Category: Student Tips

Woman playing the oboe

Overcoming the Challenges of Double-Reed Instruments

Double-reed instruments are some of the most unique members of the woodwinds family. Unlike the clarinet and saxophone, which utilize a single reed mounted on a mouthpiece, double-reed instruments feature—you guessed it—two reeds vibrating against each other to create an unmistakable sound. The most popular double-reed instruments are the oboe and bassoon, but the category […]

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Music Goals

Tuning into Success: Setting Your Musical Goals for the Year

Welcome to a new year of possibilities and musical exploration! As musicians, we know that growth and skill don’t just happen; they are cultivated through dedicated effort and clear objectives. Whether you’re picking up an instrument for the first time or fine-tuning your skills for a major performance, setting goals can transform your musical experience […]

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Stage Fright

Overcoming the Spotlight Shakes: Tips for Musicians Battling Stage Fright

Understanding Performance Anxiety Performance anxiety, also known as stage fright, is an anxious state some musicians experience before or during a public performance. It is a physiological response to the stress of being under pressure to perform well. Stage fright is incredibly common, even among professional musicians. Surveys indicate around 75% of musicians have experienced […]

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Music Student Learning

Upgrade Your Sound for the Ride of Your Life

By Dr. David W. Vandewalker For most of my childhood I had two passions: music and bikes. I would wake up excited to go to school because I enjoyed hanging out with my friends. I would jump on my bike riding to my friend’s house; together we would zoom off to school. It was always […]

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Leading with Care

Leading with C.A.R.E.

By Dr. David W. Vandewalker The ever-increasing demands on students and teachers seems to be at an all-time high. While we are thankful that the most extreme difficulties of the pandemic are behind us, it is becoming evident that the impact of the recent challenges are large and will continue to have a significant effect […]

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Playing Keyboard

The Transformative Benefits of Learning to Play an Instrument

From the resonant chords of a guitar to the gentle melody of a piano, music has a profound impact on our lives. While being a devoted listener can bring joy and solace, there’s something truly magical about playing an instrument.   Beyond the enchantment of producing beautiful sounds, the benefits of this pursuit extend far […]

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Orchestral Strings

How to Upgrade the Sound of Your Orchestral String Instrument

To a musician, sound couldn’t be more important. Countless hours are put into learning, playing, and practicing, all with the goal of improving the quality of sound that’s produced. To be sure, you can’t properly express yourself with a musical instrument unless you have the ability to produce the best sound. For musicians who play […]

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Jazz Improvisation with Creative Essential Elements

by John Kuzmich, Jr., Ph.D. Computers, tablets, smartphones, DVDs. CDs are all great learning tools.  Let’s look at how our students can maximize learning and fun in their jazz playing experience.  Perhaps the most user-friendly, interactive practice experience is with new and improved play-along recordings.  Digital innovations have lifted old drill-n-practice play-alongs into great improvisation […]

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Saxophone Sound

Five Things You Can Do to Upgrade the Sound of Your Sax

Musicians, regardless of their instrument of choice, are always looking for ways to improve their sound, especially once they’ve nailed down the basics and have the time to experiment. Sometimes that means working on their technique and other times it means investing in a premium mouthpiece or a new set of reeds. Whether you’re looking […]

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Upgrade Your Flute

Upgrade Your Flute: Beginner vs. Intermediate Flutes

When a child initially takes an interest in learning to play the flute, parents often opt to purchase or rent a basic instrument, and with good reason. While there are numerous benefits to learning to play, the fact is that instruments are costly and there is no guarantee that the child will enjoy the learning […]

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