‘Tis the Season for a TUNE-UP!
Whether or not you’re an early-Christmas-tree type of person, there’s something exciting about the joy in that November-December season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everyone seems to be in a better mood! It’s also a season that really encourages the arts. Decorations go up, plays are performed, and — our favorite — we break out the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa music!
November and December are particularly rich times for music students in public schools. Christmas concerts are often a HUGE draw audience-wise for most musical groups, and that means that an orchestra student gets a chance to hone their skills while taking part in a traditional genre that defines a good chunk of our winter season.
The only DOWNSIDE to orchestral Christmas programs, especially school programs, is that they often require a little more work than usual on the musician’s part. Rehearsal processes can be rushed and demanding!
If you have a young musician in your house, here are a few tips to help keep the JOY alive during those Christmas rehearsals:
REMEMBER WHY THE MUSIC IS SPECIAL. Talk with your child about what their music means. Why do we sing those songs every Christmas? What memories are attached to them? Emphasize the things that make the material fun and special.
GET EXTRA HELP. If you’re not in private lessons, November/December are a great time to give them a shot. It’s a short window of time, so commitment is less pressing, and it’s a season that is often marked by extra work for a young musician. It’s VERY hard to learn music at a uniform pace, especially orchestral pieces. If you see your child getting frustrated or feeling like he can’t keep up, private lessons are a great way to combat those insecurities.
FIND SOMEONE WHO KNOWS THE MATERIAL. At Learning Allegro, we often get multiple students from the same school districts, so we’re familiar with most of the local Christmas concert repertoires. If your child brings in their Christmas music, we’ve probably already worked it with one of their classmates. That familiarity helps! Come spend some time with a teacher who knows the music and can help you fine-tune it.
PRACTICE. This one is a no-brainer, but muscle memory goes a long way! Encourage your child to pick up their instrument as often as possible and to practice with diligence.
At Learning Allegro, we have private lesson openings for strings, brass, piano, woodwinds, and voice every weeknight. We also have weekend hours! If your child is stressing out about winter recital work, give us a call (484-341-8842) and let us help you. You can also learn more on our website.