Students who give their instrument some regular dedicated practice time generally begin to appreciate their experience as interesting, enjoyable and fun and this translates back into further motivation and interest.
I endeavor to highlight the learning process for each student and helping them feel continued excitement about the progress they experience as their skills and listening abilities expand.
Playing an instrument helps deepen appreciation for the elements of music ( rhythm, melody, harmony ) and students often find that their ability to perceive musical detail and nuance is greatly enhanced. This is something that can’t readily be experienced except through putting in the time and effort.
A one hour lesson once a week at a regular time is how I proceed. Less than that and the motivation and interest generally fall off and any more than once a week
seems to result in overload.
For the beginner it’s a matter of developing their
right and left hand skills and that can be accomplished
in the context of learning elements of songs and styles
they already are excited about. This way they are learning the basics of instrumental technique while staying involved in music they already enjoy. This keeps the interest up and encourages time spent with the instrument.
I ask that students bring cd’s or ipods with music that they
like and want to be able to play and we go from there.
It is no problem to simplify elements of the music they
enjoy in order to make it approachable, playable
and appropriate for their level of current playing ability.
Reading music is optional and often ( for many forms of popular music ) not required. I do encourage learning the fingerboard and becoming familiar with the fundamentals of music theory and harmony.
I have times throughout the week and you can let me know if a particular day and time best suit your schedule.
a reminder to let all this be fun
and have the actual playing
remain enjoyable and relaxing…
( rather than risk it becoming
just a physical and technical challenge
to master )
paying close attention to the sound
you are actually making as you play
is one way to keep your playing
experience grounded in listening
listening to the sound you
are making in the room
and staying sensitive to
how what you are hearing
interacts with your
emotions and nervous system
is something that a player of any
level of experience can take part in…
it’s where the richness is and it’s
what listeners respond to when they
hear someone sincerely playing with feeling
I can easily be reached at:
I’d be delighted to assist you in deepening your musical experience.
John C. McCain
South Portland, Maine