Motivating teachers and students in the world of music


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.

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Distribution Partnership with J.W. Pepper

Partnership between Music 4 Life, LLC and JW Pepper

Press Release:September 1, 2014

New Nebraska Company Provides Messages Supporting Importance of Music in Schools

With music programs being one of the first programs eliminated during budget cuts, the importance of how music stimulates brain functioning and social development becomes even more relevant today.

Music 4 Life, LLC was created with the intention of increasing the perception and importance of Music Education within our Music 4 Life posters distributed by JW Pepperschool systems.  Research has shown that music not only impacts  academic achievement, but contributes to brain development and improved interpersonal skills. Moreover, it is well known that music affects artistic sensibilities such as mood and feelings, but research in children who are engaged within musical activities also show a significant improvement in  language and mathematical abilities.

A series of motivational posters were created to draw awareness between music education and its cross-disciplinary benefits. The Music 4 Life motivational messages are not only timely, but when they are placed within classrooms, music studios and practice rooms, they serve as a subtle reminder to all participants that the musical journey and its benefits transcend the notes on a page.

The partnership of Music 4 Life, LLC with J.W. Pepper, the leading supplier of sheet music in the world, makes music-themed motivational posters easily available to public schools, band directors, private music teachers, and other educators. Most messages are cross-curricular and emphasize leadership, respect, responsibility, practice, and hard work as traits necessary to succeed.

Five posters from the Music 4 Life, LLC inventory will be featured in their Fall 2014-15 Band catalog and all 40 posters available are on their website at Since 1876, J.W. Pepper & Son has been a family business with a commitment to customer service, value and satisfaction. They are the leading music supplier for concert bands, choirs, church musicians and a source of news and information on state music festivals across the United States.

Music Posters at JW Pepper

Music 4 Life, LLC was developed in 2014 in Omaha, Nebraska and is a partnership between musician Dr. Steve Raybine (Doctor of Musical Arts, DMA) and project manager, Dawn Romine. For more information about Music 4 Life LLC, visit our website

Media Inquiries can be made at:

Music 4Life, LLC, PO Box 24509, Omaha, NE