Guitar Fingering System

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Every instrument comes with a system of fingering to help the composer illustrate how the piece should be played. This goes beyond tempo markings and dynamics and tells the performer exactly which finger to use to play a note, what position the student should be in, and what string the note goes on. All of… Read more »

Performance Anxiety

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An inevitable part of being a musician is performance anxiety. From accomplished performers and teachers to beginning students we all experience it to some degree. Even those who say they do not deal with it still have a physiological reaction when performing. It is important to have techniques ready to teach students how to deal… Read more »

Improvisation and Creativity

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By Wayne Estes Oftentimes I feel that I’ve gotten bogged down in my own practice with technical studies, reading, scale work and I see my teaching style starting to go in the same direction.  But many of my students aren’t in grad school and studying to become a professional musician, so I must remind myself… Read more »

Crooked Uphill Progress

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A couple times a year I have an adult student (usually) come to a crisis point in their lessons. Frustrated they always tell me that they think they are not doing well and are even regressing; losing skills and knowledge where they used to be strong. This is something that happens to all students regardless… Read more »

Music Adjectives

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I thought I would take a month and write down words that describe what I see music doing in my life and in my teaching studio and community.  Hopefully you notice and are equally inspired by some of the same things…   Music teaches us and exposes us to new:   Concepts Patience Humility Logic… Read more »

Auditioning Tips for Music Theatre Students

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This is about the time of year that the local Middle and High schools hold auditions for the big spring musical. Every year, there are students who are nervously considering auditioning for the first time, and have no idea what to expect. While every director has their particular way of auditioning prospective students, there are… Read more »

Practice Tips- Fresh and Productive

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There comes a point in every students’ learning when practice becomes arduous and stale. This can happen to any student at any age or skill level. Often hectic work or school schedules leave little time for practice making it feel like a chore or students plateau at times and feel as if they are not… Read more »

Traveling With Your Instrument

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It’s springtime and summer is right around the corner. Time to pack up your instruments and head out to summer camps and vacations. Here are some tips to make sure your instrument arrives safely and in pristine performance condition: Flying tips: The rules relaxed a smidge in the spring of 2015 and you can carry-on… Read more »

Choosing a Better Recital Song

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Choosing a Better Recital Song Recital season is looming on the horizon, and it’s time to make song selections! In the name of fairness, I make a point to give students the opportunity to submit requests for recital songs before we make a final decision. This does not always go the way I would hope… Read more »

Fingernails

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An easy way to spot a guitar player is to look at their fingernails. Many guitarists will have almost no fingernail on the left hand while having perfectly shaped, long and polished fingernails on the right. Although not mandatory for all guitarists, those of us who play classical guitar could not imagine playing without them…. Read more »