave both live performances and recordings of music?

If you don't love all kinds of music, are you prepared to accept the fact that playing something you may not consider to be great (or even good) music with great skill will bring great joy to someone in the audience and that you must be content with this because this is your job?

Is your primary motivation for being an orchestral musician to do what you enjoy for a living for the benefit of humanity? Remember that most of the time you will NOT be playing music that prominently features your instrument (especially if you are a brass player). If your primary motivation to play in an orchestra is stardom, prepare for a big disappointment.

Many orchestras below the top tier pay salaries far below a comfortable living wage for the community that they are in and in order to work in these cities you will need to teach, freelance, or work in a job outside of music. Are you prepared to do this?

If you play in a regional orchestra and your specialty is an instrument not found in all the orchestral repertoire (trombone, tuba, bass clarinet, 4th horn, harp, percussion, etc.) you will likely be paid less than many of your "core orchestra" colleagues. Can you accept this?

Do you love music so much you wish to strive for the highest playing standard possible for yourself even if those around you don't - and even if circumstances beyond your control don't always permit you to play your absolute best? (For example when you have to deal with uncomfortable orchestra pits, outdoor venues, bad acoustics, unclear conductors, etc.)

Will you continue to work on improving your "fundamentals" (intonation, tone, rhythm, technical facility) right up until your retirement? Will you constantly seek out new musical experiences, ideas, repertoire, ways of doing things? In other words, will you continue to grow as a musician and a human being, or settle into a rut?

Are you the type of person who will be continually upset by circumstances partially or totally beyond your control (such as the aforementioned)? Will you complain about things you can't possibly do anything about? Can you live your professional life by the Alcoholics Anonymous' prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference?"

Playing in an orchestra is very demanding physically and mentally. Are you currently in good health and capable of holding your instrument for three hours or more at a time, seven or eight times a week, 30 to 44 weeks a year (this is the life of an orchestral string player)? Are you ready for the demands of being "swept along" by a huge section of players in a huge group? Do you exercise regularly? Do you practice efficiently (that is the highest possible accomplishment/time ratio) and know when to put the instrument away?

Speaking of putting the instrument away - even though music will be Acentral part of your life, by no means should it be THE central part. Are you the type of person who will let your career overwhelm the other important things you may choose in life - family, recreation, spiritual well-being? Music is a great friend, but it can be a terrible master.

Can you work effectively in close quarters as a team with a large group of people who come from every different background and personality type imaginable?

Can you get along with people that are difficult to get along with?

Are you prepared to work as a team to make a bad conductor look great or a not-so great piece sound like Beethoven's Ninth? Or will you abdicate all responsibility to someone else?

Are you prepared to join a profession that is more like joining a cause than a profession? That is, are you willing to champion the cause of great music to an non-supportive community/government/granting agency/school board? Are you prepared to use live orchestral music as a weapon to battle the assimilating advance of the 500 channel universe?

If your bent is toward serving on an orchestra players' or union committee, what is your motivation? Personal/financial gain? Securing your position politically within the group? Will you make gains by bullying, intimidation and back-stabbing, or by working as a team focusing on common problems and goals, not personalities or positions?

If you have to present an opposing point of view on an issue, can you do it in such a way as to convey respect for other people?

Do you know when it is appropriate to stand up for your point of view and when it is more appropriate to keep your mouth shut?

Can you work within a hierarchy: you - your section principal - the concertmaster - the conductor - or are you "always right" and must lead the orchestra from your chair?

Can you accept the fact that, regardless of your instrument (concertmaster or triangle), you are part of a team and that YOU are not the most important thing on the stage - even if you have the melody or an unaccompanied solo? Remember that the most important person on the stage is usually long deceased - the composer.

If, after working in the profession for a while, you discover that the orchestral life is not for you; that you would be happier or better off doing something else, or simply that you've accomplished all you want to as an orchestral player, or if your abilities have diminished and you are no longer able to play in a way that will always contribute positively to the ensemble, will you have the courage to leave the profession, or will you "hang on" and continue to embitter yourself and your colleagues because you lack the necessary drive to make a big career change?

Do you want to become part of something so much bigger than yourself: working as a team to recreate great works of music, to continue to improve on that re-creative process in a sometimes difficult and misunderstood profession, and bringing edification, joy and delight to hundreds of thousands of people in the hopes that they will cherish music as you do and continue their own daily discovery and re-discovery of one of God's greatest gifts to humanity.

For more information on Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com  or http://www.PearlFlutes.net  or call us at 952-924-4141.
 

When to Start Music Lessons:
My Child Loves Music - So What Should I Do?
An Age-by-Age Guide to the Best Start in Music Education

By Cherylann Bellavia
Cherylann Bellavia is owner of Discover Music in Pittsford, NY.

The other night, my husband and I were in a local restaurant. In a high chair nearby was an adorable one-year-old girl, be-bopping to the music on the PA system. Her hands were raised high, her feet were going a hundred miles an hour, and the biggest grin I’d ever seen on a child was spread from ear to ear. My heart instantly swelled, as I thought to myself, “That little one has rhythm in her bones!” At least half of my time waiting for the food was spent just watching her rock and roll.

Almost all children LOVE music! Studies have shown that music enhances a child’s comprehension abilities, helps them with math concepts, assists in the development of fine motor skills, and helps to build self-confidence. Many children with special needs have been known to excel at music even though they are unable to communicate or participate in regular structured activities. In general, music enhances the lives of many children and adults as well.

Studies have shown that children can actually hear music in the womb, and some seem to develop a taste for certain styles of music as a result. Age-appropriate music programs are not easy to find, and finding an instructor who keeps it interesting can be a real challenge whether in a group or individual setting.

6 to 8 Months
Classes for moms and babies are a great way to begin even with children as young as 6 – 8 months. These classes are usually 30 – 40 minutes long, and they require active participation on the part of parents. Programs designed for toddlers 18 – 24 months are very popular as well; these still require parental participation, but by this age, children are starting actively to engage in the different activities in the class.

3 and 4 Year Olds
Programs for 3- and 4-year-olds are now readily available. This is really the ideal age for kids to start their music experience. Most of these programs are about 30 – 35 minutes in length, and involve props, movement and singing. Some even integrate arts and crafts and free play with rhythm instruments and props to music. Parents typically are not required to participate in these classes.

Ages 5 and Up
For children ages 5 and up, sometimes the best way to begin their musical path is to have them take some type of group piano or group violin lesson with other children their age. If the teacher is creative, he or she will integrate activities such as music games and crafts into the curriculum. You can also begin to consider private individual instruction. Piano/keyboard lessons are sometimes easiest for children ages 5, 6, and even older. One year of instruction on the piano or keyboard provides a great foundation as children learn basic music theory concepts such as the music alphabet, what a quarter note, half note, whole note is, what the music staff does, and the location of the keys on the keyboard. In addition, they learn fun kids songs like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” If piano isn’t their thing, the violin can provide a great foundation for children to start their lesson path.

Ages 7 and Up
Around age 7, instruments such as the guitar, drums and other string instruments can be introduced. The same concepts are covered, but children who have had at least six months to one year of piano under their belt (and thus already know the basic elements of music) find it easier to make the transition between instruments. Consequently, they are able to engage with the new instrument a lot faster.

Elementary School Grades 3 and Up
Most elementary schools provide an opportunity for children in Grades 3 and up to begin taking group lessons in school on all instruments except the piano. This gives them the opportunity to participate in a band or orchestra at school with their friends, an experience that is often remembered vividly into adulthood. The only drawback that comes from these types of group lessons is that children needing extra help on their instrument are sometimes too timid to ask for it, or the instructor’s schedule does not allow for extra time spent with students, which can lead to discouragement. Outside private lessons on your child’s instrument are a wonderful way to reinforce what they are doing at school, and also help them to exceed what the other children in their group class are doing. This can pave the way for the child's inclusion in solo festivals offered by the State or County.

After deciding that learning an instrument is right for your child, the next immediate question is: “How do I get them practice now that we’ve taken the plunge?” You know your child best. It may take some time to find the best way to accomplish practicing. Most children, especially at first, need some kind of external incentive. Try different ideas, such as a reward chart that enables them to receive something at the end of the week for their efforts -- like a new book, 15 extra minutes to play a video game, or a trip out for ice cream. I have many ideas listed in my article "Mom, I Don't WANT to Practice" here on KidsOutAndAbout.com.

Parents considering enrolling their child in lessons should realize that it is important to help your child develop a sense of commitment to learning the instrument. While I don’t believe in music becoming a torturous experience, I DO believe that it’s important to not allow kids to “hop” from one activity to the next without ever completing anything. For example, if you have committed to a class for 10 weeks, your child needs to understand that the commitment should be carried through. If they have committed to lessons for a calendar school year, express to them that it is important to complete the year; as the year draws to a close, you can start discussing their interest in other areas or another instrument. Tell them although that you do require them to continue to do their best; if you see that they are making a consistent effort, you are more than willing to allow them to try something else once this commitment is completed. This lesson is not only important in music education, but is a crucial life skill, and this provides a good opportunity to acquire it early.

Adult Education
What about ADULT music education? If you have always wanted to take up an instrument, or if you gave up as a child because of a bad teacher, IT'S TIME TO START AGAIN! You CAN still take up that instrument or start those voice lessons, and it can create a wonderful bond with your child as you both find the time to practice and encourage one another. I have talked with many adults who find themselves much better, as adults, at playing technique than they were as children. Don't be shy about taking advantage of this opportunity. You may be surprised to find that your child’s teacher may be able to offer you the opportunity to take lessons while your child is having his or her lesson, or right before or after your child’s lesson. My oldest student was 83 when she started taking piano, and only discontinued lessons because her yard work was getting behind. I’ve had quite a few senior citizens and adults who have taken lessons from me, and it is a pleasure to see them each week. So find a teacher who is willing to give you some flexibility, who understands that adults lead busy lives and wear many hats. Scheduling your lessons for every other week instead of every week can work well if you can’t devote very much time to practicing in a particular week.

Remember, music was created to bring us joy. A crucial part of childhood is to experience joy together with one's parents; saturating a child's life with music from the very start is a simple but great way to do so.

For more information on Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.comor http://www.PearlFlutes.netor call us at 952-924-4141.

The competition these days to get into an orchestra is fierce. It is not unusual to have 50 players try out for a single position in an average orchestra, something paying in the range of $25-30,000/year. A prestigious orchestra in the United States can draw up to 300 people. Faced with these numbers, audition committees try to eliminate as many as possible in the opening rounds. Here's how improve your chances of winning that first job.

Careful preparation is essential for success. You must have a plan. Choose from the following suggestions whatever seems helpful to you. Come up with a strategy, and write it down!

Learn everything you can about the excerpts. Go to the music library and listen to them in the context of the entire piece. Use a score to find out what is going on in the rest of the orchestra. Read the program notes to get a sense of the composer's intentions. Remember that you have to convince a majority of the audition committee that you are experienced, and have performed these works many times, even if you haven't.

Practice multiple repetitions of the excerpts to program your "automatic pilot," and simulate the stress of the audition. Practise at different tempos. When you get tired, practise the excerpts down the octave.

Play mock auditions, making them as realistic as possible. Reserve a large room, and ask several friends, musicians, or teachers to come and be the committee. Dress up in your audition clothes. Assign a personnel manager. Have your "committee" make notes for future reference.

• Mentally rehearse the audition. Visualize yourself playing really well.

• Record yourself a lot! See how close the actual performance comes to the mental image.

• Draw the excerpts from a hat and play in random order. Get yourself ready for anything.

• Whenever possible, play the excerpts with a section.

I'm drawing on my experience here of listening to dozens of brass auditions for our orchestra. Believe it or not, to get past the first round, you don't have to be great! So many people crack up in the first round that if you can basically play the music on the page, without missing too many notes, and with decent intonation and rhythm you will probably get voted to the next round.

It's in the final rounds that your advanced musicianship must be displayed. Here the committee is listening for more subjective things, like phrasing and sound quality. So few brass players phrase that if you do anything at all you will sound great! You can't predict what kind of sound they are looking for, but here's a tip: never, never play too loud ! If you lose control you are toast.

If you are asked a question by the committee, or asked to play something a certain way, listen carefully and make sure you do it. If you don't understand the suggestion ask for clarification. Do what they want, even if it means sacrificing something else in your playing. Just do it!

If the music director comes down to conduct you through an excerpt, play from memory and look him/her right in the eyes (this happened to me – I did this and won the audition).

Focus on the strong aspects of your playing and work to bring them across. Have an "ace in the hole."

Be realistic. Don't give up if you don't get anywhere the first few tries. It takes a while to achieve that special "audition awareness," and to learn to cope with the stress. Playing an orchestra audition is possibly the hardest thing you will ever do.

For more information on Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.comor http://www.PearlFlutes.netor call us at 952-924-4141.

About Your First Concert - How to Go to A Concert

I've never been to an orchestra concert before. What should I expect?
Expect to enjoy yourself! This is the time to let go of any preconceptions you may have about classical music or the concert experience. If you feel a little nervous, that's OK. Some things about the concert may seem strange because they're new to you, but if you just focus on the music, you'll have a great time.

Open yourself up to the music. Let it trigger your emotions—maybe even your memories. Feel the rhythms; follow the tunes. Watch the musicians and the conductor, and see how they interact with each other. Notice how the music ebbs and flows—surging and powerful at some times, delicate and ephemeral at others, and everything in between.

What if I don't know anything about classical music? Do I need to study beforehand?
There's no need to study. The music will speak for itself. Just come and enjoy!

Over time, many frequent concertgoers do find their enjoyment is deeper if they prepare for a concert. This can be simple, like reading the program notes beforehand; or it can be more involved, like listening to recordings of the music to be performed in the days before they attend a concert.

You know yourself best, so if research interests you, go ahead and follow your curiosity. But if studying isn't your thing, there's no need to be concerned about it. Just listen with an open mind.

Will I recognize any of the music?
You might. Classical music is all around us: in commercials, movie soundtracks, television themes, cartoons, retail shops, and even some elevators! Popular music often quotes classical melodies, too. While you're listening in the concert to a piece you think you've never heard before, a tune you've heard a hundred times may jump out at you.

Whether or not you've heard the music before the concert, as you listen, you'll notice that each classical piece uses its own group of several tunes over and over, in different ways. You'll start to "recognize" these melodies as a work progresses. Listen for the ways a melody is repeated: Is it exactly the same as the first time, or with a different character? Is it played by the same instruments, or different ones? Does it start the same as before, but go off in a different direction? Or start differently and surprise you by developing into the tune you recognize from earlier in the piece?

What should I wear?
There is no dress code! Anything that makes you feel comfortable is fine. Most people will be wearing business clothes or slightly dressy casual clothes, but you'll see everything from khakis to cocktail dresses. Some people enjoy dressing up and making a special night of it, and you can, too. Still, evening gowns and tuxedos are pretty rare unless you've bought tickets for a fancy gala—and if you have, you'll know!

If you do decide to dress up, though, go easy on the cologne, which can distract others near you and even prompt them to sneeze (which may distract you)!

Should I arrive early?
Absolutely! Plan to arrive 20 minutes before concert time, so you can find your seat, turn off your cell phone, take a look at your surroundings, absorb the atmosphere, and have time to glance through the program book, too. You won't be alone. Most concertgoers make a point of coming early to read the program notes, or just watch the orchestra warm up.

Rushing to your seat at the last minute doesn't really give you enough time to get settled, so you may not fully enjoy the first piece on the program. And there's another good reason to come early: Most concerts start on time. If you're late, you may end up listening from the lobby! If that happens, the usher will allow you inside during a suitable pause in the program, so your arrival won't disturb other concertgoers.

How long will the concert be?
It varies, but most orchestra concerts are about 90 minutes to two hours long, with an intermission at the halfway point. Very often there will be several pieces on the concert; but sometimes there is one single work played straight through. It's a good idea to take a look at the program before the concert to get an idea of what to expect.

When should I clap?
This is the number-one scary question! No one wants to clap in the "wrong" place. But it's simpler than you may think, and quite logical on the whole.

At the beginning of the concert, the concertmaster will come onstage. The audience claps as a welcome, and as a sign of appreciation to all the musicians.

After the orchestra tunes, the conductor (and possibly a soloist) will come onstage. Everyone claps to welcome them, too. This is also a good moment to make sure your program is open, so you can see the names of the pieces that will be played and their order.

Then everything settles down and the music begins. Just listen and enjoy! The audience doesn't usually applaud again until the end of the piece.

In most classical concerts—unlike jazz or pop—the audience never applauds during the music. They wait until the end of each piece, then let loose with their applause. But this can be a little tricky, because many pieces seem to end several times—in other words, they have several parts, or "movements." These are listed in your program.

In general, musicians and your fellow listeners prefer not to hear applause during the pauses between these movements, so they can concentrate on the progress from one movement to the next. Symphonies and concertos have a momentum that builds from the beginning to the end, through all their movements, and applause can "break the mood," especially when a movement ends quietly. Sometimes, though, the audience just can't restrain itself, and you'll hear a smattering of applause—or a lot of it—during the pause before the next movement. It's perfectly OK to join in if you enjoyed the music, too.

(By the way, disregard anyone who "shushes" you for applauding between movements. It's only in the last 50 years or so that audiences stopped applauding between movements, so you have music history on your side!)

What if you lose track, and aren't sure whether the piece is truly over? One clue is to watch the conductor. Usually, s/he won't relax between movements, but keep hands raised; the attention of the musicians will remain on the conductor. If in any doubt, it's always safe to wait and follow what the rest of the audience does!

At the end of the piece, it's time to let yourself go and let the musicians know how you felt about their playing. Many pieces end "big"—and you won't have any doubt of what to do when! Some end very quietly, and then you'll see the conductor keep hands raised for a few seconds at the end, to "hold the mood." Then the hands will drop, someone will clap or yell "Bravo!"—and that's your cue. There's no need to restrain yourself. If you enjoyed what you heard, you can yell "Bravo!" too.

What if I need to cough during the music?
Everyone gets the urge to cough now and then. Worrying about disturbing your fellow listeners is a laudable impulse, but don't let it ruin your enjoyment of the concert. There's a funny thing about coughing—the less worried you are about it, the less likely you are to feel the urge! So chances are you'll feel less need to cough if you're prepared.

  1. Be sure to visit the water fountain in the lobby before the concert, and at intermission.
  2. If you have a cold, take some cough medicine in advance and bring wax paper-wrapped—or unwrapped-lozenges with you. (At some concerts, you'll even see cough drops free for the taking in the lobby.) Have a few out and ready when the music begins.
  3. Allow yourself to become involved in listening to the music and in watching the performers. The more you are absorbed in what's going on, the less likely you are to cough.
  4. If you absolutely can't restrain yourself, try to wait for the end of a movement. Or "bury" your cough in a loud passage of music. If this is impossible, and you feel a coughing fit coming on, it's perfectly acceptable to quietly exit the concert hall. Don't be embarrassed—your fellow listeners will probably appreciate your concern for their listening experience.

What should I do with my cell phone during the concert?
Turn it off! The same goes for pagers and alarm watches. It's a good idea to double-check in the few minutes before the concert begins, and again as intermission draws to a close. Better still, leave them at home if you can.

Doctors and emergency workers who are "on call" can give their pagers to an usher, who will summon them quietly if they are paged.

Can I take pictures?
Cameras, video recorders, and tape recorders aren't permitted in concerts. If you happen to have one with you, be sure to stop at the coat-check and check it in before entering the auditorium. If you have a camera and want a souvenir of a special evening at the symphony, it can be fun to ask someone to take your picture outside the concert hall before you go in.

Why is there an intermission, and what should I do during it?
It's a short rest period for the musicians and conductor—once you see how much activity goes into a performance, you'll understand why they need a break!

Listening to music is also an intense activity (even if considerably less physical), and a break in the middle helps the audience concentrate better in the second half. Some concerts, though, have no intermission because it would interrupt the flow of a long work. Check the program before the concert so you know what's coming.

Most intermissions are fifteen to twenty minutes long, which gives you time to socialize with your companions, get a drink or a snack in the lobby, visit the facilities, or simply sit in your seat and read the program notes. Do whatever puts you in a good frame of mind to hear the second half of the concert.

Can I bring my kids?
It depends on the concert and on the age of your kids. Many standard-length classical concerts are inappropriate for small children because they require an attention span that is difficult for youngsters to maintain. Most concerts also are held at night, and stretch beyond "bedtime."

So if your children are very young, check with your local orchestra, which may present family or children's concerts on weekends; these are a great way for families to enjoy classical music together. Young children are especially intrigued by the many different instruments of the orchestra and the way they are played. Try to sit up close to the orchestra, so your kids will have a great view of everything that's going on.

To further build your children's interest in classical music, play classical radio or CDs around the house. When they are old enough to sit quietly for an extended period, you may wish to bring them to the first half of a standard concert. An interested preteen or teenager could also have a marvelous time at an orchestra concert, particularly if it features several different pieces.

In all cases, it's a good idea to check with the orchestra directly about the appropriateness of the concert you plan to attend with your kids. Also ask about discounts for students and children.

About the Orchestra

What is a symphony orchestra, exactly?
A symphony orchestra is a collection of up to about 100 musicians who play instruments of four basic types:

  1. Strings—violins (smallest, and highest in pitch), violas, cellos, and doublebasses (largest and lowest in pitch). These players sit in a semicircle directly in front of the conductor, and make up more than half the orchestra.
  2. Woodwinds—flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and related instruments. These players sit a few rows back from the conductor, in the center of the orchestra.
  3. Brass—trumpets, horns, trombones, tubas, and similar instruments. These instruments are the loudest, so you'll see them at the back of the orchestra.
  4. Percussion—the drums, bells, and other fascinating paraphernalia that are struck, plucked, rubbed, etc. This includes the kettledrums, the harp, and, on occasion, the piano. Some works use lots of different percussion; others may have a single musician playing the kettledrums, or no percussion at all. The percussion section is also found at the back of the orchestra.

    Why are the musicians onstage playing before the concert begins?
    Just like basketball players taking shots and practicing moves before the game, musicians need to warm up their muscles and focus their concentration. This is fun to listen to and to watch. Some of them are working on the passages they need to polish up before the performance, with no regard for what anyone else is practicing. Pick out the flute or the trumpet playing a solo line over and over, and listen to how it changes. Does it get smoother? If the player stops in the middle and starts over, can you hear the reason why? (It's especially fun to recognize these solos later in the performance! Give a silent cheer for the player who nails the solo.)

    Not all of the orchestra players practice onstage, of course. Just like the audience, everyone is doing his or her own thing. Some are talking; others are paging through their music. And some don't come onstage at all until a minute or two before the performance. But at concert time, everyone is in place and ready to start.

    Why do the musicians wear formal black clothes?
    This is a long tradition that started a few centuries ago. Sometimes, these days, musicians dress a little more casually. But they still try to look uniform, so that the audience can concentrate on the music. Soloists are the exception: they often dress differently, because they are the focus of attention.

    How come there are more stringed instruments than anything else?
    The sound of each individual stringed instrument is softer than a brass or a woodwind instrument. But in large numbers, they make a magnificent, rich sonority.

    Why do their bows move together?
    The players of each individual section—first violins, second violins, violas, cellos, and doublebasses—play in unison most of the time. So all the cellos move together, for instance. As you listen, noticing the different bowings for each section gives you a visual clue to sort out the various melodies you're hearing.

    What does the concertmaster do?
    The concertmaster sits in the first chair of the first violins. S/he acts as leader of that section, but also plays a leadership role with orchestra as a whole. S/he is also the last orchestra musician to enter the stage before a concert, and cues the oboe to "tune" the orchestra.

    Why do all the musicians tune to the oboe?
    The penetrating tone of the oboe is easy for all players to hear, and its ability to sustain pitch is very secure. The oboe plays the note "A," and all the players make sure their "A" is exactly on the same pitch as the oboe's. This ensures that they all are in agreement about the tuning before the concert starts.

    Why do the string players share stands?
    Fewer stands mean that the musicians, who are moving around quite a bit, have more room to play freely. Also, because the strings play more continuously than the other parts, their page turns can fall in inconvenient places where there should be no break in the music. Look closely and you'll see that the player on the outside keeps playing, while the player on the inside briefly stops playing to turn the page.

    Why does the conductor leave after every piece of music?
    This provides the conductor a little breather—a chance to collect his or her thoughts before starting the next piece. If the applause is very enthusiastic, the conductor will come onstage again, bow, and perhaps recognize some musicians who played important solos in the piece. S/he may depart again once or twice before moving on to the next piece on the program.

    Why don't the musicians smile while they play?
    Look closely and you'll see that some of them do! But in general, they are concentrating deeply, just like outfielders waiting for the fly ball or pitchers winding up to a curve ball. They're "in the Zone." After the music is over, you may see them smiling broadly. If it was a concerto, and they liked the soloist's playing, they won't just smile—the string players will tap their stands with their bows as a sign of appreciation.

    Before the Next Concert

    How can I learn more about classical music?
    Most orchestras give you several ways to learn more. You can read program notes online in advance of a concert, or in your seat before the concert begins. Many concerts are preceded by free lectures or discussions, and these can be entertaining and enlightening. Sometimes the conductor or soloist even talks about the music during the concert.

    But you might not need to "know" more to have a great time at your next concert. Most people who attend concerts frequently find that it's like any other passionate pursuit: The more you do it, the more you enjoy it. Most of the classical works you hear repay frequent listening: The more often you hear a piece, the more wonderful layers you hear in it. If you enjoyed your first concert, plan to come again!

    Check the orchestra's web site for future concerts that are specifically designed to help you hear the many layers in the music. And if your concert hall has a gift shop, pay a visit during intermission; you may find books and recordings that will help you enjoy your next concert even more.

    Here are some links to web sites where you can look up composers and their works, buy recordings, and learn more about classical music:

    For a wonderful introduction to American music, visit the web site for the American Mavericks public radio series, which features the San Francisco Symphony. The site includes biographies of composers, music downloads, and interviews and features on contemporary music.

    Andante.com offers classical music news, reviews, and commentary. For a monthly fee, subscribers can download performances and access reference sources.

    The online store ArkivMusic.com has a very complete catalogue of classical recordings. So does Amazon.com.

    For kids who are learning to play instruments, FromTheTop.com offers a great resource, and access to public radio's From The Top programs.

    Many orchestras have wonderful web sites for smaller kids. They can play musical games at playmusic for starters, and visit its music links page to connect to more great music sites just for them.

    The Learning Zone of the Naxos Records web site has an introduction to classical music, biographies of composers, a glossary of musical terms, and an excellent guide to live-concert listening. You can also stream loads of classical pieces, so this is a great place to visit if you want to listen to a work a couple of times before you hear it in concert.

    And if you like the very newest "classical" music, don't miss NewMusicBox, a monthly web 'zine about living composers and their works.

For more information on Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or call us at 952-924-4141.

Mouthpiece and Reed Guide
By Lindsey Berthiaume

Every band director wants to improve the sound of his or her reed section for timber, control, and tone production. The single best way to do this is through mouthpiece and reed education so that students are able to identify and improve their own sound without direction from the conductor. The first step in educating students is becoming informed, yourself, so that you are able to pass on knowledge and insight.

Mouthpiece and reed combinations are a bit of a Pandora's Box. In fact, the topic may be totally overwhelming unless you have experienced reed playing for a number of years. My suggestion is that you focus on a few basics, mouthpieces, the components of them, and reeds. By understanding the basic construction and selection techniques, you will be able to better assist your players in making sounds decisions with their own playing equipment. Look for a few main themes to focus on within your reed section for each half of the year. It may be reed selection, reed care, and preparation or perhaps mouthpieces will be where you direct your focus. Take this theme and teach them the basics, so that they are able to make better choices for themselves while playing and crafting their talents.

Mouthpieces

Plastic

The mouthpiece is one of the most important parts of the instrument and should be treated accordingly. Often students use the mouthpiece that comes with the instrument, which is great for beginning students as they learn how to care for and feed their instrument. This plastic stock mouthpiece will quickly have served its purpose and students will need to move to a better quality mouthpiece within the first year or two.

You might ask, "Why move them to a better mouthpiece so soon?" Plastic mouthpieces are in fact cheaper in price, which makes them great for the beginning band student; however you will quickly discover that they are cheaper for a reason. These pieces will often produce squeaks and squawks outside of normal student playing, produce mediocre tone, at best, and lead to an imbalance of the registers. Not to mention the warping, cracking and chipping on impact. Plastic mouthpieces are a good deal initially, but certainly not the right tool for developing good tone, timbre, and register balance.

Hard rubber and metal

A good hard rubber mouthpiece will serve you and your students well for many years. These mouthpieces are more durable than plastic and stand the test of time. The tone production is much improved, creating a warmer and more balanced sound for the player. Also, you don't have to purchase the top of the line hard rubber mouthpiece. In fact, Vandoren and Selmer produce excellent quality and performance pieces that are moderate in price and really do last. A middle of the road mouthpiece, such as Selmer's C* series is a reliable piece at a good price. When you get your reed section to seek out a better quality mouthpiece you will find that not only their playing improves, but also their motivation increases ten fold. It is a rite of passage as students move up to a better quality mouthpiece and their response to the improvements will be dramatic.

What to say about metal mouthpieces...? Well, it's not something that I suggest. I will beg and plead with parents and students not to buy them until they're ready. Not only is the sound scary - and it really is - but they're hard to control and produce unreliable sounds and results. I think that there is some confusion surrounding metal mouthpieces. People want the edgy bright sound, but don't realize that they can get a hard rubber mouthpiece with the right construction and configuration that will produce the same effect. I think it's great that students recognize that they need a different sound for various genres of music, but we need to educate them as to how to get these sounds, so that they can make decisions that will help them grow as players.

Mouthpiece construction basics

The best way to change your sound is to know a little bit about the construction of a mouthpiece and seek out the appropriate type for you needs.

Let's start by discussing the chamber of the mouthpiece: this is the inside part that is shaped like a hollow tube. This tube can be small, which produces higher and brighter tones that are used for jazz, rock, and pop. On the other hand, it can be a large chamber, which highlights the low tones that are more appropriate for classical music. The facing of the mouthpiece is the curved flat part that is covered by the reed. Where the reed and the tip of the mouthpiece start to move away from each other is known as the tip opening. The tip opening affects the tone and timbre of the sound. A larger tip opening uses a softer reed and produces a darker sound appropriate for classical music. A smaller tip opening uses a harder reed and produces a brighter sound more akin to jazz. Within the chamber, facing and tip opening categories there are endless combinations. You'll need to identify the sound that you are trying to obtain and then look for the various construction elements that will lead you to this sound.

Overall

A good mouthpiece, which does not mean an expensive mouthpiece, will serve you, your students and the band well. It will help the students produce a better tone quality, even registers and improve their control. A middle of the road mouthpiece would be optimal as it can work well in both classical and jazz settings. One such mouthpiece would be the Selmer C* series. Students will find the results almost instantaneous and be motivated by their improved sound and equipment.

Reeds

Introduction

There are some days where it seems as though there is no rhyme or reason to reeds and their responses. Reeds are the single largest variable for any wind player or director and they have a huge impact on sound production and, more importantly, morale.

The best cane is grown in the south of France and is sold here by various manufacturers. The response and reliability is good, but you pay a little more for this. The inexpensive reeds are good for young and beginning students as they learn how to care for them, but it would be advisable to move to a better quality reed once they have discovered that breaking in new reeds isn't that much fun. A better reed quality means extended life, better tone production, and response - the price increase is well worth these benefits.

Selection

Choosing the right reed for the job is half the battle. The first issue is selecting a "good reed," with the second being selecting the "right cut" of reed for the music you are playing.

Selecting a good reed comes down to knowing the criteria: creamy bark and an even cut. I teach this to my students from the very beginning to ensure that they know the difference between a good reed and a bad one, empowering them to decide for themselves what will and won't work. Often we play a game: dump out a box of reeds, and separate the good from the bad. This shows me that they know the difference and shows them that within a box of ten there may only be four or five reeds that are truly good.

With more advanced students, they can learn about and discover the various cuts of reeds and when to use them. There are really two cuts of reeds: a rock-jazz-pop reed that is thinner at the heart producing a brighter tone such as Vandoren's Java; and a more classical reed that is thicker at the heart producing a darker tone. Knowing the difference between the two types will allow more advanced players to select not only a good reed, but also the appropriate cut of reed for the job. Sometimes as an experiment, I have the students play the classical reeds on the jazz tunes and vice-versa so that they can feel the difference between the two cuts, firsthand. Knowledge about their equipment is empowering - it gives students responsibility and ownership over their choices.

Preparation and Breaking-in Tricks

Breaking-in a reed is a process that we all must go through to get to the true sound and heart of a reed. This process involves having at least three reeds to rotate at any given time. The first step is to soak the reed in warm water for two minutes or so and then to play it for a short timeframe, such as twenty minutes, and then to move to another reed and repeat the same process. By rotating the reeds, we are breaking them in gradually and extend their life, as no one reed is played more than the others. Breaking a group in means that you will have not one, but three good reeds to chose from on any given day.

If the reeds are unresponsive, there are a few tricks you can use. One option is to sand the back of the reed - the side that connects with the facing - with the finest sandpaper you can find to even out the surface. A few strokes across the sandpaper will even out the reed and improve its response to air flow. Another option is to smooth the reed out while it is on the mouthpiece. Lick your thumb and rub the reed with the grain, from bottom to top until you feel as though the reed is getting smoother. It may feel like there are tiny grains coming off the reed and this is the feel that you want. You will need to rub the reed with your wet thumb about twenty-five times before it starts to get smooth, but it works for any stiff reeds.

Care and Maintenance

There is nothing grosser than reeds that have never been washed. You should wash the reed just with lukewarm water at least once a week, so that they don't become slimy. This practice prolongs the life of the reed and reduces the amount of bacteria. Be sure to have students store their reeds on a flat surface such as a reed guard to reduce warping and protect the tip. Eating before you play is the single largest killer of reeds across the nation. Do your part to prevent this by not eating before you play. If you do eat before you play, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse you mouth with water at the very least. The sugar in your saliva breaks down the reed and also dries and hardens in your instrument.

Overall

With good knowledge of reeds, what a good reed is, how to store them, and what types to use when, your students will be able to make choices about their own performance and preparation. This knowledge really gives them the power to improve their sound and tone on a moment's notice and without the benefit of your words of wisdom. They can pass on this knowledge to others in the section or even within the class to create a well-informed reed section with improved tone production and timbre.

Conclusion

Reeds and mouthpieces are a huge factor in performance. The variable combinations the right setup of reed and mouthpiece creates a better tone, timbre, and free blowing through the instrument. By teaching your students about reeds and mouthpieces and looking for further resources, you become better informed. Hopefully, this information allows you to take back the control from the reeds and give that control to the student. Their newfound knowledge will serve them well as they will be able to better adapt to reed and playing conditions and improve as budding musicians.

Ms. Berthiaume holds a B.F.A. honors in music from York University, a MAED in adult education and distance learning from the University of Phoenix and is currently finishing a B.E.d from the University of Toronto (May 2005).

Lindsey has been doubling on woodwinds for the past 10 years on saxophones, flute, clarinets, oboe, ney, mey and xiao. Her specialty in ethnomusicology has enabled her to go beyond the normal reed doubling and expand into the world music scene. As a performer she has been able to use her instrumental doubling skills in a variety of western and non-western playing idioms. Ms. Berthiaume is a sought out private teacher and clinician in the Toronto area.

 For more information on Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or call us at 952-924-4141.

Music Practice Tips

February 29th 2012

 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.

For more information on Music Lessons, Music Tips, Musical Instrument Rentals/Sales, Pearl Flutes and Pearl Flute Sales, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or call us at 952-924-4141.

Braces and Trumpet

February 27th 2012

by James F. Donaldson

Q: Now that I have braces, what do I do?
A: First, adjust your attitude.

You come home with braces. They feel funny in your mouth and your teeth hurt. You've heard the terrible rumors. You can't imagine playing the trumpet with your mouth the way it is. Your teeth just hurt too much. A couple of days later, the hurting has decreased--or maybe you've just gotten used to it--and you open up the case and put the mouthpiece in the horn. You raise your horn to your lips. The mouthpiece sits on your chops like you've never done this before. You take a breath, rather tentative, tongue a note, and blow. The sound is awful. You sounded better in sixth grade (sixth graders: think fourth grade). It just feels so weird. Everything feels different and weird. You play a few more notes, all low. They all sound bad. You try to go a bit higher, the buzz stops altogether, no sound comes out, and it hurts. You are first chair, but the guy on the other end can do better than you now, and he plays with the mouthpiece over near his left earlobe. You play a few more notes and then try a higher one again. Same thing happens, and it is starting to hurt. You can feel the braces start to dig into the back of your chops. Try one more time. No sound. Pain. You put your horn back in the case, shut it, and go jump off a bridge.

That is how it feels, but stop before you get to the bridge.

Don't get discouraged. Keep reminding yourself that others have done it, and so can you. In fact, it seems to Eric Bolvin and trumpet teachers everywhere that nearly every kid gets braces at some point. So be positive and be patient, but be realistic. This is a major trauma, but you are up to it. It is going to take some time for you to return to your best, but you can do it. Nearly all the contributors to this page pointed out the need to maintain a positive attitude, and to persevere. And, as Shane Porter pointed out, this is the attitude one really should have all the time: if you're going to be a trumpet player, in general you should have a strong positive attitude that will pave the road for gigging later in life. Michael Haig, who has had braces twice, recommends listening to recordings of very fine trumpet players when you start to get discouraged. Hear what made the trumpet exciting for you again.

There is also a silver lining to the cloud. Sarah Jones said that braces caused her to fix the bad habits that she had before, such as applying pressure to play or pinching to get notes out. Also because of the greater amount of air required to play with braces, she got in the good habit of using lots of air when playing. As long as you don't try to find short cuts, she says, you might easily come out a better player. When she auditioned for college after just two months off braces, the faculty that listened to her, she reports, were all very impressed. She attributes her success to being determined from the beginning.

Maybe some of this material, assembled from many who have lived through it, will also help.

Then, don't forget you've made an embouchure change, whether you wanted to or not. Think it through. Remember:
• Jean Pocius recommends that one purse his or her lips a bit, which is done without moving the corner placement (i.e., using the muscles between the corners and the rim of the mouthpiece). This is necessary for efficient playing for anybody, but is all the more important for those with braces. Those who have braces need to create a cushion of muscle, not of air, between the wires and the mouthpiece. Failure to do so can cause serious, permanent damage to the inside of the lips when playing with the pressure necessary to keep the lips in contact with a stretched, spread embouchure. The thicker the lips are, the better the tone quality, and the less injury to the lips.
• You absolutely have to learn to play without pressure or some day, during band, you will bleed to death. For more guidance in adjusting your embouchure and technique to do so, to play "efficiently" as Jeanne says, go to the web sites of Clint "Pops" McLaughlin and Clyde Hunt, each of whom have much relevant information about playing without pressure and developing practical range. Pop's information can be found at Trumpet College and his Net Trumpet Lessons, particularly the articles and lessons about Airstream, Embouchure Change, and Pressure. Clyde's can be found at B Flat Music, particularly the article about Mouthpiece Pressure. There is an abundance of good information here in general.
• You will become even more dependent on developing your air control. Check out New York trumpeter Rich Szabo's Breathing Exercises. This is difficult reading, but working one's way through it and understanding it, can change everything about your approach to the trumpet. All for the better.
• Stanton Kramer highly recommends the book Embouchure Design, by Nick Drozdoff, for those going through an embouchure change. It focuses on using minimum mouthpiece pressure and instrument independence.

Next, change your practice routine.
You didn't choose to change your embouchure, but you have, so your practice needs to be reflect that.
• Start by playing long tones, long low tones, really long tones, at soft volumes. Play, as Michael Haig says, until you find a spot that feels comfortable and gives you the best sound and tone, so long as it isn't extreme. Much of the muscle memory of your chops has been disrupted to the point that you have to teach the chops what to do all over again. Get a nice buzz, let the chops get the feel of the mouthpiece again. This will not come the first day.
• Focus on the notes on the lower part of the staff, like the fourth line D and down to bottom line E, unless those are too high, then work lower. Stay relaxed, but do not play lots of very low notes (below staff) or your embouchure will get flabby and your lip aperture will start to open in an unhealthy way. The last thing you can afford now is another bad habit. Be patient but do lots of them.
• Still using the lower part of your range, Kate Myers recommends practicing slurs to develop good fundamental flexibility, starting of course with slurs of a short distance between notes (i.e., no octaves for a while--the stronger you get, the wider you can go).
• Once you can begin to play again, both Eric Bolvin and Michael Haig recommend doing a lot of exercises from the first couple pages of Herbert L. Clarke's Technical Studies. These are great for the buzz, the air, and the sound. Play them softly, at reasonable--well controlled--speeds.
• Jeanne Pocius recommends the playing softly and gently of double pedals (the octave below pedal C). Often the chops of those with braces are stiffer than usual, due to the increased distance between teeth and lips. Don't use any appliance when playing pedal tones--they shake it loose anyway and they are played with so little pressure that the appliance is unnecessary.
• Tonguing is also often disrupted by braces. Jeanne Pocius recommends that one tongue on the bottom edge of the top teeth, rather than on the roof of the mouth, to avoid any wires or retainers that may be behind the teeth. Articulation studies, softly lightly tonguing eighth notes and sixteenth notes over your useful (diminished) range are very helpful. Aim for the least possible tongue movement and the cleanest possible articulation.
• Listen carefully to your sound, compare it in your head to the sound you want. The more you focus on that sound, the better you will get. If you don't have a good sound in your head, go get some recordings of great trumpet players and listen carefully. Go hear trumpet players in concert. You can't reproduce a sound you haven't heard.
• Practice fairly short times (15 - 20 minutes, maybe only five minutes at first), resting as much as you play so you do not do more harm than good. Do not play at all once you get tired or feel some stress. Don't push, don't press. Practice, Kate recommends, two or three or four times each day. Don't over practice. If you do, it just sets you back.

Try an appliance--you never know--it might help.
Many folks have tried all manner of wax and guards and pads and strips, and have just decided to approach the problem au natural. They find that the appliances try their patience, are messy (cutting and forming the wax, trying to get it out of the teeth later), and just plain do not work. They found much better results by working religiously on reducing the pressure necessary to play. Develop good playing habits, tough it out over the several weeks, and by then you'll probably be regaining your strength, good sound, flexibility, ego and chair.

Others say that they owe their survival as a trumpet player to these devices. One encounters different kinds and colors of wax, folded pieces of notebook paper, and plumbers teflon joint sealing tape. Matt Stock recalls a lecture by trumpet player extraordinaire Mel Broiles where he suggested cutting up an old plastic soda bottle into thin strips which can be used as a homemade barrier.

Jim Fesmire discovered an additional aid which is a generally marketed for denture users as a cushion or pad. They are actually a 3" x 3" sheet of polymer material which can be used with dental adhesive powder. Cut a strip with scissors to position in front of the lower teeth. This allows evening up top and bottom teeth, eliminating the overbite that follows from having braces on only the top. A strip can also be used on the top teeth as a narrow bumper also. The stuff is readily available through dentists.

Rick Sonntag invented the following solution for himself when he was 11 years old, and his son is now successfully using it:

Although somewhat tedious to make at first, the device can be re-used for months before needing to redo it. Purchase a football mouth guard (the kind that you dip in boiling water and then bite into to make an impression of your teeth). First, use sharp scissors to cut a small strip of plastic from the front surface of the mouthpiece. Cut the strip long enough to cover the front four teeth, and wide enough to cover from the gum to the tips of the teeth. Following the instructions that come with the mouth guard, drop the plastic strip in boiling water to soften it. If you purchased an unpigmented mouth guard (hazy clear appearance), you will notice that it turns completely clear when heated up. Retrieve the plastic strip using a spoon or tongs, and blow some cool air on it for a few seconds to cool the surface. Then quickly place the strip on top of the braces on the front teeth, and press down to mold the back side of the strip to the shape of the braces.

WARNING: BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN YOURSELF!!!Be sure to blow some cool air on the plastic strip before pressing on the braces, to cool the outer surface. Also, if you use metal tongs to dip the plastic strip into the boiling water, do not leave the tongs sitting in the boiling water - let the plastic float in the water, and use the tongs to retrieve it when is has heated up. Otherwise, the metal tongs will be come very hot and burn you if you accidentally touch it.

You can re-heat and re-mold the strip multiple times until it is just the way you want. Do the same for the bottom braces if needed. Remember that you want the impression to be deep enough for the braces to "anchor" the strip in place. If the plastic strip is too "thick" and creates an overbite (especially if the child has braces only on the top), you can heat up the strip and stretch it to make it thinner. Remember that it only needs to be thick enough to prevent the braces from "breaking through" when pressed down onto the braces.

Note that as the child's teeth move around, you may need to remelt/remold the device (every couple of months or so).

Steve Gallegher used Ezo Denture Cushions when he was a student with braces and now recommends them for his students. They are a non adhesive cloth like material that is impregnated with wax, making it fairly stiff. You can cut it into a rectangle that covers two to four upper front teeth, and there's enough material in one pad to make several brace guards. After pushing it on the brace, immediately play for a while and the heat inside your mouth will mold the material to your brace. There's no wax sticking to the braces, and you can peel it off when you are done and store it in a handkerchief until the next time you play. They're good for several sessions, but do get kind of slimy after a while. They're readily available at drug stores and are inexpensive. The upper pads are preferable because there is more material there.

There are several devices which are produced commercially, one of which is developed by A. Keith Amstutz, professor at the School of Music, University of South Carolina, called the Braceguard. The Braceguard, according to the manufacturer, is a two part putty/catalyst combination that enables the student to create a custom, reusable, shield to protect the lips from being cut by the braces. It does not shift or interfere with the teeth aperture or air stream. In addition to the Braceguard, the site offers individual with braces the opportunity to ask specific questions about their problem and they will try to answer them as fast and and honestly as possible.

Another commercial product, recommended by Jeanne Pocius, is the the Morgan Bumper, advertised as a C shaped channel of soft pliable material chosen for its flexibility and adaptability. It is available in clear and (weirdly, to my way of thinking, but then I had a daughter who got black and orange rubber bands on her braces for Halloween, even though it looked she had some gum disease...) several fluorescent colors. You must trim the top edge of it in areas where the brace wires extend upward, however, in order to keep it flush. She recommends that for most kids any appliance should be used on only the top teeth.

The Morgan Bumper and the Braceguard are available through Giardinelli.

John Kool recommends Brace Relief from Pro-Tech Medical Health Supplies, 1100 Hatcher Ln, Columbia TN 38401, phone (931) 388-3766 ). It is a very flexible, thin polymer which has a thin channel exactly the height of the brace bands. He has been told by those using it that it is almost unnoticeable, especially compared to some other devices, which feel bulky, like athletic tooth protectors. They are under $15.

Jet-Tone, the mouthpiece maker, also makes a product called the Lip Protector, which is available through The Brasswind.

The Braceguard and athletic mouthguards are also available on-line from Ortho-byte.com, on their Bits & Bytes page. Braceguard is available in single pack or pack of 12 at a significant discount.

Sometimes a different mouthpiece will help.
Though not in every instance, mouthpiece choice can be somewhat of a factor. Shane Porter reports that he typically used mouthpieces with wider rims that gave more cushion on the outside of his lips, so he didn't feel like he was having something cut into his lips from both sides. Michael Haig says that he found using a bigger mouthpiece will helped him. He reminds us, however, that the help of good teacher is critical in mouthpiece selection.

What is necessary, in the opinion of former Tower of Power lead trumpet player Mic Gillette, is a mouthpiece that requires the least amount of pressure possible. The two most important features of which are a comfortable rim with a slight lip on the inside, which will keep you from pushing your lips hard against it (if you do, the lip inside the mouthpiece will cause your lips to close off). This will reduce the pressure. He also recommends a V shaped cup for rapid air release into the horn. With a bowl-shaped cup, you create turbulence and back-pressure within the first half inch out of your mouth.

New York pro trumpet Rich Szabo and Greg Black, master custom mouthpiece maker, have introduced the BP Mouthpiece (scroll down, it is the third mouthpiece on the page) designed for players who wear braces. According to Black it will reduce cut lips, improve sound and range. It has a comfortable cushion rim and a v-cup to reduce back pressure. The diameter is a very versatile and popular 16.7 mm, which is roughly the size of a Bach 3C or Schilke 13C4. Rich has given me one of these (March 2001) to try and I'm passing it around my students now. I'll report back.

And finally, some folks have had success in used mouthpieces made from polycarbonate, a plastic like material which apparently is softer than brass and can result in more comfort for the player. Take a look at the Mad Max Polycarbonate, relatively cheap and it comes in the common Bach sizes.

Work with your orthodontist.
Eric Bolvin points out that most trumpet players who get braces get them only on the top. One can easily see how the change of angle alone would severely alter the embouchure, resulting in something of an overbite. For those students who get braces on both top and bottom teeth, they often have less trouble if they get them at the same time (if orthodontist thinks it sound practice) because those who get bottom braces will have a second adjustment with the additions of the bottom braces. Perhaps the orthodontist could schedule appropriately if he or she knew there was a good reason for it. The same thing is true having the braces removed. Brian Bass remembers getting his bottom braces off one day, and practicing hard to adjust, only to have the top braces taken off two weeks later, causing him to undergo the whole readjustment process again. Again, work with your orthodontist to avoid the avoidable.

On the cutting edge (so to speak):
One fairly recent development in orthodontia are Linguals, braces that are put on the inside of the teeth. Daniel Hazelton told me everything that I know about them:

Not all orthadontists will put them on, however. You may need to search around for one. They are also much more expensive than regular braces. (When I got mine, they were 3 1/2 times more expensive than the regular kind!!) If you get them, you will not need to deal with an embouchure change, but your tongue will suffer immense pain at times. (Don't plan on your multiple tonguing getting any better!) I had mine back a couple of years ago, for a period of 2 years, and every single time I played, I used wax on my linguals, and it still caused my tongue to be extremely sore and swollen often. With all the precautions, I could still not avoid getting cuts in my tongue often, so while the biggest pro to linguals is that you will not have to change your embouchure, there are plenty of cons. I can't tell you which way is better, but I hope this helps somewhat.

I don't know if these are the the same or different, but it opens more possibilities. Trumpet professor and player Bryan Edgett writes:

I have known that my daughter, Bethany, would need braces since she got her earliest adult teeth. She also plays trumpet. Having worn braces myself, I dreaded the day when eventually but inevitably, the time would come. We had talked about them, the best approaches, and possible impact on trumpet playing.

We both play in our local church orchestra. In our group is a dentist, Dr. McDowell, in his late 70s, who also plays trombone. We discussed the inevitable with him. What he told my wife, my daughter, and me, astonished us. He told us of an alternate method for straightening teeth, approximately the same cost, that does the majority of the work behind the teeth. In addition, the "braces" portion is applied only at the end of treatment and for approximately 6 months. Moreover, no permanent teeth need to be removed. Needless to say, we were interested.

The method, known as the Crozat method, named after the doctor who invented the procedure, operates from a basic premise: everyone has the genetic capacity to form a perfect dental arch. Dr. McDowell discovered this method back in the 60s when searching for an alternative for his son. Their orthodontist at the time told them that his son needed to have 8 permanent teeth removed. Dr. McDowell decided that there must be another way. After a great deal of research, Dr. McDowell found two doctors, one in Louisiana and one in Wisconsin, who employed the Crozat method. He studied from them and introduced the procedure to the Philadelphia area. After viewing his before and after book, showing the results of his work during the past 35 years, we opted for this method for our daughter.

Bethany has had the Crozat appliance for approximately 3 months now. Because there are no "braces," she needs no wax, no EZO pads, no brace guard, no Morgan Bumper. Her register, consistently to a'', and frequently to c''', remains intact. She has not had any decrease in endurance. The appliance affects tonguing somewhat but that is much less problematic than that caused by 2 - 3 years of braces.

I have begun recommending to my young students' parents that they investigate the Crozat method. Besides the obvious benefit of keeping all permanent teeth, the impact on playing is significantly less than that caused by braces.

For more information, e-mail Bryan.

The world of traditional orthodontics seems to be exploding these days with a number of new approaches and techniques. One other worth investigation is the Invisalign System, which they claim works through a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you're wearing. The system is a series of clear overlay templates that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth.

One final word:
Getting the braces taken off is almost as bad as getting them on, for all the same reasons. You've had an embouchure change whether you wanted one or not. Although things get better faster on that end, it still is discouraging, takes time, and requires work on the fundamentals of trumpet playing to make the adjustment. For a discussion of getting one's braces off, go here.

Acknowledgements:
The information contained herein is from the contributions of Keith Amstutz, Brian Bass, Eric Bolvin, Bryan Edgett, Jim Fesmire, Steve Gallegher, Mic Gillette, Michael Haig, Daniel Hazelton, Sarah Jones, Bora Kilicoglu, John Kool, Stanton Kramer, Al Lilly, Kate Myers, Jeanne G. Pocius, Shane Porter, Rich Szabo, Rick Sonntag, Matt Stock, and Wayne Trager for all of which I am most grateful, and my own experience as a twelve year old starting the trumpet with braces, and from teaching more than thirty years worth of brace encrusted students.

© 1999 - 2004 by James F. Donaldson All rights reserved

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SURVIVING THE BEGINNING BAND CONCERT
By Randy Navarre

This article is an excerpt from Instrumental Music Teacher's Survival Kit by Randy Navarre copyright ©2001. Reprinted with permission of Prentice Hall Direct/Learning Network Direct, as part of Learning Network.

Performing a beginning band concert as soon as possible is crucial for retaining interest in the band and retaining students in your program. The first concert may be a simple performance of songs from the beginner book. Stock arrangements are not necessary for this concert. As soon as the students can play the first half of the beginner book, they are ready to perform.

The beginning band concert is designed to be educational for the parents as well as a reward for the students' hard work and progress on their instruments. Also, there will be some students who have lost interest in playing their instruments and may be ready to quit the band. There is something special about getting up on the stage with your friends, producing music, sounding good, and getting a great round of applause from very enthusiastic parents. The result may be that many of the students who were going to quit will change their minds because it is now fun, and they want to continue playing their instruments and performing.

For the first concert, you may decide to use songs from the beginning band method book. The first song played by the band does not have to be a familiar tune. Many contemporary methods have put a name to every line in the book. This is important because it allows the exercises to be more fun for the students, and it can sometimes indicate what is being taught in that lesson or particular line. It is also very convenient for performance purposes. The reason for choosing the first line in the book is because it is the easiest "song" for the students to perform. There is only one note to play, and everyone has the same rhythms at the same time.

After the applause has died down from performing this first song, explain to the parents the accomplishment involved in performing this very simple song. You may tell the parents, "Though this sounded very easy, believe me, it did not sound this well the first day we tried it." (There may be chuckles when you say this. Do not interrupt the audience's laughter. Let them finish and then continue.) "There are several factors in learning to play an instrument. The students not only had to learn what note to play, but when to play it. There are dots and wiggly lines that instruct the students when and what to play. So the students are having to learn a new language as well as play an instrument for the first time in their lives. And that is not all. In addition to learning what and when to play, they have to learn to play it together. So, in addition to looking at the book, holding the instrument, and trying to play the right notes at the right time, they also have to watch the conductor all at the same time in order to play together. And, as if that is not enough, we have to learn to play in tune. Just pushing the buttons will not necessarily make the notes we play sound the same. The students have to learn to listen to each other so they can match the pitches by tightening or loosening their lips so the notes have the correct sound. So, as you can see, there is much more to playing an instrument than just pushing buttons, hitting a drumhead, and blowing air into an instrument. It takes concentration and discipline to make a song sound good and sound easy." The parents have probably never thought of it in that manner. After this has been explained to them, they will have a higher respect for what their own children are accomplishing. Also, because the song was easy, you have just built up the confidence in the students. They played their first song, and it sounded good. The students are feeling good about themselves, and they are beginning to have confidence that this is going to be a good concert.

The next song should be a very simple tune. In the concert provided here, I have selected a song similar to the second line of the second lesson, "Up and Down." It involves only two notes and it is warming them up for their first real song. After the students perform this song, explain to the parents that the students have now learned to read more notes, and they must move their fingers in order to play the right note at the right time. "The students are developing coordination while having fun playing music."

Usually, the third song the students play may be "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Before the students play the song, explain to the parents that the students have learned three notes and a rest, so they can now play "a very famous song" we have all heard before. You may wish to ask the parents if they can name the tune after the students play it. This provides for audience involvement and is more fun for everyone. A formal concert, where the conductor says nothing during the entire concert, is not ideal for this situation. The audience wants to hear from you. You will make the concert more interesting as well as increase the parents' appreciation for the children's accomplishments. If you get the audience involved, it will be more fun for everyone, and the students will relax and play better.

After "Mary Had a Little Lamb," have the students play solos, duets, trios, or quartets. They may pick any song from the book, or any source they wish. The director should audition the students' songs, to make sure they can play them well enough to stand in front of an audience and play them. It is not necessary that they play perfectly, but you should make sure that they play well enough not to be embarrassed in front of their parents. Students may wish to play the same line together. Even though the students are playing unison, that is acceptable. Going out in front of an audience and showing off to their parents and friends can be the biggest morale booster some of these children may ever have. Give them this moment. It will lengthen your concert while giving the band a chance to rest before playing the next song. If you have a huge beginning band, you may have to limit the number of solos and ensembles. You should limit the students to four solos or ensembles between the songs the band plays. For the sake of variety, tell the students they may pick any song except those the band is performing.

After the first group of solos and ensembles, have the band play another song together. It is advisable to pick something that is very easy but involves all the notes they have learned in the first two to three lessons. The concert included in this resource uses the song, "Over the Hill." This song starts on an easy note and moves stepwise up to the highest note, and then back down. It is easy, and allows the parents to hear all the new notes they have learned. It also allows the parents to hear the progress in which one learns to play a musical instrument. When introducing this song, inform the parents what is involved in playing it. It is up to the band director to educate the audience on the accomplishment of their children.

After the band has played "Over the Hill," allow more solos or ensembles to be performed. Introduce each student and announce the name of the song. Do not keep the audience guessing, especially since many of the songs from the beginner books are exercises and not familiar songs.

The next song should still be easy, but maybe a little bit trickier. Most beginning books will have a song with a rest that changes position in the measure. This is important, because you want to keep the children counting. In the song, "Watch Out for That Rest!," if the students do not count, someone will play an unintentional solo. Announce to the parents that the next song is a bit trickier than the previous songs the band has played. "It is very important that the students know when not to play as well as when to play. When not to play is indicated by what musicians call 'a rest.' In the next song, everyone plays together, but the rest is not always where we may expect it to be. If we do this right, we will play as an ensemble. If we goof, there may be an unexpected soloist." And this solo could very well take place in the concert. Practice this line often enough so the students know what to expect. Also, your conducting gestures will pull them through this song together. Your concern is not how you look to the audience. Your job is to get the students through the concert playing as well as possible, so if big gestures are needed to show when to play, and small gestures to show when not to play, use them. Gesture in such a way that the band can easily follow you. And, if a student gets nervous and plays in a rest, it is not a big deal. The audience will give him or her an extra big round of applause for trying. The point of this song, however, is to keep the music progressing in an orderly and slightly more difficult pattern to the end of the concert.

After this song has been performed, allow more students to play solos or ensembles. Two to four such performances between band songs is an adequate break for the band.

Before playing the next song with the entire band, discuss with the parents what new accomplishments the students had to learn before they could perform the next song. "So far, the students have learned to play several different notes and have played several songs, but all the rhythms have been the same. In order to play the next song, they had to learn to see and play notes that last twice as long as the notes and rests they had played before. Also, the students had to learn to read a symbol that means to play the entire song again, called repeat dots. So, now your children are looking at a page with all kinds of symbols meaning to hold notes and rests for one or two beats, and to play a song again. At the same time, they are tapping their toes, pushing and lifting fingers, listening to each other, and watching the director. They are doing a lot of things in order to make music for you, and the wonderful thing is, they are making it sound easy." Usually the next song to play is "Hot Cross Buns." You may choose to introduce it before or after the band plays.

Allow a few more students to play solos and ensembles after the completion of the previous song. It is a good idea to have different instruments play between the band songs. You do not want the parents comparing sounds of one flute player to another. Have a saxophone student play a song, then a flute, then trumpet, and so on. It will keep a variety of instruments in sight, and prevent parents or students from realizing that one student plays better than another.

A familiar song in most books is Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." The students like this song, and because the notes all progress stepwise, it is very easy to play. You may, of course, choose any song from the beginner book, but it would be advisable to choose a song that is easy, sounds familiar, and continues to build confidence in the students.

Continue to have more solos and ensembles after each song. A good program plan will have the students who play well play their solos first, then the weaker students play their songs in the middle of the concert, and the best students play last. The overall impression of the concert will be much better. First impressions are very important, but people also remember best what they heard last. So, give them a good first impression and save the very best for last. At the end of the concert, the parents may declare you a miracle worker.
The next song you may choose to play is one a little longer with more skips or leaps in the intervals. Students love to play "Jingle Bells." Even if it is not Christmas, the students enjoy playing this song. It is easy and familiar to everyone. You may wish to explain to parents that playing this song involves longer notes and a longer song, so more concentration is needed to perform it.

The final song of the concert usually involves some harmony. Most of the contemporary methods have some very good beginning band arrangements throughout the book. If your students are ready for such an arrangement, you may wish to program it. However, if they are not ready, play a simple duet such as "London Bridge."

At some point during the concert, be sure to acknowledge the cooperation of the principal, teachers, staff, custodian, parents, students, and anyone else who may have helped you during the school year and in the planning of this concert. Let the students know how proud you are of them. At the end of the concert, have the students stand and take a bow. Get out of the way so the parents may take pictures.

Do not wait until the end of the school year to perform this concert. Perform as soon as possible. The longer you wait for the beginning band concert, the more students will drop out of the band. The students do not have to play perfectly. However, they should play well. If you have been tuning the students at every lesson and rehearsal, they will play fairly well in tune during the concert. When rehearsing, if you have demanded that they play together, and worked on ensemble performance, they will play well. As soon as the students can perform, play this concert. Then perform as often as possible. Ask your principal if you may start assemblies with the band playing a song. You do not want to take up a lot of time - just have the band seated at the bottom of the stage, play one song, and return to the audience. The exposure will be a great morale booster, and it is a great recruiting tool.

Randy Navarre, DMA (University of Maryland), has been active in music education since 1973, when he began his career as a music teacher in the Philadelphia Public School system. His experience ranges from developing instrumental music programs at the grade school level to directing clinics for high school band directors. Dr. Navarre is the founder and director of Northeastern Music Programs Inc., which provides general and instrumental music programs to schools in the Mid-Atlantic region. He is also a classical saxophonist and performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

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Cleaning Your Horn

February 16th 2012

Cleaning a french horn regularly can determine the durability of the instrument. This article explains a cost effective method of cleaning your horn

In general, your french horn will not just hop into the bath tub when it’s dirty. I have found that it takes a bit of coercion and some special care to clean a french horn. The tub really is a great place to clean a french horn, if you are going for the all-over, in-and-out scrub, but it is your responsibility as the owner to get the horn in and out of the bath. There are some general guidelines that I recommend you follow which I have acquired over years of bathing my horn as well as numerous other horns.

First, draw a bath just as if you were going to lavish yourself in it. Fill the tub with warm water to avoid shock when your horn initially touches its bareness to the substance. The catch here is that instead of adding a lilac-scented bath gel or quick-dissolve relaxation crystals, you add mild hand soap. I generally like to also lay a towel along the bottom of the tub in the water so that when my horn gets in it is protected from scratches against the tub’s scaly surface.

Now comes the part where your horn must brave unfamiliar waters. The key point to remember when encouraging your horn for this task is that just like us, horns don’t like to take baths with all of their clothes on. You must remove all slides and place them gently onto the towel in the bottom of the tub. Then your horn will feel light and carefree as you place it also on the towel.

Everything is soaking now and the horn has adjusted, you may even see iridescent grease swirls begin to circulate the tub. At this point, while the horn is beginning to bathe itself, you will need to clean behind its ears, scrub the back of its neck, and scour all other nooks and crannies that it may miss. What this means is that you will need a washcloth of your own with which you will massage the ends of slides where grease is stubborn. Try to also scrub in between all of the tubing on the horn where dust and grease collect over time. And for the final bathtub cleaning step it is best to use a “snake” to clean out the inside of the slides on the horn wherever possible. If you don’t know what a “snake” is, it is simply a few feet of a metal or rubber cord with pipe-cleaner type material on the ends. They can be purchased at most music stores for only a few dollars.

Once you have cleaned and rinsed your horn, you will need to dry it off so that it doesn’t catch a cold. I usually just lay another large towel on the bathroom floor and place the pieces of my horn on it after I wipe them. Horns and their parts are patient, so take your time and dry thoroughly.

And the final step in the process of cleaning your french horn is reassemblage. This step may sound easy but it involves three actions. One: you must lubricate all of the slides with a thin layer of grease. Two: oil needs to be applied to the inside of the horn as well as all bearings and levers. Three: if you choose to polish your horn, now is the time.

Once you return your horn to its natural body form, it will play more freely, look more beautiful, and it should operate at its optimum level as soon as the oil works its way in. Your horn probably only needs a bath once every few months, but just check behind its ears regularly for dirt and use what you find as your gauge.

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STAGE FRIGHT MANAGEMEN
By Lynne Latham

Waiting backstage, the familiar symptoms return. The palms moisten, the stomach becomes queasy, the heart beats harder and faster, breathing becomes more shallow, the knees feel weak. "Here we go again," you think to yourself, disgusted that the cycle is seemingly beyond your control. Is it possible to overcome the body's natural defense mechanisms? To use the surge of adrenalin in a positive way to enhance instead of hinder a performance? Of course it is. It just takes some understanding and practice.

Fight or Flight: The Human Body in Survival Mode

Those familiar feelings are caused by the production of adrenalin. Your brain receives those primal impulses and your body goes into "fight or flight" survival mode. Your body is reacting to perceived danger - it is primed for anything. Response time is quickened; senses are fine-tuned. You can jump higher, run faster and play daunting technical passages. Although your body is telling you to run, you must stay and complete a performance. So how do you minimize the negative effects of adrenalin? By changing your perception, by viewing the physical changes as excitement, not panic. By learning to slow down, breathe deeply and focus that additional energy into a passionate and exciting performance. This takes practice.

Prepare! Prepare! Prepare Again!

Lack of preparation is a leading cause of stage fright. If a performer is unsure of his or her technical ability to pull off a successful performance, that adds even more pressure and jitters. Especially in the public school setting, there is rarely enough time to fully prepare students for performance.

Some suggestions:

  1. Pick music well within the technical range of the group. A sure success is better than a rocky performance.
  2. Do not start practicing with instruments. If there is a recording of the work, listen with students following their parts. Demonstrate difficult passages for your students. Use as many senses as possible to experience the music before physically playing it.
  3. Address all of the difficult rhythmic passages away from instruments. Have the students clap or speak (counting out loud is always good) these passages before attempting them on the instrument. Then, with the instrument, do a monotone version, rhythm only. Only after the rhythm is solid, attempt the passage with pitches.
  4. Divide each piece into small sections, rehearsing only one section at a time for accuracy. Point out where sections repeat. This makes the task of learning a longer work less overwhelming.
  5. Practice slowly. An assault at full speed on a difficult passage rarely spawns confidence and courage.
  6. During your rehearsal time, be sure to schedule a sure success. This cuts down on the frustration of the group. If students can do something well first or last, then the hard work in the middle is more bearable.
  7. Schedule "dry run" performances well in advance of the actual performance. The more the students go through the motions of performing, the better the performance will be, with much less stress.

Internal Pressure

We've all heard those negative, self-defeating voices in our heads. The fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, the performance of music is such a personal experience. We feed ourselves negative self-fulfilling prophecies. Replace the negatives by feeding your brain positives, practicing that all-important skill of ignoring the mistakes while delivering an exciting performance. One question to ask yourself: Is pretty good, good enough? Should we not strive for excellence in a performance? Make sure that the work being performed is at the "pretty good" stage at least two weeks before the performance, so that the last 5 percent of the learning process may be achieved easily. This will quiet the voice inside, calm the fears and allow a more confident performance. We are not striving for perfection; excellence and perfection are quite different. As musicians, our goal is to entertain, to share the love of our art with others, to move people emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Perfection is not our goal and the failure to achieve it is not a punishable offense. Relax and enjoy the music making process.

External Pressure

As teachers, we must be conscious of the subtle messages we send to students. It is good to keep parents separate from students at festivals and auditions, as they tend to add expectations and pressure. Be sure to emphasize to your students that at any level, their performance is unique and special; comparisons to more advanced peers is another source of stress. Music teachers, not only teach how to play an instrument: We are teaching an art, which is completely subjective depending upon technical level, and success is measured in steps. To teach a child to enjoy the art of music-making is a gift for a lifetime. To exaggerate the lasting effects of one performance is unnecessary; there will always be another chance. Don't allow 10 minutes out of a lifetime to become a life or death experience.

Some Stage Fright Solutions

Act the Part. Performing is as much "acting" a part as it is executing a technical feat. A tool I've used with my students is having them attend a live performance featuring a professional artist on their instrument. Have them pay attention not only to the "music" being performed, but the "music" being portrayed - paying attention to the body language, posture, and breathing of the person on stage. Then have the students do an "imitation" in class. Amazingly, the body becomes more relaxed, the breathing deeper, posture is better. The students have reached outside of themselves and removed the internal pressure by pretending to be someone else. Giving students something external on which to focus actually improves focus on the task at hand, which is a secure, confident performance.

Visualization.

  1. Potential memory slips are often a source of anxiety for performers. To remove this internal pressure, have students write a story about the work to be performed, putting specific feelings, actions and pictures with each section. Have them close their eyes and "run" the story in their heads like a movie. The more detailed the story, the more important communicating that story to the audience becomes. Another version of this is to picture the actual music running through the mind, visualizing the rise and fall of the notes.
  2. Anxiety tends to build in situations where waiting is involved, such as for an audition or festival performance. Have the student imagine going to a safe place (i.e. a mountain meadow, a deserted beach). Before the performance, have them go off (alone), close their eyes and imagine playing the piece they are performing in that safe place. Hopefully the peaceful "residue" of this meditation exercise will follow them into the audition room. This takes weeks of practice to be done successfully.
  3. Simulate performance parameters for students and allow them several "practice" performances. In a situation with a judge, sit behind a desk and write during their performance. If it's a recital, have them perform for their peers. The more "real time" performance practice the student has, the less frightening the actual performance will be.

Directed Breathing.This breathing technique, along with many others, is discussed in Robert Triplett's book "Stage Fright." Also see Barry Greene's "Inner Game of Music" and Kato Havas' writings.

Diet, Sleep and Other Management Skills.

  1. Avoid caffeine and nicotine, weaning yourself as early as two weeks prior to a performance. Both of these substances are stimulants. Increased adrenalin flow only compounds the effects of stimulants already present in your system; thus the tremors and increased heart rate will be much harder to control.
  2. Avoid processed sugars (i.e., candy, soft drinks). Natural sugars aid the body in converting stored energy to action. Processed sugars provide a brief high, but the overall effect is depressive.
  3. Eat a good meal, high in complex carbohydrates, low in sugars and fats. Pasta is an excellent choice, along with fresh vegetables and fruit.
  4. Arrive at the performance as rested as possible, establishing a consistent sleep pattern two weeks before a performance.
  5. Avoid listening to other performers in an audition situation. It only leads to playing the comparison game, which can lead to negative dialogue.
  6. Try to remember to breathe deeply before beginning any music-making. This sounds very elementary, but breathing is the first thing affected by the adrenalin rush, and good oxygen flow to muscles will steady nerves.
  7. Provide a quiet, safe place for students to relax before performances.
  8. Laughter is a wonderful tension release; come prepared with a few good jokes.

Remind your students continually that music-making is fun. We have chosen a career in music education because we love music. Don't blow out of proportion the importance of one performance. Put in proper perspective, it is just one moment in a long lifetime of making beautiful music. Careful preparation produces confident performances. Make sure that classroom preparation includes stage fright management skills as well as learning the notes!

Lynne Latham, founder of Latham Music, earned a B.M. and M.M. in cello performance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She currently maintains a private studio of violin, viola and cello students in the Winston-Salem, N.C., area. She is also a frequent freelance performer and a former member of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. She has served as a clinician for Cello Day Festivals in Virginia, Ohio, South Carolina, Georgia and California. Latham has served as a clinician for the 1997 North Dakota and 1998 Maine Educators Conventions, the Colorado ASTA Summer 2000 Workshop and the 2001 Indiana Music Educators Convention. She has also been adjunct faculty at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C., teaching string methods and applied music studies. She is a past-president of North Carolina ASTA with NSOA and maintains memberships in MENC/MIC, the String Industry Council, Music Publishers Association and RPMDA.

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Music Practice Tips

February 12th 2012

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.

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.

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Music Is Good For All Ages!

February 11th 2012

“Active engagement with music in old age provides many ongoing benefits to older people, including positive self-esteem, feeling competent and independent, avoiding feelings of isolation or loneliness (Hays & Minichello, 2005), maintaining or building cognitive skills (Prickett, 1998), and fostering socialization (Carr, 2006; Coffman and Adamek, 1999; Pricket 1998; Southcott, 2009),” says researcher Peter deVries in a recent article

DeVries, who teaches at Monash University in Frankston, Victoria, examined three older Australians’ active engagement in music-making with children.

Five key themes about intergenerational (IG) music participation were revealed by his research:

1. IG music experiences promoted social engagement.

2. IG music experiences fostered the development of positive attitudes about young people.

3. Choice in music-making was valued in the IG music experiences.

4. The older Australians who participated felt valued and respected.

5. There was the perception of reciprocity in the learning that occurred.

DeVries concluded that students in elementary and secondary schools might benefit from the addition of intergenerational music-making opportunities. Of course, the elders would benefit as well!

The biggest lesson for the students involved might be the fact that these senior musicians model lifelong music learning and participation in the arts.

NAfME member Wendy L. Sims, academic editor of the Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME), is a professor of music education and directs the music education program at the University of Missouri--Columbia. Peter deVries’s study, “Intergenerational Music Making: A Phenomenological Study of Three Older Australians Making Music with Children,” was published in the January 2012 JRME (Vol. 59, no. 4, pp. 339–56). [NAfME members can purchase a subscription to the JRME from Member Services by calling 800-828-0229 between 8:00 and 4:30 ET.]

--Ella Wilcox, January 6, 2012, © National Association for Music Education (www.nafme.org)

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1. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania School District analyzed its 1997 dropout rate in terms of students’ musical experience. Students with no ensemble performance experience had a dropout rate of 7.4 percent. Students with one to two years of ensemble experience had a dropout rate of 1 percent, and those with three or more years of performance experience had a dropout rate of 0.0 percent.
Eleanor Chute, “Music and Art Lessons Do More Than Complement Three R’s,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
April 13, 1998.

2. Two research projects have found that music training - specifically piano instruction - can dramatically enhance children’s spatial-temporal reasoning skills, the skills crucial for greater success in subjects like math and science.
Shaw, Grazianow, and Peterson, Neurological Research, March 1999.

3. School leaders affirm that the single most critical factor in sustaining arts education in their schools is the active involvement of influential segments of the community. These community members help shape and implement the policies and programs of the district.
- Gaining the Arts Advantage, The President’s Council on the Arts and Humanities, 1999.

4. Students with band and orchestra experience attend college at a rate twice the national average.
- Bands Across the USA.

5. Music students out-perform non-music on achievement tests in reading and math. Skills such as reading, anticipating, memory, listening, forecasting, recall, and concentration are developed in musical performance, and these skills are valuable to students in math, reading, and science.
- B. Friedman, “An Evaluation of the Achievement in Reading and Arithmetic of Pupils in Elementary
School Instrumental Music Classes,” Dissertation Abstracts International.

6. One in three of today’s school-aged children will hold an arts-related job at some time in his or her career.
- Education Commission on the States.

7. The College Board, in a publication about college admissions, states, “preparation in the arts will be valuable to college entrants whatever their intended field of study.”
- Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need To Know and Be Able To Do, The College
Board.

8. Music therapists working with Alzheimer’s patients have found that rhythmic interaction or listening to music resulted in decreased agitation, increased focus and concentration, enhanced ability to respond verbally and behaviorally, elimination of demented speech, improved ability to respond to questions, and better social interaction.
- Carol Prickett and Randall Moore, “The Use of Music to Aid Memory of Alzheimer’s Patients,” Journal
of Music Therapy, 1991.

9. Medical researchers have reported that subjects lowered bother their systolic and diastolic blood pressure as much as five points (mm/Hg) and reduced heart rates by four to five beats per minute following music listening sessions. People with high blood pressure can help keep their blood pressure down by listening to tapes of relaxing low frequency music in the morning and evening.
- Tony Wigram, “The Psychological and Physiological Effects of Low Frequency Sound and Music,” Music
Therapy Perspectives, 1995.

10. A 1997 Gallup Survey on Americans’ attitudes toward music revealed that 89% of respondents believe music helps a child’s overall development, and 93% believe that music is part of a well-rounded education.
- Americans’ Attitudes Toward Music, The Gallup Organization, 1997.

For more information on music education, check out  http://www.Music2Master.com  or http://www.PearlFlutes.net  or call us at 952-924-4141.

1. In a 1995 study in Hamilton, Ohio, string students who participated in pullout lessons
averaged higher scores than the non-pullout students in all areas of the Ohio Proficiency Test.
Sixty-eight (68) percent of the string students achieved satisfactory ratings on all sections of the
test, compared to fifty-eight (58) percent of the non-pullout students.
- Michael D. Wallick, “A Comparison Study of the Ohio Proficiency Test Results Between Fourth-Grade String Pullout Students and Those of Matched Ability,” Journal of Research in Music Education, 1998.

2. According to a 2000 survey, eighty-one (81) percent of people responding believe that
participating in school music corresponds with better grades and test scores. This is an
increase of fourteen (14) percent over the 1997 results for the same question.
- Attitudes, NAMM (International Music Products Association), 2000.

3. More music teachers are role models for minority students than teachers of any other
subject. Thirty-six (36) percent of surveyed minority students identified music teachers as their
role models, compared to twenty-eight (28) percent for English teachers, eleven (11) percent
for elementary teachers, and seven (7) percent for physical education teachers.
- “Music teachers as role models for African-American students,” Journal of Research in Music Education,
1993.

4. Only thirty-one (31) percent of teenagers and adults in a 2000 survey who do not play an
instrument feel they are too old to start learning.
- Americans Love Making Music – And Value Music Education More Highly Than Ever, American Music
Conference, 2000.

5. Researchers at the University of California and the Niigata Brain Research Institute in Japan
have found an area of the brain that is activated only when reading musical scores.
- “Musical Brain – Special Brain Area Found for Reading Music Scores,” NeuroReport, 1998.

6. In the 1998 federal study Gaining the Arts Advantage, music teachers in many of the
strongest arts programs nationwide are encouraged by their schools to perform in their
communities and to improve their own performing skills.
- Gaining the Arts Advantage, The President’s Council on the Arts and Humanities, 1998.

7. Ninety-two (92) percent of people who play an instrument say they were glad they learned
to do so, according to a 2000 Gallup Poll.
- Gallup Poll Shows Strong Support for Putting Music in Every School’s Curriculum, Giles Communications,2000.

8. In academic situations, students in music programs are less likely to draw unfounded
conclusions.
- Champions of Change, Federal study, 1999.

9. The scores of elementary instrumental music students on standardized math tests increased
with each year they participated in the instrumental program.
- “Music Training Helps Underachievers,” Nature, May 26, 1996.

10. Nine out of ten adults and teenagers who play instruments agree that music making brings
the family closer together.
- Music Making and Our Schools, American Music Conference, 2000.

For more information on music education, check out  http://www.Music2Master.com  or http://www.PearlFlutes.net  or call us at 952-924-4141.

1. In a 2000 survey, 73 percent of respondents agree that teens who play an instrument are less likely to have discipline problems
- Americans Love Making Music – And Value Music Education More Highly Than Ever, American Music Conference, 2000.

2. Students who can perform complex rhythms can also make faster and more precise corrections in many academic and physical situations, according to the Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills
- Rhythm seen as key to music’s evolutionary role in human intellectual development, Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills, 2000.

3. A ten-year study indicates that students who study music achieve higher test scores, regardless of socioeconomic background.
- Dr. James Catterall, UCLA.

4. A 1997 study of elementary students in an arts-based program concluded that students’ math test scores rose as their time in arts education classes increased.
- “Arts Exposure and Class Performance,” Phi Delta Kappan, October, 1998.

5. First-grade students who had daily music instruction scored higher on creativity tests than a control group without music instruction.
- K.L. Wolff, The Effects of General Music Education on the Academeic Achievement, Perceptual-Motor Development, Creative Thinking, and School Attendance of First-Grade Children, 1992.

6. In a Scottish study, one group of elementary students received musical training, while another other group received an equal amount of discussion skills training. After six (6) months, the students in the music group achieved a significant increase in reading test scores, while the reading test scores of the discussion skills group did not change.
- Sheila Douglas and Peter Willatts, Journal of Research in Reading, 1994.

7. According to a 1991 study, students in schools with arts-focused curriculums reported significantly more positive perceptions about their academic abilities than students in a comparison group.
- Pamela Aschbacher and Joan Herman, The Humanitas Program Evaluation, 1991.

8. Students who are rhythmically skilled also tend to better plan, sequence, and coordinate actions in their daily lives.
- “Cassily Column,” TCAMS Professional Resource Center, 2000.

9. In a 1999 Columbia University study, students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident, and better able to express their ideas. These benefits exist across socioeconomic levels.
- The Arts Education Partnership, 1999.

10. College admissions officers continue to cite participation in music as an important factor in making admissions decisions. They claim that music participation demonstrates time management, creativity, expression, and open-mindedness.
- Carl Hartman, “Arts May Improve Students’ Grades,” The Associated Press, October, 1999.

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Music in our Society

February 6th 2012

Art and music are basic human functions. Humankind and art cannot function without one another. We have the burning desire to create, whatever it may be and however tiny or grand. The interaction with sound is unavoidable, either to make it or take pleasure in it. People have always found music significant in their lives, whether for enjoyment in listening, the emotional response, performing, or creating. This is no different for classical music or contemporary concert music. Both musics have immense worth for our society; however, the problem we all know in this field is that this music is little known and hence underappreciated. As a musician and artist it is my responsibility that others can learn to enjoy the art for which I have utter passion

It goes without saying that in mainstream American culture, classical or concert music is not a huge part of people's lives. There are still stigmas that contribute to this, as well as the practices of the government in the last two decades (declining music education in schools on the local level, resistance to increased NEA funding and less visibility of the arts on the national level; let us hope that the Obama administration can start to reverse these trends). Many people may still believe that classical music is for the rich, older, and the well-educated. Others may feel awkward about going to classical music events because they feel as if they need to act and dress a certain way in order to enter the concert or recital hall. Even more, the pretentiousness and elitism that some artists exhibit is amplified by some television shows, commercials, plays, books, by people of influence and even themselves, which distance musicians from mainstream society. While some of this is true, as with nearly any stereotype, it is not entirely true. With the impression that concert music has on society, the majority decide that it is not "for them" simply because they believe it has no relevance or worth to their lives. This is further compounded by the past government's lack of interest in promoting and supporting the arts, whether it is to fund arts organizations or arts education. Now, the current government give us hope and we have seen evidence of its commitment; but most importantly our American society needs to believe that everyone can find worth and enjoyment in classical/concert music.

The most common way one becomes involved with music is through listening or attending a musical event. Listening at home on a CD player, or in the car, on the computer, or on an iPod can be a very personal and fulfilling experience. Music, as we know, sets a mood and a vibe as we hear it in lounges, bars, parties, or other social events. Also, attending a concert is unique as it offers the excitement of hearing live musicians while providing the sound as it is meant to be heard (if it is acoustic music that is). Where else can one sit with other people, listen, and enjoy music in (relative) silence so that there are no distractions besides the music itself?

Music can also stimulate the mind. There are many things in music, to which one can listen and bring attention. One can be mindful of the melodies or themes, the harmony, the driving or relaxed rhythms, the color of the sounds, the activity of a piece, how the sounds are produced, or how they all relate to one another, all while, possibly figuring out how the composer conceived the piece. Focused and attentive listening is an incredible experience that allows one to be lost in a foreign sound world.

Concert music is the music that is not only pleasing to the ears and mind but also nurturing for the soul. It has been long said that music gives one an emotional response. Characters of varying degree that are found in music, can affect one’s mood. Music can raise someone’s mood, get them excited, or make them calm and relaxed. Music also - and this is important - allows us to feel nearly or possibly all emotions that we experience in our lives. The possibilities are endless.

One of the great things about music in general, and in particular concert music, is that playing it opens up a whole new world of experience that further enhances the mind, physical coordination, and expression. Music lovers, who are also amateur performers, may choose to play in community ensembles (orchestra, band, choir), take lessons, perform with others, compose, and nearly anything else a professional musician may do, while maintaining their regular lives. All of this involves intense physical coordination in performing an instrument alone or with others, while reading musical notation, and adding delicate or strong nuanced changes to the music that only a performer can bring. In general, to an amateur musician, music can provide an escape from everyday life or an alternative means of expressing one's own capabilities. It is an important part of their lives and fills a need or an urge to create music.

In all levels of education, music has immense worth. Students learn many important and necessary values for life as music enhances their mind, their expressive ability, and a whole host of other qualities. Learning to read music is learning a different language with abstract sonic meaning. One not only has to comprehend and decipher unique symbols on a page, they have to know how to execute them and execute them well. Those learning music also learn how to develop a critical ear. With a critical ear, one will know how to practice, rehearse, analyze, and critique music performance. Also, performing music encompasses playing with others, as well as alone, which both necessitate certain skills. Also one can also learn tremendously from studying and analyzing music, composing, reading about music, understanding the history of music and its association with historical and current trends, and knowing what to listen for in music. Students of music – whether it be at the elementary, middle school, high school, collegiate level, or through self-study – learn self-discipline, expression through sound, enhance technical motor skills, further develop problem solving skills, learn how to cooperate and collaborate with others, and learn how to ignite the creative and critical mind. Most importantly, the student can come away understanding that music offers all those qualities in addition to the enjoyment in listening casually or with great attention. Anyone who is educated in music learns these skills whether they know it or not. People who do not make a career in music but have studied it will take these skills and apply it to their everyday lives and career.

In mainstream American society, arts and music are usually looked upon as an extra discipline that it is not essential to the function of our society and culture; however that seems to be changing. The role of arts and music in our society fill a void that we all need in order to enrich ourselves and our culture, they provide alternate infinite experiences, and they also further enhance the skills we use in other disciplines and professions. Recently, the arts have been sneaking into mainstream culture and gaining the attention of viewers, through shows like “So You Think You Can Dance,” or “The Colbert Report” with references to living composers such as Steve Reich or guests from the jazz and classical world (Wynton Marsalis and Alex Ross). Even by watching “American Idol” viewers learn how to become critical of musical performance and share strong musical opinions. There was even a strong response and media attention given to the YouTube Symphony Orchestra contest. Our society is becoming more involved with the arts, if they know it or not. The arts and classical music have been shielded from the public eye for far too long and now that it has been uncovered bit by bit, there is a growing curiosity and even excitement about this world. Artists and those who are passionate about the arts and music must realize what is occurring and continue to showcase what is done in this world to the public through various contemporary methods. People may find the arts and music to be an alternative to mainstream entertainment. The more options we have for people to enrich the lives and minds, the better it is for any society. It is hoped that this trend will lead to a time when classical and concert music find its place in mainstream society, offering all it does to more people.

Gilbert Galindo, November 2003, revised July 2009

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1. Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. It is thought that brain development continues for many years after birth. Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain's circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds.

2. There is also a causal link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things). This kind of intelligence, by which one can visualize various elements that should go together, is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for everything from solving advanced mathematics problems to being able to pack a book-bag with everything that will be needed for the day.

3. Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions. Questions about the arts do not have only one right answer.

4. Recent studies show that students who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests such as the SAT. They also achieve higher grades in high school.

5. A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to development of greed and a "me first" attitude, provides a bridge across cultural chasms that leads to respect of other races at an early age.

6. Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student's own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.

7. In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.

8. Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline. In order for an orchestra to sound good, all players must work together harmoniously towards a single goal, the performance, and must commit to learning music, attending rehearsals, and practicing.

9. Music provides children with a means of self-expression. Now that there is relative security in the basics of existence, the challenge is to make life meaningful and to reach for a higher stage of development. Everyone needs to be in touch at some time in his life with his core, with what he is and what he feels. Self-esteem is a by-product of this self-expression.

10. Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on "doing," as opposed to observing, and teaches students how to perform, literally, anywhere in the world. Employers are looking for multi-dimensional workers with the sort of flexible and supple intellects that music education helps to create as described above. In the music classroom, students can also learn to better communicate and cooperate with one another.

11. Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later. Risk-taking is essential if a child is to fully develop his or her potential.

12. An arts education exposes children to the incomparable.

Carolyn Phillips is the author of the Twelve Benefits of Music Education. She is the Former Executive Director of the Norwalk Youth Symphony, CT.

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The keys to piano care

February 3rd 2012

The keys to piano care

Keep the music sweet with biannual tunings, climate-control and regular cleaning. By SUSAN MURPHY CASEY

Pianos go out of tune whether you play them or not because of heat and humidity.

Piano placement
In addition to temperature and humidity regulation, Gerald Arbeau suggests:
• Keep pianos away from sunlight and windows. Air from open windows will change the humidity.
• Place the piano a safe distance from air vents, or deflect the heat away.
• Try to find a place for your piano away from the front door.

Be on the lookout-Watch for these piano dangers
• Pet damage is common when animals spray to mark their territory. Affected castor wheels or pedals can turn carpet green.
• Wheels are vulnerable whenever a piano is moved, especially from a wrinkled carpet, a threshold that’s tough to clear or an uneven floor.
• Don’t put a plant on your piano, says Steve Cantu, “It looks pretty, but the pots sweat, condensation penetrates, and you’ll get a big, black ring.”
• Check to see whether the mover or anyone working on your piano carries liability insurance.
• Old pianos contain animal glue, which attracts mice, who start gnawing on glue and continue to the wood.

Start with regular tunings.
“Tune in the winter, when the piano is at its driest and coldest, and tune in the summer, when it’s most humid and hottest,” says Steve Cantu. “Catch the piano at its extreme conditions.”

The metal expands or contracts with different temperatures, and the wood expands or contracts with different humidity levels, Cantu says. A tuning usually runs between $60 and $125.

To find a technician, contact a dealer who sells your brand of pianos or the Piano Technicians Guild or ask your piano teacher. The region’s humidity changes make pianos go out of tune quickly, says Wayne Yockey.

Although somewhat controversial, Yockey and some others recommend installing a humidifier/dehumidifier or “damp chaser” on the piano. The device includes a low-wattage heating element to chase away humidity and a humidifier to put moisture into the piano during drier times. Damp chasers run $400 to $575. Maintenance costs $30 to $75 per visit, and they need service once or twice a year, experts say.

But Deets says he has seen the devices malfunction and cause serious damage. Gerald Arbeau says the devices have improved over the years. A shut-off sensor has been added to newer models to prevent an empty humidifier from drying out the piano, and technicians must now be certified to install them.
Arbeau regularly recommends the devices for grand pianos but not as much for vertical pianos, which are close to the ground and therefore less vulnerable to air changes.

Deets and Cantu would prefer that an ideal room humidity level — between 42 percent and 45 percent — be regulated without use of a damp chaser.

Once you’ve tackled the inside, how do you keep your piano spiffy on the outside? Advice differs by finish and technician, but there are a few constants.

For routine cleaning of dust and fingerprints, use a damp microfiber or cotton cloth, Deets says. Clean along the grain. Wipe off excess water with a dry cloth.

Never use furniture polish, experts say. It’s not necessary and can damage the wood.
If there is gum or goo on your piano, the next step for varnished, lacquered and satin (a type of polyester) finishes is to use a product without ammonia or silicone, experts say. Dilute the product and spray it sparingly onto the cloth, not directly onto the piano. Rinse with a damp cloth, and follow with a dry cloth.
For extra cleaning on polished, shiny ebony — another type of polyester finish — Deets likes detail wax (look for it at auto parts stores). Arbeau and Yockey recommend Cory Care Products, which are specifically for pianos and are sold at most piano venders or through technicians.

Treat the keys the same way you would the cabinet, Deets says, with a mildly damp cloth, followed by a dry cloth. While the tops of the keys usually are made of plastic, the sides are made of raw wood and need to be kept dry.

Clean brass pedals with brass cleaner or nickel-plated pedals with nickel cleaner. What about dust that settles on the strings inside?

“A professional technician should clean the inside,” Deets says. “There are too many things to damage.”
A vertical piano almost never needs cleaning, Deets says. “But if the lid is open on a grand piano, dust settles like it does on knickknacks in the house.”

Have a technician clean the interior while it’s being tuned, Deets says — it might cost extra, but it’s worth the money. For more information about pianos visit us @ http://www.Music2Master.com  or http://www.PearlFlutes.net  or call us at 952-924-4141.
 

Music participation provides a unique opportunity for literacy preparation. Whether the children are singing, playing, or listening, teachers direct them to listen and hear in new ways which exercises their aural discrimination. Playing instruments and adding movement to the lessons teaches children about sequential learning which is essential in reading comprehension

Plato once said that music “is a more potent instrument than any other for education”. You will find many teachers of young children who would agree with him. Recent research has found that music uses both sides of the brain, a fact that makes it valuable in all areas of development. Music affects the growth of a child’s brain academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Music is academic. For some people, this is the primary reason for providing music lessons to their children. A recent study from the University of California found that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Second graders who were given music lessons scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who received no special instruction. Research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance.

Music is physical. Music can be described as a sport. Learning to sing and keep rhythm develops coordination. The air and wind power necessary to blow a flute, trumpet or saxophone promotes a healthy body.

Music is emotional. Music is an art form. We are emotional beings and every child requires an artistic outlet. Music may be your child’s vehicle of expression.

Music is for life. Most people can’t play soccer, or football at 70 or 80 years of age but they can sing. And they can play piano or some other instrument. Music is a gift you can give your child that will last their entire lives.

This wonderful article produced by: Music Education Online ©  For more helpful tips, call us at 952-924-4141 or  visit us @ http://www.Music2Master.com  or http://www.PearlFlutes.net

Though it has not received a lot of press to date, the industry is on the case—in part for the sake of its own survival, and thanks to the hard work of a handful of green groups, guitar makers and wood suppliers.

In 1996, Gibson, one of the world’s premier guitar brands, became the first in the industry to make some of its instruments using wood certified as “sustainably harvested” by the non-profit Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). By 2006, some 42 percent of the wood purchased by the company for its Gibson USA electric guitars came from FSC-certified sources. By 2012, Gibson expects to increase that to 80 percent.

Gibson isn’t the only instrument maker greening up its footprint: Taylor, Fender, Martin, Guild, Walden and Yamaha, along with Gibson, have signed on as partners with the Music Wood Coalition, a project of the leading environmental non-profit Greenpeace. The coalition, which is also made up of a half-dozen tonewood suppliers, hopes its efforts will protect threatened forest habitats and safeguard the future of trees critical in manufacturing instruments of all kinds. Eco-advocates and guitar makers alike fear that the spruce, maple, mahogany, ebony and rosewood trees that have been the foundation of the wooden instrument industry for years are being cut down faster than they can be replaced.

The coalition’s initial focus is on halting the aggressive deforestation going on in Southeast Alaska. Greenpeace has been in talks with Sealaska Timber Corporation, one of the biggest logging operations in Alaska, to get 190,000 acres of the company’s privately owned Southeast Alaska timberland—a prime source of Sitka spruce, a wood coveted by instrument makers for its use in guitar soundboards—certified by FSC. Greenpeace Forest Campaign Coordinator Scott Paul views getting these forestlands certified as an important win-win opportunity for Sealaska, which wants to maintain a viable income stream, and for instrument makers who need a dependable source of resonant, durable and beautiful woods.

“These [private] lands are going to be logged,” says Paul. But with FSC oversight, he says, the forests can be managed sustainably. And the process is already underway, with the first part of the two-step certification process already completed. “Our goal is to create a demand…for FSC certified ‘good wood’ as the only acceptable music wood from the North American coastal temperate rainforest,” adds Paul.

Guitar makers know that the woods they’ve used for years might not continue to be had at the quantities and low prices they’re used to, but they are willing to adapt: “Alternative woods are the key to successful guitars,” says Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars, which has been a pioneer in the use of exotic and sustainably harvested tonewoods in their high quality acoustic guitars. “But the market needs to go there all together.”

Tradition is a huge driving force, agrees Paul. “Players expect a spruce soundboard, a mahogany neck, an ebony or rosewood bridge.” There needs to be a leap of faith in changing markets, he says, where people are becoming more environmentally conscious.  This article is written by EarthTalk which is produced by E/The Environmental Magazine in Westport CT.  For more information on this visit Greenpeace Music Wood Coalition, www.musicwood.orghttp://www.Music2Master.com  and http://www.PearlFlutes.net or 952-924-4141.

It’s audition season at my university and, if this year is like previous ones, very few of the applicants will be strong sight-readers.

Without question, it’s challenging for most teachers to regularly incorporate sight-reading during lessons, what with technical studies, theory, musicianship, and repertoire—let alone harmonization, transposition, improvisation and other keyboard skills. But since one of the most important things a teacher can do is to guide her students toward, in effect, becoming their own teachers, I am convinced that sight-reading is a vital skill that can facilitate—or even liberate—other aspects of music-making at the piano.

One pre-college teaching paradigm favors having students study three or four pieces over an entire academic year, usually in preparation for a competition and/or a recital. The study of ‘the music’ is stressed, and the student’s repertoire may become considerably more refined over the course of many months. Certainly, I have heard students present fine performances after following this routine. Others, however, do not respond as well to working in this manner.

In either case, this way of teaching does not encourage sight-reading. Without this skill, the student can rely too heavily on the teacher for musical ideas. This dependence can make it difficult for the student to become self-reliant, reticent to approach new music or to experiment and venture into unfamiliar territory.

This is where sight-reading assessment relates to the upcoming auditions at my school. It’s common for my colleagues and me to hear potential in an applicant’s playing and then to observe the same applicant stumble through an unfamiliar piece of music. Sometimes we take a chance on the student who sight-reads poorly and sometimes we don’t. Although anyone can improve, our experience has shown that students without this skill struggle to learn music at an acceptable pace. This, in turn, hinders musical and technical development.

Most pre-college piano students do not have vocational designs and will pursue other, non-music fields. But all students benefit from including sight-reading into their daily practice.

An approach I’ve found to be effective features three ways of working with piano music: blocking, earnest study (that may or may not be leading toward a performance) and sight-reading.

Blocking: Using unfamiliar repertoire that is not difficult—but too hard to sight-read easily—pianists may ‘block’ a piece or a section of a larger work by reading more deliberately, analyzing the harmonic and formal structure, planning effective fingering, and choreographing efficient technical gestures, to familiarize themselves with new music. For beginning and intermediate students, the pieces may be only one to two pages long. Advanced players may expand their knowledge of repertoire by budgeting more time to blocking every day—as opposed to the common practice of playing only those pieces that are being studied with a teacher, or those that are scheduled for performance.

Earnest Study: This is a more detail-oriented activity, where many pianists spend most of their practice time. Depending on what individuals find most stimulating, serious study may involve isolating technical problems, singing parts, stimulating the imagination through extramusical means, and innumerable other practice techniques to improve one’s playing. (For those with performance goals, I differentiate a fourth category, “Refining Toward Performance.” This is an extension of “Earnest Study,” but recognizes the additional effort required to bring repertoire to the highest-possible level. Usually, this involves memorization, as well as physical, emotional, and psychological demands that exceed those required for “earnest study.”)

Sight Reading: Determine your or your student’s ‘level‘ by finding music that is a stretch to play well the first time*. After a quick review of the score (meter, key, expressive markings, articulation, accidentals, registration, etc.) start by playing just one short example or a one-page piece all the way through, without stopping. For this exercise, it’s important to keep going forward, no matter what happens. I tell students to imagine that they’re accompanying dancers who rely on them to keep the music flowing—that these dancers don’t care about mistakes but do not want their dancing interrupted by stops and stutters!

When a student (usually a conscientious one) ‘stammers,’ by continuing to try to fix mistakes, I have him begin again, but this time I hold a piece of paper up to his music while he plays, advancing the paper to cover up the music just played so that the student’s eyes must keep moving forward. Even if he stops to ‘fix’ a problem, I keep advancing the paper. This invariably causes some anxiety, but the point gets made quickly. Despite some discomfort, this exercise puts students into a heightened state where they become more willing to take chances.

This kind of sight-reading is one activity in piano-playing where mistakes are accepted as a necessary part of the process, and the payoff is considerable. By playing more repertoire, we and our students are presented with many more aural and kinesthetic possibilities. Gradually, pianists become more courageous and feel empowered to tackle increasingly difficult repertoire.

Every musician is on a sight-reading continuum, meaning each of us has a ‘level’ from which to improve. Incorporating sight-reading into our practice and pedagogy can yield impressive benefits and, ultimately, greater joy in music-making, for us and our students. Written by Fred Karpoff. For more information about music lessons or music tips, visit http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or call us at 952-924-4141.

Overtime, guitar strings will have to be replaced; it’s inevitable. Natural stretch and wear will require you to replace your guitar strings regularly, but here are a few tips to keep yourguitar stringsas long as possible.

1. Wash and thoroughly dry hands before playing. Washing and drying hands removes oil and buildup from your hands that would otherwise get on the guitar.
2. Keep away from smoke or smoky places.
3. Keep hands as dry as possible when playing the guitar. Wet or sweaty hands will break down the strings and cause them to have to be replaced more often.
4. Try not to strum or play your guitar too hard (avoid heavy grip on fretting hand and aggressive picking). Some guitarists have a tendency to play their guitar “hard” and that wears out the strings faster.
5. Obviously, the more guitars are played, the more often their strings will need to be replaced. If you’re not going to be able to change your guitar strings anytime soon, then avoid strumming away for hours on end, otherwise you will have to change your guitar.

Here are a few tips to tell when it is time to change your guitar strings.

1. When the strings start to look dark or tarnished, the probably should be changed. Oil and buildup will cause strings to become tarnished and in need of replacement.
2. When the strings start to sound dull, they’ll need to be changed to keep a nice fresh sound.
3. If the guitar tone sounds flat, the strings will need to be changed. Strings are responsible for keeping the sound of your guitar in tune.
4. If you have a harder time tuning your guitar and getting it to stay in tune, the strings should be changed.
5. If one string breaks after a long period of time, it’s a good indication that all strings should be changed. Otherwise, they’ll all start breaking.

For more information on guitar strings, guitar lessons, etc visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net  or call us at 952.924.4141.

An Instrument makes the perfect gift!

Having trouble deciding on a gift for someone this Holiday season? Give them a musical instrument! Many people are interested in learning an instrument but either do not have that instrument or just haven’t taken the steps to begin learning to play.

Here are some reasons why a musical instrument could make the perfect gift.

1. Cost. Buying a used instrument or music lessons for someone is not as expensive as you may think. A used instrument could be the perfect way to turn someone on to music so they will want to invest in a higher quality instrument.

2. Bonding. You’ll often hear that someone comes from a “musical family” and that’s because people bond over shared interests. Families that can play or learn instruments together will naturally bond over the shared interest.

3. Depression. Studies show that music affects people’s moods. Keep your family’s spirits up by giving them music lessons.

4. Age. It’s a myth that you have to learn to play instruments while you’re young. While it may be easier to retain information at a young age, adults have the discipline and attention span necessary for learning an instrument. You’re never too old to learn to play an instrument.

5. Caroling. Do you have friends or family that love to go Christmas caroling? This year, get them music lessons so they will be the talk of the town with their vocal talent.

6. Nostalgia. Many people have a certain instrument they associate with their childhood. Whether they loved listening to jazz or their grandpa played the guitar, they probably have some pastime that involves music. The gift of memories could be the perfect gift this year.

7. Regret. Odds are if you know people that do not play an instrument, they wish they did. Make those regrets a thing of the past by giving them an instrument for Christmas this year.

8. Stress. Music and playing an instrument are shown to fight off stress. Music is often associated with relaxation. If you know someone who gets stressed out easily, give him/her an instrument and watch the stress melt away.

9. Value. All gifts have a different value to the receiver. While your kids might request certain gifts within this year’s fad, an instrument could be the gift they didn’t know they wanted. The gift of music is one that lasts a lifetime.

10. Want. Give someone an instrument for Christmas because they asked for it and they want it. It may seem like a big investment, but if people want to learn an instrument, they will.

Do you have more questions or need assistance with a musical instrument purchase or music lesson sign-up? http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net or 952-924-4141

“Black boys don’t play flute.” So were the words of Harold Todd’s high school band leader nearly thirty years ago. We’d like to think that Harold mastered the flute just to prove something to that erroneous old instructor, but the fact is that he was born to play – and he isn’t going to let anyone tell him otherwise.

Since the high school band, Harold has become an accomplished songwriter, drawing from classical, jazz,rock, reggae, funk, house and dance formats. And he’s just as diverse an instrumentalist, wrecking it as much on flute and sax as he is on clarinet , oboe and English horn.

For the last ten years, Harold has been playing woodwinds with Lenny Kravitz, but his life in music began when he was ten years old, singing “Swing Low” solo for the fifth grade Christmas Pageant. When his voice changed, he had to dream up another way of singing. Enter the flute.

Some people call him a flutist, some opt for the classically-minded flautist, but Harold isn’t concerned with syntax – he’s just a player. And like a true player, Harold has done nothing but play. He started at the San Francisco Conservatory and by fourteen was competing for scholarships in the San Francisco Bay. In 1976, he won musician of the year. Then, he won scholarships to Mendocino and Aspen music festivals, as well as second prize in the E-Bell Club Award and musical and athletic scholarships to UC Irvine, where he honed his classical agility as principle flute in the UC Orchestra.

His professional career began at age 21, when Harold picked up the saxophone and moved to San Diego. He began playing with Common Sense, a legendary SoCal reggae, funk crew before enjoying lengthy stints with Goldfish, the B-Side Players, Psydecar and Greyboy Allstars. Then, rocker Lenny Kravitz heard Harold perform and asked him to collaborate. Harold’s been with Lenny for ten years on saxes and flute, recording on Five, Circus and two DVD performances.

Harold then went on a creative sojourn to Frankfurt (Wiesbaden), Germany, where he recorded three albums. Revealed, Treat Me Right and Thinker’s Journey collectively represent Harold’s agility as a performer, as well as his diverse and meticulous style as a singer/songwriter. Revealed is a synthesis of traditional and modern jazz with electronica influences. Treat Me Right, Harold says, is music for music lovers – an acoustic album featuring classical and pop instrumental styles. And Thinker’s Journey is a cerebral take on poppy tunes from various genres.

Harold Todd is a humble, classically-trained musician who makes classical music cool – an eclectic performer who redefines contemporary songwriting by employing progressive, European club beats and funky American phrasing. He’ll knock you off the dance floor with his flute, woo you back with his sax and engage you in a physical discourse with his arrangements. Translation: grab a date and get your groove on –Harold Todd’s in the house.

http://www.Music2Master.com  and http://www.PearlFlutes.net  
 

Playing your first recital can be nerve-wracking, but it’s a great way to show what you’ve learned and stay motivated with lessons. Here are a few tips to prepare for the big day.

Find out what music you’re playing. Some instructors allow you to choose what piece(s) you’d like to play during the recital; other instructors assign pieces. If allowed to choose your own music, choose a piece that interests you.

Practice! Try to set aside time every day to practice. Practicing for 15 minutes a day will be more effective than practicing one day for an hour.

Difficulty. Tackle the more difficult pieces you’ll be playing then move onto the easier ones. Beginning with the harder pieces will give you more time to learn and master them. After learning the difficult pieces you should master the easier ones in no time.

Warm up. Play through a few easy pieces and your recital piece before the recital. Don’t over practice right before a recital though or you’ll be tired and make more mistakes.

Play in front of an audience. Practice a few times in front of your family and friends. This will help you feel more confident playing in front of a larger audience.

Record a practice session. Record yourself, or have someone record you, playing through all your pieces. Some musicians have bad habits that they do on stage and aren’t aware of them. Watching yourself play will show you how you will look on stage and you can address any issues before playing in front of an audience.

Rest. Get a good night’s sleep the night before a recital. You may be too nervous to sleep, but if you’re tired during the recital you might forget a piece or miss a note.

Breath! Many people get nervous in front of an audience and forget to breath. Practice some breathing techniques before your recital that help calm you down.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone messes up during his or her first recital. Usually it’s just a small mistake that only you notice, but the temptation to stop will be there. If you make a mistake, keep playing like nothing happened. Remember, this is your first recital; it will go better next time.

Have fun! Playing music shouldn’t be a chore. Always remember to have fun when playing. Performers that are having fun have better stage presence than those who are not.

More music tips are available at http://www.Music2Master.com OR http://www.PearlFlutes.net

Preparation of Scales and Repertoire:

- Perform for an audience. Yes, perform even your scales for an audience of three or more people. Scales are the building block of your pieces. The more accurate and solid your scales, the more accurate and solid your repertoire. The more you perform in front of an audience - even a small one - the more comfortable you will be.

- Work constantly on the difficult spots. You can never practice the difficult passages too many times. You should be able to play the most difficult passages with the greatest of ease. This only comes with careful and constant repetition. Practice makes permanent!

On the Audition Day:

- Warm Up! It is a good idea to play through your scales and pieces SLOWLY before you arrive at the audition site. Once you arrive, start your pieces and scales.

- Think Positively! As you think about the audition, imagine your sound as one of confidence and clarity.

- Enjoy! This is what you have been working for. The adjudicators are there to listen to you play well and really enjoy listening to each and every student. Keep breathing and relax!

For more music tips visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com OR http://www.PearlFlutes.net

New pianosare a big investment; so before going out and buying the first pianoyou see, there are a few things to consider.

1. Shop around. Pianosare not all the same and everypianowill not be right for you. Make sure and look at as many pianosas you can before making a decision. Always remember to play and inspect a pianobefore you buy it!

2.Placement. Make sure you have a space ready for your new pianobefore you buy it. Factors such as room size, carpeting etc. will make a difference in how your piano sounds. When buying a piano, be conscious of the space you’re going to put the pianoin; if you’re not sure how a piano would sound in your space, don’t be afraid to ask.

Want more information on pianos, piano tips, piano lessons?   http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net

3.Moving. Before purchasing a piano, find out who is responsible for moving it. Private retailers usually expect you (the buyer) to do the moving yourself, while large pianomanufacturers will often handle the moving for you. Always remember to hire professionals to assist with the moving. Moving a pianoby yourself will cause expensive damage to your new piano.

4.Hire a professional.Having a professional help you choose a piano is a good idea if you don’t know a whole lot about pianos.

5.Play.Don’t be afraid to play and test the pianothoroughly before you buy it to be sure it is in good condition.

6.Age.Pianoshave a long life span (30-60 years), so don’t be turned off if a pianois 20 years old, it could still be in pristine condition.

7.Be cautious.If a seller is trying to turn your attention to the new finish on the exterior of the piano rather than telling you about the life of the piano, be suspicious. This is a common trick to distract buyers from actual problems with the piano.

8.Initial call.Before taking the time to drive over and look at a piano, call the seller and get some background information about the piano. Information like age and value of the piano will help you decide whether or not to actually take time to look at the piano.

9.Tune.Before taking lessons with your new piano, be sure that it is properly tuned. Practicing on an out of tune pianowill get you nowhere.

10.Price. Plan on spending at least $100 on moving and tuning thepiano(this is on top of the cost of the piano). Don’t try to save money by moving the pianoyourself when a professional pianomover can safely move your piano.

Your voiceis a delicate instrument because if you wreck it you can’t fix it like you can with other instruments. Keeping your voicehealthy means keeping your body healthy. Here are a few tips to keep your singing voicesounding its best.

Drink water.
Drink lots of water! Keeping your body hydrated is the most important thing you can do for your vocal cords. Water helps your body create the lubrication that allows your vocal cords to function properly. Try to drink at least the recommended amount of water each day, but drink more if you can.

Quit Smoking.
Smoking removes the necessary moisture that allows your vocal cordsto function properly. Smoking also reduces normal breathing capacity, so if you smoke, you may not be able to hold those notes as long.

Warm up.
Your vocal cords require a warm up before each time you sing. Singing for long periods of time can cause permanent damage. Always try to warm up for at least 10 minutes before each performance to stretch and relax your vocal cords.

Reduce dairy consumption.
Dairy products coat your throat and reduce your vocal range. You don’t have to completely cut out dairy products, but avoid them right before a performance.

Limit alcohol and soda.
Do not be fooled by thinking since you’re drinking a soda you’re hydrating your body; alcohol and sodas dehydrate your body. Dehydration is the worst thing for your vocal cords. Limit your alcohol and soda consumption, but if you do need a soda or a beer, try to balance it out by drinking an extra glass of water. Just remember to always stay hydrated!

Exercise.
Exercise improves your core muscles and allows you to sing better. Exercises like yoga will improve your posture and teach you breathing techniques. Remember, a healthy body means a healthy singing voice.

Visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information on private or group voice lessons/classes along with other music tips and music lessons.

If your child is enrolled in band or orchestra class at school, then you might think there is no reason to enroll them in private music lessons. Students that take private music lessons on an instrument will improve faster than if they are only learning in the classroom. It is difficult to get individualized attention and guidance in a classroom setting because there are many students. If your child has a genuine interest in an instrument, or maybe their band/orchestra teacher thinks they have special musical talent, then you should consider enrolling your child in private music lessons.

Better Ensembles
Typicaly, the more students enrolled in private lessons, the better the ensemble sounds. If a few students are taking private music lessons and excelling at their instrument, other parents might see that and enroll their children as well. Band/orchestra ensembles often compete in competitions and if the majority of the students are also taking private lessons the ensemble should do well.

Individualized Attention
If your child has an interest in learning an instrument, then school band/orchestra classes may not be cutting it. Students interested in learning an instrument will typically practice more outside of class and be genuinely interested in learning the instrument. Some students in band/orchestra classes may only be taking the class to socialize and therefore slow the progress of the entire group down. Private music lessons will give your child the training they need.

Musical Talent
All children learn at different speeds, and it can be discouraging if children see their peers excelling at something that is taking them more time to learn. Private music lessons can speed up a slower learner because a private instructor can address issues the student may be having with learning, or teach him/her better ways to practice.

Innate Ability
If your child has a serious interest in music and would like to pursue music as a career, then private lessons are a must. Music schools and ensembles (even youth ensembles) are extremely competitive and children will have to take private lessons to ensure they are getting the proper training.

Visit http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information on private music lessons and your instrument rental/sale needs.

Acoustic, electric, bass—there are so many different types of guitars to choose from. So, how do you know which guitar is right for you?

Acoustic Guitar
Acoustic guitars are the most hassle free guitars to learn on because they don’t require any additional equipment. This also makes them cheaper than electric guitars. Acoustic guitars are very portable so you can practice just about anywhere. The drawback with these guitars is that they’re harder to play. This is because the strings are thicker and take more force to make a solid connection with the fret board. The upside of this is that it increases your finger strength so you can play longer.

Electric Guitar
Electric guitars are usually easier for people to learn because the strings are thinner which makes it easier to get a solid connection with the fretboard. This makes a difference because you only need half the force to push down the string and make a solid connection with the fret board, which is a struggle for many beginning guitarists. Electric guitars require more equipment than acoustic guitars, which can get expensive.

**It is important to remember, when buying either type of guitar, not to just buy the cheapest one. Cheap guitars may seem like a good idea if you’re not sure you want to invest in a guitar, but odds are if you buy a cheap guitar you’ll hate the instrument. Cheap guitars hinder learning and practice and often give the player a bad taste for the instrument. You don’t have to spend thousands on a beginner guitar, about $150 should get you a decent acoustic guitar (and 250.00-300.00 for a decent electric with gear), but don’t skimp. A decent guitar could mean the difference between sticking with guitar lessons and quitting.

In the end, the most important thing to consider is which guitar you enjoy playing the most. For more information on guitars, you can go to http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net     

NEW @ Music2Master.com! Guitar Rentals and Guitar Sales! Call us at 952-924-4141 or for more information visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com

10 Piano Practice Tips

August 6th 2011

 

1. Stretch. Playing the pianomay not seem like something that requires stretching, but stretching can prevent repetitive stress related injuries. You’ll also be sitting at the pianofor long periods of time, so stretching can prevent stiff joints and discomfort.

2. Be Happy. This may sound silly, but practicing the pianoin a good mood will make it more enjoyable. If you’re dreading the end of the practice session you’ll probably retain less and the practice session will be useless.

3. Eat Well. Have a snack before practicing the pianoso the dreaded hunger pains don’t creep up after a half hour of practice time. Staying energized will increase clarity while playing and you’ll play better than you would on an empty stomach.

4. Make it a Ritual.Doing the same things in the same way over and over will force your body to recognize when it’s practice time. If your body is ready for the practice session then you’ll be able to jump right back into where you left off easier than if you’re constantly switching things up.

5. Create a Space.Creating the perfect practice area with few distractions will make it easier to focus.

6. Variety.Don’t skip over the difficult parts because you can’t quite get them right. The difficult parts may require some extra attention, but after playing something hard for a bit, go back to something you’ve already mastered. The variety will make you feel more accomplished.

7. Think in Shapes. If you’re having trouble remembering notes, try to remember how your hand looks when you play the note. This is similar to tricks people come up with to remember place names; if you forget a note, your mind will automatically review the hand shapes in your head and you’ll be able to figure out what note you need.

8. Switch it up.Not the practice area, but the order in which you practice. Repetitive practicing can get boring, so switching things up during a practice session can make things more enjoyable.

9. Start With What You Love. Also end with something you love. This can get you excited about the entire practice session.

10. Listen.Listen to pianomusic even when you’re not practicing. You can find new pieces you’d like to learn or hear a new technique to try. Listening is an important part to learning.

More practice tips are located at http://www.Music2Master.com

Every parent who has a school-aged child has experienced at least once ‘the homework battle’. This is the battle in which you calmly tell your child to do their homework and they react with, “but” – “I will in a minute” – “I want to play” – “I don’t have any” – or just plain screaming. Now, you as the parent try to stay calm, this patience wears off after 10 minutes into what has now become the homework battle and now you are both screaming!

You have probably tried some of these tactics: Let them play and then they will do it later, make them do it right away and get it over with, give them a snack while they do it, have them take a nap first (sometimes a battle in itself), and even bribery.

Here are a few tips that you may have not considered. Music can be very calming. Research has found that listening to Mozart’s music makes one relaxed and attentive. In a book authored by Don Campbell, an experiment found that, by listening to music by Mozart, student’s IQ’s were temporarily boosted by 8 to 9 points. Don Campbell said that listening to Mozart’s music actually helps the mind organize time and space.

Now that we know Mozart can calm and relax children, making them smarter in the process, why not give it a try! Buy a CD of Mozart’s music and turn it on for the drive home from your child’s school. If you want them to do their homework right away, tell them that the drive is their downtime, have them close their eyes and relax, listening to the music. You can also have them lie down at home in thier room for 30 minutes, listening to the music and relaxing. Put the music on quietly while they are doing their homework. This music may be the solution to the homework battle!

Not only does listening to Mozart make your kids smarter, but studies show that kids who learn to play music at a young age are more interested in school and get better grades. Exposing your child to learning about music early in life can eliminate the homework battle situation altogether! http://www.Music2Master.com OR http://www.PearlFlutes.net

We would love to hear back from you on this, please let us know if music by Mozart is working or has worked for you!

“Listening to Mozart actually makes you smarter” –Alex Ross, NY Times music columnist

Most pianos have 88 keys. And most great piano music comes from the middle of the keyboard — only rarely do the player’s fingers venture onto the tinkly keys at the top of the keyboard, or the booming bass notes at the bottom. But a craftsman in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, thinks the instrument has room to grow; and he wants to nudge the piano out of complacent middle age. He has designed a grand with an unprecedented 102 keys.

The Stuart and Sons grandpiano has 14 more keys than most, which means its lowest and highest notes live very much on the edge. Its designer, Wayne Stuart, says a few other grands can play as low as this 102-key model, but none can play as high.

"I'd hate to go back to the 88-key piano," he says. "I couldn't stand it. It's too limited."

The extra notes might lend themselves to great feats of acrobatics, but they're not exactly musical. So why have them?

For color, Stuart says, and resonance. "There's a tremendous amount of energy in the low-octave notes, and you can hear the power."

The power is evident even in pieces where the lowest notes aren't played.  Concert pianist Gerard Willems has recorded most of Beethoven's works on a Stuart grand, and he found the extra keys made a difference.

"Beethoven would have loved the sound of the Stuart piano," he says. Beethoven only had about 70 keys on his piano and would surely have used more notes if he'd had them, he says.

But don't focus too much on the keys, Willems says. This Stuart piano has other innovations, like a device that makes the strings vibrate differently, so each note sings out clear and separate. "It's almost like pulling wool apart — you can feel and sense and smell each layer of the sound."

But if the Stuart piano is going to attract more attention, it has to attract living composers — to write for it. And slowly, that’s happening.

New Age jazz musician Fiona Joy Hawkins has composed pieces for the Stuart piano, and she says it's the best piano she's ever played on. A single note on the Stuart, she says, can sustain for a long time.

"It just doesn't have any bend in the decay — it just goes straight. It goes forever, so you get these incredible harmonics that last," she says.

Some people say the Stuart has a distinctly Australian sound — as clear and bright as sun on the beach.  But in Australia, the instrument has its critics. Pianist and music professor Geoffrey Lancaster would not say this piano is "sunny."

"I find the sounds very cold," Lancaster says. "They don't have that dimension of warmth that, say, a great Steinway or a great Bosendorfer has. It's this clarity — this so-called clarity or crystalline quality, it's really quite icy."

The Stuart grand can't compete with a giant like Steinway; only about 40 of the grands have been sold worldwide. But Lancaster says the Stuart raises an important question: When do we stop innovating?

"The idea 150 years ago was that each piano should be a masterpiece in its own right, and should not necessarily resemble the piano that was made before it," Lancaster says. "That's all changed, of course. So I'm all for innovation in the modern piano. To me, the piano is a pinnacle of human achievement. So it seems right and proper that it should continue to develop."

How you innovate, he says, depends, as always, on personal taste. But if you want to debut with a Stuart, you'll also need money: It costs up to $300,000, delivered.

For more information, go to:  http://www.Music2Master.com  OR http://www.PearlFlutes.net  OR http://www.npr.org

When: Flute Concert
Friday, April 29, 2011 at 7:30pm
*General Public Welcome!

Flute Masterclass
Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 9:45am
*Flutists of All Ages and Abilities Welcome! Bring Your Flutes and a Readiness to
Try Something New! Dress Comfortably For Body Stretching/Workout!

Where: Mayflower Community Congregational Church
106 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55419

Directions: Go to www.GoogleMaps.com for directions or call Music2Master.com at 952-924-4141
*Please do not call the church directly!

Cost: Concert: $15.00 if purchased by February 28, 2011, $20.00 if purchased between March 1-April 28, 2011 and $25.00 at the door.
Masterclass: $15.00 if purchased by February 28, 2011, $20.00 if purchased between March 1-April 28, 2011 and $25.00 at the door.

Registration: (Three Ways To Register)
On-Line:
Go to: http://music2master.com/index.php?contentID=245to purchase your tickets on our secured website.
By Phone:
Call us at 952-924-4141 and register over the phone using your credit card!

Pearl Flutes, Flute Music, Crystal Flutes and Flute Supplies Will Be Available and For Sale at Both Events

**We need 6 Master-class Performers, so indicate on registration form if you are interested & we will contact you

PLEASE DIRECT ALL INQUIRIES, CALLS and QUESTIONS to:
Music Masters Incorporated
www.Music2Master.com (check us out on the web!)
7300 France Avenue South
Suite 112
Edina, Minnesota 55435
952-924-4141
Authorized Pearl Flute Dealer
Authorized Band and Orchestra Instrument Rental and Sales Affiliate
Hours By Appointment
Private Lessons on ALL Band and Orchestra Instruments and Piano, Voice and Guitar!
Kindermusik-Ages New Born to Age 7

About the Concert: (Friday, April 29th, 2011)

Rhonda Larson (Grammy Award Winner and Pearl Flute Artist) performs an intimate, multi-faceted “solo” flute show entitled “One Woman, a World of Music”, with her “Virtual Band” on CD. The recorded instruments include piano, acoustic guitar, synth, bass and percussion in a variety of ensemble configurations, while others are for flute alone. Rhonda not only performs on the familiar western European flute (including alto), but plays an assortment of ethnic flutes from around the world. Her music merges the most soulful elements of sacred, classical, folk, Celtic and ethnic music. The program consists chiefly of Ms. Larson’s own original compositions, and is accessible to all audiences, classical and non-classical alike.

About the Masterclass: (Saturday, April 30th, 2011)
Rhonda (Grammy Award Winner and Pearl Flute Artist) offers a masterclass in addition to her performance. It begins in a refreshingly untraditional way with Rhythmic Rubrics with Rhonda. This is a group participation with an engaging percussion background leading, as participants focus on feeling the rhythm in their bodies with various physical activities, and call-and-response phrase inventing. Liberated from the written page, everyone plays by ear and expresses themselves with more character and style as inspired by this rhythmic convergence.

Next resumes the standard-format masterclass: Performers who wish to play repertoire in front of the class, receiving instruction and suggestions from Rhonda. Particular focus is given to the Art of Performance and Stage Presence. Please, no avant-garde music, as it does not lend itself well to teaching in a group class format.

Masterclass “group” participation lasts about 1 hour. Traditional portion of the masterclass will last 2-3 hours with 20-30 minutes per performer.


Rhonda Larson Biography
(Grammy Award Winner and Pearl Flute Artist)

Flutist, composer, and bandleader Rhonda Larson entered the national music scene from her native Montana by winning first prize in the National Flute Association's Young Artist Competition in 1985, including a Carnegie Hall debut. Shortly thereafter, Rhonda joined forces with the Paul Winter Consort, initiating her journey of combining diverse musical styles in addition to her classical training. Rhonda won a Grammy Award during her last year with the Consort, departing the group at that time to embark on her individual cross-cultural/multi-genre music path.
Rhonda's diversity, combined with her musical and technical wizardry, has begun a new generation for the flute as a leading voice in the music world. Composing much of her own repertoire, Larson continues to be recognized as a visionary force creating a refreshing hybrid music for the flute, including her versatility on an array of ethnic flutes from around the world. Larson journeyed to South Africa as a musical ambassador for the United States to perform for the Parliament of the World's Religions, sharing the stage with such luminaries as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. In addition to South Africa, Rhonda has toured in Russia, Japan, Europe, Central America and throughout North America. She has recently performed in Ireland, Italy, and Spain. In Spain she recorded with the Celtic Galician group "Milladoiro" from the Santiago de Compostela region, and performed as a guest soloist with this stellar bunch along with guest soloist Eileen Ivers, famed celtic fiddle player of the original "Riverdance" troupe.
Rhonda has a discography of over 19 commercial recordings from label/distributors such as Windham Hill and American Gramaphone, among others. She has recorded a variety of flute music for the CBS television series, "Survivor" and "The Restaurant", and performed on the Live CBS finale episode of "Survivor" from Madison Square Gardens, seen by over 40 million viewers.
Rhonda has two solo recordings, Free as a Bird, and her newly released second solo CD, Distant Mirrors. The latter is an eclectic musical reflection on world cultures and ancient traditions, and was listed in the top ten of the "25 Essential CD's for 2003" nationally syndicated Public Radio program, Echoes. Rhonda is featured in the 2003 "Flute Stories--101 Inspirational Stories from the World's Best Flute Players", Windplayers publication. Ms. Larson has served on the Board of Directors for the National Flute Association.
From October 2006 through June 2007 Rhonda lived in Ramallah, Palestine (West Bank), where she taught flute at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.
Rhonda and her husband Lee deLisle live in Southwestern Michigan, where Rhonda continues her creative work and practice of the flute in her studio which is an historical 1878 one-room schoolhouse located on their property, alongside a replica of a 1630's Williamsburg cabin. They also live part-time at their second home in the Lazio region of Italy.

Check out Rhonda Performing at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PohoBSPX7Eg

Go to this link to purchase Pearl Flutes: http://music2master.com/as_Pearl-Flutes-Quantz-Coda-765-795

Go to this link to purchase Rhonda Larson Sheet Music for pick-up or delivery: http://music2master.com/as_Flute-Sheet-Music-Music-Lessons?product_category=208

Go to this link to purchase Rhonda Larson flute CD’s for pick-up or delivery:
http://music2master.com/as_Flute-CDs

Music majors are better readers & more successful medical school applicants!

A study of 7,500 university students revealed that music majors scored the highest reading scores among all majors including English, biology, chemistry and math.
Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66% of music majors who applied to med school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. Forty-four percent (44%) of biochemistry majors were admitted.
For more information about music, go to http://www.Music2Master.com  or http://www.Pearlflutes.net

References: “The Comparative Academic Abilities of Students in Education and in Other Areas of a Multi-focus University,” Peter H. Wood, ERIC Document No. ED327480
"The Case for Music in the Schools,” Phi Delta Kappan, February, 1994
 

Why Music Education

January 15th 2011

Why Music Education? 

Music is a Science...It is exact, specific, and it demands exact acoustics.  A conductor's full score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody, and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.  

Music is Mathematical...  It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper. 

Music is a Foreign Language...Most of the terms are in Italian, German, or French; and the notation is certainly not English - but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols  to represent ideas.  The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language. 

Music is History...   Music usually reflects the environment and times of its creation, often even the country and or cultural feeling. 

Music is Physical Education...  It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek, and facial muscles in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, stomach, and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets. 

Music Develops Insight and Demands Research... Music is all these things, but most of all, Music Is Art...  It allows a human being to take all these, dry, technically boring, (but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion.  That is one thing science cannot duplicate; humanism, feeling, emotion, call it what you will.

Music...A Part Of living...   Music is inherent in the very nature of man.  The tiny infant will often respond to a rhythmic sound, beginning to hum even before speaking.  Rhythm and music abound in nature all around us - the rhythmic drumming of the surf, the measured meter of rain, the winds, the melodic tunes of song birds.   Music is in us, as well.   It's an ability inherent in every child, simply awaiting development.    Unfortunately some children may never know the joys of creating  their own music, exploring their innate abilities, or discovering the joys of this self expression.  For most children, that opportunity comes but once.  To be denied that opportunity is to forfeit this natural means of self expression.

The Time May Be Now...  For your child, the opportunity to participate in music may be now.  As a caring parent, you too are presented with a unique opportunity: the chance to introduce your child to a new and wonderful world where undiscovered abilities may blossom forth, where awakening dreams become fulfilled, where a richer and fuller life begins.  Your decision to enroll your child in a music program may be one of the most important contributions you'll ever make to his or her education and perhaps to his or her life.

And, Music Is Fun!   Unlike some disciplines, music is fun to learn.  We all enjoy listening to music.  It is even more fun to create it.  There is a simple joy in experimenting with an instrument, playing real notes and discovering how those notes fit together to become a melody.  And there's a unique and special satisfaction in performing as part of  a band or orchestra that will be cherished for a lifetime, a unique pleasure in meeting new challenges and handling them - beautifully.

Did You Know...That when children study music in school, they also improve their reading, spelling, and math skills?  Educators agree that abstract concepts such as counting, fractions, and ratios become more concrete when applied in a musical context, making the relationship between mathematical theory and practice noticeably clearer. 

Music increases a student's learning capabilities in many other areas, as various studies show:   In 1987 to 1989, students taking music courses scored an average of 20 to 40 points higher on both verbal and math portions of the SAT's than students who took no arts courses.  During the same period, students who took more than four years of music and the other arts scored 34 points better on verbal SAT's than those who took music for less than a year.  Students who participate in their school band or orchestra are 52 percent more likely to go on to college and graduate.  A recent Rockefeller Foundation study discovered that music students have the highest rate of admittance to medical schools.  Studies in other countries have demonstrated that along with these benefits, there is a significant relationship between music instruction  and education performance in reading, spelling, mathematics, listening and verbal abilities, and motor skills.

Music - It's Creative And Advances Learning Ability...   Children have a natural curiosity, and curiosity is the seed of creativity.  Music offers the child an  exciting opportunity to channel that natural curiosity into creative endeavor.  It nurtures independent thinking that will carry over into other aspects of the child's curriculum and be applied to many subjects other than music.  It is more than coincidental that nationwide studies have shown that students in school music programs have achieved higher averages in all subjects and develop academically more rapidly than others.    Direct correlations between music instruction and reading, spelling and math skills underscore music study as a decisive factor in  a student's educational success.

What Is It We Want For Our Children...  Obviously many things, but most parents include some of these traits: good self-esteem and self-expression; good self-discipline; individual creativity; good academic and social skills.  When a child participates in music program, all of these traits may be developed.  When a child succeeds at the diverse tasks required in playing and instrument, self-esteem is enhanced.  When a child learns by experience that creating music links one's self to the world, self expression becomes more fluent.  Creating music helps the child interpret "who I am."  The child who is taught how to make music learns much about his or her innate creativity.  As a child begins to understand the connection between hours of practice and the quality of a performance, self-discipline becomes self-reinforcing.  It may then be a short jump to making the connection between self-discipline and performance in life.  Music programs alone may not be the answer to all the educational and social problems among youth, but many agree it would be foolish to discount music education's contributions to finding solutions in these areas.  Music is one of the few areas of study available to children that can bring such a diversity of positive factors together in the same classroom at the same time.

Music Builds Self Confidence...   Every child needs a success, a means of gaining recognition.   It's a part of the growing-up process, with each accomplishment contributing positively to the development of a stronger personality.  Music provides almost daily opportunity for individual accomplishment and, with each success, you child gains confidence.   Children who participate in school music programs begin to know themselves, to believe in their abilities and to gain strength as individuals.

Music Is A Form Of Beauty...   Music stirs the memory of our people.  It connects us to our history, our traditions, our heritage.  It is a dominant force in the world, shaping every culture's senses as well as the values of its children as few other forces can.  It is critically important that our children understand their place in today's world by making these connections.  In the folk songs of Appalachia, in the emotional reverberations of the blues, in the soaring spirituality of Leonard Bernstein's Mass, in the vigor of Aaron Copland's Rodeo, our children can awaken to a knowledge of themselves - their community and their world - in ways that cannot be duplicated.  We want our children to know and understand music precisely because it has intrinsic value on these and many other levels.

Music Has Lifetime Value...   "Music is the universal language of mankind," said Longfellow.   Where will learning this "language" lead your child?  the possibilities are endless.  First, of course, there is the school band or orchestra.   Eventually, your child might play in a marching band, participate in philharmonic concerts, or a popular music performing group.  And, too, there is the practical matter of music scholarships to college.  Millions of dollars in scholarships are currently awarded to deserving students each year.  Regardless of where music leads your child, he or she is certain to benefit from the ability to play an instrument.   your child will develop a finer appreciation for history and culture as well as for all forms of music.  Music will provide a means of individual expression, of relaxation and enjoyment, and better use of leisure time as well.  Your child will benefit from the personal growth and development that musical training brings.

Band And Orchestra - A Model For Life...    When children join band or orchestra they are learning more than just music.   They are also learning the critical thinking skills needed in today's work force.   Children in band or orchestra develop higher cognitive skills and increased ability to analyze and evaluate information.  they also learn about teamwork and conflict/resolution skills required for success in the modern workplace while enjoying the healthy, positive activity of band and orchestra with friends.

Music Enhances Social Development... In the school music program, your child becomes part of a group whose success depends upon teamwork and cooperation.  Discovering the advantages of working with others and contributing to the overall success of the group is a valuable lesson that your child will carry through the rest of his or her life.  With this group association, your child will find how to more easily make new friends who share the same common backgrounds and interests.  Most importantly, because every student contributes to the success of the school band or orchestra, children learn a greater appreciation for the part others can play in their own successes, and vice versa.  And in band or orchestra, every member of the team gets to play!

Keeping The Opportunity Alive...   Despite the obvious values of a musical education, some school districts are cutting school band and orchestra budgets - or worse, cutting out entire music programs, simply because some school officials don't understand these benefits.  Fortunately there are ways parents can help improve these conditions in your community:  Strike an alliance with your school music educators and directors.  Find out how you can support, at home, what the teachers are trying to accomplish at school.  Make sure you local school board, administrators and public officials know of your commitment to music education as a matter of educational principle.  Work with your music parents' club and area music dealers to prevent music from becoming a "bargaining chip" in school budget battles.

The Important Role Of The Parent...   Your child's success in learning to play an instrument depends a lot on you.   Your involvement is vital to your child's attitude and progress.  Encourage your child to play for you every day.  Be generous with enthusiastic praise.   Offer your support when your child becomes discouraged.  Above all, participate - meet the music teacher and music dealer and attend concerts and recitals.   Regardless of your own musical background, you will derive great satisfaction and enjoyment from following your child's progress.

Credits... Much of the above material was copied from "Your Child's Future...with Music!", a brochure printed by United Musical Instruments.  For more information about music lessons, visit our website at http://www.Music2Master.com

Andy Findon is Europe’s most recorded flute player. In his thirty years as a London-based musician, he has appeared on countless albums, film & TV scores. He is widely regarded as the definitive flute player in the fiercely competitive world of London’s West End theatres, where he has been continually employed throughout his illustrious career, working closely on original scores for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s productions among many others. He has been involved in just about every genre of performance from serious orchestral work and session recording to rock-bands and performance on a vast array of ethnic instruments.

As well as his enviable reputation as a master performer on the flute, Andy has been Michael Nyman’s baritone saxophonist since shortly after graduating London’s Royal College of Music in 1976. His personal recording projects include 2 multi-tracked CDs and several solo pan-pipe albums as well as writing for many “library” tracks.  For more information about Pearl Flutes, visit us at http://www.Music2Master.com OR http://www.Pearlflutes.net

Matteo Evangelisti was born in Rome in 1985. He graduated in 2003 obtaining first prize "cum laude". In the last two years he has won all major national flute competitions (16 times first prize and 2 times second prize) including "Concorso Syrinx" (May 2004) and "Concorso Cilea" (September 2004). He's one of the best young players of the country. Visit http://www.Music2Master.com and http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information!

We have the following PRIVATE LESSON offerings at Music2Master.com:

·  Piano, Keyboard

·  Flute, Piccolo, Alto Flute, Bass Flute

·  Violin, Viola, Cello

·  Voice

·  Oboe

·  Clarinet

·  Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Bari Saxophone

·  Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar , Bass Guitar

·  Trumpet

·  Trombone

·  Baritone

·  Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo

·  Tuba

·  French Horn

·  Drums, Percussion

 *These are 30, 45 or 60 minutes each depending on age, ability & teacher recommendation

  

We have the following CLASSES AND ENSEMBLEofferings to enhance your private lesson experience:

OPTIONS LISTED HERE and DESCRIPTIONS ARE LISTED BELOW THAT:

·  Clarinet Ensemble (For Middle School HS, Adult)

·  Classical Destinations (Middle School, HS)

·  Composition, Arranging, Theory Classes (For Middle School, HS, Adult)

·  Flute Ensemble (For Middle School, HS, Adult)

·  Flute Performance Class (HS and Adults)

·  Group Guitar Lessons (For Elementary, Middle, HS, Adult)

·  Guitar Ensemble (For Elementary, Middle, HS, Adult)

·  Introduction to Piano Lessons (Ages 4-5)

·  Music Theory (HS and Adult)

·  Orchestral Excerpts Class for Flute Students (HS and Adult)

·  Vocal Ensembles/Choirs (For Middle School, HS, Adult)

·  Vocal Performance Classes (For Middle School, HS, Adult)

·  Wind Ensemble (Middle School, HS, Adult)

·  String Ensemble (Middle, HS, Adult)

·  Saxophone Ensemble (Middle, HS, Adult)

·  Trumpet Ensemble (Middle, HS, Adult) 

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:

CLARINET ENSEMBLE:

Middle School,HS,Adult (Students will be grouped by age and ability)

The clarinet choir/ensemble will focus on the preparation and performance of a wide variety of musical styles.  Students will have an opportunity to perform transcriptions as well as clarinet repertoire composed specifically for their instrument.  Each clarinet plays a different part and you will become a better sight-reader and experience a variety of music that you would not normally experience in private lessons or band/orchestra. All clarinet family instruments are welcome. This will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour! Students are required to be in private lessons. 

CLASSICAL DESTINATIONS:
Middle School,HS,Adult (Students will be grouped by age and ability)
What better way to learn about classical music then to go to the countries where it all started.  With Classical Destinations, we will take journeys to different countries from Austria to Russia using video, audio, interactive, and printed resources.  Students will have the opportunity to see where the composers lived, hear the compositions, and really uncover how the music was created.  It is a great way for students to learn about classical music in a multi-media context! 

COMPOSTION, ARRANGING and THEORY CLASS:

Middle School,HS,Adult (Students will be grouped by age and ability)

This Class is perfect for songwriters and composers looking to fine-tune their skills. Students will get an in-depth look at various compositions and discover what the musician was possibly thinking as they created. Topics include diatonic theory and harmony, song construction, chord function, and arranging. Must be able to read music. This will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour! 

FLUTE ENSEMBLE:

Middle School,HS,Adult (Students will be grouped by age and ability)

Flute Choir is an opportunity to play flute trio, quartet and flute choir music with other peers.  Each flute plays a different part and you will become a better sight-reader and experience a variety of music that you would not normally experience in private lessons or band/orchestra. This will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour! Students are required to be in private lessons. 

FLUTE PERFORMANCE CLASS:

(Adults ONLY)

M2M will be offering a Flute Performance Class for ADULT students this summer.  The class will cover performance technique, overcoming stage fright, finding yourself on stage, how to lead an accompanist, and many other useful tools to help gain more performance confidence.  Each student will have a chance to perform several pieces with or without piano accompaniment throughout the semester for the other class members and teacher.  This will be a great opportunity to gain more experience and ideas to enhance performance skills, stage presence, and artistic interpretation.  The class will not be limited to the classical genre.  Students will be encouraged to prepare and perform different styles of music.  For any flutist looking to develop skills for performing and auditioning, this is the perfect class for you and a great addition to private lessons! This will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour! Students are required to be in private lessons. 

GUITAR ENSEMBLE (Rock/Blues):

Elementary, Middle School,HS,Adult (Students will be grouped by age and ability)

This Ensemble is perfect for those who want to improve the skills of improvisation, rhythm playing, and playing with a group. Students will get to learn standard rock and blues songs in an ensemble setting. Topics will include chord progressions, rhythm accompaniment, melody lines and soloing.  

GROUP GUITAR CLASS (For Beginners)

Elementary, Middle School,HS,Adult (Students will be grouped by age and ability)

This class is perfect for people who want to learn the basics of playing the guitar. We will explore the topics of sight-reading, reading tablature, chords, rhythm playing, melody playing and scales.  Everything to get you started developing great guitar skills.  This will meet 1 time per week for 45 minutes. 

INTRODUCTION TO PIANO LESSONS (Ages 4-5)

Wondering if your child is ready for piano lessons? This is the perfect opportunity to find out in a shorter semester (summer) and in a group setting with other children their age.  This is for beginners.  This is for children age 4-5.   Class size is limited to 4 students. Students will play music games and learn basic music theory.  They will get to perform for each other throughout the semester.   It will be an excellent indicator whether they are ready for private lessons for fall 2010 semester.  Each student will get a recommendation from the teacher by the end of the session.  This will meet 1 time per week for 45 minutes. 

MUSIC THEORY (HS, Adult)

Fundamentals of Western music theory and their applications are presented in this course. The focuses are analysis of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century music, part-writing (learning how to write music in historical styles), and the practical skills of sight-singing and ear-training. This course is designed for intermediate theory students who want to explore the subject beyond their core lesson requirement.

ORCHESTRAL EXCERPTS CLASS for Flute Students
HS,Adult (Students will be grouped by age and ability)

This class will introduce advanced high school and/or adult students to orchestral pieces that feature important flute solos and sections used in both the education and audition processes.
Each student will have a chance to study and perform a different excerpt each week with or without piano accompaniment throughout the semester for the other class members and teacher.  We will have the opportunity to listen to recordings of each excerpt and/or orchestral piece, as well as study a brief history of each piece and composer.  This will be a great opportunity to gain more experience and ideas to enhance performance skills, stage presence, and artistic interpretation. For any flutist looking to develop skills for performing and auditioning, this is the perfect class for you and a great addition to private lessons!  Or if you are just interested in learning more about orchestral music, this class will be a great fit!  This will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour! Students are required to be in private lessons and will need to purchase an orchestral excerpts book chosen by the instructor.

SAXOPHONE ENSEMBLE

(Middle School, HS, Adult) Grouped by Age
The saxophone ensemble will focus on the preparation and performance of a wide variety of musical styles. Students will have an opportunity to perform transcriptions as well as saxophone repertoire composed specifically for their instrument. Each saxophone plays a different part and students will become better sight-readers and experience a variety of music that they would not normally experience in private lessons or band/orchestra. All saxophone family instruments are welcome. This will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour! Students are required to be in private lessons.

VOCAL ENSEMBLE:

Middle School,HS,Adult (Students will be grouped by age and ability)

This is an opportunity to work through vocal trios and quartets with other peers.  Each student sings a different part and you will become a better sight-reader and experience a variety of music that you would not normally experience in private lessons or choir.  This will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour! Students are required to be in private lessons. 

VOCAL PERFORMANCE CLASS:

Middle School,HS,Adult (Students will be grouped by age and ability)

M2M will be offering a Vocal Performance Class this summer.  The class will cover performance technique, overcoming stage fright, finding yourself on stage, how to lead an accompanist, and many other useful tools to help gain more performance confidence.  Each student will have a chance to perform several pieces throughout the semester for the other class members and teacher.  This will be a great opportunity to gain more experience and ideas to enhance performance skills, stage presence, and artistic interpretation.  The class will cover different genres of music including classical, broadway, jazz, pop--and perhaps even a karaoke performance.  For any vocalist looking to develop these skills for performing and auditioning, this is the perfect class for you!  Adaptable for beginner levels through advanced and a great addition to private lessons.  This will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour!  Students are required to be in private lessons. 

WINDENSEMBLE
Middle School,HS,Adult (Students will be grouped by age and ability)

The wind ensemble is a performing ensemble which consists of members of the woodwind, brass, and percussion instrument families.  It would perform various repertoire including original wind compositions, classical, popular tunes, and more!  The class is a great opportunity for students to hear how their instruments interact and blend with others. It also gives them the experience of playing in a band setting while continuing to pursue their private study.  The class will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour. 

STRING ENSEMBLE:

Middle School, HS, Adult (Students will be grouped by age/level)
String ensemble is an excellent opportunity to play chamber music with musicians at your age and performance level.  String ensemble will increase your ability to sight read, you will gain valuable performance experience, and you will experience a variety of music that you would not have the opportunity to play in private lessons or orchestra. This will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour! Students are required to be in private lessons.  This course is designed for all abilities and ages. 

TRUMPET ENSEMBLE:

Middle School, HS, Adult (Students will be grouped by age/level)
Join your peers in creating excellent music on your favorite brass instrument: the trumpet!  Playing a wide variety of repertoire, the trumpet ensemble will focus on ensemble playing on a small and intimate scale.  Sight reading, performance experience, and fun will be our focus!  This will meet 1 time per week for 1 hour! Students are required to be in private lessons.

Call 952-924-4141 to Enroll!

Registration going on NOW!

 

Sight read Any Music! Ten FREE Tips!

Ten amazing free secrets help to sight-read any sheet music notation for piano, from Sound Feelings. This free sight reading information provides self-study tools and solutions on reading music like a professional. Sight reading takes time to improve, as with any self-improvement program, but these helpful tips will show you how to get there faster than you ever believed possible! See also: read notes, reading notes, note-reading, read music, sight-reading books.

1  Develop Your “Relative” Sense of Touch.

Acquire the skill of playing so that you don’t need to look down at your hands. Without looking at the keyboard, glide your hands so you feel the two and three black keys (like Braille.) When you need a C, D, or E, feel for the “2s.” When you need an F, G, A, or B, feel for the “3s.” Most good sight-readers don’t need to look at their hands while they play and this drill teaches you how to find any note without looking at your hands. Then you will be able to keep your eyes on the music and look ahead and this will greatly speed up your sight-reading.

2  Develop Your “Absolute” Sense of Touch.

Always sit in the same place. Middle “D” is recommended because it creates a symmetrical pattern in both directions. Sometimes you may need to make a page turn or your hand will jump from a high position to a low position on the keyboard. It is handy to not have to look down to find the correct position in these cases. By always sitting the same place at the piano, you will develop a physiological memory of all 88 keys on the piano!

3  Practice Finger Technique Without Looking at Your Hands.

A creative way to do this is to play your scales and arpeggios in the dark. This will add confidence to your sense of touch. This exercise is to further enhance tactile awareness that is developed in steps 1 and 2.

4  Learn the Four Groups of the Lines and Spaces:

Try to learn these without the typical slogans: “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” or similar phrases. If you were to attempt to read a note using slogans, you would have to go through a 2-step process which seriously slows-down your speed. Just memorize the groups as fast a possible by saying them out loud frequently. Memorize the following.

Say: “Lines in the Treble E G B D F”
Say: “Lines in the Bass G B D F A”
Say: “Spaces in the Treble F A C E”
Say: “Spaces in the Bass A C E G”

Eventually, you will just memorize all the notes, but until that time comes, literally speak through the appropriate sequence until you reach the desired note. For example, if you want to read the third space in the treble clef, you say “F A C.” You stop on “C” and that is the third note.

5  Practice Only the Rhythmic Information.

In a composition you are working on, ignore the correct pitches. Just play the rhythmic infomation of the piece on any notes. Your brain will enjoy the ability to work on just one thing.

6  Practice Only the Pitch and Fingering Information.

In a composition you are working on, ignore the correct rhythm. Just play the correct pitches along with the correct fingering. Don’t try to play in time here. This way, you can focus on just the right notes with the right fingers. your brain will enjoy the ability narrow its focus. Eventually, you will be able to play the right notes with the right fingering and with the right rhythm all at the same time!

7  Play Easy Pieces up to Tempo.

Force yourself to keep going no matter what. Don’t worry about mistakes. This helps you to look ahead.

8  Play Difficult Pieces Super Slowly.

Don’t dare make even one mistake. This helps to develop accuracy.

9  Look For Patterns in Music.

Don’t be afraid to look way ahead for a second just so you can anticipate what will be easy or difficult. Patterns make it easy. If you detect a pattern then you can devote your concentration to other things.

10  Study Music Theory.

Professional sight-readers never read every note! They get a sense of the overall chord and “fill-in” the blanks. With a solid knowledge of music theory, this becomes natural and immediate.

By Sound Feelings Publishing


 

 

Common Misconceptions About the Flute
(as published in Flutewise – Summer 2002)

Commonly held misconceptions about flutes and flute playing was a recent topic on the FLUTE internet discussion list...

This popular subject elicited a large number of misconceptions. While some misconceptions are based on truth, often they are oversimplified in a way that could do harm to a young player's progress. Many misconceptions are surprisingly common while others are rare. Shedding the light of clarity on these indefinite areas may be beneficial.

      "The proper way to tune is by rolling the head joint."
A slight rolling outward of the head to sharpen or backward to flatten may be used sparingly to tune but generally a better technique is to use air speed variation in combination with air stream direction changes.

      "The flute must be held straight out to the right of your body."
Holding a flute comfortably can be a complicated issue. Attention should be given to discovering a tension free, comfortable position. Keeping the flute horizontal to the ground is possible but doing so may cause tension. A slight downward angle is generally accepted and, if not exaggerated, will likely result in the most tension free stance.

      "Open-hole flutes are better quality than closed-hole (plateau) flutes."
Some things can be done with open-holes that cannot be done with closed-holes. Many multi-phonic notes require open holes and subtle tuning can be accomplished by partially covering open holes. However, an open hole flute is not necessarily better than one with closed holes.

      "A single, unique distance for cork placement is applicable to all flute head joints."
Each flute and each flute head joint is unique. A generally accepted "correct" position for head cork placement exists, but tuning and response can be refined by altering that position in very small amounts either up or down the tube.

      "This old clunker flute will do for the kid to learn on. If he or she likes
       the flute and plays well, we can see about getting a decent instrument."

Having a flute that works well is vital in the early stages of learning how to play. An expensive flute is not necessary at the beginning of study, but a flute that is in good working order is critical for success.

      "A smiley, tight-cornered embouchure is correct."
A well developed flute embouchure must be flexible and able to easily and accurately redirect the angle of the air stream. Lips that are pulled back in a smiley position with muscle tension at the corners limit flexibility.

      "High notes are played by squeezing the embouchure tighter."
High notes are best achieved through a combination of reducing the size of the aperture through which the air is flowing, aiming the air stream slightly higher, and maintaining a fast air speed. Squeezing the embouchure generally leads to a rise in pitch or to no sound at all.

      "If you can whistle, you can blow into a flute."
Little similarity exists between a typical lip shape generally used for whistling and a well developed flute embouchure. The "whistle" approach is quite useful to produce exotic sounds like "whisper tones" but equating a good whistle with a good flute embouchure is irrelevant.

      "Silver flutes are better than silver-plated flutes."
What materials are "best" for flute construction has been debated among flute players for as long as flute makers have been producing instruments out of various substances. Each player tends to find a flute (silver, gold, platinum, wood, and various combinations of materials) that works best for him/her. A verifiable and repeatable test to determine the best flute construction material has yet to be designed. The "best" material for a flute is a matter of personal preference and individual opinion.

      "The flute is a little instrument. Therefore it doesn't take much air to play."
If only that one were actually true! All of the other wind instruments (woodwinds and brass) make their sounds in such a way that a certain amount of back pressure is created by the various instruments and by the embouchures used. The flute does not provide any back pressure of its own. The flute players lips have to take care of providing that back pressure, resulting in the need for a large amount of air. This is especially true in the early stages of a player's development. Oboe players often find themselves getting rid of unused air but a flute player experiences that only rarely.

      "No one will hear if I use fake fingerings in all fast passages if I get the sound out?"
Alternate or "fake" fingerings are useful tools in appropriate situations. These special fingerings are useful to make difficult passages slightly easier but often the tone or pitch of the note is inferior to the normal fingering. Alternate fingerings are best used only as a last resort because even at fast speeds many alternate fingerings are clearly audible.

      "There's no difference in sound if you leave the left hand 1st finger down for D2 & Eb2."
I often ask students to make their best sound on a long D2 or Eb2 with their eyes closed and listen very closely. I then have them do it again but this time move the left hand first finger up and down while they play and listen very closely. They instantly perceive a big difference in sound between the two fingerings. Those two notes must have the first finger off to make the best possible sound.

      "Wood flutes are old fashioned and out of date."
Wood flutes are neither old fashioned nor out of date. Many modern flutes are made of wood and have the same keys as metal flutes.

      "To play the notes in the third octave, use the same fingerings
      as for the first two octaves, and blow REALLY HARD!"

The most important consideration for any flute player is to create the most beautiful and in tune sound throughout the entire range. Third octave fingerings are more complicated than the lower two octaves but produce the best sound with the least amount of effort for the air stream and embouchure. Learning those high note fingerings is important because flutes generally play the high notes in an orchestra or band.

      "Tone and technique exercises aren't necessary."
To play well, one must spend the time needed to develop the best sound possible and a fast, fluent technique. Tone and technique exercises may not be exciting but devoting a good portion of practice time to them is the quickest way to develop the skills required to play demanding flute music. One beautiful note is worth more than a million ugly ones, so beautiful tone should be considered the most important skill of all. Nearly all music uses patterns and note combinations based on scales and arpeggios. Learning technique thoroughly will minimize the time spent to learn new pieces and improve sight reading ability.

      "My flute comes 'tuned' from the factory, therefore I should
      leave the head joint pushed all the way in to play in tune."

Flute scale or tuning is done by the flute maker. Tone holes are placed in the tube of the flute according to the total length of the whole flute. To allow for small adjustments either sharper (shorter) or flatter (longer) flute makers tune the flute expecting that the player will keep the head joint pulled out slightly. In that way players can push in the flute head slightly if the pitch needs to be raised.

      "Flute tenons need to be greased."
The metal parts of the flute that fit together are called tenons. In previous periods of music history those connections were often constructed using cork. The modern flute does not use cork but it does use highly refined tubes of metal that fit extremely precisely. Adding grease to a well made metal tenon will shorten the normal life of the tenon by adding volume to an already well fitted tool. The grease will attract dust and further enhance the damage caused each time the greased flute is assembled. Metal tenons should be kept clean in order to get the longest life from the flute.

      "Tarnish must be removed at all costs."
Tarnish does no harm and there is no need to clean it. Areas of the flute tube, the head joint, and the key tops can be wiped with a soft cloth to minimize the amount of tarnish but attempting to clean tarnish from between the keys is unwise. Rods, springs, and keys can easily be bent by attempting to remove tarnish so the best thing to do is leave them alone. When the flute receives its routine servicing the repair person will likely take off the keys and give the instrument a good cleaning.

      "This flute is a great flute; I haven't had it to a technician in years."
Flutes that are used often wear out and need repairing and servicing attention at regular intervals. Normal wear and tear affects the pads more than any other part of the flute. Leaks develop naturally over time so small pad adjustments or changing deteriorated pads will reduce leaking and keep the flute in optimum condition. With careful and proper handling a single set of flute pads can last for several years. A routine servicing will generally include cleaning and oiling the key work so that the keys will function freely and without undue wear for years. The cork on the inside of the head joint can shrink over time causing leaking or poor intonation if the cork should shift out of place. Commonly, professional flute players take their instruments to the repair shop several times per year for regular maintenance and servicing. Students are advised to seek out routine maintenance about once per year.

Larry Krantz © 2002


 

Auditioning Tips

August 18th 2010

Here are some basic auditioning tips, no matter what the ensemble level:
1. Dress appropriately.
Believe it or not, what you wear can mean almost as much as how you perform to an auditioning judge. While you’re certainly not going to wear a formal tux when you audition for a local wind ensemble, wearing jeans automatically undermines your credibility and commitment as a performer. Most auditioners want to feel that you are dedicated to the position you apply for - make them believe that you take the audition seriously by wearing slacks, or a long skirt, with a nice shirt. A word of caution - if you get nervous easily when you perform, wear nice pants: even the longest skirt will show your shaking legs!
Of course, try to avoid the other extreme: don’t wear clothing that distracts from your performance. Keep jewelry, make-up, and clothing colors to a minimum. Keep your hair combed and simple. You may love that bright pink, sequined flamingo shirt, but think of it from the auditioner’s perspective first. Dress conservatively and appropriately. Also: wear shoes that you feel comfortable in! Ladies in particular should try to wear a pair of black, flat-heeled shoes. There’s nothing worse than tight-fitting or overly-high-heeled shoes when you’re trying to concentrate on a difficult piece.
Suggestions
Arwen (for girls): Dressy, black v-neck shirt and black slacks, with simple (nothing flashy) jewelry. Black has always been a classy, conservative outfit for musicians, though simple, solid colors work well, too.
Justin (for guys): Nice collared shirt and slacks, and a tie, depending on the occasion.
2. Choose a professional accompanist.
You’ve worked hard at your pieces; you deserve someone who accompanies for a living, or at least has extensive experience. Trust me, and this is from personal experience, it’s painful to spend so many hours in practice only to have your accompanist screw up terribly at a performance exam because they couldn’t handle the repertoire, or worse, they “got nervous.” (I’ll certainly never make that mistake again) A professional will never make mistakes (well, at least very rarely), and will in fact work around your tempo and will minimize your performance errors. Though the price is higher, it’s nice to know that your performance probably won’t bomb if you change your tempo suddenly or even skip an entire bar of music! (I’m not saying to do that at a performance, of course!) Even if you’re not taking private lessons, call local teachers and find out who they recommend. Better yet, if there’s a school of music nearby, call there and find out who they use for accompaniment. Remember to give your accompanist plenty of notice before the performance, and meet with them at least once beforehand to rehearse.
3. Warm-up before you perform.
Make sure you have at least half an hour to an hour before your performance to achieve the tone you want. Warming-up makes an incredible difference not only in your sound, but also your range, tuning, and embouchure flexibility. Just as a track-athlete’s performance would be compromised if he didn’t stretch beforehand, it is vital that you play your instrument long enough to produce a thick, rich sound. You should set a specific warm-up routine into your everyday practice that includes an overtone series, scale patterns, and long tones, that you can use before an audition. The purpose is not to exhaust yourself, however, so try not to play until your facial muscles are over-exerted.
4. Select your music with care.
Finally, we come to music. When selecting music for an audition, remember to choose pieces that you can perform well and expressively. The best balance of audition pieces would be something like a classical concerto and a graceful French work. Try to select pieces that complement each other through your ability to tackle contrasting styles, challenging technical passages, as well as exhibit sensitivity to tone color and musical markings. It’s risky to perform avant-garde pieces, such as modern 20th-century pieces. Tastes vary so much on newer works, that you never know what bias an adjudicator may have against a particular modern composer or work. Often, it’s better not to find out. However, if you simply can’t stand anymore Bach, and are confident of your skill and interpretation of a piece, then go for it. But try to temper the “modern” flavor of your audition with a classical work, to show that you are able to perform the standard repertoire with ease.
5. NEVER show up late.
If you show up late for an audition, brace yourself for disappointment. Depending on the ensemble, you may be told not to bother even performing. Though this would most likely not happen at a less-than-professional level, it is nonetheless a black mark on your performance before you have even played a single note. Auditioning committees often have dozens, or even hundreds of applicants, and they have little patience for someone who doesn’t appear to their audition on time, or worse, not at all.
First of all, make sure that you figure out where the audition site is well ahead of time, and not just the building - know the very room! Imagine your panic 5 min before your audition when you’re still running the hallways searching desperately for the audition room……not realizing that you’re in the wrong building. Ouch. Help out your accompanist by giving them specific directions ahead of time as well.
And last, but not least, BE PREPARED. The more prepared and comfortable you are performing a piece, the less chance that nerves will take their toll.
By Arwen and Justin
 

Common Music Questions and Answers

Q: Do I need a piano at home to take piano lessons?

A: It is ideal if you do have a piano at home, but you can start lessons by using an electric keyboard to practice on as long as it meets these requirements: It should have a full keyboard (88 keys), It should have a stand so that it is at the proper height to avoid injury, It should have a bench that is also at the proper height to avoid injury and ensure the proper posture, It should have regular sized keys and a touch sensitive response (A touch sensitive keyboard means if you press a key harder it will play louder and if you press a key softer it will play quieter) and it should have a pedal. Please call/email if you need further information or a name/number for such a purchase.

Q: How long does it take to learn an instrument?

A: There is no set answer of how long it takes to learn an instrument. With regular practice a basic level of playing can be accomplished in a few months. Most of our students take lessons on a long term basis because they want to be constantly improving and they find the lessons enjoyable.

Q: I don't have any musical background or ability; can I still help my child practice?

A: Yes. Even if you don't have a musical background you can ask the teacher for advice on how to help your child practice. By simply monitoring that they are doing exercises a certain number of times per day the student will progress. Many parents occasionally sit in on their child's music lesson to get an idea of the proper way a song should sound or how the student should be positioning their hands.

Q: Are Private Lessons Tax-Deductible?

A: Yes, they can be if taken at a qualified music school such as Music2Master.com. Contact your tax advisor to see if you qualify.

Q: My child is interested in learning the guitar. Does he have to begin on an acoustic or is it ok to start on an electric?

A: Since most parents began learning guitar on an acoustic they often think that it is necessary for their kids to start that way. In reality a child can learn how to play using either an acoustic or an electric because the notes and the chords are the same. We always advise the parent to get the opinion of the child if he has one, since for some children emulating their favorite artist will motivate them to practice more. The advantage of beginning on an electric is that it has lighter string tension which means it will take less strength to get a good tone. The advantage of having an acoustic is that you can practice anywhere because you don't need an amp. Parents don't have to worry about the electric being too loud because most beginner amps have a headphone jack so the child can practice without disturbing others.

Q: My child is only interested in rock and roll, can he benefit from taking lessons?

A: No matter what style of music a person is interested in, the fundamentals of music still apply. Learning the terminology (language) of music and developing a comprehensive knowledge of music does not impede one’s ability to “rock out”. It actually will allow a person to develop to a higher level of playing no matter what style they prefer.

Visit us at www.Music2Master.com for more valuable information in regards to Music Education/Music Lessons!
 

http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information
 

I am happy to announce a three-day weekend experience, "Integrating Flute,Spirit, Mind, & Body",

with masterclasses and special workshops in collaboration with Lea Pearson (Body Mapping), and
Helen Spielman (Performance Anxiety coaching).  This weekend event takes place in beautiful Grand
Rapids, Michigan at Aquinas College, October 22-24, 2010.
 
This is the first extended masterclass I have offered state-side, so I hope to see many of you who
have not been able to travel all the way to Italy for my bi-annual masterclasses!   This is also my first
"collaborative" masterclass/workshop, for which I am excited to work in tandem with Lea and Helen
who will offer their specialized expertise. 
 
This three-day weekend promises to inspire you, give you fresh ideas and approaches to your own
creativity with the flute, and tangible methods to help free your playing so it has "wings" to fly into
the world from the stance of your Best Self.  No auditions necessary, simply come willing for adventure
 and newness starting from where you are, and an eagerness to leave with more.
 
Priority admission will be given to those who register by July 1.  For more details and application forms, please visit my website at: 
www.RhondaLarson.com/workshops.htm
 

By Paula Neudorf and Weilun Soon

The names of great American piano companies that once thrived but no longer exist — or exist in some virtually unrecognizable form — could stretch over measure after measure of a musical score. Mason & Hamlin, Wm. Knabe & Co., Chickering & Sons, Baldwin. The names of towns where piano factories once stood — South Haven, Trumann, Boston and Thomaston — could serve as a counterpoint. Call it the swan song of the American piano industry.

Ask anyone, like Doug Skor, a Wurlitzer salesman. Owned by the guitar maker Gibson, Wurlitzer once made organs and pianos. Now the Wurlitzer trademark is mostly found on jukeboxes. “Pianos are for the most part just fine pieces of furniture,” Skor said.

Or ask Jackie Ross, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce in Trumann, Ark. Until December 2008, Trumann was home to the last Baldwin plant in the United States. At one point, Ross explained, Baldwin’s plant employed about 260 people. Over the course of three years, the staff was reduced to a size of 13. Baldwins are now made mostly in China, though you can still order a custom piano from the tiny staff in Trumann.

For everyone in the business of making and selling pianos, the recession, combined with a general downward trend in sales and ever-increasing production and labor costs, created something of a perfect storm. In the eye of this storm is Steinway & Sons, the last major American piano manufacturer still standing.

A COMPANY IMPERILED

Steinway & Sons’ American factory endures at the northernmost edge of Astoria, Queens, where it has remained since the late 1800s. The company has a sister factory in Hamburg, Germany, which opened decades after Steinway’s founding, in 1853 in New York.

Considered by many to be among the best pianos in the world – if not the best – Steinways are endorsed by the majority of professional classical pianists. A new Steinway grand can cost anywhere between $40,000 and upwards of $120,000. At the Astoria factory, skilled craftsmen have been building these pianos in much the same way since the company first began.

But in 2009, Steinway’s Astoria factory saw a sharp decrease in production.

“Sales in the U.S. were down by half from ’08 through ’09,” said Chris Arena, who was manager of the factory’s restoration department until March 2009, when he was laid off. Arena worked with the company for 22 years and is one of many employees laid off since the economic crisis hit in mid-2008.

Anthony Gilroy, director of marketing and communications at Steinway & Sons New York, clarified that in the second quarter of 2009, U.S. grand piano shipments, specifically, were down by a little less than half.

THE WORKERS' FEARS

Overall, Steinway Musical Instruments Inc., which owns Steinway & Sons as well as Asian-manufactured brands Boston and Essex, experienced a 21 percent decline, equivalent to $48 million, in its piano sales in 2009. Although the company’s stock price has risen by 100 percent from a 2009 low, the price today – just under $20 – is roughly what it was 15 years ago.

Steinway’s Astoria factory has felt the recession’s blow. Rohan Somnarain, the beleaguered president of United Piano Workers Local 102 — the union that represents Steinway workers — recounted a litany of woes. Union members’ wages, between $16.90 and $28 an hour, are frozen until 2012.

Since August 2008, Steinway & Sons’ staff has been reduced by 30 percent, Gilroy said. Somnarain added that 142 union members were laid off between November 2008 and November 2009. There are currently 259 workers on the Astoria factory floor.

Dominick Iovino puts the finishing touches on a piano in Steinway Astoria's tone regulating department, on March 2, 2010. (Photo: Weilun Soon)

“We worked for four days a week for a while, just to try to keep it running, but now we’ve been back to five days a week,” said Dominick Iovino, a final tuner in Steinway’s tone regulation department. “They cut down the staff in order to keep the senior people working for five days a week.”

Somnarain said his union’s bargaining power with the company has been seriously eroded by the recession. In the late 1990s, when times were better, the factory had some 500 workers.

Some workers’ biggest fear is that the factory could close and move to another location, or consolidate with the Hamburg factory.

“It’s not like a hospital — if this hospital closes, you can go to the next on the next street,” Somnarain said. “If Steinway falls, we have to go to Yamaha, Kawai in Japan, China.”

Fueling fears of a move is the high price tag on the land Steinway’s Astoria factory occupies. The 450,000-square-foot space has a current market value of nearly $54 million, according to a New York City Department of Finance estimate.

However, Ron Losby, the president of Steinway & Sons Americas, firmly stated his commitment to keeping Steinway & Sons in Astoria.

“If we would move this to Georgia or some other place in this country, it would definitely be the death knell for the company, because we wouldn’t have the access to the labor we need,” Losby said. As a cautionary tale, he mentioned Baldwin, which moved its factory from Cincinnati to various locations before settling in Trumann, Ark. “That had a serious impact on the fortunes of that company, and now it’s just a shell of what it used to be,” Losby said.

“Moving from America (or even from New York) might mean cost reduction, but it would also mean reduction in the quality of the Steinway piano, which is simply unacceptable for our company or the musicians who play our instruments,” Gilroy added in an e-mail.

MADE IN ASIA

Today, the largest piano manufacturers are located in Asia. Yamaha, a global corporation that, unlike Steinway, produces a slew of products beyond pianos, is based in Japan. Still, the giant has been affected by the recession as well.

“All of us have taken a hit, probably 30 or 40 percent,” Bill Brandom, senior technical manager of Yamaha’s American keyboard division, said of the piano industry’s sales last year. “All of us are just trying to survive right now.”

In 2007, Yamaha closed its last American piano plant, located in Thomaston, Ga. Brandom said a major factor in Yamaha’s decision was the high cost of American labor. Yamaha now produces its uprights in China, a line of grands in Indonesia and the majority of its grands in Japan.
Workers bend a piano rim at Steinway's Astoria factory on March 2, 2010. (Photo: Weilun Soon)

While Yamaha and other piano manufacturers have streamlined the production process with high-tech machinery, Steinway & Sons relies on craftsmanship of a type that has all but vanished from the American manufacturing industry.

The majority of Yamahas are tuned by a machine, for example, whereas Steinways are tuned dozens of times by ear. From beginning to end, a single Steinway piano takes about a year to make.

As Asian manufacturers like Yamaha and Samick Musical Instruments Co., a Korean-based company, purchase more and more piano brands, it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of where these brands are made. Most of Samick’s roster of brands, including Wm. Knabe & Co., Pramberger, Kohler & Campbell and Sohmer, were formerly American and European companies that Samick bought out and now manufactures in Asia.

“They call it stencil pianos, and they’re still manufactured under those old names, but they’re pretty much Asian pianos,” explained Mark Dillon, the foreman of Steinway Astoria’s tone regulating department.

In the last decade, some of the world’s preeminent piano brands have also been sold in whole or in part. Samick became a part-owner of the renowned German piano company Bechstein in 2002, while Yamaha bought the equally esteemed Bösendorfer in 2007. Bechsteins and Bösendorfers are still produced in their home countries, Germany and Austria, respectively.

LOOKING FORWARD

In November 2009, Samick announced it had bought 1.7 million newly issued shares of Steinway Musical Instruments. These shares, along with the 200,000 shares Samick already owned, represent an ownership interest of 18.4 percent in the Steinway company. A Steinway press release noted that money from the purchase would go toward paying off the company’s debt and that Samick’s chairman, Jong Sup Kim, would join the company’s board of directors.

The announcement has led to speculation from people close to the industry that Samick may have purchased the shares to secure a manufacturing deal with Steinway Musical Instruments for the production of its Boston and Essex piano lines, currently made through other agreements in China, Korea and Japan.

Samick also has the option of buying another 1.7 million shares of Steinway Musical Instruments before March 31. If this purchase were to take place, Samick would own nearly 30 percent of the company. Kyle Kirkland, Steinway’s chief executive, and Dana Messina, Steinway’s chief financial officer, would still own a controlling share of the company.

Steinway & Sons' Astoria factory, which has manufactured pianos in the same location since 1873, on March 2, 2010. (Photo: Weilun Soon)

Despite the recession’s turmoil, there are signs that things are turning around. Traffic to Steinway’s showrooms has increased recently, Losby said. He also noted the market in Asia is increasing, though this market is by and large served by the Hamburg factory. And Steinway Musical Instruments’ fourth quarter earnings in 2009 were 26 percent higher than a year earlier.

“It might have reached its lowest point at this time,” said Alex Kostakis, co-owner of A.C. Pianocraft, a piano restoration company, of the piano industry at large. Kostakis, whose father worked at Steinway & Sons and founded A.C. Pianocraft in 1966, noted that Steinway could survive not only this economic downturn but also future storms.

“I honestly don’t see Steinway folding in any shape or form,” Kostakis said.

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The big splash consumer electronic development in the last month was the release of the iPad by Apple. And right on cue, several piano teaching and playing applications were announced. Most of these appear to be based on existing iPhone applications that have been modified to take advantage of the iPad's larger display surface.
A quick assessment of the potential for piano and DJ applications on the iPad, focusing on the larger iPad display, is offered by CNET and can be reviewed by clicking here.
Two newly announced piano products for the iPad include:
Magic Piano – Smule, best known for its Ocarina application for the iPhone, introduced Magic Piano. This is an i Pad-only application that lets users play piano on traditional and very non-traditional keyboards that are displayed on the iPad. The application is available from Apple’s iStore for $2.99. For more information about Magic Piano click click here.

Pianist Pro - UK-based MooCowMusic announced the release of their new application, Pianist Pro for the iPad. Building on their iPhone application Pianist, this new iPad-only application offers advanced music composition functionality for the casual player and the music professional. The application is available from Apple’s iStore for $9.99. Click here to read more about Pianist Pro.
 

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The Steinway piano that John Lennon used to write the song "Imagine" is on display at the world's first global Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) which officially opened its doors on Saturday, April 24 in Phoenix, Arizona. The piano is on loan to the museum for one year from its current owner, pop singer George Michael.

The $250 million museum has more than 12,000 instruments and objects in its collection, with 3,000 on display. It was founded by former Target stores chairman Bob Ulrich. The two-story, 190,000 square-foot museum features over 280 exhibits relating to practically every country in the world.

 http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information
 

Chai, Chang-Ning is one of the most acclaimed Chinese flautists of his generation. He graduated from the Central Conservatorium of Music in Beijing, China, where he also lectured until 1988. Whilst still in China, Chai was awarded First Prize at the prestigious 4th Annual Guan Dong Music Festival. In 1984 Chai was guest soloist of the "Great Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Orchestra" which performed at the ninth Asian Festival in Hong Kong. In concerts throughout Europe, North America and Asia, this outstanding orchestra demonstrated the brilliance of the arts in the overall achievements of the Tang Dynasty. Chai was frequently engaged as soloist and also ensemble-member with major Chinese traditional orchestras and symphony orchestras.

He has been associated with the sound-tracks of several acclaimed movies. The most distinguished of these include "The Last Emperor", "Children of the Dragon", and "The Road to Xanadu". The filmscore of "The Road to Xanadu" was composed by Australian composer Nigel Westlake. "The Last Emperor" (1986) directed by the Italian Director Bertolucci received seven Academy Awards including best soundtrack.

Chai migrated to Australia in 1988. Since his arrival he has made a distinct mark on the music community of Australia. In the year of his arrival he gave a lecture-recital for the NSW Conservatorium. Two presentations and a recital as a guest lecturer for the Music Department of Sydney University followed in 1989 and 1991. He was also engaged by the Woodwind Department of the Victorian College of the Arts and Pan Pacific Music Camp at Collaroy. He has regularly toured Australia and Asia as featured guest soloist with the respected Australian Ensemble, Sirocco. His involvement with the Australian media, in particular the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has been much appreciated by Australian audiences.

Chai is greatly admired not only as an ensemble musician but also as a solo performer playing extensively in Australia as a soloist and with many other acclaimed musicians. In Sydney, Chai directs "The New Music Ensemble" in performances of traditional Chinese music and teaches flute at the Australian International Conservatorium of Music in Harris Park.

Fred Blanks of the Sydney Morning Herald described Chai Chang-Ning as a "brilliant performer"
 

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Sophie Barili who was born in Marseille began her studies of the flute with Frédéric Chatoux and Jean-Marc Boissière at the music conservatory in Aix-en-Provence where she graduated at the age of 15. She then moved to Germany to study with Prof. Jean-Claude Gérard at the staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart and with Prof. Andrea Lieberknecht at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover. From 2000 to 2002 she was the solo-flutist of the European-Union-Youth-Orchestra, then won an internship position with the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart and became a scholarship recipient with the Villa Musica in Mainz. In addition, she is a special award winner of the 6th International flute competition in Kobe/Japan. She's held the position of associate principal flute in the Pfalz Theater Orchestra Kaiserslautern since 2005.

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Brooklyn native Lori Bell is a flutist and composer of admirable depth and broad musical sympathies. A resident of San Diego, she has contributed to the development of higher standards of jazz performance while earning acclaim from both peers and critics for her artistry on stage and in recordings. Her debut on Discovery Records, "Love Will Win" with pianist / vocalist Dave Mackay and assist Andy Simpkins, received warm praise and four and a half stars (out of five) from the esteemed Leonard Feather and was selected on the Grammy list for Best New Artist in 1983. A second Discovery disc, "Take Me To Brazil", showed a natural fluency in this Latin idiom and demonstrated her ability to maintain a high level of inspiration. This album featured the first of several fine compositions and was enthusiastically given four stars by the Los Angeles Times in 1989. Over the past 15 years, Ms. Bell's many performances in venues such as the Wadsworth Theater, Elario's and the Jazz Bakery established her reputation, among musicians and audiences alike, as a remarkably vital interpreter.
Her outstanding contributions with the ensemble Straight Ahead, during the 2997 Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, broadened that reputation and were noted in the music periodical Jazziz for their fire and commitment. She continues to deepen her understanding of the rich, varied language of jazz even as she develops her eloquent gifts of communication. In 1998, this artistic maturity was delightfully demonstrated with her stellar work with Dave Mackay and guitarist / vocalist Ron Satterfield in the trio Interplay. Their Self-titled first album from Webster's Last Word was selected on the 1999 Grammy ballot in four categories, including Best Jazz Solo by Ms. Bell on Pat Metheny, "It's Just Talk." The disc, which garnered four stars from Scott Yanow in Strictly Jazz magazine, also features her composition "Playing in The Snow", a waltz that skillfully combines an uncommon musicality with a fresh, intrinsic charm.
There is a surpassing craftsmanship-inspired improvisation rendered within a wonderful harmonic and melodic framework - that is at once fulfilling to the musician's mind and music lover's heart. It is a quality, which embodies the fundamental appeal of Ms. Bell/'s music and which conveyed her special talents to a wider audience with her most recent endeavor, her eponymous CD. Released in 2002 on the Beezwax label, the "Lori Bell" album successfully interpreted more commercially viable arrangements grounded in the best jazz fundamentals. The Grammy Award panel recognized the album's comprehensive excellence with selections in five categories, among them Best Instrumental Arrangement and Best Contemporary Jazz Album. The press also found the collaborative efforts of Ms. Bell and her colleagues to be exceptionally persuasive. Marco Pignataro wrote in Jazz Improv of "...truly enjoy(ing) the sophistication of the arrangements and the professionalism of each member of Mrs. Bell's band. And noted that Bell's "...command of the flute is outstanding...(her) arabesques really paint some beautiful landscapes." He appreciated the album for "...delivering a good mélange of playful grooves and soothing atmospheres as a backdrop for Bell's remarkable flute playing." In addition, Cadence magazine's Frank Rubolino observed that Ms. Bell "...makes the music happen with her wide range of improvising skills and melodious tonality." He also remarked of her "definitive solo statements on each of the tunes..." while commending her for the lyrical intensity and spontaneity of her tasteful playing.
Ms. Bell performed at the Gala for the 2003 Annual Conference of the National Flute Association. She and her musical partner, Ron Satterfield, distinguished themselves as worthy peers of the many fine musicians that graced the stage that evening. She seeks to use the valuable experience of participating in the annual conference as a foundation for inspired effort in reaching an even higher level of musical excellence.
 

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Katharina Böhm was born in September 1976 in Wasserburg am Inn. She is a descendant of Theopart Boehm, who is the founder of the modern flute system. Katharina's first flute lesson was 9 years old and she eventually became a student of the Richard-Strauss-Conservatory in Munich. Since 1997, she had learned by Professor I. Boßler Wechselte at the Hochschule für Musik Felix-Mendelssohn Bartholdy Leipzig. During her study, she joined several Orchestras and also she taught regularly. She took part many courses and played several chamber music ensemble including the Quintet Wind Strong Five (Quintetts Windstarke Funf).

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János Bálint flutist was born in 1961 in Hungary. He graduated from Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest in 1984. After graduating he was given further education by András Adorján. He won many awards at international competitions at that time (Ancona, Leipzig). He was the solo flutist of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra between 1981 - 1991. In 1998, he was the Artistic director at Auer Sommer Academy and in 1999 he established and become a president of Doppler Music Institute in Hungary. Since 2000 he is a solo flutist of the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1986 he became a soloist of the Cziffra Foundation and his international career was started. He has performed at the most important European festivals and concert halls (London, Paris, Bratislava, Roma, Assisi, Moscow, Helsinki, Salzburg, Budapest). He has also performed in Israel and the United States. He has performed with partners like Ruggero Ricci, Gervase de Peyer, Pierre Pierlot, Miklos Perenyi, Alain Marion, Maxence Larrieu, Georges Cziffra, Tamás Vásáry, Zoltán Kocsis András Adorján, Ransom Wilson and Jean Claude Gerard and with ensembles and orchestras like the English Chamber Orchestra, the Radio Orchestra of Bratislava, "The European Soloists from Luxembourg" Chamber orchestras, Kodáy and Bartok Quartett and with the most important Hungarian symphony and chamber orchestras. He regularly makes radio and TV recordings and takes part in live concerts transmitted by the media. He has made recordings with the Nexos Hungarian Hungaroton (5 CD's) and with the German Capriccio company (12 CD's). Two of this CD's had a specially big success (transcriptions of Paganim and Mendelssohn concertos). New CD with Zoltán Kocsis - Schubert, C.Franck, Dvosor. He has regularly judged at important international flute and chamber music competitions (Hungary, Yugoslavia, USA, Itaia, Poland, Austria, Rumania, Japan). His publications are issued by the Accord Company. He is teaching at Accademia Flautistica (Imola) and Hochshule fuer Musik (Detmold) and his students have received 20 prizes by International Competitions. He does 8-10 master classes a year all over the world and he has a wide repertory (the whole flute literature) from baroque to contemporary including more than a thousand pieces. Performing about 100-120 pieces from this repertory a year, these pieces include concertos, pieces with orchestra, with strings, guitar, harp, piano and voice. To make this wide repertory richer he often makes transcriptions. Many contemporary composers have written pieces for him and he got awards for the interpretation of these pieces.

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Masahiro entered the Tokyo College of Music in 1987, and joined the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in 1989 while in college. He won 3rd prize in the the 5th Flute Convention Contest, solo division in 1991. Masahiro studied under Yasuo Yamamoto, Tsuyoshi Koizumi, Gao Saito, Paul Maisen. Currently, as a principal flutist at the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, he plays in chamber music, solo works and recordings. Masahiro is a member of a flute Quartet, "The 4 flutes".

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Born in Ankara in 1957, he received his music and flute lessons from his father, Ismail Ayvazoglu. During his education, following an exam opened by the “Ankara State Opera and Ballet” he was accepted to the State Opera Orchestra in 1976. While making small programmes of harpa and flute duets for the TRT Ankara Radio, Ayvazoglu also gave concerts as a soloist player with the Ankara Chamber Orchestra. He was transferred to the “Izmir State Opera and Ballet” as Principal Solo Flutist in 1983. He gave concerts with the orchestra as a soloist performer and performed in the harpa and flute duets for the chamber groups. With a private scholarship Ayvazoglu worked with Prof. Hermann Klemeyer in the “Munich Higher School of Music” where he became Dr. Jochen Gartner’s student. He received a “master flutist” diploma from the “Munich Richard Strauss Conservatory”in 1992. While performing as soloist flutist for the “Richard Strauss Orchestra” for one year, Hürkan Ayvazoglu also worked as a guest performer for the “Neu Munich Symphony Orchestra”. He toured in Italy,Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Holland, Tcheck Republic, Hungary, Azerbejian, Russian Republic, Mexico and numerous other European countries with orchestras and piano accompaniment concerts. He also gave numerous concerts in Germany. The artist, while participating in opera and music festivals in various countries throughout the year, also continues his work as a flute and chamber music instructor in “D.E.University Izmir State Conservatory”.

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He graduated at the Conservatorio S. Cecilia in Rome with Faliero and studied with Tamponi and Gallois. Since 1993 he plays with the Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa and has played with such orchestras as Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI in Rome, Orchestra del Teatro S.Carlo in Naples, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala in Milan. In 2003 he has won the First Prize at the Concours "Solo Flute in contemporary music" of Ovada. He plays in several chamber groups. New Music Studium, Choros ensemble, Orfeo and founded the Janua Coeli ensemble in Genoa.

http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information
 

Pearl Flute Pinless Construction
The foundation of every Pearl flute is a patented Pinless construction, which eliminates the problems of traditional flute construction - protruding needles that snag clothing and give easy entry to perspiration and body acids causing corrosion and binding keys. Besides this unique pinless construction, Pearl flutes have additional bridge mechanisms that add strength to the entire mechanism. Plus, socket-head screws are inserted from the underside of the key work, preventing the entry of perspiration into the mechanism.

Pearl Flute One-Piece Core-Bar Construction
The One-Piece Core-Bar construction of all Pearl Flutes eliminates many of the wear and tear problems associated with traditionally constructed flutes, specifically in the areas of the high C key and the king post next to the F# key. Pearl has designed one rod that extends from high C through the king post resulting in an extremely reliable mechanism that plays more comfortably, stays in adjustment longer and is easier to service.
 

http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information
 

Music2Master.com has announced that $10,000 in scholarships will be offered to Edina K-12 students for summer semester of 2010. Three students from each Edina school will be awarded a full semester scholarship from the submissions. Students of Edina schools that qualify are: Concord, Cornelia, Countryside, Creek Valley, Highlands, Normandale, South View, Valley View and Edina High School.

Students must be entering kindergarten or 12th grade by fall 2010. Majority of the entry process must be completed by the student.

Forms and information can be found and printed from
http://music2master.com/index.php?contentID=249

Questions about the entry process can be answered by calling 952-924-4141. Deadline to enter for consideration of the scholarships is May 9, 2010.
 

http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information
 

The One-Piece Core-Bar construction of all Pearl Flutes eliminates many of the wear and tear problems associated with traditionally constructed flutes, specifically in the areas of the high C key and the king post next to the F# key. Pearl has designed one rod that extends from high C through the king post resulting in an extremely reliable mechanism that plays more comfortably, stays in adjustment longer and is easier to service.  Call us at 952-924-4141 for a playtest or more information on Pearl Flute Models.  Or, visit us at www.Music2Master.com

http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information
 

Call 952-924-4141 to Enroll!
Registration going on NOW!

We are writing in regards to summer 2010 PRIVATE LESSON offerings along with CLASSES AND ENSEMBLES that will enhance your private lesson experience and allow you to try something different for summer!

We will have the following PRIVATE LESSON offerings this summer 2010

• Piano, Keyboard
• Flute, Piccolo, Alto Flute, Bass Flute
• Violin, Viola, Cello
• Voice
• Oboe
• Clarinet
• Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Bari Saxophone
• Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar , Bass Guitar
• Trumpet
• Trombone
• Baritone
• Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo
• Tuba
• French Horn
• Drums, Percussion
*These are 30, 45 or 60 minutes each depending on age, ability & teacher recommendation

We will have the following CLASSES AND ENSEMBLE offerings this summer 2010 to enhance your private lesson experience:

OPTIONS LISTED HERE:
• Clarinet Ensemble (For Middle School HS, Adult)
• Classical Destinations (Middle School, HS)
• Composition, Arranging, Theory Classes (For Middle School, HS, Adult)
• Flute Ensemble (For Middle School, HS, Adult)
• Flute Performance Class (HS and Adults)
• Group Guitar Lessons (For Elementary, Middle, HS, Adult)
• Guitar Ensemble (For Elementary, Middle, HS, Adult)
• Introduction to Piano Lessons (Ages 4-5)
• Music Theory (HS and Adult)
• Orchestral Excerpts Class for Flute Students (HS and Adult)
• Vocal Ensembles/Choirs (For Middle School, HS, Adult)
• Vocal Performance Classes (For Middle School, HS, Adult)
• Wind Ensemble (Middle School, HS, Adult)
• String Ensemble (Middle, HS, Adult)
• Saxophone Ensemble (Middle, HS, Adult)
• Trumpet Ensemble (Middle, HS, Adult)

Call 952-924-4141 to Enroll!
Registration going on NOW!
 

http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information

 

Several students from Music2Master recently were awarded superior ratings at Edina's annual Solofest. A requirement for all band students 7th-9th grade that are enrolled in Band at Valley View or South View Middle School in Edina, Solofest is an opportunity for individual musicians to perform their selected pieces for ajudication and ranking. Superior Rating is only given to those who perform at the top level. Solofest is held on a Saturday in March every year.

Students receiving a Superior Rating were Jack Swanberg, Maggie Horan, Rachel Earl, Lauren Johnson, Rebecca Earl, Lisa George, Adam Sverak, John Riedel, Jennifer Ettinger, Allie Whiteside, Michelle Grafelman, Mary Mathison. Additionally, “Best at Site”, “Outstanding Solo” and “Honorable Mention” were presented to several of the students as well.
 

http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net

Several students from Music2Master recently were awarded superior ratings at Edina's annual Solofest. A requirement for all band students 7th-9th grade that are enrolled in Band at Valley View or South View Middle School in Edina, Solofest is an opportunity for individual musicians to perform their selected pieces for ajudication and ranking. Superior Rating is only given to those who perform at the top level. Solofest is held on a Saturday in March every year.

Students receiving a Superior Rating were Jack Swanberg, Maggie Horan, Rachel Earl, Lauren Johnson, Rebecca Earl, Lisa George, Adam Sverak, John Riedel, Jennifer Ettinger, Allie Whiteside, Michelle Grafelman, Mary Myers. Additionally, “Best at Site”, “Outstanding Solo” and “Honorable Mention” were presented to several of the students as well.
 

http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information
 

The Quantz series embodies ingenuity, innovation and diversity, and is totally unique in the flute making industry. Aspiring flautists have never been so fortunate. Every Quantz model has French pointed arms. Once considered solely the domain of handmade flutes, it is now universally provided by Pearl. Pearl’s patented Pinless mechanism and One-Piece Core-Bar construction are also present throughout the range. This ingenious yet simple design affords even the student
or amateur flautist with an exceptionally efficient and dependable mechanism - another industry first.

The Quantz series has now expanded to include four models. All of them feature Pearl's French pointed arms, Pinless mechanism and One-Piece Core-Bar.

The 765 model has a Sterling Silver headjoint,body and footjoint, with Silver clad keys.
The 665 model has a Sterling Silver headjoint,with Silver clad body, footjoint and keys.
The 525 model has a Sterling Silver lip and riser, w Silver clad headjoint, body, footjoint and keys
The 505 model has Silver clad headjoint, body, footjoint and keys

All of these models are available through Music2Master.com. Call us for an appointment at 952-924-4141. http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information

 

The new Calore headjoint is Pearl’s most responsive and flexible headjoint ever created.
Our craftsmen in Japan have designed a perfect blend of powerful tone, effortless articulation, and exceptional dynamic range in one headjoint that is simply a joy to play.

“When I first tried the new Pearl headjoint, I knew within SECONDS that it was amazing. All I could say was “Wow! Incredible!” What I personally look for in a headjoint is the complete openness of sound, and that no matter how much or how little air/volume I put into the flute, it is “received”. This head is by far the best that I have every tried!” - Rhonda Larson

Available for our Professional Series Handmade Flutes with standard Pearl lip plate and riser options.

We invite you to try Pearl’s new Calore headjoint and experience a new level of unmatched performance.

Our headjoints are available in three different metals - Silver, Gold and Platinum. Silver is best known for its sonorous sound and its wide tonal range. Gold is available in 3 different carats - 10K, 14K and 18K. As the carat level goes higher, the sounds gets more warm and rich, and Gold never tarnishes. Platinum is a rare material, and when used with Gold or Silver, produces enhanced power and projection. Through combining different elements, we can also create unique hybrid Headjoints. Gold and Platinum can produce stunning creations of sound when used with Sterling Silver. Using Gold or Platinum as the Headjoint Riser or Lip Plate can greatly enhance the projection, desired tonal quality and subtlety. We suggest a personal consultation with us so that we may work with you in selecting from an assortment of Headjoint Models and Materials. Available by appointment at Music2Master.com! 952-924-4141. http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net for more information
 

"...Once every generation there comes along a transformative force that breaks all the industry rules. Larson wields her instrument like a blow torch, breaking down our Victorian preconceptions of what the classical flute should be, how it should sound and where it should take us... This intensely gifted flutist needed little more than her native Montana charm to win the hearts of the packed house..." raves Connecticut's VOICES review of "THE RHONDA LARSON BAND" in concert. Flutist James Galway said of Rhonda, "...she's one of the best---a great player---and she does her own thing."
Entering the national music scene as a classical flutist, Rhonda Larson won first place in the National Flute Association's Young Artist Competition in 1985, and was awarded a Carnegie Hall debut. Shortly thereafter, Rhonda joined forces with the Paul Winter Consort, crossing over into the World Music genre. She has toured in Russia, Asia, Europe, Central America and throughout North America. Rhonda won a Grammy Award for the "SPANISH ANGEL" release, recorded live in Spain with the Consort. Rhonda officially parted from the group at that time to embark on her individual music path.
Commencing Larson's solo musical pursuits, she released "FREE AS A BIRD" on Earth Sea Records, receiving world-wide critical acclaim. The recording is marked by a marriage of Rhonda's classical heritage to the traditions of jazz, celtic, ethnic, and sacred music. Larson's unique blend of genres, combined with her musical and technical wizardry, has begun a new generation for the flute as a leading voice in the music world. A review from the New York convention of the National Flute Association affirmed, "...her technical abilities are astoundingly advanced! She does something that sounds like she is playing chords on the flute...she's destined to be a mega star..."
Rhonda has not only established herself as a virtuoso performer, but as a foremost ethnic flutist encompassing traditions from around the world. Most recently, Larson traveled to South Africa as a musical ambassador for the United States to perform for the Parliament of the World's Religions, sharing the stage with such luminaries as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Composing much of her own repertoire, Larson continues to be recognized as a visionary force, creating a refreshing hybrid music for the flute. In the pioneering spirit of her home state of Montana, Rhonda continues to blaze her own trails...Her sheet music is available at Music2Master.com along with her CD’s!
 

http://www.Music2Master.com or http://www.PearlFlutes.net

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