Music Lessons

Inspiration - Music Lessons - New York City - Performance - Trumpet Lessons

A trumpet player living the NYC Dream: An Interview with David N.

Music To Your Home is proud to work with the best and brightest music teachers NYC has to offer, and David N. is no exception.  He holds degrees from Juilliard, New England Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music.  An impressive resume is one thing, but beyond that, David is a passionate teacher and all around nice guy with great advice for trumpet players.
1) What advice would you give to parents who are considering getting trumpet lessons for their children?
David: When I started out playing trumpet, my parents were nothing but supportive. I showed interest in music at an early age, and I think my parents knew to nurture that as well as let me know that it would take some work on my part to learn to read music, to play the trumpet, to perform in front of people, etc. Music is a hard but very fun topic to learn at an early age because I think while progress can’t be technically “measured”, there certainly is an aspect of tangible knowledge the student will learn that they can then put to use on the trumpet or whatever their instrument is. Music truly teaches the student much more than just how to play an instrument and notes on a page, and I think the awareness that music can teach discipline, creativity, and can support a social environment is very important.
2) How you inspire your students?
David: To me, inspiration comes from listening to other people play music. I’ve found that while providing a solid base knowledge of instrument fundamentals, music theory, and other skills that pertain to ones musicianship; exposing a student to different types of music, art, etc. helps. I always ask my students, “What type of music do you listen to?”, and “Have you ever heard music with trumpet in it?” I feel that by finding music that they can now strive to play really ignites the student’s drive to want to work to a particular level.
3) What is the youngest trumpet student you have taught?
David: The youngest students I have taught have been around 6 years old.
 
4) How much daily practice time does it take to become a good trumpet player?
David: While trumpet is a difficult instrument to learn, I think that a solid and focused 25 minutes a day can really put the student into a disciplined mindset to make consistent progress.
5) What is your favorite book to use with beginner trumpet students?
David: The Standard of Excellence books are great beginner material, and for my more advanced students, the Rubank book or the Arban’s are typically the life-long study material for trumpet players.
6) What do you love most about teaching trumpet lessons in NYC?
David: In the past three years of living and teaching in NYC, I have met some unbelievably bright students. I think being exposed to what NYC has to offer culturally (music, art, dance, education, etc.), really puts some students on a higher creative level. Being able to go see world-class musicians in Lincoln Center, the West Village, all over the city; really ignites the students inspiration to want to progress to that higher level.
7) What was your most memorable teaching experience?
David: My most memorable teaching experience was when I was on faculty at the Torino Jazz Festival Juilliard Jazz Workshop. The first day, I was greeted by about 12 trumpet students who were eager to take me to coffee, and hear about NYC, jazz, my inspirations, my influences, etc. After a week of meeting with them 8 hours a day and coaching an ensemble, they were then told they would be performing at the final day of the Torino Jazz Festival on the main stage. Watching them perform one of my pieces was an incredibly humbling experience, and afterwards being thanked so sincerely was truly an amazing feeling.
8) When and where was your most  memorable performance?
David: In 2011, I performed at the Panama Jazz Festival with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. Nerves aside, the feeling of walking onstage greeted by over 10,000 audience members was truly the most overwhelming feeling I’ve had performing. Afterwards we were approached by interviewers, and audience members who wanted autographs. It was really a feeling of love that came from the audience that I had never felt before.
9) Who are the trumpet players that have inspired you?
David: Everyone who has ever played trumpet before me, and after meeting so many musicians, trumpet players, and most importantly, friends; in the past 10 years of going to college, and living in NYC. They are the ones that inspire me.
 
10)What is your favorite piece to play on the trumpet?
David: My favorite experience playing music is playing music of my peers. It’s truly an honor to be playing with such amazing composers and players, and have access to their creativity while we try and make music together.
11) What do you love about NY and being a musican in NY?
David: Since I first learned about jazz, living in NYC has always been a dream of mine. While living in NYC as a musician isn’t the easiest lifestyle, the inspiration all of us get here is second to none. Being able to see and hear and meet, and even play with these musicians who I have listened for years, is truly inspiring. The culture in NYC is so forward-thinking and it’s a daily inspiration to be around like-minded people.
When he’s not gigging or making records, David teaches trumpet to students all over the great city of NY.  Contact us to schedule a private trumpet lesson with him today!
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Music Lessons

4 Ways to Set Up An Amazing Practice Space

Learning an instrument can be one of the most rewarding skills you will ever achieve. Being able to play piano, guitar, violin or any other instrument will provide you with a lifetime of creativity, stress relief and enjoyment. But before you start with your music lessons there are a few steps you should take to set yourself up for success.
Any great teacher will tell you the most important thing while learning an instrument is practice time. Regardless of the instrument you’re  learning, practice is needed to work on the technical aspects of playing music. Each instrument comes with its own unique set of techniques that will need many hours of practice for you to truly make progress. So having the right instrument and rehearsal space are essential while you are learning. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
1.  Sanctuary. Pick a quiet spot to learn music in your home. Your practice space should be private and away from any distractions so you can focus on learning your instrument. Many of our NYC piano students have limited space so we recommend keyboards and wearing headphones if your space is occupied by others. This has worked out really well for students in this type of situation.
2.   Lighting. Make sure the lighting is sufficient for reading music and seeing your instrument properly. I’ve seen practice spaces in basements with bad lighting which caused the students to struggle to read notes and see their fingers. This type of situation eventually makes practicing an uncomfortable task.
3. Instruments. There are many cheap instruments on the internet like  keyboards, violins and woodwinds. These instruments generally don’t last very long and most of them sound terrible. It’s a smarter choice to buy or rent  a better quality instrument from a reputable dealer. These instruments will last longer and sound better. Having a good quality instrument will help  motivate you to practice longer and more frequently. Plus, your ears will appreciate hearing a well made instrument.
4. Other essentials. Having a comfortable chair will have a huge effect on how long you end up practicing. You are more likely to stay there if you feel comfortable. Keeping a pencil and paper handy will be convenient when its time to work on theory or make notes in your music. Keeping a metronome in your space will also help when its time to practice tempo and rhythm.
Having all of these things ready to go will definitely increase your motivation and help keep practice time something you look forward to on a daily basis.
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Inspiration - Music Lessons - New York City - Performance - Piano Lessons - Piano Recital

10 Reasons Why Music Lessons Are Highly Effective: An Infographic

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Piano Lessons
Drum Lessons - Guitar Lessons - Music Lessons - Musical Thoughts - New York City - Piano Lessons - Saxophone lessons - Violin Lessons - Voice Lessons

5 Tips to Get You to Practice Your Instrument

If you really want to get yourself into a routine and stay motivated while practicing your instrument, then it’s best to have a solid plan. The following are five tips to keep you going:

1.   Create the right atmosphere

Nothing will motivate you in your musical practice like the right environment. You might be one of those people who prefer a quiet room. Others need a little bit of stimulation. Whatever setting you like, try to be consistent so as to enter the right mindset when you start practicing. If you will need water, snacks, picks, pencils, manuscript paper, and sharpeners etc. have them with you. If you use apps, download them in advance.

2.   Warm up

Musical instrument practice is much like a physical workout. To get yourself in the mood, ensure you do a warm up every time before you start. That way, you will be able to prepare your mind and body before the actual practice. It doesn’t have to be 15 minutes of fiddling with scales but can be something like sight reading or playing a familiar song if you like. Also, get into the right mindset by considering the keys of the pieces you are rehearsing.

  3.  Set Goals

Practicing is not synonymous with just playing through your music. You need to have the end in mind at the start of each practice session. With a prior goal for each practice session, you will find yourself progressing more quickly and effectively. Only that each goal needs to be broken down into smaller and focused objectives. Every time you complete a goal should help you feel more accomplished.

  4.   Be realistic

Many people – including your teachers – have told you to “get a lot done now”. Of course, it’s not realistic for you to do all your practice in one go. It gets even worse when you have a tough part to practice. The best way to go about this is to practice a little but more often. That way, you can go through a long-drawn process bit-by-bit. Think more about quality and not the quantity of your practice. Practice smarter and not necessarily longer if you want to have the willpower to keep going. Small and realistic goals should help you overcome areas that looked tricky and accept any missteps you might have made.

  5.   Identify and overcome problems

There is no need to ignore any areas you might find problematic. Learn to identify where you are using the wrong fingering or stumbling out of time. Decide why it’s going wrong and make up your mind how you will fix it. Obviously, different problems require different techniques. Problems with rhythm call for steps at mastering it. You may want to practice rhythm by simply clapping it out or use one note alongside a metronome. That way, you will know when to increase the tempo and when to slow it down. With time, you will master your musical instrument. Having the right music teacher is also a huge factor in overcoming plateaus and ultimately making the most progress. That’s where we come in, contact Music to Your Home to set up your NYC music lesson today!

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Music Lessons - New York City - Piano Lessons

What is the best age to start music lessons?

Many people ask us “what is the best age to start learning music?” Honestly? The answer varies from person to person.

We currently teach in home music lessons to students of all ages, ranging from two years old to senior citizens. Learning music is like learning another language and many studies show that the earlier children are exposed to a new language, the easier it will be for them to learn it.

Each student is different so what might work for your three year old might not work with another child the same age. Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding to enroll your child in lessons:

Does he/she express an interest in music? If not, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t ready, but if you have a child who really responds to music, through dancing clapping, even banging in the table, that’s a sign that it’s time to channel that excitement into one on one music lessons. A teacher can show them how to clap on beat sing songs, explore different percussion instruments and start to identify basic note reading and rhythmic patterns.

Do you notice your child constantly playing on your piano? Do they gravitate towards other instruments? If you start noodling on your guitar, are they at your feet either listening or attempting to strum some chords? Those are pretty good indications that they might really benefit from more structured music lessons.

Five years old is an optimal age to begin lessons. At that point, children are usually pretty good at being able to sit and focus with a music teacher in their home. But if you have a curious four or even three year old who you know has the attention span for a music lesson, by all means, give it a try!

How about adults? Here’s our rule of thumb, just do it! The only criteria for learning music as an adult is the desire to go for it. One of our talented teachers will take care of the rest, right in your home.

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Music Lessons - Music Recital - New York City - Performance - Piano Recital

What are the benefits of playing in a recital?

 

What are the benefits of playing in a recital?

When students perform in a recital in front of friends, teachers, and family, they provide great entertainment value to the audience. However, recitals benefit the participants too. Here are some of the benefits of playing in a recital:

  • Having something to work for

NYC Piano Teacher Alex C. post performance with two of his students

Something will change in you when you hear that you will be performing in a recital. Apart from the sense of urgency and nervousness, there is a deadline. If you don’t know the value of a deadline, ask working people who have to deal with one almost daily. When you have a recital to look forward to, you start practicing more often. Wether you are taking online lessons or in home music lessons, your sense of urgency to get the song right is a great motivator! You are willing to absorb information more than ever before. Once the recitals become routine, you are likely to keep working just as hard after the recital because you’ve enjoyed the rewards of your efforts.

  • Gaining performance experience

When you perform in a recital at a young age, you gain valuable performance experience. If it is your dream to be a professional musician, you will certainly need to get lots of live shows under your belt. It takes a few things to get used to performing in a live setting. It’s not easy to perform in front of people. You need lots of practice. When you are new to recitals, performance anxiety will be the order of the day. However, the more you perform in front of an audience, the easier it becomes. You learn how to play through a mistake or take a gracious bow or smile at the audience. That way, you are gaining very valuable experience to use for future performances.

  • Getting inspired by advanced performers

In many recitals, more beginner students are placed closer to the beginning with the more experienced coming at the end. That way, you get to watch the more advanced students do their thing. As a beginner, you see a great performance and discover that you are capable of playing like that too. All you need is some more time, practice, and energy. You will definitely leave the stage psyched to do exactly what you saw the seniors do. With time, your motivation will increase even as your performance skills improve.

  • Celebrating after an MTYH Recital

    Gaining a great sense of pride

This is perhaps the most important benefit you will get out of recitals! You have definitely worked very hard taking lessons in your home and faced the worst of your fears. How would you feel when the applause and smiles finally come from the audience? You will wish this magical moment of the recital lasts forever. Like most students, you will feel special, accomplished, and appreciated for all your hard work. It’s a moment like this that makes it worth the effort. This is when you are likely to psyche yourself up for the next challenge. When you enjoy this at a young age, you become more fearless. Your self-esteem will be boosted like never before. You will definitely look back when you are older and more successful with a smile that you were able to accept this awesome challenge.

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Music Lessons - Online Music Lessons

The Benefits of Online Music Lessons

Online music lessons are becoming a good alternative to face-to-face tutorials. Sure, you can find some tutorials on YouTube. However, such tutorials might not be tailored to meet your specific needs. With online lessons, you get a personalized solution to all your music learning needs. You’ll get a one-on-one lesson with an expert teacher through various mediums. This could be through a video call on Google Hangout, Skype, and Apple Face Time. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world. You can access online music lessons for as long as you have the interest to learn. Whether you are a seasoned professional or beginner, there is something about these lessons that will suit your needs.

Here are the benefits of taking live music lessons online:

  • Convenience

You can take online music lessons without leaving your home. All you need is a computer with internet connection and your instrument. You will arrange with your instructor when you should log into your FaceTime or Skype account to start your lesson. When you take your lessons from home, there is no need for commuting to and from the class. The scheduling is all about you and what works best for you! It’s even better if you are a parent so you can plan your music lessons around your children’s activities.

  • Freedom to select a teacher

With online lessons, you can get the teacher specializing in the exact thing you want to learn. This is because of the variety of instructors offering live online music lessons. Once you get one, your teacher will make a lesson plan. This will be specifically targeted at your goals and level of expertise. Who knows, you might even get help or advice outside lesson hours through email or instant message!

  • Extensive resources

When you have an online music teacher, you will be guided on the proper software and tools. With these, you are free to continue learning even when you are online. There are many websites where you can get the information you need. Your instructor will be able to guide you on where the best information is. Your instructor should be able to quickly address lesson problems or mistakes by directing you to online messages. When you do it online, you have the freedom to choose the materials that match your interests. You can, therefore, learn more and at your own pace. Online music lessons are available around the clock. Your online music teacher should help you know exactly how to get the maximum benefit out of them.

  • Cost-effectiveness

Learning music online is a sure way of saving you lots of money. Online music teachers charge less than they do for one-on-one lessons. You save the money you would have used commuting to and from music classes. After all, you are learning music from the comfort of your home. Also, you don’t have to buy expensive learning materials or get supplementary equipment from the music school. Computers have microphones and built in webcams so you won’t pay extra buying more equipment.

What are you waiting for? Get set up today at www.musictoyourhome.com!

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Music Lessons

Kids’ Favorite Music Infographics

guitar lessonsKids love music. It’s a great way to have them learn responsibility (through daily practice), art (by learning about their music) and joy (by actually playing). Our music teaching lessons are perfect for kids because our teachers are professionals who know how to engage kids and make them excited about playing.

To prove our point about how kids love music, we asked a couple of boys who take piano lessons on the Upper East Side, aged 10 and 12, to choose their favorite music infographics and why. Here is what they said.

1. How Guitars Work

I liked how this infographic shows how guitars make music. Before I saw this, I didn’t know how guitars worked.

2. Guitar vs. Violin

I liked this infographic because it shows the details about each part of the violin. It also shows how different guitar and violin are.

3. Electric Guitar Timeline

I like how it shows the evolved electric guitars. They really changed a lot since 1931!

4. Complicated Guitars

I liked how this one because it shows all the parts that go into a guitar. It’s complicated.

5.Piano Teacher Facts

I liked it because it talks about teaching to play the piano and how piano teachers are.

6. Guitar Parts

I liked this one because it shows what each part of a guitar is used for and how different guitars look.

7. The Piano’s Evolution

This historical infographic shows the evolution of the piano, all the way to synthesizers and piano boxes.

8. Violin Sizes

This infographic shows that violins come in different sizes. My little brother would have to use a 3/4 size violin.

9. The World’s Most Expensive Guitars

This infographic guitars are really expensive yet people have bought them. The most expensive ones belonged to musicians like Jimi Hendrix.

10. Air Guitar

I liked this infographic because it shows what musicians do to entertain their audience. It also shows that air guitar is a sport.

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Piano Lessons NYC
Music Lessons - Piano Lessons

6 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Could Rock An Instrument

If you’re trying to make it in the big city, Piano Lessons could be the difference between you booking a gig or going home empty-handed.

The city is full of incredibly talented people all vying for the same coveted jobs and positions, from acting, to finance positions, to political spots.  You’ll never know who might be impressed by your ability to play a musical instrument.

And it certainly came in handy for these famous names.  Not only does playing a musical instrument help keep your brain sharp, but demonstrating mastery of instrument shows dedication and commitment to something you voluntary chose to pursue.  You do it because you love it, and others take note of that.

So, if you want a leg up on your peers and maybe even wow your boss’s boss at a work retreat, get inspired by these multi-talented celebrities, who are well-known for various reasons, but harbor a love for music as well.

1.)  Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman can probably get a belly laugh out of you for his work in Tootsie and The Graduate, but he also knows his way around a piano pretty well.  He’s said he wanted to be a jazz pianist , and occasionally has sat down to play on screen.  Clearly, he’s someone who was always meant for the spotlight.

2.)  Meryl Streep

As if we needed more reasons to be in love with Meryl Streep, if you haven’t seen her 1999 film Music of the Heart, you probably didn’t know that’s she’s a very talented violin player.  Basically, what we’re saying is if you violin lessons in NYC, you’ll be the next Meryl Streep (sort of…).

3.)  Clint Eastwood

So if you really want to see an overachiever, look no further than Clint Eastwood.  Successful actor, professional piano player…oh wait, don’t forget to add professional composer to that list.

Yup, Clint Eastwood has done the soundtracks for movies like Million Dollar Baby and Flags of our Fathers. The man has superpowers.  Don’t worry though, we won’t hold it against you if you just choose to become a piano aficionado and maybe hold off on your career as a composer.  We know that’s a bit much.

4.)  Condolleeza Rice

Bet you didn’t expect a politician to sneak her way onto this list, did you?  Well, Condy’s actually quite the piano player.  She’s even played for the Queen of England.

We’re not sure why anyway would choose a life of politics over music, but hey, it’s not our decision. Condolleeza even had the chance to accompany renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma for the 2002 National Medal of Arts Awards.

5.)  Keanu Reeves

So if your child is absolutely hellbent on taking bass or guitar lessons in NYC, then let Keanu Reeves be the proof that hard work pays off and that knowing how to play an electric instrument is just as valuable as knowing an acoustic one.

Keanu Reeves was a member of the alternative rock group Dogstar from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s.  Apparently, he even plans to get back into the musical swing of things in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure 3.

6.)  Ryan Gosling

Because the world wasn’t in love with him enough, Ryan Gosling formed a band called Dead Man’s Bones with his friend, Zach Shields.   The band sings love songs about ghosts and monsters.  So that’s pretty adorable.

But wait, there’s more.  Gosling and Shields played every single instrument on their album, because Gosling plays piano, guitar, bass guitar, and cello.

Take a look at him here crooning and playing piano alongside a children’s choir.  Amidst the witty banter he shares with the kids at the beginning, the smooth piano skills, and the deep, scratchy singing, I think it’s safe to say he’s cemented his place as the Male American Sweetheart for eternity.

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Music Lessons

What Do Musical Genres Really Mean?

For time immemorial humans have classified music as one style or another. But it wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that pop culture led to a proliferation of musical genres. Today, if we look at a genre like Electronic Dance Music, its sub-genres are so extensive that there is an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the many different types, from ambient dub to UK funky. Not only do these different sub-genres sound different, but they inspire different kinds of crowds at concerts, with different activities typically associated with their music.

At a certain point, though, we have to wonder. Are these genres really worth of differentiation? Do kids taking guitar lessons really want to grow up to play Nu-gaze? Maybe. But it’s more likely that the media and record labels put adjectives on bands and artists in order to define and sell their music.

Genre as a Rule, and an Exception

That said, there are other bands who take a genre and completely own it, becoming representative of that kind of music. What would Heavy Metal be without Metallica, or Chillwave without Washed Out? Some of the best bands upend a genre by starting out as representing their genre, only to add more to their repertoire as they grow artistically. The result is that these bands expand the boundaries of what kind of music they (and their associated genre) can create and represent.

In this sense, genre can be a starting point, especially for young artists entering their first band, or taking more advanced lessons in NYC. Say, if you want to specialize in playing blues guitar, playing blues scales is a great way to begin. If you’re truly serious about being a blues guitarist and you find yourself in a band, releasing albums, there may come a point where you define your music based on what you perceive as the limits of the genre of blues, which to others may be far outside what they had previously considered representative of a style associated with pentatonic scales. But ultimately that’s what it means to be an artist—to expand boundaries and present different viewpoints. So keep playing, and don’t let genre dictate what kind of music you play, unless, of course, you’re just starting and you need a marker to begin.

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