Friday, March 28, 2014

Learning From Your Students & Parts of the Harp

Apps used: Repix, Phonto
Do you know what a string rib is? How about eyelets or bridge pins? (Check out this glossary to find out about string ribs and bridge pins.)
I didn't know what these were called until a harp student (at that time three years old) asked what they were when we talked about the parts of the harp. I then had to do a little research. But now, because of a three-year-old, I know more about the harp and include these parts in discussions of the parts of the harp. If you don't know an answer, don't be afraid to tell the student that you don't know, but you'll try to find out (and then try to follow up on that). Depending on the student's age, you can also suggest that the student research it. You can even suggest some places to look, such as, Harp Column, Sylvia Woods Harp Center, Harp Spectrum, etc.
What are some things you've learned from students?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rubberbands as Tuning Aids

Apps used: befunky, Phonto
It's easy to get the tuning key on the wrong string. To avoid broken and mistuned strings, (and irritation), try the following tip for your students. Temporarily color-code the side of the tuning pin opposite the string. Two options are: rubber bands in pink and purple meant for braces (not ones that have already been used with braces though!) and ponytail holders in red and blue. Just put the corresponding rubber band where needed, and you have a guide to help make sure the tuning key is on the intended tuning pin! It's temporary, but the rubber bands seem to stay in place when they should.
What about you? How do you help your students with adjusting the correct tuning pin?
Have a great day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Music and Dance Part 3: Tap Dance

Apps used: Over, BeFunky

Thanks for checking into part 3 of this little series about dance and music! (See the first two here and here). Today's post is about tap dance.
Tap dance is very much like percussion with the feet along with dance style. Time steps were actually originally used to set the tempo for dancers! Tap training not only teaches students about rhythm, but also teamwork stage presence. Tapping can expose students to many  American/Broadway classics.

Tap and rhythm? Have you seen Fred Astaire dance with a metronome in this movie?


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dance and Music Part Deux (2): Ballet

Apps used: BeFunky, Over
Thanks for checking back after my first post in this series on dance and music!
This installment will be on ballet. Ballet training can bring many benefits to the musician. Music and ballet are very closely related (just read Apollo's Angels...which I'm still working on). Many major compositions were ballets (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, etc). Through dance, students gain experience feeling the music and the beat. In group ballet classes, students must work together, building teamwork. At recitals, students gain experience with stage presence. Through rehearsals, students learn the value of practice, hard work, and dependability.
Dance classes aren't just for children! If you're an adult, you can still reap the benefits of a ballet class. And if you don't want to perform, not all adult classes require a performance.
What do you think about the relationship between ballet and music?