Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Benefits of Music Education

I came across these figures while doing some web research and thought this data worth sharing.

When it comes to SAT Scores,
Musicians score:
-  38 Points higher in Verbal
-  21 Points higher in Math

I believe that the SAT test has been allowed to become a far too dominant force in our culture. To quantify an individual's intelligence via the results of a single written exam is a limited scope, to say the least. Nonetheless, intelligence, in its many shapes, is an asset worthy of pursuit. It is certainly notable how music scholarship does enhance a person's intellect.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Plans for summer teaching

Of course, there is the Sunday, July 12 recital - I am excited for that performance.

After that I am planning to conduct a summer session of composition studies with willing students. I have an idea for a composition exercises book for which I hope to have a prototype developed by mid-July.

Music ought to be a communicative language. If the music you listen to doesn't communicate much, you may be subjecting your ears to drivel! I'd love to teach students how to deliver different messages via the sounding of particular melodies and harmonies. This desire forms a basis of the composition book(s) I'm hoping to develop.

Summer is nearing. In the meantime, I'll be steadily working.

Take care,

Home practice: how can you help?

As a follow-up to the first “Ask A Mom” feature, here are some additional suggestions that have proved helpful to parents:
Home practice: how can you help?
Some parents have played musical instruments, but for those who haven’t, it can be difficult to know how to assist their son/daughter with practicing. This is understandable. All parents can assist with home practice by regularly doing any or all of the following:

Help The Practice Environment – Make sure practicing is done in a comfortable place without regular disturbances or interruptions. This may mean that you first need to find something for baby brother or sister to do - sometimes they can be a distraction! Whatever you do, please don’t send the student outside or away to practice. Music practice should never be a “punishment”. Do what you can to not make practicing negative.

Consistent Times – Try to help your child set a regular practice time, preferably a time when you are home to hear them. If they get in the habit of practicing at the same time every day, this will aid in establishing a practice routine. Soon enough, this routine will be built into their weekly schedule.

Encourage Performances – Set up a time, perhaps once a week, for your child to perform music for you, or for your family and friends.  Encourage them to show off the things they are learning in their private lessons. This will give them performance goals outside of class and help them know develop the “nerves” required to play for an audience.

Ask Questions – Have your child explain what his or her plan is for their practice session. Ask them about upcoming playing tests or class requirements.

Sit in on a Practice Session – Occasionally sit with the student during their practice session. Ask them to explain the processes that they go through for each part of their assignments. Your willingness to accompany them during these times will show that you are committed to nurturing their progress and that they are not alone in learning to play a musical instrument. If it’s important to you, it will be important to them!

Do all that you can to make
practicing a positive experience!!!

The amount, but more especially, the quality
of daily home practice directly impacts
the progress of a student on their instrument.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 2009 -- Teaching schedule & upcoming events

-- The July 12th recital is on! It will be held in the music department at CSUEB in Hayward. We’ve reserved the recital hall from 1 - 4 pm that day. 

Please save the date: Sunday, July 12.

-- My teaching schedule will be uninterrupted during the month of June. There are no holidays. Lessons during the month of June will be strictly focused on preparing students' music for the July 12 performance.

-- Summer is nearing, and vacation plans are brewing, I'm sure. Please inform me of your vacation plans ASAP. If you are going to be out of town for more than one week during the summer months, you will have to pay the regular fee for the additional weeks you miss in order to reserve your time slot. I am implementing a new policy of allowing only 1 excused absence per every 2 months.

Talk to me if you have questions.

Take care,