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Benefits of Arts and Music in School

I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy, but most importantly music. For the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning – Plato

Knowing first hand the benefits of music in our school system, this blog will focus on the importance of arts and music education.

In elementary school, about once a week the music teachers from the local high school would come to our class. They always had a musical instrument to show and play for us. In fifth grade those teachers came in and tested all the fifth graders- It was called a pitch test. We wore headphones and listened to different sounds. We would make a mark to signify which pitch was higher or lower. Music education opened so many doors for me. At ten years old, I was so painfully shy and afraid of everything. Music helped me express myself, helped me relate to others, and since I was an only child, I felt was really great. Music helped me learn what healthy competition was all about. I also learned thru practice, and listening to my music teacher that the sky was the limit.

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Arts and music education is very important in the public and private school settings. Statistics show that learning a musical instrument early in life, helps train a young mind using both sides of the brain. Musical training helps speech and gives the young mind the necessary tools to aid in reasoning. Student musicians also learn to stimulate memory thru reading and memorizing sheet music. Practicing is secondary for budding musicians. Students learn how to improve their music abilities by practicing. Just as learning sports develop hand to eye coordination, so does music education.  Finger positions, hand movements, memorizing techniques, help a budding music student utilize hand to eye coordination. Music involves more than a voice and correct fingering technique, musicians are trained early on to use different skill sets often at the same time.

A study published in the Northwestern review suggests that neural activity made during musical training prime the brain for other aspects of human communication. The brain cannot process all of the sensory info that is in the world. It is stated that playing a musical instrument conditions the brain to choose what is relevant in musical sounds.

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Children love music because it’s often times their first introduction to self-expression. As parents who know the importance of music education, how do we introduce and develop musical interest in our children?  Try to remember when you where a kid. How did music make you feel? We can start by encouraging our children to sing along, dance, and express themselves. Dance and sing along with them. Sing anything with them- A commercial jingle, a cartoon opener, or anything on the radio. Expose them to a variety of music. Let them experience the vast array of musical styles the world has to offer. We think you’re in the right place.

 

Overcoming Performance Anxiety

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Most of us have experienced anxiety in our everyday lives.  Each person experiences anxiety on different levels. This blog will explore the levels of anxiety, and some simple techniques to help overcome performance anxiety.

Before a performance, even the most accomplished performers have experienced it. There are varying degrees of anxiety. From the sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach, and excessive worrying, to the restlessness and insomnia, to the constant worrying about your anxiety. It can become a minor inconvenience to completely debilitating.

Well never fear! There are several simple ways to help you deal with and manage your anxiety. Dr. Travis Baird is a performance coach and musician health specialist. He holds degrees from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, University of South Carolina, and the University of Texas at Arlington. He is also a registered yoga instructor and personal trainer. He had also performed musically all around the world. Dr. Baird has developed a 4 step routine to help you overcome your performance anxiety.

  1. Center your focus and set your intention. Before your pre-performance warm up, take a couple of minutes to center your focus. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Slow deep breaths, inhale and exhale through the nose. Repeat for about 1 minute. Set your intention regarding your performance. Affirm your commitment to giving your best performance.
  2. Water and snacks. Staying hydrated and healthy during a performance is key. Bottled water, and a healthy snack, such as a banana, granola bar, or almonds.
  3. Warm up. you not only warm up with your instrument, you also need to warm up your body and your mind. Careful not to overdo, save your energy for your performance.
  4. Re-focus and embrace the spotlight. Let go of distracting thoughts and center and focus on your performance

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Above all, remember that music performance is not about perfection, things happen, one of the most exciting elements of a live performance.

Something all performers encounter in the course of their careers is negative thinking. As humans, we all have that inner critic. As musicians, we train ourselves to hear any tiny flaw in our performance. Dr. Baird has devised three easy steps for musicians to help with that nagging inner critic. He states that we need to switch from negative criticism to constructive awareness.

  1. When you are bogged down with the negative thoughts, take a step back and objectively view your musical abilities. Let go of the emphasis on errors, and believe in your ability to improve.
  2. Listen to your thoughts. You usually do not view your thoughts as negative. But you could be second-guessing your ability and not even realize it. Try switching from negative thoughts such as, I am bad at this, or I will never get this. Try I need to work on this, or I am improving with a little more practice, I got this!
  3. Inspiration. The next to time you are listening to music, whether it is your playing, or someone else’s, focus on your thoughts. Are they negative, or constructive? Are they helpful or hurtful? You may be robbing yourself of the enjoyment of the actual music. Try some healthy, positive experiences, in music and other areas. Reading a good book, seeing a play, or enjoying nature. Positive inspiration, in other areas as well as with your music, is key.

As in all aspects, diligence, and practice are great and healthy ways to stay motivated and positive in your endeavors.

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Extra Benefits of Arts and Music in Schools

I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy, but most importantly music for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.   – Plato

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Knowing first hand the benefits of music in our school system, this blog will focus on the importance of art and music education. This is NOT to be taken as a list of the sole reasons for music education. We believe that music should be taught for the sake of music! Music because MUSIC! All of these other benefits are just extra sweet side servings to the main dish- beauty and the enhancement in brings to life for all.

Music education is so instrumental in life, pardon the pun. Learning to play an instrument or read and write music beginning early in life helps train a young mind in many great disciplines snd also helps children utilize the right and left sides of the brain. Vocal training helps with early speech skills and gives the young mind tools to aid in developing reasoning skills. Student musicians also stimulate and use memory skills thru reading and memorizing sheet music. Routine practice is also a great tool for teaching young musicians the benefits of hard work, scheduling, and discipline. Students learn that they can progress and improve thru practice, boosting self esteem. Just as learning a sport can help hand to eye coordination, learning to play an instrument can also utilize the same motor skills.

One of the best feelings of playing an instrument is mastering a new piece of music. We all love to play our first whole song! That feeling of pride and accomplishment is important to any child’s development.  It gives them the courage that will help them strive for improvement in all stages of life. Music education has also shown a rise in a child’s curiosity, imagination, and helps in auditory skills.

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Music Junkie in Voyage Dallas Magazine

Kristi here. I was recently honored/blessed/thrilled to be featured as an Inspirational Entrepreneur in Voyage Dallas Magazine!

I’ve shared the content below but you can certainly click the link here to view the article on their website!

>>>>>>>

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristi Judd.

personal_photo-319-e1498098047328-1000x600.jpg.jpegSo, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.

I’m a Fort Worth transplant, born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve always been dedicated to the advancement of the arts, but most specifically music education. My father is a musician and I was pretty immersed in music as a kid. When deciding what to do for a career, I couldn’t imagine a life that wasn’t always revolving around rehearsals, performances, and the creation of beautiful sounds.

I earned my Bachelor’s degree at Clayton State University in Atlanta, focusing on music education. I initially thought I’d like to teach in a public school classroom like one of my biggest role models, my high school chorale director Millie Turek, a force of a teacher, stellar musician, and outstanding human being all around. But as I progressed through college, I started gravitating more towards one-on-one teaching in a studio setting. I enjoyed the intimacy as well as the opportunity to build lasting personal relationships with students.

I started working part time at a local dance studio that wanted to beef up its arts offerings with a music program. There were lots of ups and downs until I was contacted by Doug Kees, owner of Musicology in south Atlanta. He offered me a position teaching voice and piano at his established studio and I filled my schedule so quickly, it soon became my only mode of income. I eventually became manager of the studio, maintaining my student load. It was then that I dug my feet in to studio work for good. I truly loved my time there and learned as much about music while teaching with the fantastic team of instructors at Musicology as I did my entire college career. My unexpected and new-found love for managing was just a bonus.

When I relocated to Fort Worth, my husband and I immediately hit the ground looking for the perfect studio location. Edwin is a Fort Worth native and so I leaned heavily on him for info about locations and such. He proves every day to be remarkable support for me and a friend I couldn’t manage without. He brings a completely different batch of experience to the table in management and knowledge of the local music scene. Together, we make a pretty bang up team.

Has it been a smooth road?

Overall, we have been blessed by the community that surrounds our little studio. Of course, there have been a few bumps in the road, but overall, I feel like it’s been smoother than I imagined it’d be. We’ve done a lot of learning. I think our willingness to learn and adjust was probably our best chance at success. We’ve learned a lot about advertising, hiring, flexibility, and sacrifice. We believe that if you provide a wonderful product or excellent service to people, listening to the needs of the community, and make it a pleasure to be in your space for both clients and employees, folks will keep coming back.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Music Junkie Studios – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.

Music Junkie Studios is a music studio, primarily serving the community through private lessons for all ages and skill levels. We offer full and half hour private music instruction for piano, voice, guitar, bass, drums, violin, ukulele, songwriting, and recording. We also offer event music and summer camps on site. Our instructors are formally educated and experienced in their fields of artistry. All staff members foster an environment that promotes music literacy, creativity, freedom of expression, and sound technique creating enriched musicianship. We believe that all music has merit and there’s a space for all forms of art and music.

We are most proud that we’re able to offer steady income to local musicians, contribute to our local economy, and actively advocate for the advancement of arts and music education, all while having a ball at work.

We are set apart by the culture our instructors have helped to create at the studio. We’re truly a place for ALL to come and learn, experiment, try, fail, try again, grow, and succeed. We have students as young as four in and out of the same rooms as our many retired students. We do it all and involve everyone in the process!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?

I really love how friendly DFW is to small business and I mean that in several ways, the first is that when you look around at pretty much any industry, you see a few huge chains and then a ton of small, maybe family run shops that are not only surviving, but thriving! I tell my friends all the time that Texas is the land of donut and taco shops. It’s amazing to me how so many small shops coexist and manage to compete with the “big boys.” That’s just not the case where I’m from in Atlanta.

Another encouraging thing is that there’s a huge “Shop Small” initiative in this area! I see so many bumper stickers, t shirts, posters, and things supporting the effort of small business folks like me. It’s so nice to feel that support from even strangers in traffic!

Pricing:

    •    Monthly Tuition for half hour lessons (once per week) $125.00

    •    Monthly Tuition for full hour lessons (once per week) $235.00

    •    One A La Carte half hour lesson $35.00

    •    One A La Carte full hour lesson $65.00

    •    Semester Tuition for half hour lessons (4 month commit) $467.00

    •    Semester Tuition for full hour lessons (4 month commit) $920.00

Contact Info:

    •    Address: 1617 Park Place Ave suite 106

    •    Fort Worth, Texas 76110

    •    Website: musicjunkiestudios.com

    •    Phone: 817-919-0761

    •    Email: musicjunkiestudios@gmail.com

    •    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/musicjunkiestudios/

    •    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/musicjunkiestudios/

    •    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MusicJunkieFW

    •    Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/music-junkie-studios-fort-worth

 

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Make-up Lessons From An Economist’s Point of View

I’m a parent of children enrolled in Suzuki music lessons. I’d like to explain to other parents why I feel – quite strongly, actually – that it is unreasonable of we parents to expect our teachers to make up lessons we miss, even if I know as well as they do just how expensive lessons are, and, equally importantly, how important that weekly contact is with the teacher to keeping practicing ticking along smoothly. I think that it is natural for we parents to share the point of view that students should have their missed lessons rescheduled, but if we were to ‘walk a mile’ in our teachers’ shoes, we might change our minds about what it is reasonable for us to expect of our teachers.

Like many parents, I pay in advance for lessons each term. In my mind, what this means is that I have reserved a regular spot in the busy schedules of my sons’ teachers. I understand – fully – that if I can’t make it to the lesson one week (perhaps my son is sick, or we are away on holiday, or there is some other major event at school) then we will pay for the lesson, but that my teacher is under no obligation to find another spot for me that week, or to refund me for the untaught lesson. And this is the way it should be.

In my ‘other life’ I am an economist and teach at our local university. Students pay good money to attend classes at the university; but if they don’t come to my lecture on a Monday morning, then I am not going to turn around and deliver them a private tutorial on Tuesday afternoon. When I go to the store and buy groceries, I may purchase something that doesn’t get used. Days or months later, I end up throwing it out. I don’t get a refund from the grocery store for the unused merchandise. If I sign my child up for swimming lessons at the local pool, and s/he refuses to return after the first lesson, I can’t get my money back. So there are lots of situations in our everyday lives where we regularly pay in advance for goods or some service, and if we end up not using what we have purchased, we have to just ‘swallow our losses’. On the other hand, if I purchase an item of clothing, and get home and change my mind, I can take it back and expect either a refund or a store credit.

So why do I believe that music lessons fall into the first category of ‘non-returnable merchandise’, rather than into the second case of ‘exchange privileges unlimited’ (which I think is one of the advertising slogans of an established women’s clothing store!)? Speaking now as an economist, I would claim that the reason is that items like clothing are “durable goods’ – meaning, they can be returned and then resold at the original price – whereas music lessons are non-durable goods – meaning, once my Monday slot at 3:30 is gone, my son’s teacher can’t turn around and sell it again. The only way she would be able to give him a lesson later in the week would be if she were to give up time that she had scheduled for her own private life; and that seems pretty unreasonable – I can’t think of many employees who would be thrilled if their bosses were to announce that they couldn’t work from 3:30 to 4:30 this afternoon, but would they please stay until 6:30 on Thursday, because there will be work for them then!

Many teachers hesitate to refuse our request to shift lesson times (because our busy schedules do change), because unless they keep us parents happy, we will decide to take our child somewhere else for lessons (or to drop musical study), and they will lose part of their income. This is particularly true in areas with lower average income, where it can be particularly difficult to find students. So rather than telling us that ‘well, actually, the only time when I’m not teaching and that you can bring your son for lesson is during the time I set aside each week to go for a long soul-cleansing walk, and I can’t do that on Monday at 3:30 when you should have turned up’, they agree to teach us at a time that really doesn’t suit their schedule. Teachers who are ‘nice’ in this way often, in the long run, end up exhausted, and feeling exploited; they try to draw a line in the sand. However, too few parents ask to switch only when absolutely necessary, and too many parents want lesson times when it suits them this week, which is not the same time that suited last week. If the conflict arises because my child is in the School play, and they have their dress-rehearsal during his lesson time, then I feel that I must choose between the two activities, and if he attends the dress rehearsal my private lesson teacher doesn’t owe me anything.

During May, my eldest son will be missing three lessons because he is going to accompany me on a trip to New Zealand to visit his great-grandparents. I do not expect my son’s teacher to refund me for those missed lessons, or to reschedule them by ‘doubling up’ lessons in the weeks before or after our departure. Since there will be lots of advanced notice, I might ask her to consider preparing a special ‘practice tape’ for that period, or to answer my questions via e-mail, but if she doesn’t have the time (the second half of April is going to be really busy for her, and she wouldn’t be able to do the tape until more or less the week we left) and so has to refuse, then that’s fine. I certainly don’t expect her to credit me with three make-up lessons; there is no way for her to find a student to fill a three-week hole in her schedule during our absence. Instead, I hope that she will enjoy the extra hour of rest during those three weeks, and that we will all feel renewed enthusiasm when we return to lessons at the end of the trip.

Article Copyright © 2001 Vicky Barham

Used with permission

Make-Up Lessons