Helpful tips and funny thoughts from a musician's mind

Author: wprovencher

Why Learning Allegro?

Why Learning Allegro?

There are dozens of methods, theories, and approaches to music education. In fact, every teacher and studio you ever encounter will be a little bit different. However, there are definitely things that make each one strong and unique. At Learning Allegro, we are proud to […]

Meet Hailey! (Learning Allegro Student Spotlight)

Meet Hailey! (Learning Allegro Student Spotlight)

At Learning Allegro, we are PROUD of our students and their accomplishments! Take a moment to meet one of our awesome guitar students, Hailey. She is in eighth grade!   HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TAKING LESSONS AT LEARNING ALLEGRO? Two years.   WHO IS […]

4 signs that you’re a rusty musician!

4 signs that you’re a rusty musician!

It’s been an action-packed summer…but how are your musical skills holding up? Here are eight telltale signs that you might be getting rusty!

 

 

1. SIGHT READING IS HARD. AGAIN. Reading sheet music can certainly be tricky, but it’s also a skill that is fairly easy to maintain with time and attention. If you feel your sight reading skills starting to slip, it might be time to get back into lessons and brush up before school starts!

 

2. YOUR INSTRUMENT FEELS FUNNY. As a violinist, I can often “feel” when I need to spend more time with my instrument! Most serious violinists have a small callus under their chins from holding their violins in place. When I don’t play for a few weeks, that spot disappears and holding my violin is a little…well, off! At least, it’s less comfortable.

Obviously, not every instrument will leave a mark on you, but the concept still applies: when you handle something all the time, it feels familiar. When you leave it to the side for weeks, or months, it will feel a little bit foreign.

If holding your instrument properly has started to feel funny, you need to get back into practice stat!

3. YOU CAN’T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME YOU PRACTICED. Maybe this is obvious, but it holds true. If you haven’t played in THAT long, it might be time to get some help. Getting back into summer lessons is a great way to regain your motivation; it allows you to work with a coach and fine-tune your individual needs before taking your music to a more public setting.

 

4. YOUR TECHNIQUE IS SUFFERING. Maybe you remember how to sight read, but you’re struggling to get a clear tone out of your instrument. Most of technique depends on muscle memory. If you haven’t been using the muscles, small wonder you are struggling to find that beautiful sound! Get a teacher to help you re-train. Your skills aren’t lost forever; they just need to wake up again!


 

If ANY of these signs sound like you, Learning Allegro is prepared to help you! Call us (484-341-8842) or visit our website to learn more about summer lessons. Let us help you shake off the rust! 

Watch clips from our 2019 Student Recital!

Watch clips from our 2019 Student Recital!

We are so proud of the teachers and students at Learning Allegro! Take a moment to watch them in their element at the studio’s 2019 Spring Recital.      

Meet Maanav! (Learning Allegro Student Spotlight)

Meet Maanav! (Learning Allegro Student Spotlight)

At Learning Allegro, we are PROUD of our students and their accomplishments! Take a moment to meet one of our awesome violin students, Maanav. He is in tenth grade!   HOW LONG HAVE YOU TAKEN VIOLIN LESSONS AT LEARNING ALLEGRO? I started lessons four years […]

Seven things every music student should remember

Seven things every music student should remember

If you’re a music student — or the parent of a music student — you know that there are MANY things to remember if you want to improve! Let’s take a moment to talk about a small handful of them.

Here are seven tips that every musician should remember:

 

1. MUSIC IS FUN. That seems like a funny thing to forget, but when you’re practicing a song for the 100th time, your musical studies probably won’t feel very fun. Don’t forget why you love making music! When the days get long and progress seems slow, that initial love for the craft will keep you moving forward.

 

2. DON’T SKIP THE SIMPLE STUFF. When you’ve been playing for a while, it can be tempting to gloss over the simple exercises — scales, arpeggios, open bow strokes, etc. Remember to give those simple exercises some attention when you practice, even if you feel like you’ve mastered them. Nobody ever “graduates” out of the basics. You always need them!

 

3. ASK QUESTIONS. If something doesn’t make sense in lessons — or even during your personal studies — don’t forget to ask about it! Questions will help you grow. Talk to your teacher, look things up online, or check in with a musician friend. Be a detective!

 

4. EXPERIMENT. Lessons and assignments have a purpose: to make you a better independent musician. Don’t forget to make time for exploring on your own! Make up music, try a new genre, or get involved in a new performance group.

 

5. SHARE YOUR PROGRESS WITH OTHER PEOPLE. Don’t forget to make music with other people! If your only musical experience takes place in isolation, you won’t progress as quickly. Playing in community is SO important and lots of fun!

 

6. PUSH YOURSELF. Some of the most rewarding musical experiences are also the most intimidating — things like concerts, joining an orchestra, or writing your own music. If you’re afraid of it, that can sometimes be a healthy sign that you should step out! Remember to seize the opportunities that will stretch you and help you grow.

 

7. DON’T GIVE UP. Keep up the hard work! Remember to persevere and to put real time and energy into your craft. The best musicians are the ones who learn to muscle through and give it their best!

Torn about summer lessons? Here are some of the benefits!

Torn about summer lessons? Here are some of the benefits!

It’s almost summertime — and summer means more time for growing, learning, playing, and exploring your community. Here are five great reasons to make music lessons part of your summer plans in 2019:   1. MUSIC IS FUN! Learning an instrument can be an awesome experience — […]

What to expect at your first lesson

What to expect at your first lesson

Have you ever wondered how private music lessons work? Here is a glimpse into how lessons work at Learning Allegro!   1. SHOW UP ON TIME. Most nights, the studio is full of students! Your teacher, as well as the other families, will probably be on a pretty […]

How to be Recital Ready

How to be Recital Ready

Recital season is upon us! Here are a few ways to make sure that you’re ready to go when the big day rolls around.

 

1. PICK A SONG YOU ENJOY. If you’re going to play for your family and friends (or even strangers), pick something that you love! It does not have to be the most popular, complicated, or recent song you have learned. If you can play it well and enjoy playing it, the audience will love it.

 

2. PRACTICE EFFECTIVELY. When you practice at home, spend extra time with your recital piece. In lessons, ask your teacher to help you “brush up” on the song before the end of each lesson. The more comfortable you feel with the piece, the easier it will be to battle nerves.

 

3. RELAX. Let’s be honest — recitals rarely go how the musician wants them to go! Ask your teachers! No matter how great you are at piano or violin, you will probably walk away from recital saying, “I wish I had done XYZ better.” Don’t stress about making everything perfect. Enjoy the experience and celebrate the moments that do go according to plan!

 

4. FIND THE JOY. If you look at recitals as a chore or an obligation, it will be very difficult to enjoy them. Choose instead to look at recitals as a chance to bless people, share something awesome, and set the mood! The more you can look at recitals as a chance to have fun and brighten someone’s day, the more you will be able to play onstage with confidence.

When is my child ready for private music lessons?

When is my child ready for private music lessons?

Every now and then, we’re asked how early a child can begin private music lessons. Is there one right answer?   Not exactly. As we all know, people are unique. We all learn at different paces, adjust to new situations differently, and have our own […]