Monthly Archives: February 2014

Reading Music

Fail not to practise the reading of old clefs; otherwise many treasures of past times will remain a closed fountain to you. – Robert Schumann In the West, reading musical notation is probably the most common method of learning and

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Learning (Music) Modes

There are various ways of practising and performing music, and these are processed in different parts of the brain. Reading music is predominantly a left-hemisphere action. Playing by ear, improvising, playing from memory, and playing in one’s imagination activate more

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Sleep Learning

Sleep well, think well. – John Medina Since the year 2000 Matthew Walker, now with U.C. Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory, has been conducting experiments to determine whether humans consolidate learning during sleep. In one study, two groups of subjects

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Observing Models

Students must practise how to practise, but first they need a model from whom to learn. How many students have the opportunity to watch their teacher practise, and how many teachers observe their students as they practise? We learn a

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Slow Practice, Fast Progress!

Maintaining improvement and making a skill permanent require slow steady work that probably forms new connections. – Norman Doidge Sergei Rachmaninoff said, “The most efficient manner in learning to memorise a piece seems to be the one which proceeds in

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A Tip with Key Signatures

Many young musicians are comfortable with a knowledge of key signatures up to a couple of sharps and flats only, and struggle to recall more difficult key signatures. Observing a simple connection between the sharp and flat keys of the

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