We're giving away a great guitar resource today! Use this chart to quickly figure out how to capo your guitar to match any key! Great for new guitarists, guitarists with great licks in a certain key, and any guitarist who owns a capo! If you'd like a printable version to throw in your case, fill out the form below!
How Music Boosts Brain Power
When we saw this, we had to share it with all of you! Music engages your brain in ways that no other activity does, especially when you play. Music: fireworks for your mind!
There's a reason they call it playing music and not working– music. Music is Art, and young musicians need to be invited and woo'd into an enjoyable relationship with their musical instruments.
A quick way to fail is to take up the strategy of griping at your children when they don't practice for an arbitrary amount of time that you deem appropriate. If you truly want to do something to grow the artistic soul of your child, here's a fun idea.
Remember that when kids learn music they're playing around with their sense of identity. They need to go from "I want to play the guitar!" to "I'm learning to play the guitar." to "I play the guitar" and finally "I AM a guitar player!" It's a slow shifting of personal identity, not a trophy of accomplishment on their wall. Let's give them a leg up by setting up a fun space for them to practice and perform to they feel like they're already there.
Like everything in your home, music needs an area in which it happens. The place to keep things so they're out of the way, but accessible when you need them. Here are some ways that others have done it.
Here the key elements of creating and inviting environment for your child.
1. Instruments are visually open like they're saying "come play me". Amplifiers, Drumsticks, any stands to hold instruments, And more should be present but not in the way.
2. Something to listen to music on. A radio, A mobile device, A stereo. Something where they can listen to and enjoy the music of other people, And it's handy for them to play along and copy when they're ready anytime.
3. Around the instrument are things that highlight the person using the instrument. He's to be posters of favorite bands, a small bit of flooring that looks like a stage in the corner, or perhaps a barstool or a special seat that looks like they're performing available.
4. Over-the-top. A little sense of extravagance now. A microphone on the stand, even if it's not a real microphone is a prop to make them feel like they're on stage. A cheap microphone and karaoke system can be a fun alternative to make a full working microphone. Perhaps a couple stage lights?! If you have track lighting a couple colored bulbs pointed in this practice area would do wonders. A little accent lighting that you could add to set the mood. I personally prefer A bit of a bluish tent to my artistic spaces when I play.
You can do it with a corner of a room, or a whole music room if you have the space. This does not have to be expensive. A little different colored-paint in the corner of a room. An old piece of paneling and wood floor tiles.. get creative with what you have. Knowing your child and including them is important here too. Let them help you create this space. Be directive enough to let them know what you can and are willing to do with their space. Keep the instrument(s) accessible so that nothing gets in the way of them playing at a moments notice.
With a very inviting space sitting there waiting for them, you can find a tangible way to encourage your young music students without falling into the "go practice!" Trap that so many parents have fallen for and ultimately killed a child's love of music with the guilt and shame that results.
Now go rock that room! Share your ideas and results in the comments!
Many parents TRY to manage the development of a young musician like the bottom line of a business. But as a parent you will fail them, and you end up with nothing. After 24 years of teaching music... trust me.
A musician, and any artist, is like a garden. They need the structure and elements to grow. Then then need time. And I don't mean "Get to your room and play your instrument for an-arbitrary-number-of-hours" time.
But rather the freedom to pick up their instrument over and over again. To find their place with it. To learn that it's not homework. To learn that it's not something to feel shame over if they didn't pick it up yesterday. To playfully experiment and find their sense of artistry and style. To musically answer the questions of "Who am I?", "How do I like my playing to sound?" and "What do I have to express to the world?" To find out answers for questions like "Who will I share my journey of self expression with?" and "Are there other experiences I want to add to my music?"
Meanwhile, young musicians will face mental challenges we all face, just in different ways. "What if I make mistakes?" What if I'm not talented or special?", "What if I fail?", "Will anyone like my music?", "Will I have the courage to share it at all?".
Once again: A musician, and any artist, is like a garden. They need the structure and elements to grow. Then then need time. And I don't mean "Get to your room and play your instrument for an-arbitrary-number-of-hours" time. But an opportunity to work out their growth OVER TIME. All this without the threat of being uprooted if someone thought that their growth would look different than it does.
Have you experienced being uprooted while learning? Have you struggled with the "Go practice" or bottom-line mentality? Share your comments!
Reason #117 for your Summer
What do you have planned for this summer? Let us know in the comments!
Student Stories: Josiah
"You need to try it..." - Josiah Vik went from a 6th grader who didn't like to practice piano to a High School senior who plays a variety of instruments, has played abroad, opened for national acts, produces his own music, and is now headed to college for music. In this video, he shares his journey of the last 6 years. SHARE THIS WITH A FRIEND WHO MAY NEED A FRIENDLY NUDGE.
What sort of things have you tried and found you liked? Let us know in the comments!
As creative beings by nature, we can become numbed into a pattern of existing from day-to-day rather than living. We exist, fulfill obligations, we survive.
We long for more to life every day, while denying it to ourselves in the moment. But I want to tell you that we don't do the world any favors by denying our expression and creativity. Instead we rob the world of our most precious gifts given to us to share for the benefit of all.
Are you caught in a pattern of busyness, and denying yourself the unique expressions that you are in this world to make? Do you even think you have a creative side? Join us for our journey in the songwriting and band writing classes. We will be working at unblocking those things that keep us from getting started, finding our flow, and bringing forth our best creative works together. It's creative work... but it's truly creative play and everyone can join in. No experience required. Join us and leave a comment below about what might keep you blocked or help you get unblocked creatively.
Robin Plays Backwards!
Creativity: No Excuses
CREATIVITY is the garden that is all too often left untended. We put off until tomorrow those unique God-given expressions of ourself. We call it busy, we call it duty, but laziness and fear are usually the culprits hiding behind the excuses.
What unique way can you express your God-given creativity today?
Take a small step:
1. IDEAS ARE IMPORTANT. Capture an idea, write it down, record it, sketch it, email it to yourself, leave it on your own voicemail. Create a system for where you regularly collect your wonderful, but ill-timed ideas when they happen. It usually takes less than 1 minute to catch one.
2. GIVE YOUR IDEAS A HOME. A place where you sort them, reorganize them and process them when you have time. Nurture them like a garden, giving them time to reach a full expression.
3. SHARE THEM. Your creativity is a gift that is given to you for others. It is neither humble nor kind to hide your expressions away from the world benefiting from them.
When you start treating your ideas with care, you'll find you have more of them, and better ones too. In the Bible, this parable about 3 men being given responsibility charges us to use what we've been given, and challenge us to not let fear and laziness be our excuses. You can read it in the bible at Matthew 25:14-30.
Please excuse me now, I have an important call to make (to my own voicemail).
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.