Teaching Tips

Tips for teaching music

There is more than just learning how to play an instrument, sometimes you can see musicians tune their instruments very easily or improvise like it’s a walk in the park, well this has a lot to do with having a good ear, which can go as far as having perfect pitch which we will talk about later in the article.

Many people would say that a good ear is just something you have or you don’t, but there are actually many ways to train your ear to become more musically precise.

The great thing about these exercises is that you don’t need any kind of instrument to practice and it’s for everyone from beginners to advanced expert musicians.

Aural Skills

“Aural skills” are musical listening skills that develop your ability to hear specifically in regards to music and sound, and ear training is the process of developing these skills.

For example, if you can listen to a song on the radio and play or sing it back, you have been training your ears. If you can play back a rhythm, orcan tell the difference between different types of sound effects, you have been training your ears.

musical-u.com

Ear Exercises

One of the best and simpler exercises is to practice intervals, this consists in identifying intervals between two notes, while doing this you’ll eventually be able to identify notes easier without having to sing the whole scale in your head.

Chords is another good way to practice, while it can be just about identifying the type of chord, it’s best if you also sing it. The same goes for scales, which is pretty much the cornerstone of music.

Perfect Pitch

Ear

Perfect pitch is exactly what it sounds like, it’s about singing a note at perfect pitch without any sort of guide.

According to classicfm.com:

Some people believe you can only have ‘true’ perfect pitch by being born with it. According to Brady (1970), Ward and Burns (1999) and Levitin and Rogers (2005), “training that begins after the age of nine very rarely leads to [perfect pitch], and there are no known cases of an adult successfully acquiring it.”

But there is also evidence that you can develop perfect pitch without having a mystical, innate ability. A study carried out a few years ago at the University of Chicago tested a group of students with varied amounts of musical experience, before and after a period of pitch recognition training.

You can train your perfect pitch if you click down below and do the tests.

https://tonedear.com/ear-training/absolute-perfect-pitch-test

Your Ears Above All Else

Improvising

Training your ear can help improvising as it helps you identify which notes are being played before jumping into the jam. This is something that can be heard mostly in jazz, where every band member can identify what the other bandmate is playing and follow him inmediately without wasting any time looking for the right notes.

Singing

This is very obvious, but training your ear and even training perfect pitch will eventually improve your singing, as it will be your “instrument” in this sort of training.

There is a very satisfying thing about being able to tune your instruments by ear, recognize melodies, scales and intervals nad being able to improvise by picking up the melody where your bandmate started. It gives any musician more than enough confidence to embark on new orginal compositions and perform in front of an audience with no fear of sounding bad.

The first mistake a young beginner makes is wanting to pick up an instrument and play music, when actually the first step is to learn how to listen.

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It goes without saying that children often need to be encouraged to discover the world and learn new things, this sometimes means that parents and teachers may feel in the need of forcing them to do things they don’t want to do in order for them to learn valuable lessons, but when is this the right thing to do odo

So why are so many children taking ballet, violin, piano? Lately, I have been asking my fellow middle-class urbanite parents that question. About dance, they say things like, “Ballet teaches them poise,” or, “Ballet helps them be graceful.” And about violin or piano they say, “It will give them a lifelong skill,” or, “They’ll always enjoy listening to music more.”

New Republic

It’s often something that parents do with good will and no harm in any way to their children, but when it comes to art, forcing anything will only create frustration.

Passion for Music

As mentors, parents and teachers, their jobs are to encourage and show children the possibilites the world has to offer, however there is a fine line between forcing them to do something they don’t want to do out of lazyness and something they really don’t like.

A good idea could be to let them begin at home, these days there are so many ways to get started in music without having to go to a music school, this way a young aspiring musician will begin testing the grounds of what it is to play an instrument and if there is enough interest then classes could be a good idea.

However there is a problem, some young musicians just don’t

Self Taught Culture

History and tradition also has a big part in this in the sense that knowing how to play an instrument or learn how to dance was something a good family would do.

By the 1880s, when the United States began filling up with unwashed immigrants, a whole class of do-gooder, piano-taught ladies believed that one way to acculturate the new immigrants was to offer them, especially the children, musical instruction. The institutions of the settlement-house movement, as it became known, offered much more than music classes; they provided instruction in English, the trades, home economics, and many arts. But music was everywhere seen as one important key to the cabinet of proper, middle-class ways.

The New Republilc

While this is still a reason for some people it has obviously changed a lot since the 1880s, not only because of how music has changed and new genres came to be, but education and technology has also influenced in this aspect.

When knowledge was made as public as the internet can be, education took a turn, while still very much needed in its traditional form in order to maintain a rich and well structured society, a new wave of self taught culture rose through the internet, and with music, this new way of teaching yourself and creating your own methods, worked perfectly.

This sometimes makes it harder for music schools and teachers because there is an alternative, and many children prefer to go with that alternative, and if they are really passionate about it they will learn to play. The difference is there is no one to guide the person learning, and that person will probably skip some reading and all the “boring” parts of it. That is where the benefits of pushing someone into classes come in.

In Conclusion

Children sometimes don’t have the necessary discipline and determination needed when learning about music, and sometimes a little push is in order, however forcing someone into learning it’s a very different thing which can even cause dislike for something a young musician used to like so in the end, they have to give the first step, otherwise it may come as abad experience and nothing more than a chore

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This is an obvious theme for every creator in any way, for artists, engineer, musician and in many ways for every human being on earth. For this article we will narrow it down to music of course, but the idea of getting this full picture is that human beings create things from what they learn and experience. In every single one of these processes there is inspiration, this also means that nothing comes from nothing, and it would be hard to belive that any human being could create something from nothing, and if one person could it wouldn’t be a person, it would be god. In this sense it would be as Inmanuel Kant says at the begining of the critique of pure reason, that everything we know begins with experience.

What is making something? or creating something? If we take the words that were just said, then creativity would be the talent to arrange pieces in new ways, and in a way this is true. However the magic doesn’t stop there, as musicians when we listen to something we know we like, we remember it, and it stays in our heads, then when we are about to create a piece of music, that thing we liked gets molded and merges with our feelings and other experiences, so in a way it’s like mixing colors to paint new things.

That brings this to the other subject which is interdisciplinary thinking and being able to tear down barriers and lines.

Creation and Connection

A successful work of art is not one which resolves contradictions in a spurious harmony, but one which expresses the idea of harmony negatively by embodying the contradictions, pure and uncompromised, in its innermost structure.

Theodore Adorno

Following the quote from Theodore Adorno, there are some examples we could think of that really show he’s point including electronic music and heavy metal music, as the art and beautiful side of things find themselves with feelings of hate or the cold ever growing technology.

The big important thing here is that, not because something doesn’t sound very familiar or “as it’s supposed to” doesn’t mean is bad. Let’s imagine for a second the first person to ever plug in an electric guitar and try to feel the shoes of that time, it almost seem stupid to listen the distorted sound of strings but now, it’s arguably the most famous instrument in the world.

Thinking outside the box is not easy, but staying within the boudaries of what already is done, is very easy and for many people, not satisfactory.

Some musicians look to play for fun, some enjoy what’s already established but others want to push it further beyond what is out there, and it doesn’t even have to be extremely experimental music, just bringing something new to the table is extremely hard but very rewarding.

New Ideas

This is also an important art, the art of bringing something new into the world of things that are already established, because, you can’t just make something incredibly different and slam it into people’s ears, because in general people won’t like it. However if you’re goal is not to reach people that’s fine, but you won’t actually be bringing something new. The art of creating new things also rely on a balance of how much you’re taking from what is already loved and how much you will inject from your new sounds and melodies.

On reaching artistic maturity, the composer should have acquired a good knowledge of the repertoire, and of his craft. He also needs knowledge of himself, not just in the obvious stylistic sense (a composer’s style is essentially made of his preferences), but also in the sense of dealing with his own psychology: especially, how to find creative stimulation, how to grow as an artist, and how to overcome blocks.

Experiment, and take risks. This does not mean that the finished work should be just an experiment, but that during the composition, it can be useful to deliberately try new procedures, even if one ultimately rejects most of the results in the final piece.

Imitate others, but in a distorted way. Obviously direct imitation creates epigones, but, sufficiently distorted, useful ideas may result

alanbelkinmusic.com

In the end it’s always difficult and a challenge to create something new and have people enjoy it, and as musicians we have to be prepared for all the bumps on the road.

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