I have found that many music educators, especially those of us who spend most or all of our time at the elementary level, have lost a good deal of what we once knew of music theory. We seldom teach much of what we learned in undergraduate music theory classes, never much more than note names … Continue reading Music Theory Tutorial: Scales and Intervals
With the new year nearly upon us, many will make resolutions to do better in some area of their life. Many of these fade within a few weeks as our human tendency to settle back into the familiar and comfortable takes over. This is, I think, at least partly due to focusing on the action … Continue reading An Antidote To Boredom
Who among us hasn't slaved over practicing scales to prepare for an audition or private lesson? Chances are also good that we have demanded that our own students practice scales, often in the same spirit as a parent makes a child eat broccoli or brussel sprouts. "They're good for you" we tell them. In the … Continue reading A Better Way With Scales
Regardless of how successful a private music lesson is, a large measure of the student’s eventual success depends on regular and effective practice at home. Often, attention is given to how to get students to practice more, but not enough attention is given to what students should be doing when they are practicing. I have … Continue reading How Can Students’ Practice Be Improved?
Scales are usually something we don't appreciate until we gain the perspective of hindsight. Students rarely say they are glad they are practicing scales, but frequently say they are glad they learned them after performing a technically challenging piece well. For many students (and perhaps some teachers too) scales are often laborious and unpleasant parts … Continue reading Scales–Laborious to Glorious