I'm a mom who needs a lot of coffee and the occasional glass of wine. Life is just crazy busy; I work, driving kids to school, homework, family, and extra-curricular activities, and we are going non-stop. I've been doing a lot of thinking on this topic and an idea came to me when I was talking with a mom at the studio. My brain started really thinking when another mom and I were talking about lessons and life: we need to have a mom get together for our studio mommas!
Now, why would I think about this when we are all already crazy busy? Well, many of you know that my daughter dances, so I started thinking of my new thought in this way: I have no idea about dance. We literally just pay for her to go, we see recitals, and we do what we are told. But, what does the future look like for her? How much time will it take? How does she balance all of the rest of her life (school and being well-rounded) and still dance? I have so many more questions, and very little answers except to just keep doing what we are doing and figure it out as it comes. If there was an opportunity to get together with other dance moms to get some of these answers, would I want to do it? Of course! When I run into other parents while at the dance studio, that's what we talk about! So, why not give us a reason to get together and figure some of these questions out (with a little guidance)?
So, here's what I'm thinking- why not have a couple of different times when we moms can get together to discuss being a music parent (for newbies and those who have been around for a while)? Topics could include, but are not limited to
These are just a small handful of ideas I have come up with! I think what's neat is that I have a unique understanding of parenting (with 2 kids of my own who are 14 1/2 and almost 12 years) and experience to help. However, I am far from having all of the answers! I think that coming together to exchange ideas only helps each of us and will give you the guidance you are wanting. On the plus side, you will get to know other moms and make "music mom" friendships! That's worth a little night out, right?
So, look for an invitation in January from me. If you have ideas, send them to me! If you know me, you know I'm always wanting to help and improve. Start your list now and be on the lookout!
Our helpful hints for music memory
Recital and festival season is upon us, and our students have been preparing their selected pieces for the past few weeks! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned performer, memorizing a piece is something we all have to do to be performance ready. There are a lot of different approaches to memorization, so we have tips from a few of our teachers!
Memorize WHILE you learn the piece not AFTER you learn the piece.
Four types of memory (you should have ALL of them):
1) aural - can you sing it?
2) physical - can you play with your eyes closed? Do you have articulation marks and dynamic marks memorized?
3) visual - can you find where your hands should be on the keyboard? Can you see the music in your mind?
4) conceptual - do you know the theory behind all the notes? Do you have a story or narrative to tell?
Use post-it notes to cover each measure of the piece that is memorized. Soon, the whole piece will be covered!
Memorize as you learn, starting with small chunks (maybe a couple of measures or one phrase). Being able to hear it in your mind or sing it out loud is important! Once you can do this, try playing one hand and singing/hearing the other part simultaneously, then switch. Make sure you know where your articulation and dynamic marks are before practicing without the music, as it’s much harder in my opinion to go back and add them in.
Memorize small sections of your piece one at a time. Sometimes it’s even fun to mix up the sections and not go in order! Do one section each day and plan out which sections you will memorize each day you sit down to practice. This gives you a goal to work towards and a plan to make it happen! Another fun thing to try is to put the music behind you, maybe on a chair, and when you get stuck, turn around, look at it, and then get right back on the piano. Before you know it, you've got your whole piece memorized!