Helpful tips and funny thoughts from a musician's mind

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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 […]

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 ago.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG YOU’VE EVER LEARNED TO PLAY?

Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Minor, Op. 12, No. 1.

 

WHO IS YOUR TEACHER?

Miss Wendy.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR TEACHER?

She makes the lessons fun and also teaches very well.  She is firm when she needs to be, but she is also funny and makes me feel I have a friend who I can talk to, even when it’s not about music.  She makes me laugh, and I look forward to our weekly classes.

 

WHY DO YOU ENJOY MUSIC LESSONS?

Music makes me happy. I also have found it to be a wonderful stress reliever.

 

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE IN THE FUTURE?

A veterinarian.

 

CAN YOU SHARE AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF?

I love Skiing, I love dogs, and I sing South Indian Classical music.

 


Thanks for being part of the Learning Allegro family, Maanav. We are proud of you!

 

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 […]

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 tight schedule. To maximize your lesson time, show up a few minutes early and be ready to go.

 

2. YOUR TEACHER WON’T BE SCARY. First off, we don’t hire mean people. Secondly, teachers are there to help you grow! It’s okay if you don’t even know how to properly hold your instrument. Your teacher will be a friendly, encouraging person who is excited to help you reach your goals. Don’t be afraid of that first lesson!

 

3. WE MIGHT ASK QUESTIONS. Your teacher might start by asking a few questions about your musical background. Again, this isn’t to scare you! They’re just trying to gauge what you know, where your interests lie, and what will make lessons most effective for you.

 

4. THINGS WILL GO AT YOUR PACE. The beauty of private lessons is that you don’t have to match the speed of a classroom. Your teacher can take as much time on a concept as you need. Take your time and enjoy each lesson! Becoming a musician is not a competition — it’s an art. Go at your own pace!

 

5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP. If your teacher’s not making sense, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Everyone learns differently. An explanation that works for Student A won’t always work for Student B. A good teacher will work with you to put each lesson in a format that you understand.

 

6. MAKE IT PERSONAL. Do you love soundtracks? Are you a Celtic music nerd? Want to play some hard rock? Bring your ideas to your private lessons! In many cases, your teacher can help you design a curriculum that caters to your specific musical passions and goals. Remember: private lessons are to make you the musician that you want to be. The more specific you get, the easier it will be to find your groove!

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 […]

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 […]

Why isn’t my child improving? (The solution isn’t always practice!)

Why isn’t my child improving? (The solution isn’t always practice!)

Guest post from former Learning Allegro instructor Haleigh Swansen 

 

When I was at Learning Allegro, my favorite lessons to teach were to brand new violin students — the people (young and not-so-young) who had no idea how to hold a bow or name the strings. Before those lessons, I would always give the same speech:

 

“Violin takes a while to sound good. Don’t get frustrated if things don’t click right away.

 

That speech is probably important for beginners on every instrument to hear. Musicianship is a marathon! It takes time, patience, discipline, and faith in what the sound will become over the years.

 

Eventually, though, those beginner violin students would get a different kind of pep talk:

 

“Watch your pitch! Other finger! You’re still having trouble with that measure.” 

 

Why the change? Simple: those students were progressing in their studies. The basics were becoming more natural to them. Once a students finds his footing and gets comfortable on an instrument, it’s time to turn up the pressure a little bit!

 

The pep talk game is interesting. On one hand, there should always be grace for learners! Teachers should help students enjoy their craft, and the classroom should never be a place to fear. As one of my friends always says, “Lessons should be the safest place to fail.”

 

However, classrooms should also be places where people are challenged. When encouragement is not paired with honest criticism and hard work, you can’t grow! 

 

Personally, I have seen very talented musicians “fizzle out” and plateau because they weren’t encouraged to take their craft seriously. Again, music should be fun and exciting, but it should never be fun at the expense of effort and focus.

 

From time to time, people ask us, “Why isn’t my child getting better at violin/piano/drums/etc?” Sometimes, the answer is lack of practice. Sometimes, the child lacks confidence and just needs to be built up a little more. But sometimes — many times — the answer is that in the name of having fun, the child is forgetting to take the learning process seriously.

 

If that’s happening, one of the best people to combat that issue is you, the parent!

 

Mom and Dad play a huge role in the pep talk game. You need to be your child’s biggest cheerleader, but also a coach — someone who will cheer for their successes, keep the game fun, but also keep their eyes on the prize. As your child practices, attends lessons, and dives deeper into studying music, help them to push towards real growth. Learning does not always have to be boring, and fun should not be purposeless. Help your young musician to find the fun in learning while embracing the challenge of hard work. 

 

After all, the best way to run a marathon is with a buddy — someone who believes in you and won’t let you give up.

Five Great Practice Tips for Musicians!

Five Great Practice Tips for Musicians!

Is your practice routine getting stale? Ineffective? Does it even exist? Let’s face it — your not alone. “Practice blues” are part of the journey! When working on your instrument gets boring or fails to yield results, you might just need to rethink your routine. […]