If you enjoy the TedX Talks you've come to the right place :) The School of Music and Drama is a part of the TedX Asbury Park Advocate Program. Which means we can you help you save $15 on premium tickets for this years event "Passion" at the historic Paramount Theater. Use the code on the poster, save a few dollars and join us for a great day of really terrific speakers and networking. If you have older children this is a great event for them to attend as well -
Just wanted to reach out and say hello - I haven't done a newsletter in a couple of months and wanted to touch base.
March is Bring A Friend Month at our School. If you have a friend, relative or neighbor who is interested in music or drama, or you think they may be please invite them to sit in this month on your child's lesson. Every child who participates will receive a free Hoffmans Ice Cream on us and one grand prize winner will get a $100 Amazon Gift Card. The only thing we ask is that the child knows his name, address and mom or dad's email so we can thank them for visiting us. Yes, in the past we had a child visit who told us he didn't know his name :)
Progress Reports will be handed out to each student the week of April 9th -
VIP Pre-Registration is the following week of April 16th, so if you love your teacher, day and time and want to hold it for next year we can start arranging that for you on April 16th. Just let us know anytime that week and we will hold your spot.
New Drama Classes start the week of April 14th - Please visit our webpage for age groups and dates - http://www.musicanddrama.org/drama/schedule-and-fees
If your child is ready to join a band and take his or her playing to the next level let us know - we will arrange a RockBand group just for them! We need three students to run a class.
We will be closed from March 30 - April 7 for Spring Break Recharge, refuel and come back strong!
Spring is almost here :)
If you’ve ever thought about putting your child in music lessons, give yourself a pat on the back. Raymond Goodrich II, a lifelong musician and store owner, says to do otherwise borders on parental neglect.
The National Association of Music Merchants, also known as NAMM, cites numerous studies that find children trained in music do better in motor skills, school grades, speech, hearing and more.
“As a parent, I think it’s our responsibility to expose them to the opportunity to play music,” said Goodrich, the second-generation president of Lafayette Music Company. “There’s one study that got down to DNA and showed there are switches that turn our stress on and off.
“They have figured out if you participate in music, three to four years consistently, it’s going to take three or four of those switches and permanently turn them to the off position.
“Music takes you to a better place. You don’t get that elsewhere.”
Goodrich is among countless enthusiasts who encourage a life lived in music. But parents often ask, “When is my child ready for lessons?”
Local teachers say there is no magic age. Many children start in the fifth grade with school bands. Others begin private lessons as young as the first grade or kindergarten.
But more important than age, the child must have a keen interest in music and be willing to practice for the long haul.
Brazos Huval has taught more than 1,000 children in 10 years at his Breaux Bridge school. Students learn, by ear, to play the accordion, fiddle, guitar, drums, saxophone and more.
But Huval said the students and parents must be interested and committed.
“Kids can develop an interest in the music,” said Huval, who plays bass with the Grammy-nominated Cajun band, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. “Some parents come, drop off their kids and say, ‘We want to try it for a month.’ That aint’ gonna happen.
“They’ll get through some basics. But if they don’t have an interest, it won’t work. Give it six months or a year, that’ll be much better.”
Charlie Gaithe, a touring guitarist and songwriter for 27 years and teacher for 15 years, believes 6 or 7 is a good age for children to start. Gaithe begins with a test lesson to assess a child’s posture, movements and attention span.
“We’ll sit down and see if they’re physically capable of holding a guitar and playing some parts on the instrument,” said Gaithe. “Generally, my lessons are 30 minutes.
“But I’d say 20 minutes is the window when you’re really learning stuff, especially with younger kids. I keep focus on their eyes and body language. That generally will tell me if they’re still focused in on what I’m talking about.”
Resources for music lessons are numerous, including countless choices on the Internet. A search for “music lessons” on YouTube brings 154 million results.
But local teachers urge parents to be cautious with online resources. Many teach bad habits that can set students back.
“A lot of times, a kid will say, ‘I learned a song today. I picked up the chords online,” said Huval. “It’s totally wrong. We have to go back to the drawing board and start out the song the right way.
“You can get the chords online. But 80 percent of the time, they’re not right. We have to do a lot of corrections.”
Gaithe and Goodrich have also corrected numerous errors learned online. Gaithe says nothing beats the instant feedback and direction of a live instructor.
Don’t Stop The Music
Once a child starts music lessons, teachers urge parents to keep going. Peaks and valleys are part of the learning process and times for parents to be encouraging.
“The ones that do well, not only are they into the music,” said Huval. “But they’re taking their instrument home and practicing.
“They listen to live music. They go out and listen to bands. That’s how we all learned.”
Gaithe hopes that positive reinforcement goes beyond music.
“I try to make them be aware of their language and thoughts. You’d be surprised how much that changes them. Sometimes they’re not even aware that’s coming up in their vocabulary.
“They don’t, can’t, won’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t. ‘That won’t happen’ or ‘That’s too hard.’ All of those carry a lot of weight.
“When you get rid of that, miracles can happen. It transfers over into life.”
Reprinted by permission of the author Herman Fuselier https://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/2018/02/14/when-should-my-child-start-music-lessons/317098002/
I wrote an article for Acoustic Guitar Magazine about chords and how to improve your knowledge of chords back in the 90's - back in the day when a magazine was something you actually held in your hand :) I wrote one for them again just this year on a similar topic with a fancier title - "Expanding Your Harmonic Palette" - and included a video explaining the article and demonstrating its finer points. If your a guitarist and you watch the video I hope it helps you improve and that you enjoy it. It could also be considered a free trial first lesson, because the information here is terrific, but it's only the beginning. Click Here To Watch The Video