When should my child start taking private music lessons?
Parents eager to expose their children to music education often wonder how old little ones should be before enrolling in private music lessons. While there’s no definitive answer, B&B generally starts students at the age of 5 or above. Here are some indicators that your child is ready for one-on-one music instruction.
If your child can remain attentive and follow directions for 20 – 30 minutes, he may be ready for individual music lessons. Being able to stay on task is also essential, since kids will need to be able to focus during regular practice sessions at home.
Reading and comprehension
Sheet music generally contains musical directions, like fast, slow, soft, or loud, in addition to song titles and lyrics that students may struggle with if they’re not yet reading. So, younger kids may want to hold off on lessons until they can read and understand the information written on their music and in any practice workbooks they are given.
It’s important that students have instruments that they can use for practicing at home. Inexpensive or shared instruments are fine, especially for beginning students. But it’s important that students have regular access to an instrument, instead of just relying on weekly lessons.
If you can commit to driving your child to lessons, buying an instrument and instructional materials, paying for lessons, and helping your child stick to a practice schedule, your child already has a great foundation to start! (And of course, with lessons from B&B, you can leave the driving to us.)
By making sure your child is ready before starting music lessons, you can help learning an instrument be a rich and rewarding experience, the benefits of which will last a lifetime.
B&B Music Lessons. Making the world a better place, one lesson at a time!
Maryland Summer Jazz Camp: July 24-26, 2013
Maryland Summer Jazz is a festival of workshops, jams and concerts approaching its ninth season. The heart of the event is a three day jazz camp for adults and students aged 16 and over. The camp has received a high rating from students and faculty every year since inception. Useful and innovative curriculum, good organization and exceptional faculty make it among the finest jazz camps in the U.S.
The goal of the camp is to get musicians “out of the basement and onto the bandstand.” It seems to be working well; many participants go on to form bands, perform often and even record albums.
The camp helps music teachers brush up on their technique and teaching methods and helps musicians improve their chops. Whether jazz is your hobby, avocation or career, there is something for you at Maryland Summer Jazz. Combo classes are grouped by ability level and provide plenty of opportunity for playing and improvising. Stellar faculty plays with students.
This year the camp meets July 24 – 26. Participants may also attend an optional session on July 13 to become familiar with the music they’ll be playing at camp.
Faculty includes international jazz artists and professors from many universities.
This year it includes pianist Wade Beach, trumpeter John D’ earth, bassists Leonardo Lucini and Amy Shook, trombonist Jim McFalls, guitarist Steve Rochinski and drummer Harold Summey. Jeff Antoniuk is artistic director.
The location is cool and comfortable with easy free parking. 10701 Old Georgetown Rd, Rockville, MD 20852, near Washington, D.C.
Early Bird Registration (before May 1, 2013)
3 days tuition, catered lunch & jams – $470.00
Regular Registration (before June 30, 2013)
3 days tuition, catered lunch & jams – $564.00
Auditor (non-playing student) per day - $175.00
To attend the July 13 Music Theory & Prep, add $99 for one workshop and
$175 for two
For more information and registration, contact: Artistic Director, Jeff Antoniuk, 410-295-5591 and visit www.marylandsummerjazz.com
Meet Jonathan, King of the Blues
Look out B. B. King. B&B officially has its very own resident “King of the Blues.” Jonathan Sloane is not only B&B’s newest all-star instructor, but he’s also winner of the Guitar Center’s 2011 Washington regional “King of the Blues” competition. And as a guitar instructor well-versed on teaching students how to read music notation, build chords, play scales, and learn rock and blues progressions, we couldn’t have asked for a better addition to the B&B team!
But if you think Jonathan’s only into Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, think again. He’s also plays lead guitar for Yellow Dubmarine, a reggae/dub Beatles tribute band that’s toured extensively throughout Canada and the U.S. The group, which also includes B&B’s own Robbie Cooper on drums, has even opened for the Wailers, Burning Spear, and Sonny Landreth. The band recently released their first recorded album, “Abbey Dub,” an imaginative interpretation of the Beatle’s classic, “Abbey Road.” To hear a few tracks from the album, check out their Web site: http://yellowdubmarine.com/
And then, be sure to take a look at Jonathan’s B&B teacher’s profile to see all of the other cool projects he’s been working on. If you’ve been thinking about guitar lessons for your child, he may just be the perfect teacher for you. After all, who better to teach students how to play guitar than the king?
Piano Instructor Needed Fairfax, VA
We have unexpectedly had a teacher leave our roster for a wonderful business opportunity in LA. We are very happy for her and wish her the best. However, we’re suddenly looking for a qualified, reliable and friendly piano instructor to work with her students in Fairfax, McLean, Arlington, Chantilly and surrounding areas in Northern Virginia.
Feel free to contact Bhagwan at 301.655.4460 for further details regarding this position.
Music Teachers Just Got Easier to Find
Music instructors nationwide just got help. In fact, they just got Savvy. Savvy Lessons provides teachers the ability to market themselves to prospective students. Music teachers and students alike now have a website where they can match needs and services.
Every city in the United States (and the rest of the world!) has well educated and capable music teachers who can help the community by sharing their knowledge. Every city around the world also has people who would love to find the right music instructor for their needs. Savvy Lessons. Get Savvy. Be Savvy.
Choosing The Right Music Lesson Company in a Tough Economy
Times are tough. The economy’s still sluggish, and summer expenses – camps, vacations, reunions, weddings, etc. – are hitting all of our pockets pretty hard. Looking for ways to cut back, parents often have to prioritize their spending budgets. This isn’t an easy task with our high paced lives.
As we all know, learning music is invaluable, especially for kids. Taking music lessons helps students develop parts of the brain that control language and reasoning, enhance creative thinking, and promote perseverance. Most parents have come to realize that quality music lessons are just something their children can’t live without.
B&B Music Lessons’ s flexible music program may be just the thing for the fiscally prudent parent. Unlike most music programs that require weekly payments whether students receive lessons or not, at B&B, as long as you give 24 hours’ notice, you can skip a lesson and not be charged for it. This can translate to huge savings, especially during the summer when travel plans may interrupt regular sessions. And since our teachers are more than willing to accommodate students’ changing schedules, it’s always easy to stay on track and get the most out of your time with B&B!
So enjoy your summer, and keep practicing — “Because Music Matters”.
Yup, you’ve heard it before. ’Practice makes perfect’!
Persuading even the most promising young musicians to practice can be as elusive as convincing them to eat their Brussels sprouts or make their beds. If your child’s reluctant to pull out his sheet music in the days after class, here are a few tips to get him inspired to rehearse.
-Choose instruments wisely. Children are urged to pick their own ice cream flavors, tennis shoes, and lunch boxes; but when it comes to music lessons, parents usually call all the shots. Parents should pick instruments that their kids are interested in, so they’ll be more excited about playing. Can’t decide between the obo and the clarinet? Why not take a couple lessons of both, and then decide.
-Listen to music. It’s easy for children to get discouraged when they’re sitting alone struggling through Chopsticks for hours on end. So, expose your kids to live music, especially that featuring the instruments they play, so they can see firsthand how all of their practice can pay off. And if it’s too tough to catch a jazz show or sit in on the high school marching band’s afterschool practice, find some good CDs of different styles of music – pop, jazz, classical, blues – and listen with your kids while you’re riding in the car or eating dinner. It’s a great way for kids to get ideas about pieces they’d like to try.
-Keep it short and sweet. Experts agree that short daily practices trump longer, less frequent ones. The more often kids practice, the more they improve their muscle memories, and shorter sessions make them less likely to get burnt out before practice is over.
-Use appropriate rewards. After he masters a particularly difficult selection, give your budding virtuoso a special treat that will reinforce his enthusiasm about his music. Take him to a special performance, buy him a new CD of a talented musician who plays his instrument, or let him pick out a piece of new sheet music. You just want to steer clear of rewarding him with playtime outside or points on a chore chart – compensation that makes practice feel more like a burden than a pleasurable pastime.
Active Music Lessons Advance Infant Development
Tons of studies have proven that taking music lessons helps students do better in school. But a new, landmark study also shows that musical training positively affects how the brain processes sounds as early as 12 months of age.
In the study, six-month-olds, who were evenly matched in every test category, were divided into two groups – those taking active music lessons and those involved in more passive music instruction. Students in the passive classes, alongside their parents, listened to a collection of Baby Einstein CDs as a teacher encouraged them to engage in ball, block, book, art, and cup stacking stations. Teachers in the active classes engaged students and their parents by focusing on movement, singing, playing percussion instruments, and building a repertoire of lullabies and songs. And at the end of the 6-month-long study, researchers noticed three major findings.
1. Babies in the active classes became more sensitive to tone. Each infant in the study listened to two different versions of the same sonatina. The tonal version was played in G major, as written. And the atonal rendition alternated between G major and G-flat major, so there was no feeling of tonal center. At the end of the study, babies in the active music classes showed preference to the tonal version, demonstrated by greater attentiveness to during G major rendition, while babies in the passive group showed preference to either version.
2. Active music classes affected babies’ brain development. To determine if musical training affects the brains of infants as it does with preschoolers, researches attached electrodes to the babies’ heads to measure brainwave activity. EEG recordings showed that after the six-month study, tone processing was much more advanced for infants in active classes. Their response times were faster and involved more synchronous neural firing than those from the passive group.
3. Infants in active music classes show more advanced social development. At the six-month mark, parents of infants enrolled in active classes reported that their babies showed less distress to limitations and unknown stimuli, more smiling and laughter, and were easier to soothe.
The study results indicate that there are multiple benefits from participatory music classes even in early infancy. So don’t delay. Get your child involved in music lessons today!
Because Music Matters!
Music is defined as an “art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color”.
All the elements mentioned: “rhythm, melody, harmony, and color” have almost infinite variations. Listing all the known forms of music, from primitive native chants to sophisticated orchestral forms would take a lifetime, and would never be completed. New forms of music appear in every generation.
The broadest category we use to identify music is that of “Contemporary” or “Classical” music; but what do those terms really mean? Contemporary means existing, occurring, or living at the same time, so contemporary music is any music created and performed that reflects current musical styles and preferences.
Classical music is even more broadly defined. Some definitions say “Classical music” is music created create between 1750 an 1820. An even more limited definition is “music that includes primarily the works of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven”; but since we now commonly refer to “Classic Rock” as rock music that is not “contemporary” (that is, “current”) but still performed and enjoyed by succeeding generations, just as we still listen to “classical” music of the 18th and 19th century today.
Thus, modern forms of music become “classics”, just as “classical” music is still popular and “contemporary” as well,. In fact they can be both. Contemporary becomes Classical automatically if it continues to be played and heard over time; and “Classical” music is still “contemporary” by the very fact that is is played and enjoyed by new generations of listeners.
The difference is really about styles. Music, like literature or clothing, becomes “contemporary” when a society or culture adopts it as a standard, That “style” then becomes “classical” when the style is identified with that specific time frame, but is still being used and enjoyed; long after the era and culture that created it has passed on.
When we think of music, we think of harmonious, pleasing sounds that create or recall emotions and memories. In that sense, it may be hard to think of banging on a drum as “music”. Few of us would want to sit through an entire performance of drum solos; yet, drums and other percussion instruments play an important role in any performance; as much as the piano, the violin or guitar.
Drums set the tempo and rhythm of the music, adding emotional shadings and emphasis to the music being played. Drums in an orchestra are like the sound track in a movie; always in the background — adding color, emotion and tempo to the scene — but only rarely, if ever, becoming the scene or the performance itself. Traditionally, drums and percussion instruments play supporting roles to the “musical” instruments; they provide rhythm, shading and texture, but are not the music itself.
Yet, despite its supporting role in traditional music, it is an integral part of the performance itself.
The emergence of Jazz and Rock n’ Roll has often put drummers in the forefront of the performance. They are not just “bit players” doing backup, but star performers, virtuosos in their own right. Who has not been thrilled by a drum solo from such legendary drummers as Gene Krupa, Keith Moon, Mick Fleetwood, or Ringo Starr?
Like any other instrument, playing a drum badly is just making noise; but playing a drum with style; in sync with other instruments or as a solo performance, is a skill that rivals the virtuosos of any other instrument. But does a drum “make music”?
The dictionary defines “Music” as:
- The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
- Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm.
Drums are all about rhythm. They don’t create melodies or harmonies. The sound of a drum is as basic and visceral as a heartbeat. Drums interpret the rhythms of nature into musical forms: the ominous rumble of thunder from the Tympani, or the pattering of raindrops on a roof from a snare drum. That is what we sense when we hear the beat of a drum: the rhythms of life itself.