MUSIC 4 LIFE, LLC

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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Preparation Requires Planning

It has been just two years since I stood outside Steve’s music room in 100F heat hunched over his patio photographing mallets in the blazing hot sun. I had no idea that a year later we would be launching a music poster line with J.W. Pepper and introducing our creations to the music industry. But, all of this didn’t come about without planning.

My initial plan was to create new graphics for Steven’s website that would be “PIN” worthy on Pinterest. I planned ahead of time to bring matte boards of various colors, I planned to create negative space in the photographs for text, and I was prepared when I arrived. The results was beautiful images which incorporated Steven’s “Raybineisms” (words of wisdom) and when we were ready to approach national music industry distributors with our motivational posters I was prepared and called J.W. Pepper

Preparation requires prior planning. Motivational poster for music teachers, business and classrooms from JW PepperPreparation Requires Prior Planning

  • Are you chronically late for rehearsals and performances;
  • Do you forget to pack essential musical equipment when you perform;
  • Do you bring the necessary music to engagements and do you practice your parts in advance of the performance;
  • Do you bring the appropriate clothing for shows; Do you return all phone calls, texts, messages and emails promptly;
  • Are your instruments in proper playing conditions at all times; If you’re a band leader, do you pay your musicians in a timely manner?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these scenarios, you are not sufficiently prepared for your obligations as a contemporary musician. Think ahead and anticipate what is expected of you as a professional musician. Above all, be prepared; be prompt and plan ahead for all musical situations.

How has a lack of planning affected your life?

Did you lose a gig? Where you asked to leave a team, or band group because of your chronic procrastination or preparation for the gig?

If you know of a good way to stay prepared leave a comment below. Share your expertise and experience so others may not have the same fate.