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BAD HABITS BECOME VERY EASY

BAD HABITS BECOME VERY EASY

Bad habits are very difficult to break. They creep in effortlessly, slowly, little by little until one day ‘BANG’, and we suddenly become aware of our bad habits fruition and the awareness of the harsh reality of how difficult it will now be to fix and re-train, re-think, re-form, re-practice. Everything done up to this horrid event has contributed to the bad habits existence, which has now become a very
disappointed result.

Proper technique and practice right from the beginning is extremely important and often over looked. It is a poor attitude of teachers who thinks ‘It doesn’t matter, they are just a beginner’, as this is the most important time and plants the seeds of possible future greatness.

As a music teacher, little mistakes and small habits are of major concern. The left hand fingers a bit flat, the bow elbow a little low or the violin not level will become major hindrances in the not too distant future. Small errors must be fixed NOW before they become ingrained habits that are almost impossible to break.

Correct practice is very important, practicing small errors everyday for a few minutes will eventually become disastrous. If I sit at home recite ‘one plus one equals three, one plus one equals three, one plus one equals three’, when asked ‘What is one plus one?’, I will most likely reply ‘three’, and this would be very wrong. This is exactly what bad practice habits create.

We are all fundamentally what we do, think and say each day. So don’t let anything become a bad habit, pay attention to detail and be aware of what you are doing. Don’t let music become a mistake for life. Music is wonderful, music
is a gift for life.

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HOW MUCH PRACTICE IS ENOUGH ?

HOW MUCH PRACTICE IS ENOUGH ?

 ‘Practice’ – such an overused, misunderstood, over estimated and under estimated word. Practice can make or break a potential musical candidate. It can raise them up to the pinnacle of their craft or leave them sinking into a pit of mundane, inadequate despair. Many people talk about quality versus quantity because when it comes to practice, this concept is crucial. Muscle memory, which is the fine motor skill required for the use of a musical instrument is best developed through repetition. These are the same skills we use when we navigate through our home safely in darkness and locate light switches with ease. This skill has been developed unconsciously through repetition and visualization. When we have to locate the exact same place with impeccable accuracy on a musical instrument, we use the same methods as we use when navigating our homes in darkness, however, this is where practice comes into play. The idea of practice is to carefully, conscientiously and accurately perform a movement or series of movements repeatedly until they enter the subconscious aspects of the brain, much like riding a bike. How much practice? I am asked this question a lot by parents and students. The amount of practice that is necessary depends entirely on the student’s age, school commitments, current level of AMEB, their goals and the projected times of achieving their goals. Generally, 30 minutes three times per week is quite adequate for beginners to work up to, and for maintenance and improvement in most students until approximately AMEB Grade 3-4 standard. After this the students should be already approaching 1 hour 3-4 times per week. Practice should NEVER be physically painful, discomfort in the beginning is usual, but NEVER painful. If the student is experiencing any pain, stop immediately and consult an experienced and qualified educator. Quality practice with conscientious attention to details and methodical controlled movements will always win over many hours of practice with mess. Messy unhinged, haphazard practice leads to learning bad habits and a very unnecessarily prolonged musical journey. Enjoy your practice and reap the rewards of learning to share beautiful quality music with others and the joy of improving yourself.

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WHY MUSIC ?

WHY MUSIC?

Organized sound has existed since the birth and development of the very first Humans. Banging Rocks in time, chanting, singing, drums, constantly, evolving from these humble beginnings to the electric piano, synthesizer and all the marimbas, vocalizations, viols, plucked strings, flutes, wind instruments and keyboards that have been created in-between. Music has an intrinsic ability to affect us mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically, what a wonderful gift the ability to play music is, it’s a gift for life, and the benefits of musical education are infinite, reaching to the very core of student’s brain function, co-ordination, habits and personal development.  Adequate, qualified, professional teachers are crucial to building the correct neural pathways which connect physical, aural and mental functions in which a young child is able to make connections to sounds, actions and fine motor skills. Scientific research has shown that music training accelerates maturity in areas of the brain that are responsible for sound processing, language development, speech perception and reading skills. Children who have received music training showed differences in the thickness of the auditory area in the right versus the left hemispheres of the brain, a sign that music training impacts brain structure. In addition, children leaning to play and read music showed a stronger robustness of the white brain matter, a sign of stronger connectivity in the corpus callosum, an area of the brain that allows communication between the two hemispheres of the brain. Young musicians demonstrate a greater engagement of a brain network that is involved in executive function and decision making.  Basically, if you want your child to be better, get them music lessons from a reliable educator. All instruments are good, some have more benefits than others such as violin, piano, cello and guitar, but all music instruments have wonderful boundless benefits.