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. […]
Miss Haleigh shares her Learning Allegro journey with us in this last blog post of 2018. The last week of December is an interesting paradox. Within the span of a week, we go from celebrating the past to cheering on the future. Christmas is all about […]
Learning Allegro has been blogging for a whole year! Here’s what happened since last October.
Since the Learning Allegro blog has now been active for a full year (woohoo!), we’d like to take a minute to look back on everything that has transpired since last October.
1. WE STARTED A BLOG. Let’s go with the obvious first. Blogging lets us connect with our families and friends beyond the studio. It’s also like a real-time scrapbook, in some ways! We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our venture into the blogosphere this year, and we plan to keep on flooding your feed with great musical content.
2. NEW STUDENTS. We’ve seen our student population grow–and with that growth, we’ve seen a great new diversity in the types of instruments and musical styles being taught in our building. Thank you for helping us make Learning Allegro a bigger family!
3. NEW TEACHERS. Where would we be without them? In the last twelve months, we brought new guitar, voice, piano, woodwind, and drum teachers on staff. Each one brings something special to the studio and clearly loves what they do. We’re so blessed to have awesome teachers under our roof!
4. GROUP CLASSES. We started a group strings class this year, which has been great (shout out to Miss Amanda!). We’ve also seen group guitar and rock band classes take center stage.
5. ART! The people have spoken: art at Learning Allegro is a huge hit! Budding artists of all ages have composed their own creative works under the skilled eye of Miss Sarah. Our walls are getting full of paintings, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
6. OUR LIVE MUSIC BUSINESS TOOK OFF. This year, we started a live music group for special events. We never dreamed it would take off so quickly–but WOW, were we busy! Allegro Music played for a small army of events, including weddings, memorial services and corporate dinners. We also became the preferred musicians for several venues in the PA and New Jersey region. (Thank you!)
7. WE VOLUNTEERED. We played at local festivals, farmers markets, in pits for community theatres, and volunteered at a local elementary school’s talent show. We love doing our part to make the community more musical and cohesive.
8. WE HAD TWO GREAT RECITALS. See videos at the bottom of this post!
9. WE DISCOVERED THAT MUSIC IS AWESOME. Okay, this one is a freebie…but seriously. This is a discovery that we make every day at the studio. Every time a student aces that “impossible” song, or one of our teachers creates something awesome, we realize how blessed we are to be on this crazy ride as a music school.
2017-18 was a year of real growth for Learning Allegro, and we can’t wait to keep growing right alongside the rest of the Chester County region. Thanks for being part of our family!
To learn more about Learning Allegro, visit our website.
At Learning Allegro, we never pass up an opportunity to take great music into the Greater Chester County area — or even beyond! Just this year, students and teachers from Learning Allegro have… Volunteered at the West Vincent Elementary Talent Show Partnered with local school […]
As your son or daughter heads back to school band, orchestra, or choir, here are a few tips to help pave the way for success!
1. PRACTICE AT HOME. The best way to prep for the work you do in class is…you guessed it…practicing on your own time! Encourage your child to take a little break from homework to spend time with his or her music assignments. We recommend framing practice time as a BREAK from homework, not an additional component of homework. It helps to give your child a more positive perspective on his or her practice times.
2. CHECK ON YOUR RENTAL SITUATION. If you don’t already own your child’s instrument, renting is the best way to go. Most instrument rental programs use a rent-to-own system to cover each month’s expenses — and then, when your child is ready for a full-time instrument, you can often purchase it for next to nothing! At Learning Allegro, we are providers for Menchey Music, an affordable, quality service offering rentals for all school band and orchestra instruments from strings to brass & woodwinds.
3. MAKE FRIENDS IN MUSIC CLASS. Your kid will probably do this on his or her own, but a little encouragement can’t hurt! Music classes at school are a great way to make music a community-building activity…and when you make friends with other musicians, you find out you’re not the only one who struggles with difficult notes and rhythms. Encourage your child to find that sense of camaraderie in class and encourage his or her peers.
4. CHECK OUT PRIVATE LESSONS. As we said in our last post, group lessons have a lot of great qualities, but they will never really be enough on their own. One-on-one help is a huge deal when you’re learning a new instrument because everyone’s motor skills, reading skills, and innate sense of rhythm and tone develops at a different pace. Give your child a boost and sign him or her up for a private music lesson outside of school. You won’t regret it!
5. BRING ON THE ENCOURAGEMENT! Music lessons, whether in a group or in private, can be tough! Encourage your child not to quit or get stressed when the midyear school blues kick in. Remind them that music is an outlet for energy, emotion, relaxation, and learning initiative. Applaud their progress when you notice positive change, and encourage them when they are frustrated with how things sound. You, the parent, play a huge part in making your child’s school music lessons successful!
To learn more about lesson opportunities for all instruments at Learning Allegro, call us (484-341-8842) or check out our website.
I SHOULD PREFACE THIS POST WITH A LITTLE NOTE. Yes, I’m in the music education business. No, I’m not writing this to guilt-trip you into keeping an unhappy child in lessons! There are certainly times to take a child out of music lessons, just like […]
This week, Miss Haleigh shares a little bit about the important role music plays in live theatre. This spring, a number of the Learning Allegro teachers, myself included, have been playing in the pit for local theatres. If you’re not familiar, “playing in […]
It’s no big surprise that most kids love music, but hate practicing. We often sell practice negatively, whether we mean to or not. We paint it as work (which is true), but fail to emphasize the room for discovery, improvement and fun within that work.
Like any good habit, practicing won’t be fun or convenient every single time your child picks up his or her instrument. However, with the right attitude, it can be not only enjoyable, but a creative outlet, a stress reliever and a channel for personal growth!
Here are a few quick ideas to help your young musician stay on task.
1. SCHEDULE PRACTICE TIME ON YOUR FAMILY CALENDAR. We understand how busy a week can get, but don’t let practicing fall through the cracks! Writing something on the calendar reinforces the importance of practicing to your child. It will also remind you, the parent, to check in and keep your child accountable!
2. BUILD UP TO LONGER PRACTICE TIMES. Is your child a wiggle worm? Start by having them practice in small increments and build up the time as they become more self-motivated. Even ten minutes a day can make a big difference! As your child can handle more time, add five minutes to the clock. Can you build up to twenty minutes a day? Thirty?
3. ENCOURAGE THEM TO EXPLORE — AFTER THE WORK IS DONE. If your child is playing the same two or three songs in lessons, he or she might be getting bored. Help your child find something fun to learn on his or her own–maybe a pop song or a clip from a movie soundtrack. After they’ve practiced their assigned songs, let them play around with the “fun music.” You can even encourage them to make up their own tunes! A bit of creativity can make practicing more fun–and your child will be refining his or her technique along the way.
4. HANDLE “BURNOUT” CREATIVELY. Everybody’s brain checks out eventually. Would a healthy snack help your child focus? What about stretching beforehand? If your child has had a long day, maybe he or she needs a “wiggle break” in the middle of practice time. One of my students practices 20 minutes per day–ten when she gets home from school and ten after dinner. Her parents have found that when they split up her practice session, she spends more time focused on the music and less time watching the clock.
5. FRAME PRACTICE AS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A CHORE. Instead of “You have to practice more,” try saying, “You get to take a break from homework and play some music!” If you frame practicing as a break, reward, or enjoyable task instead of one more thing on the laundry list, your child may be more enthusiastic about that thirty-minute window.
6. BE A CHEERLEADER. Total disclosure–even music teachers get tired of hearing the same song 75 times a day. It can be easy to “check out” while your child is playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in her room for the seventh day in a row. But don’t! Instead, find honest ways to praise your child– “The song is much smoother now!” or “I like that melody!” A little bit of praise goes a long way!
7. TALK TO YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER. If you’re really struggling to “find a groove” for practicing at home, reach out to your child’s school instructor or private lessons instructor. Most teachers interact with dozens of students per week–including kids who don’t practice much. Ask those teachers for advice! I guarantee they can help.
At Learning Allegro, we encourage students to love music in every situation, including school bands, private lessons, and independent study. For more information about toddler music classes, private instrument lessons and art sessions at Learning Allegro, visit our website.
“Confessions of a Former Bad Student” is a series by Miss Haleigh — Learning Allegro teacher, orchestra violinist, and former bad student. I never celebrated Halloween growing up. I went trick-or-treating exactly twice in my life: once when I was two (my parents, kind souls, […]