Building community through music

I held a Holiday Party/Music Salon and Sing-along today for my students of Park Slope Music Lessons.  It was a great festive event that allowed for some of my students to perform for each other and get over their stage fright in an venue other than the recitals.

One of my student’s hosted in their lovely beautiful townhouse and we all brought treats and drinks to share.  What was really nice is that so many times, as a private music student, you don’t get to meet the other students and families in this community except for at the recitals.  By having this salon, we demonstrated how music can be a social and fun way of community, friendship and sharing.

Some of the kids bonded instantly!

I wanted to share here as well as you can see all of the kids who performed from 4 to 9 years old all learned via the Musicolor Method™ and many are well into reading traditional notation.

What Exactly Is The Musicolor Method™?

Structure is one of the 7 points in the Musicolor Method™ framework for teaching

Thanks so much for responding with your questions, comments and feedback.  I’ve heard from a lot of you and realized there are still many questions on what is the Musicolor Method™ course.

So let me quickly clarify.

A Step By Step Process

The method is a 7-point framework, a process that you can use to evaluate your teaching no matter how experienced you are.

It’s suitable for veteran teachers and newbies alike.

Think of it like a process blueprint or checklist that you can use to filter all your teaching ideas, repertoire choices, and actiivities through.  It also gives you a simple way to communicate to your students and clients as to the choices you are making in your lessons and the reasons behind them.

Goals, Plans? Who needs it? I’ll Just Wing It

Could this be your best year ever?

Or “I’ll Just Wing It,” and other famous last words…

“What’s the plan?”

These are three simple words that can guide you in your life and in your profession.  As a teacher, you need to have a plan.  This plan should be  scalable with multiple time-lengths.  Now that we’re close to the end of the year, many people are starting to think of their goals for the coming year.  

The problem most people have with goal setting is that they greatly over-estimate what they can achieve in a year (or longer) and greatly UNDER-ESTIMATE how much they can achieve in a week.  For daily goals, it seems that we also over-estimate what is achievable.

Having no plan means that you are rudderless,

The Power of Personalizing Songs For Young Students

In a lesson this morning, I was showing 4 year old B to play a simple song, a variation on Brother John.  She loved it especially because I realized she didn’t have any brothers, but we could substitute her sister’s name in the song.  So what was Brother John became Sister Iris!  She was jumping up and down with joy and couldn’t wait to sing it for her mom and sister.  Such a simple way to create engagement and joy!

Whenever possible, I try to connect the material to the student with these kinds of personalizations.  Why does it have to be Mary Had A Little Lamb?  Why not Ashley? Or Rebecca?  Of course you will have to add in another note, but, how great to have an instant bond with your student.

Music for the mind

Mathematics is music for the mind; music is mathematics for the soul.

Mathematics is music for the mind; music is mathematics for the soul.

There’s a connection between math and music.  It has been discovered that Bach composed many of his masterpieces according to mathematical patterns.  The 12 tone row used in contemporary classical music is basically an algorithm.

Leonardo Fibonacci discovered a sequence of numbers that has been shown to be the underlying pattern of the Universe, in everything from flower petals to seashells to the galaxies themselves.   They have been used in everything from analyzing art to music to the stock market.

And of course, as a music teacher, you have to explain a lot about the distances between notes as intervals as in 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, etc.