The Importance of Effective Piano Practice

Is practicing a chore at your home? Developing consistent and effective piano practice habits is often the biggest struggle for those learning the instrument. Sometimes you just need a little help. If practicing is a struggle in your home, you could definitely benefit from our Practice Pals program. This program allows you or your child to have a Practice Leader actually practice with you three times each week! This is a great opportunity for beginning students as well as for those who have been playing for years.

Practice Pals can help teach a student how to practice the piano by walking with the student through his/her piano practice assignments throughout the week in a fun, engaging way. This will help lay a solid foundation for long-term musical success. It is crucial for a student to not only practice, but practice in such a way to make that time effective. If a student doesn’t know how to practice, much time will be wasted. Many students get discouraged due to ineffective practicing habits, leading to quitting private lessons. We have spoken with many adults who have had that experience themselves, only to regret their decision to quit music lessons.

 

We want to help! Practicing doesn’t have to be a chore! Give Practice Pals a try and see the amazing difference in your child’s progress! Don’t let your kid be the one who grows weary of the process and quits, only to regret that decision for the rest of their lives. Contact us today to get started with Practice Pals!

Benefits of Having a Music Tutor

We live in an age where unlimited information is at our fingertips. With YouTube videos, articles, and blogs galore, has the need for a music tutor disappeared? If you are considering learning an instrument, read on to discover why having a music tutor is still important.

We all know that a music tutor is a person who teaches others how to play a musical instrument. What we all may not recognize is that music tutors serve other important purposes besides simply relaying musical information.

Music tutors help the learner follow an instructional path that is known to be efficient and produce the desired results. A person can search the internet all day long for instructions and learn different tidbits here and there, but if the music education comes out of order, much confusion and educational gaps are to be expected. The trained music tutor knows how to provide important information in a structured, easy-to-understand way that involves presenting concepts in meaningful order. Think of it like this: A fence-builder can’t go out and simply begin hammering boards together. The professional fence-builder knows to first dig the post-holes, then set the posts, and then attach the cross-bars, and so on. An amateur may go out there into the backyard and put a fence together, but it will not be as stable or beautiful as if it had been created by a professional. It is likewise with music education. One can piece a music education together, but it will take much more time, there will be gaps in the “musical fence,” and the final product won’t be as stable or beautiful as if the education had been achieved through a trained professional.

The trained music tutor knows how to ensure the student’s education does not have any gaps. Music tutors know how to ongoingly assess a student’s progress and teach on subjects that are needed to progress. Many self-taught musicians figure out how to get it done, but the final product is often not as pleasurable or effective due to the fact that many steps have been unknowingly missed in the learning process. Here are some examples of how a person can learn to play on their own, contrasted with what music tutors are able to bring:

 

A self-taught musician might learn individual chords to play a song or songs.

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The music tutor will teach his students how chords are structured so the student is not limited by memorizing specific chords.

A self-taught musician will learn how to play a song by ear.

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The music tutor will teach her student theory so playing by ear becomes an easier and quicker (therefore more enjoyable) process.

A self-taught music student will hammer out a song, without giving thought to proper or most-efficient fingering. This may lead to awkward hand positions and in worst cases long-term damage such as carpal tunnel or tendinitis.

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Music tutors teach students how to achieve best fingering practices when playing their instruments. This will result smoother music, improved speed or skill, and injury-prevention.

And we could list many more examples…

Music tutors become accountability partners. It is always encouraged for people seeking to succeed at challenging endeavors to have accountability partners. The music tutor will be this to his students from the start, encouraging them to achieve their best and reach their goals. We all set goals of accomplishing things, but when life gets busy, often we fall off the horse or give up altogether. When you know you have that music lesson coming up and your teacher will know whether you practiced, that provides often much-needed motivation for you to get on your instrument and practice!

Your music tutor provides a friend/cheerleader during your musical journey. Learning an instrument is tough work! It is possible to learn an instrument on your own, but the journey is so much more enjoyable when you have a caring partner working with you to achieve your goals!

Starlight Music Lessons offers many music tutors throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. If you have been considering learning an instrument, contact us today! Our music tutors come to you so you can still learn in the comfort of your own home. Contact us today to set up a trial lesson with one of our many excellent music tutors.

 

Practice Pals

Hi Parents and Students!
We have some VERY exciting news. We are re-launching our beloved Practice Pals program with a new amazing twist. This program will be an unbelievable resource for our students, and we are offering it FREE for current Starlight customers!

Each current customer will have the opportunity to have up to three 15-minute practice sessions with a Practice Leader per week (excluding studio vacation weeks). The practice sessions are done online to maximize convenience for you!

Here’s the amazing part: These practice sessions will be on-demand(first come, first served), meaning you can schedule the sessions:

  • when you need them
  • at a time that works well for you.

We will provide a link you will use to schedule your session between 3:00-8:00 pm M-F, and some limited weekend hours. You’ll schedule each session individually, so you can book out a consistent time a few weeks in advance, or simply schedule a session when you need help.

We know practicing can be the most difficult part about becoming skilled at an instrument. As a matter of fact, lack of practice is the number one reason students quit music lessons. We teachers hate to see great talent wasted (as well as the parents’ time and money gone!) when someone decides that consistent practicing is too challenging to accomplish.

But practicing doesn’t have to be stressful for parents or students! Practicing doesn’t have to involve tears or fighting. Practicing doesn’t have to be a drain on your energy and time!  It’s Time To Have:

Fun practicing (yes, practicing can be fun!)
Efficient Practicing (make more progress in less time!)
Practicing without a fight (yes, you can enjoy stress-free practicing!)

The Practice Pals program is designed to supplement in-person lessons, not replace in-person lessons. Your in-person teacher will still introduce new concepts, teach technique and skills, select the curriculum, and do all the things a teacher usually does. Your Practice Pals Leader will follow the teacher’s practicing assignments and guide the student through the assignments in a fun and energetic way. Working with a Practice Pals Leader will:

  • Make your practice sessions more efficient so you can practice fewer days and/or progress faster.
  • Make your practice sessions fun: meaning no more fights about practicing!

Our Practice Pals leader is super friendly, encouraging, and trained in many different instruments. Her job isn’t to teach new material — that’s the job of your in-home teacher. The Practice Pals Leader is there to provide help when you are struggling with something, encourage you through your sessions, and it gives you someone to practice with — a cure for those who dislike practicing in solitude.

We are expecting to begin providing this unbelievable perk within a couple of weeks. We are so excited!

Stay tuned for the launch!

Summer Ensemble Lessons

Besides being a fabulously fun summer activity, ensemble lessons offer an exciting growth opportunity for music students!

This summer Starlight Music Lessons is offering Ensemble Lessons!
We invite you to consider giving ensemble lessons a try! It will be a fun and valuable summer activity. This will be a summer these students will not forget!

For any musician, learning to attend to both his/her own part as well as parts played by others is an invaluable skill. Musicians benefit tremendously by learning and honing this skill. Being able to play an instrument is one thing, but knowing how to translate that knowledge into the ability to play with others is something teachers rarely have time to cover during the weekly lesson.

Click here to fill out a quick form to register for ensemble lessons.

Musically, all students GREATLY benefit from ensemble lessons!
But ensemble lessons can also PERSONALLY benefit some students in particular:

  • Kids who are social and like team activities.
  • Those who are looking for fun musical extra-curriculars for the summer.
  • Students hoping to make noticeable forward progress during the summer.
  • Those who might consider a career in music.
  • Children who are interested in making music with their family or friends.
  • A student who seems to be losing motivation with music lessons.
    • By adding the group aspect to music lessons, students will often work harder because they’re part of a “team.” Ensemble lessons are fantastic for renewing that passion!

These are the general details:
Two or more students will have ensemble lessons together, either on the same instrument or different complimentary instruments. Options will be limited by teacher availability and schedule, so if you are interested, sign up NOW so you can save a spot with the teacher before their schedule fills up! (We do not charge any registration fees.)

  • One family will be host (lessons happen at host’s house).
  • Ensemble Lessons are not a substitute for regular lesson instruction. In order to participate in ensemble lessons, the student must be taking regular weekly lessons or our summer lesson packages so he/she can work on their ensemble pieces individually with the teacher.
  • Summer Ensemble Students will purchase a package of 4 ensemble lessons to be used during the months of June through August.
    • If you want more than 4 lessons you can purchase two packages or more.
  • Ensemble Packages cost $90 per student for a 4-lesson package. Each lesson is 30-minutes long.
    • You may have to purchase sheet music for the piece your ensemble is going to work on (if it is not readily available for free online), which generally costs $10 or less per person.
  • A minimum of 2 students is needed to form an ensemble (two piano students, piano and guitar, guitar and drums, piano and voice, piano and a wind instrument … the combinations are endless!).
    • Starlight will make the ensemble matches based on students’ location and availability.

If you are interested in ensemble lessons, click here to fill out a quick form, and we will pair you with another ensemble student. Once you are paired we will schedule the lesson time, then collect payment.

Click here to enroll in private music lessons with Starlight Music lessons.