Living Outside Your Fear

In my opinion, art is nearly equal parts talent and passion. Without the passion that drives the artist to create, the talent stays trapped within the artist due to fear or the crippling self-doubt we are all prone to from time to time. This is definitely the case when it comes to my own personal situation. I am a singer recitalist and a voice teacher with a growing number of students of all ages, but it wasn’t always that way. I grew up with a deep love of music—all genres, including pop, country, jazz standards, classical, you name it. I sang everywhere: in the car always, in choirs of all types, in my room as a child. But, never in front of anyone or alone as a soloist. I was paralyzed by

Pedagogy and Products October 17, 2015

Eat Well for Peak Performance. Ok, you’ve practiced until you have every note as close to perfect as you can get. You’ve gotten lots of rest and spent the day of your performance de-stressing and resting your voice. You’re ready to go onstage and give the audience your all—right? Maybe not, if you haven’t been paying careful attention to your diet. Musicians often seem to forget that singing or playing an instrument is exercise and can be as grueling as any physical workout, as evidenced by the sweat-drenched shirts of any performer after a show. Registered dietitian Kathleen S. LaBella says that musicians have specialized dietary requirements with regard to building stamina, energy requirem

4 Tips for Guitarists Stuck in a Rut

This week, we have a guest blog post from our friends over at Uberchord. Uberchord is a neat app designed to help guitarists with a variety of things, and has a lot of cool features to help make us all a little more knowledgable with our chord vocabulary. You can check it out here. We'll also be doing a review of the app within a few weeks, so stay tuned! ARE YOU STUCK IN A RUT? This article is written primarily with beginners in mind, but anybody stuck in a rut could derive some benefit from it. I’m convinced that every guitar player has at some point been in a rut and faced what people call “hitting a wall”. It’s what happens when you feel like you don’t know what else to learn. You can

Pedagogy and Products October 9, 2015

Advanced Piano Repertoire. If you have been teaching piano for several years, you likely have your favorite method books which you use for your beginning students: note spellers, theory workbooks, basic repertoire, etc. But, how about repertoire for your more advanced students? Are you (and possibly even they) becoming bored with the same old songs and styles? If so, then the Neil A. Kjos Music Company has some offerings that might be just the thing. Check out several interesting titles in their line including Palette of Touches, by Joanne Haroutounian, which teaches students how to “color” their playing by creating techniques that define mood, character, and compositional style of a piece v

Jam Session September, 2015

This is our biggest Jam Session yet! Students of all styles have really been stepping up to the plate and writing some great ideas. We have licks, arpeggios, and even full chord progressions! Check out the PDF here, and don't forget to share it with family and friends! You can stay up to date with these and our weekly (or more) blog posts by subscribing here, or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest! Mike Lowden Guitar Instructor, Co-Owner Falls Music School

Pedagogy and Products October 3, 2015

Vocal Tips from a Pro. Nothing beats having a private vocal coach. Your voice teacher can catch bad habits before they become ingrained; give you immediate feedback on pitch, breathing, posture, and other crucial facets of good singing; and provide moral support when things are going well. However, that is not to say you can’t get some good advice, practice drills, or breathing exercises on the web. There are lots of qualified professionals out there who are willing to send you a wealth of information on good singing if you care to sign up for their newsletters, or YouTube and email blasts. You don’t want to just dive in willy-nilly however; stick to ones your coach recommends or at the very

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