With the first day of school only days away, parents across the DC area are trying
to ease their kids from the carefree fun of summer to the academic rigors of a new
school year. But getting kids to want to learn doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth.
Students across the country have actually started to enjoy math and give their test
scores a boost with Smart Shorties, a program that puts multiplication facts and
fractions to popular hip-hop beats that kids already love.
Creator of Smart Shorties, Alex Nesmith
Years ago, I had the privilege of performing in a jazz band with the creator of Smart
Shorties, Alex Nesmith. Together, with me playing trumpet and Alex on the baritone
sax, we toured Asia and Europe making music, and we became fast friends in the
process. Alex went on to use his musical background to become a professional music
producer, working with artists like Charlotte Church, Keith Sweat, Chris Brown, and
Kids are Genuinely Excited to Learn Math
But when he learned about the deficiencies American students have in math, Alex
became determined to use music as a tool to develop how students think and learn.
And with Smart Shorties, he’s done just that. Kids who use the program for four
or more months have shown a 67% increase in math facts fluency. Schools across
the country have implemented the program into their curriculums to improve test
scores. And kids are genuinely excited to learn math.
Making the World a Better Place through Music
At B&B, we’re particularly enthused about Smart Shorties because it mirrors our
mission of making the world a better place through music, one lesson at a time. And
we hope you’ll be interested in checking it out too. It’s the perfect way to get your
kids fired up about classes before they’ve even begun.
Co-owner, B&B Music Lessons
48 Years of Helping Musicians
This year, the Guitar Center celebrates 48 years of helping musicians across the
country make amazing music. In the beginning, the store may have been mainly
about peace, love, and guitars, but today, when you walk through the Guitar Center’s
doors, you’ll find just about every instrument known to man, including keyboards,
drums, banjos, and clarinets.
Mention B&B and You’re Guaranteed Exceptional Service.
But even more noteworthy than their incredible selection is Guitar Center’s
unbeatable service. The sales staff is inviting, informed, and eager to help. In fact, it’s
all of the the glowing reviews that our students gave Guitar Center reps that led to
B&B partnering with the Guitar Center ourselves! That was over five years ago. And
our relationship keeps getting better and better. Today, if you walk in a local Guitar
Center store and mention B&B, you’re guaranteed exceptional service.
So, if you’re in the market for a new instrument, one that’s just new to you, or
new instrument accessories and parts, try Guitar Center for yourself. And now is
the perfect time to check them out since you can take full advantage of their 48th
anniversary deals through the end of summer.
Stop by one of the following stores to get the Guitar Center experience for yourself.
And don’t forget to tell them B&B sent you!
Gary knows about drum equipment. He also knows about teaching and performing.
Useful information for drummers
Using a practice pad is very beneficial. There are wooden based practice pads with rubber on tops and Plastic pads with adjustable head tensioners, Both work very well.
These days you can find great deals on full adult and junior drum kits starting around $300 dollars. These deals can be found at The guitar center and Chuck Levens Washington music center (Talk to Coleman) in the drum department, Tell Him i sent you and he”ll take great care of you.
For great deals on vintage and second hand Drums check out Atomic music in College Park (talk to Lewis). They have tons of great drum kits at great prices. The benefits of buying a vintage drum are that they sound great and the value over the years will possibly increase.
Four Reasons to go with the Guitar
We all know it’s a good idea to sign kids up for music lessons. Countless studies have shown that studying music heightens math and verbal skills, improves memory, and helps build social skills. But if you’re still not sure which brain-boosting instrument to choose for your child, you may want to consider the guitar. Here are the top four reasons why parents like it for their kids.
Variety – Guitars come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. Choosing a ½ or ¾ sized guitar gives little hands easier access to all of the frets on the fingerboard, so smaller kids have an easier time playing guitar than they would with say a trombone. Plus, guitars are available in countless colors and designs that are cool enough to entice kids to practice.
Portability – Guitars are easy to pack, take, and tune on the road. Whether the road leads your child to the playground for an outdoor jam session, a neighbor’s garage for band practice, or the backyard for some time strumming in solitude, the guitar is easy to pack transport. And it can be store in super-small places, which is ideal for the city dweller.
Popularity – Some of the most popular songs on the radio feature the guitar. And in turn, some of today’s most celebrated musicians are guitar players. The appeal of being able to play the same instrument as his or her favorite rock star can give a child who’s just starting out an incredible incentive to keep at it.
Proficiency – Mastering the guitar, like mastering any instrument, takes time and effort. But since it’s easy to learn quick tags to most popular songs, students can feel and sound accomplished even early on.
Q. What age is good to start on the guitar?
Q. My son wants to learn the drums but we don’t want to purchase a drum kit. Can we take lessons without the drum kit?
To get started with the drums,
all you need is a drum pad (inexpensive and easy to find), a set of drum sticks and a metronome. A book will also be necessary, and your instructor can help you with that. If your child shows continued interest, you can purchase a basic drum kit consisting of a bass drum, high hat, cymbal and a snare drum. The additional drums can be added later.
Tuning Your Guitar is best done with a guitar tuner. If you are unable to use a guitar tuner, here are some tips to get you guitar in relative tune.
The guitar is tuned E, A, D, G, B and E again. You can tune the guitar to itself and not worry about tuning to other instruments if you are playing without other instrumentation. If you don’t have a pitch reference to get started, just start with the lowest string which is E (it is the thickest of the strings). Play this E string on the 5th fret, and then play the adjacent string (A string) at the same time. Adjust the A string till you match the two notes.
Once you have the A string in tune with the E string, move on to the D string. Pluck the A string while pressing down on the 5th fret, and then pluck the D string at the same time. Adjust the D string until the two tones are matching. Now you can match the D and the G strings by playing the D string on the 5th fret and matching the open G string at the same time.
Now you have four strings in tune. The next string is the B string and you’ll need to play the G string on the FOURTH fret while plucking the open B string at the same time. Adjust the B string till both notes are matching. For the final E string, play the B string on the 5th fret and match the open E string to this note. Now, play your favorite 6 string chord and you are ready for your guitar lesson!
When it comes to private cello lessons, there is no shortage of parents who are frustrated about their child’s practice habits. Sometimes getting your child to practice the cello can be a tall order and the question “Have you practiced for your cello lesson?” is usually answered with a “No”. Motivating a child to practice the cello shouldn’t be too much effort but it does take a proactive parent to assist in the musical development of a child.
Practicing the cello can and should be a rewarding experience for young students and there is certainly a point when the development should lead to the student practicing for his or her own enjoyment. Here are a few tips to help your child enjoy practicing.
Praise: Don’t forget to reward your young student with praise. Every child wants to feel like his efforts are being appreciated. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. Instead of berating a child for not practicing, find something in the practice that deserves praise. If you hear a nice melody or correct rhythm, let them know that is sounds great. Let them know that you enjoy hearing the song or piece being played in its entirety.
Listen: If you can take the time to sit and listen to them play the piece on a regular basis, the child will have motivation to make improvements. This can take some patience, especially at the beginning of their cello lessons but giving your full attention to your young cello student will provide added enthusiasm. Inspire your child with your positive support!
Family recognition: Using a progress chart can be useful. A simple piece of paper marked with song names and stickers can be placed on the fridge or any other place in the house where it will be highly visible. Mark X’s after each time the song is played to show how often they are working on the piece. Maybe a treat or reward of some nature can be given upon completion of preset goals.
Teacher: Be sure to communicate with the private cello teacher on a regular basis regarding both the lesson content and the child’s practice material. It helps to be familiar with the music and your child will be aware of your attentiveness.
Performance: Cello recitals can be a great way to motivate students, but holding “mini concerts” in your home on a more frequent basis can help as well. Gather a few family members once a week to hear the latest piece and to share in the progress of the music lessons.
B&B Music Lessons. “Because Music Matters!”