I was listening to a podcast called “The Bulletproof Musician” by Noa Kageyama and he said something in the podcast that really caught my attention. For those who don’t know, “The Bulletproof Musician” is a podcast that researches practice techniques across multiple fields and applies those techniques to musical study. Anyway, Noa said: the first step in getting better at detecting errors is to first know what correct sounds like.When we know what correct sounds like, we musicians have a better chance of pointing out errors in our own private practice sessions. If we do not have a clear foundation of how our piece is supposed to sound, how do we know if what we are doing is right or not? You may be playing mistake after mistake all week long feeling very confidante about your progress only to discover at the next lesson that you not only have not progressed, but you have practiced incorrect habits that will now take even longer to fix. It amazes me that in a day when we can pull up any music we want on YouTube or Spotify or Pandora or iHeartRadio we rarely ever listen to the music that we as musicians are practicing on a daily basis. I truly believe that students should listen to the songs that they are practicing just as much as they play the songs that are practicing, if not more. One of the things I love about the group classes that I teach in my piano studio is that it forces students to listen outside of themselves. If a particular student is having trouble knowing when to get softer, when to get louder or what the rhythm is supposed to be or how the music is supposed to sound, then all they need to do is listen to their classmates around them to see if they’re doing it right. I believe that students who take Group Piano not only have more fun, but develop Error Detection skills faster than in private lessons.
Why should my child learn piano instead of any other instrument?
A. Let me first say that every instrument has qualities that make it uniquely different than others and the piano is no exception. Because the piano allows a student to play multiple notes at once, it is by far the instrument of choice to learn music theory. With a concrete understanding of music theory, students can easily pick up most other instruments with relative ease. Many music educators would say that the piano is a necessary instrument for anyone who is serious about the study of music. Many musicians across the instrumental spectrum have used the piano as a springboard for their foundational understanding of music even though they may call themselves a bassist, guitarist, trumpet player, drummer or singer. But not only is it the ideal music theory instrument, but it is also one of the easiest to learn to play, and because of this students don't get as frustrated as they might if they began on a flute or trumpet which takes a good embouchure to produce a pleasant sound. So in a nutshell, every student of music should learn the piano because it will fast track their understanding of other instruments they may choose in the future.
A. Music, like all art, is apart of our DNA as human beings. If you consider the entire animal kingdom, humans are the only creatures that have been endowed with a desire to create something for beauty's sake. Every animal has 4 basic needs that must be met in order to sustain life, (Food, Water, Shelter/Community, Procreation) but humans have a 5th, the need for art. The sense or art does not focus on the here and now, but the possibilities of what could be. So maybe your child does not need music, but they do need art. They need to exercises that part of the brain called imagination. We believe that music is one of the best ways of meeting that goal, but so is painting, acting, computer science, baking, wood working, and so many others. Get your child involved in something that regularly pushes their imagination.