Posts Tagged "Award Winning Music Teacher"
We all have fond memories of learning skills that are play based. Time flies by and we didn’t notice how many hours we spent learning how to ride a bicycle or put the basketball through the hoop. We were busy having fun.
Having fun learning music can start very young, and continue for a lifetime.
My approach to acquiring music skills, (regardless of the instrument), is based on having fun. I carefully choose songs and activities that engage the student and help to develop all the skills necessary to do something well and improve in all these other areas.
- Language Skills – singing generally, and specifically, is potentially helpful for developing the function of language including the following areas: speech, vocabulary, articulation, flow, and even literacy.
- Cognitive Functioning – developing memory, learning how to learn, mental processing, and clarity. Note that there is a lot of information available about how music can help develop the brain. While this is true, I am talking a great deal more than this: enhancing specific mental abilities as a consequence of becoming a more accomplished musician.
- Physical Functioning – singing and playing instruments require a high degree of coordination, and, at a higher level, flow. And, as music making becomes more flowing and coordinated, so too does the body usage. It is possible to use the acquisition of musical mastery, therefore, to enhance body usage.
To do this I play and sing with the student so that we are learning how to work together, and have fun. I also have at my fingertips, an enormous amount of material that I use and adapt for each student, depending on their age and interests.
The goal is to have music making become an activity that is rewarding and will last a whole lifetime.
Do you know learning to make music helps your child develop skills that are quite difficult to acquire from any other activity?
For instance, if a child starts playing a musical instrument before the age of seven their neurons are likely to show a strong connection between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. In simple words, music supports the growth and development of every part of the human brain and also contributes to greatly improved academic skills.
The real advantage is that even if music lessons don’t extend to a higher professional level, your child will have developed a love of music as well as music skills that will enrich their entire adult lives.
- From learning foreign languages to bringing back memories in Alzheimer’s patients, music improves memory and brain function.
- Before children can understand words and gestures, they learn to recognize musical notes. Subsequently, the music develops fine motor skills.
- Whether grown-up or child, music improves spatial reasoning. How? It is because visuospatial ability and music stimulate the same neurons in the brain.
- When a child takes a music lesson, they learn to process different types of complex sounds which in turn improves their listening and speaking skills.
However, the most important thing of all is that it is never too late to learn how to make music as the Sing-Play approach makes it all so easy.
This is an integrated approach to music-making that fosters personal development as well as skill acquisition. It offers us a lifetime of enjoyment and satisfaction.
Sing-Play develops the ear, so no music notation is taught in the beginning.
We learn how to hear more accurately and be able to replicate what we hear, either vocally, or on our instrument.
We learn to trust that if it doesn’t sound right we are correct, as well as how to self-correct.
Sing-Play helps us to feel how music moves in many different ways, depending on the genre. We learn to play the rhythm of the words in songs and how moving as we play helps our music-making.
Sing-Play helps us to connect to the music inside us and bring it out. As we already hear the music it becomes very easy to master the specific technical aspects that each instrument has, so we are making-music that is fluent.
Sing-Play helps develop our memory for new songs and remembering songs from many years ago.
Sing-Play is an organic process, during which we often discover limiting ideas, or memories of what other people have said to us, and teaches us how to release them so that our music-making becomes freer and nurturing.
Music touches us in profound ways, and while many of us enjoy listening to music, it is the activity of making music that has the most powerful effect on our wellbeing. The Sing-Play approach makes learning how to do this an easy and rewarding experience. We have so much music inside of us just waiting to come out.
Most adults currently living with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s will have grown up in a significantly more active musical environment. Many more people were engaged in music making, in their local communities, through participation in local orchestras, chorus, church choirs, as well as playing in dance bands. Despite having Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, they will possess a huge reservoir of music that they have heard which makes it very easy to develop.
While scientific studies continue to show us how making music has a positive effect on our brains, cognition, co-ordination and emotional well- being, it doesn’t really show us how much enjoyment we get out of making music ourselves. With Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, the sufferer is learning how to navigate a life that now includes diminishing life skills, and an increased need for help. Learning how to activate their creativity and make music themselves becomes a powerfull addition to their lives, both personally and for their families.
Back pain is a common condition managed in primary care and one of the commonest causes of disability in Western societies. Drugs and surgery are the traditional methods to deal with pain.
For over a hundred years lessons in the Alexander Technique have taught students how to activate the principles that govern human functioning. The genius of Alexander’s discoveries, is that we all can learn as adults how to recapture the ease and freedom of movement so beautifully demonstrated by young children.
Lessons in the Alexander Technique are very frequently used for Pain Management. Going beyond regular treatments for physical problems, students gain long term relief from such aliments as:
- Back and neck problems
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
It can be used to accelerate recovery from surgery or injuries caused by accidents. Alexander Technique works holistically. It not only helps alleviate physical suffering but can also help to improve overall health, both physically and psychologically.
The fact is, the mind cannot be separated from the body, so that what happens in the body affects the mind and vice versa. Even “gym rats” notice that after an intense workout they feel better not just physically, but also mentally. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, prolonged stress from work, home life or other situations can contribute to physical ailments, like high blood pressure and circulation issues, and, in severe cases, put some people at a heightened risk for heart problems.
“Lessons in the Alexander technique offer an individualized approach designed to develop lifelong skills for self-care that help people recognize, understand, and avoid poor habits affecting postural tone and neuromuscular coordination.”
−British Medical Journal
This is an approach that has evolved over many years of teaching. I am always trying to improve how I teach and have tried many things. The obvious issue starts with music notation. Those fixed black things on a page that the jazz musicians call the dots, to try and demystify them.
The most basic impulse that we all have is to sing, this is totally different from having a trained voice. If you were given a baby or young child to hold who was crying you would naturally try to bring comfort to the child by singing to it, and rocking it from side to side. You would not be concerned about getting the words right, or being in tune, your concern would be to sooth the child.
Sing-Play is an approach to music learning that develops the ear over the eye, so that the individual immediately can start converting what they hear into the instrument that they are learning ie a digital pattern. This starts from the simple songs that they learnt at kindergarten, to more complex songs, as they master the technical aspects of the specific instrument that they want to play.
My students are often surprised at how many songs they know, or instrumental fragments, (depending on what sort of music they listen to) and are thrilled to be able to Sing-Play.
I get all my students to sing while they play. They notice immediately that if they Sing-Play, their level of digital accuracy immediately improves. So if it is a song they want to play they will learn the words of the song. They will be also able to play the rhythm of the words on their instruments. This gives them the experience of making music from a deep instinctual part of themselves, as they are free from the tyranny of music notation, right notes, right rhythm, correct pitch and all the other rules and regulations. Learning to play all your favorite songs on your instrument means that you always want to play it because you are making music.