Recital season is here, and the AWSOM Spring Recitals are just around the corner (May 5th and 6th)! Our students are working hard on their music, and I have a few extra tips to really help make your performance shine!
By Kate MacKenzie
One of the best perks of being a musician is having the unique ability to put smiles on the face of others. Even someone who is just beginning their musical journey, there are plenty of people who would love to hear them play. Giving back to the community, even in small ways, is important. What can you do use music to spread peace and joy? I have some ideas for you!
By Justin Hansen
As a teacher, I have discovered quickly that a certain measure of success lies in how well we remain open to a diet of new information—and how we seek it out as well.
And while the internet is a great source of information including sound files, video clips and uncountable wiki’s, some of the most useful things I have learned as a music teacher come from my students.
By William Muñoz
Learning scales is one of those aspects of being a musician that you cannot simply avoid. At some point, you will have to learn them and the quicker you start tackling them the better. But why do we need to practice them? The short answer is that they are a fundamental aspect of mastering music and playing a musical instrument.
By John Hart
Last December, I wrote a blog entitled “The Well-Balanced Musician” where I outlined 7 different skills that a musician should develop over time: sight-reading, chart-reading, transposition, embellishment, free improvisation, song-writing, and composition. Today, let’s discuss “transposition” on the keyboard.
By Megan Grady
Do you have a student who’s extremely musically or artistically inclined or one who is passionate about pursuing the arts for college and beyond? Does the idea of your child trying to “make it” as an artist worry you? I’m here to unpack the antiquated idea that a career in the arts is a death-sentence on your salary, lifestyle or economic stability/mobility. Sure, it requires a lot of hard work to sustain a life as a musician (or other artist) and there are certain aspects that are far short of perfect, but who’s job is really secure and perfect these days?
By Max Walker
Everyone knows that to gain proficiency in anything, one must practice diligently. This is where we often hear the saying “if you devote ten thousand hours to your craft, you will become a master”. However, while practice is necessary to master any skill, it is not quite as simple as doing anything related to your craft for a vast amount of time. To truly master something, you must not only practice, you must practice right. While there are a multitude of angles for looking at smart practice, I will be covering several categories that have helped shape my own practice routines. These three ‘pillars’ of practice are: consistency, focus, and variety. I hope that this outline might shed some light on mapping out a daily routine, and maintaining it.
By Andrew White
“Doe, a deer, a female deer…”
“Tale as old as time…”
“I dreamed a dream in time gone by…”
“Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendor…”
“From the day, we arrive, on the planet…”
If your whistling, humming or full opera singing hasn't broken out yet, there’s something wrong! There’s nothing quite like a night at the musicals, whether it be a Broadway Show, West End Musical or Las Vegas Spectacular, they are nights you remember forever.
By Nathan Straub
Have you ever enjoyed the music that plays during a movie? Do you suddenly have “aha!” moments when you learn that a theme from an old cartoon was actually a legitimate composition (thank you, Looney Tunes!)?
You can thank the Romantic Period for these familiar sensations. The fact is that when most people think of classical music, they are thinking of the symphonies, concertos, operas, and sonatas of the Romantic period. Composers such as Chopin, Wagner, Debussy, Verdi, Puccini, Mahler, Schumann, Schubert, Beethoven (to be discussed a separate time!), and many more composed thousands of pieces still performed around the world.
By Kate MacKenzie
This is an exciting time to be apart of the AWSOM family! In July we rolled out our official Chamber Ensemble Program, which gives our students the opportunity to make music with other students! The possible instrument combinations are endless, and the music written for these groups is quite fun! Each chamber music ensemble will meet once a week with their coach (one of AWSOM's awesome teachers). It is a great way to meet other like-minded musicians, make some fantastic music, and learn in a group atmosphere!