March Announcements

March Announcements

Dear parents, please take a moment to read these important announcements. Having so many students can make it difficult to get info out to every parent just through conversations, so these monthly announcements ensure I’ve reached everyone. Thank you!

  1. Facebook Live – March 18th and April 15th, 1pm

    If your child is interested in performing, please speak with me as soon as possible. Also, if your child is not performing, please join us online at www.facebook.com/thebyearmusician to watch the live performances!

  2. Request for Testimonials

    Testimonies from our students help us grow. If you have a few minutes, any positive feedback that you could provide would be very much appreciated! They can be in written or video format. The testimonials will go up on the blog, the TBEM facebook page and website, and on a music teacher directory I have a profile on (MakingMusicFun.net). Students can also provide feedback if they would like to!

  3. Printable Resources available, $1 each

For students needing resources printed from the blog, I am now able to print out the free printables and give them out at their lesson for a fee of $1 per resource item (covers time, paper, ink). For large documents such as the Classical Guitar Method Book, $1 will cover five pages.

  1. Concert Events Added

    The events page on the blog now has some new events, all of which are free. They include a piano recital, steel drum band, and wind symphony. TBEM will be attending the piano recital, given by concert pianist Michael Lewin, on Monday, March 20th at 7:30pm. Please let me know if you and your family are interested in joining us!

  2. Public School Spring Break

    Please note that TBEM will NOT be closed for the week of Spring Break (March 20-24).

  1. Africa Ensemble Information

    To be a part of the Africa Ensemble for the June recitals, you MUST be available for the following dates for rehearsals and performances:

    REHEARSAL: Saturday, June 3rd – any time between 2pm and 8pm

    REHEARSAL: Friday, June 9th – any time between 6pm and 8pm

    PERFORMANCE: Saturday, June 10th – 4pm

    PERFORMANCE: Sunday, June 11th – 4pm

    These two main rehearsals will focus mainly on the entire ensemble rehearsing together. You may not be needed for the entire time, but we won’t really know what the schedule will be like until we’re closer to those dates and have an idea of how everyone is doing.It’s also important that you are prepared to come to possible secondary rehearsals just for your section (just singers, or just percussion, etc). They may not be necessary but we won’t really know until we’re closer to June. They would occur sometime after June 3rd and before the 9th.

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Intro to Music Theory 2: The C Major Scale and how to find any other Major scale.

piano scale C major music theory lessons
One Octave of the C major scale

In lesson one, we learned about the Chromatic Scale, Half Steps,and Whole steps. Now, it’s time to learn about the C Major Scale and how to find any other Major Scale. It’s important to remember the definition of a scale:

A specific series or pattern of notes, played in ascending (going up) or descending (going down) order.C scale chart for guitar

Take a look at the charts here for what the C scale looks like on the piano and guitar. Then, watch this video to hear and see what the scale sounds like on the piano. *NOTE*: although the notes are played differently on the guitar, they are the exact same pitches.

How does the major scale work? It uses a specific pattern of whole and half steps.

C major piano scale whole step half step
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Two whole steps, one half step, three whole steps, and one more half step.

Using this formula, you can find ANY major scale on your instrument!

Watch the next few minutes of this video:

Now it’s your turn! Download the PDF and fill in the whole steps and half steps to complete the scales or fill out the form below. Major Scales Worksheet

music, major scales, names of the notes, music theory, worksheet
A worksheet to fill out the names of the notes for five major scales

Practicing Effectively

PLEASE READ – STUDENTS, THIS MEANS YOU!

Additional Questions on Practice Time Log

In the Practice Time Log section, you will see that there are some additional questions for you to answer about how you practiced. The reason for this is that it’s very important for you to think about how you’re practicing.

Let’s pretend you’re working on a song, let’s say Arabesque for example. What is the first thing that we generally do when learning a new song?

If piano is your instrument, we’ll probably start with playing through a little bit of the RH part by itself, then a little bit of the LH part by itself, and then we’ll try playing through with both hands at the same time, very slowly.

If guitar or violin is your instrument, we won’t need to do RH and LH by itself, and we’ll just start very slowly playing a small section from the beginning, or we’ll work on being able to play the chords we’re using in the song before we go on to playing the actual song.

What needs to happen before we can go on to the next part of the song?

1) Do the notes need to be correct?

2) Are you playing the right notes with the right fingers (are you following the finger numbers?)

3) Does the song or exercise need to be played with a faster tempo (the speed) so it will sound like how it’s supposed to sound?

4) If you’re playing piano, do you need to be playing both hands together?

 

When you’re playing your instrument during the week, how can you think about and make these things happen so we can learn the next part of the song in your class?

This is one very important point that you need to remember:

The more you teach yourself to play the right notes with the right fingering and right tempo during the week, the more we are able to learn new things in class – like the next part of a song or a whole new song!

 

One thing that it is VERY EASY to do when practicing is to just keep playing the song over and over without really doing anything to fix the problems that are coming up. If you’re playing Arabesque, and there are two notes that you keep playing wrong over and over, will those two notes get fixed if you just keep playing the song over and over? Probably not. What is a good way to fix those two notes?

  1. Practice just the section with those two notes by themselves until you are playing them correctly.
  2. Play that little section much slower to make sure you can get those notes correct.
  3. Don’t let yourself play the wrong notes – go back and fix it if they are wrong.
  4. When you can get the notes right, play the little section several times to make sure you can KEEP playing it right.

AFTER you are able to play the notes correctly this way, then go back to the beginning and play the whole song. The problem should be fixed! If not, go back and practice the section again.

Take a look at this video  – the guy in this video is talking about something similar. Sometimes we might have a section in a piece that is a lot harder, so we play it slower than the rest of the piece. See what this guy does.

 

Remember, playing something the right way only one time does not mean that you have mastered it and can go on to something else. You only know that you can officially play a song or exercise the right way after you have played it the right way many times.

Practice does not mean playing until you get it right and then stopping – it is continuing to play when you do get it right to make sure it stays right.

 

If you use these ideas, your practicing at home will help you get better much faster!

Contact me if you have any questions 🙂

Danielle