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Motivating teachers and students in the world of music


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Music Fundamentals are Mentally Fun

Make Practicing Scales and Fundamentals Fun!

Yes, fun! You heard me, learning music theory can be fun, if the teacher can relate to the student and has the creativity and a sense of humor even the most boring of rout scales can enjoyable.

Music teachers and instructors can instill in a love of learning basic music fundamentals by taking a creative approach learning scales, chords and theory can become enjoyable instead of a drudgery.

Music Fundamentals are Mentally Fun! A reminder for music majors, band students and all musicians. Motivational music poster for teachers available from JW PepperMusic Fundamentals are Mentally Fun Poster

Music fundamentals are essential to the development of all serious-minded musicians. Basic fundamental techniques, concepts and rudimentary information in all areas of music such as performance; theory;composing/arranging; recording; etc., must be mastered prior to functioning at a more advanced level.

For instance practicing scales can be one of the most boring parts of practice. What about making it into a game, or a Skittles reward, at the end of the piano scale run you eat a Skittles (obviously this won’t work for woodwind instruments). Or, what about adding a little style and rhythm to your scales with a few staccatos, jazz it up a bit and those scales will start to play themselves.

What Are You Doing as a Teacher to Make Fundamentals Fun?

Leave a comment below on what you do to encourage building basic music fundamentals and what work for you.

Don’t forget, the poster above is available for sale at J.W. Pepper and would make a great addition to a practice room to remind students that yes, fundamentals are the building blocks to every great musician.

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Musical Focus is No Hocus-Pocus

One skill musicians need to learn is how to focus. In every facet of life learning to focus on one task, or prioritizing high payoff activities is a challenge, especially in the social media world in which we live.  Our lives are surrounded by technology, cell phones, instant Facebook notifications, tweets, beeps, and this overload of stimulation makes it a  challenge to stay focused.

Research done by Scientific Reports has proven that listening to music you like actually improves focus. It is ironic that the same trait which make musicians creative individuals also work against us in our struggle to FOCUS. Yes, I said it, musicians and artists have a higher incidence of ADD (attention deficit disorder), but does that really surprise you?

Musical Focus is no Hocus Pocus, Inspiring and motivating posters for music teachers and educators from JW PepperMusical Focus is No Hocus Pocus

Importance of Musical Focus

Musicians tend to fall into one of the following two categories:

  1. Those that maintain their musical focus.
  2. Those that lose their musical focus.

Musicians that possess a bona fide ability to maintain their focus when performing are inclined to play accurately and maintain a high level of musical excellence. These musicians remain poised, relaxed and confident throughout their execution of the music, because they rely upon their training, preparation, composure and ability to remain focused as they navigate comfortably throughout the entirety of the composition.

Alternatively, musicians who for one reason or another have not developed the ability to remain focused during a performance, tend to play inaccurately and are prone to losing their place within the music.

Moreover, when they perform, they are very susceptible to the infamous “crash-and-burn syndrome,” which can totally derail their performance with catastrophic results–something to be avoided at all costs!

In some instances, musicians that fall into this latter category can overcome their lack-of-focus, which often results in performance anxiety and other musical insecurities, with proper training from a skilled professional musician.

In addition to developing more consistent musical focus with the input from an esteemed professional in their field, they need lots of experience performing in front of people in a variety of contexts and venues in order to better solidify this technique.