Articles, Reflections

It Takes a Village…

My post today is in response to this article blogged on Today’s Reva Seth writes about her experience embarking on home school for her son, much of what she mentions is valuable to reflect upon as parents. It speaks about an “Education Tribe” or “Parent-Led Team.” You can read her full blog here.

We have all heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child,” but if you’re anything like me, you’re wondering where that village exists in this day and age? Who are the villagers, and what are their roles?

I can speak directly about music class and the MYC experience being a part of that village.    You are probably sending your child to music classes because you want them to learn about music or learn to play an instrument. Perhaps you don’t know too much about music, or you do know a lot about it, but you feel that another adult will get better results out of your child. At any rate, your music class, and my studio community, has many citizens in this village. There are your classmates (parents and children) and there’s me, your teacher, and there are many other children taking MYC in the city. We see them when we attend events such as the Rhythm Festival.

But you can build your network beyond this: perhaps grandma or an uncle plays an instrument? Maybe your child’s teacher at school has shared music instruction with them? Maybe there is a school church choir your child can join? There may be an upcoming talent show your child can audition for.

At any rate, I hope that I can be a helpful member of your “Education Tribe” and a suitable leader for the Music Village your child attends weekly.

Who is part of your child’s village? What leaders are in place to guide them, and in which subjects? Sound off in the comments below.



Practice Tips, Resources, Uncategorized

Your practice Space

Okay folks, now you have your first assignment– a bonus one, yes, I know- but even if the page isn’t fully checked off come the first week of September, you really ought to get back to the bench (or book) and start practicing. Athletes don’t run the big race without warmups and test runs.

Getting started early...

I will use this blog PLENTY to describe practice tips, but just as important as that is the space you’ll be working in. So what should your practice space include?

  • Pencil – write on the score, write in your notebook/diary, write down questions for your teacher etc….
  • Notebook– This can be used in a variety of ways. A lesson agenda details what you will do in between each lesson (one week). What will you do TODAY? How will you know when that’s ready? What do I need to do to be ready for next class? You can also write down questions for me. Another section could be for breakthroughs and can ready as diary entries: “Today I NAILED the staccatos in Sur Le Pont” or “I can read/play the RH of Bow Wow Wow without starting and stopping.”
  • Homework Sheet- These are your practice instructions. But don’t stop there. Put them into your own words, or scribble your own notes onto this sheet. Always keep track of your daily practice on the keyboard/days of the week (or chart for Moonbeams 3).
  • Coloured Highlighters– For information at a glance. Orange for dynamics, blue for phrasing, yellow for note reading accuracy- it’s up to you!
  • Photocopies- Best to colour and write all over a copy– not your original score. This is not copyright infringement, it’s a study tool. You aren’t distributing these copies or performing them in public.
  • Playing Cards/Dice- name 2-Ace (or the suits) for scales, practice elements (adding dynamics, fixing the phrases, speeding up tempo etc..), bar numbers- just about anything! This can really shake up a BORING practice routine.
  • Recording/Listening equipment- Record yourself or listen to a performance of the song you are working on. Review your previous recordings and track your improvements or find your weak spots. I can record you in studio, just ask.
  • Family Members- Well, not always. Although sometimes it’s good to perform for a test audience.

Like what you see in this post? I am very much “into” this book, Practiceopedia, right now. There are so many ideas for music study, I’ll never get to them all. Oh, and you’re welcome to borrow, but chances are, you’ll end up wanting your own copy 🙂