How to make music practice effective – it can change your life

For Music Teachers and Parents, the Game of Practice is a guide with advice and 53 specific tips to make practicing a musical instrument fun.

Men Wearing Makeup Playing Loud Guitars

When I was 12, I discovered something so fantastic, larger-than-life, and electrifying!

It was the rock band KISS.

It was colorful, loud, and crazy. But maybe even more, my parents hated it! All of a sudden, everything else faded away and I wanted to be one of these super-hero-like rock stars, slinging a guitar down at my knees with long hair blowing in the wind.

But I was an awkward, geeky, and lonely kid with thick glasses. And it was too late, wasn’t it? Didn’t anyone who became famous start when they were four years old?

So, I just consumed the music, learning the history of rock from the library books,

10 Secrets How To Make Simplified Sheet Music For Kids

10 Ways to Simplify Sheet Music to Teach Kids

Part 3 of 3 on Finding Music For Teaching Kids

See Part 1: The Top 11 Sites for Public Domain Free Sheet Music

See Part 2: Where To Find Easy Sheet Music Arrangements

I have always felt comfortable rearranging sheet music and stripping out elements that are not completely necessary to get the song across. As a composer/arranger, I have a comfort level that not every music teacher has, but I want to show you that it is not as hard as you think.

Guidelines

You can use these to simplify any piece of music. Whether you are writing out the notation by hand or using a software package, the same rules will apply. These guidelines are from my point of view in teaching children.

Where To Find Easy Sheet Music Arrangements

Where to Find Easy Sheet Music Arrangements

Part 2 of 3 In A Series on Finding Sheet Music For Students

Part 1 – Top 11 Sites For Public Domain Free Sheet Music

“Can’t we play this song by Taylor Swift?”
“Well that’s a bit too hard right now.”
“But I LOVE her!”

Song Requests

I get requests for pop songs, Broadway shows, cartoon themes, film scores, and video game music almost on a weekly basis. Whatever is “hot,” I will surely hear about in a matter of weeks. I find out about a lot of new music through my students these days.

How to Handle Requests Like These?

I always honor song requests. It may be a huge reason why I retain most of  my students 4,

The Top 11 Sites for Public Domain Free Sheet Music

Public Domain Free Sheet Music

Part 1 of 3 in a Series on Finding Sheet Music for Students

Part 2 – Where To Find Easy Sheet Music Arrangements

As a music teacher, it sometimes feels like an endless struggle to find sheet music for your voracious roster of students! Obviously there are commercial online stores as well as the library, but there’s also an entire history of free written music available online. I’m talking about public domain music.

Public Domain Music

This is music where the copyright has expired. Bach? Beethoven? Mozart? These are all hundreds of years old and you can definitely find everything written by these composers online for free.

Modern Editions of Public Domain Music

You can find very nice editions of Bach’s inventions or Beethoven piano sonatas in every music store that are not copyright free as the publishers have added value by making editorial decisions to the work.

What is the best mindset for music educators?

What are the current mindsets in music education?

 What is the best mindset for music educators?

True or False: There is usually only one right way to do something.

Try to answer that quickly and without much thought. Which are you? I’ll get to why in a second.

I just returned from my fourth trip to Colombia, South America, where my wife has a very large and loving family – what a beautiful, magical country! It was a nice break and it gave me a lot of time for reflection, meditation, and reading. It gave me the mental space to get curious again about things I had forgotten about. One of these things was how I’ve noticed the shifting attitudes on music education.

In the USA,