Musical Musings

Sharing musical thoughts and ideas.

Get your spot for Fall Lesson days and times

Sunday, July 14, 2019 by Paula Augustine | Study

Get your Spot:

Fall is getting close! Regular lessons will begin the week of August 12, 2019.

I am sorry to say I did not end up signing a lease on the new building - there were some restrictions I was not aware of until it came down to signing the lease. So, we will continue to have lessons at the Elizabethton Alliance church downtown. I am still looking around and would like to stay downtown, but so many buildings need so much work it will take some time before one would be ready. 

Lessons will continue to be Tuesdays from 2:30-7:00pm and (Wed. are filled) Wednesdays from 1:00-5:15 pm. There will be times for Thursday morning for home school families.

If you have a summer lesson coming up we can schedule fall lesson times at your next lesson or you can reach me by email or text to get your preferred time and day.

New for Fall: 

Buddy lessons - This is a new format for lessons for two students who are close in ability. Each student will stay for 40 minutes. Student A will come in and begin a 20 minute private lesson. Student B will arrive 20 minutes later for a duo lesson. Student B will stay for a 20 minute private lesson. During the overlap time when the students are together we will be doing more games and duet work. I have always wanted students to find friends they can play piano with so the learning does not feel so solitary. This format will only work for those who can have a lessons back to back and who are at a similar ability level. 

Mini Musicians - I am looking into the ability to begin a music group lesson time for preschoolers. My only hesitation is the space at the church is too big and open, I would prefer a room, but if there is enough interest I would like to get this started. This would be a group that meets weekly, similar to Kindermusic, but with my own music teaching style. Students will play the piano each week as well as other instruments, but will not have assignments and all learning will take place in the group each week. This class will be limited to no more than 6 students. I get questions from parents, how young can my child start piano lessons. This is a great way for parents to asses their child's interest in music learning at a younger age. Preschoolers can move from a one year Mini Musicians class to buddy or individual private lessons if they seem ready.

New Interested Students:

If you have a friend who is interested in lessons they can get on the waiting list now for fall by filing out the information form on the website.

Technique and the study of an instrument

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 by Paula Augustine | Study

People who play musical instruments can develop habits which may cause injury after repeated use. I personally experienced tendonitis in both elbows, which I attribute to improper flute playing for years. Thankfully, today much study has been done and there are teachers who have come up with systems to help teach technique and good habits. The best habit is to play without unnecessary or bad tension.

It is difficult in the short 30 minutes a week I have with students to address all technical issues and we do not want to just bog down on the tension in the body! Our bodies are wonderfully designed to adjust as changes are made and heal when necessary. As seen in the videos below, Dorothy Taubman was able to help professional musicians in 10 minutes! I try to offer a balance of picking on the small technical issues and teaching good techniques while still letting the student play and have fun at the piano. The main reason the student comes each week to piano lessons is to play!

Ultimately, students will develop their habits and some habits will help them while other habits will not. It is up to the student to understand as they are able, what habits are helping and what habits they need to change. 

Continuing with my tendonitis story, I can now play my flute without pain. I did have to give time for the tendonitis to heal and I did physical therapy with a professional. But, ultimately I needed to find those habits that were causing unnecessary and bad tension in my body and change my habits so I could play again.

Below are two short videos giving a simple overview of two schools of systems on teaching to prevent injury and help those who experience injuries.