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Music Tools & Inspiration

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Student Materials and Resources

The links on this page (below) are resources that we use daily in lessons and practicing.  On the left you'll find a links to a plethora of even more interesting, useful, and exciting things to help enrich your musical journey.  Have fun exploring!

"How should I spend my practice time?"
                                                                  ... is a question that also comes up a lot.  I try to cover this with everyone within the first few lessons, but those with half-hour spots know that our time is extremely limited.  The general outline that I find works for everyone is:

-Exercises/technique (very important to do daily if you can, as you are "teaching your muscles new tricks")

-Repertoire (songs/pieces that have been assigned).  Singing along with the radio and composing pieces on your own are wonderful things to do, but they don't count toward the repertoire practicing time.

-Listening Exploration (we've started a fun YouTube channel if you're looking for a kickstart... remember to email me links to your favorite discoveries!).  Any musician learns an invaluable amount of information from listening and studying other musicians, both within your own genre and beyond.  Challenge yourself to find new pieces, performers, and genres!

-Music Theory (including online music theory games at Theta).  This is the foundation, the building blocks, for understanding and communicating the musical language.  It is very important to develop this skill to be a well-rounded performer who can function independently.

I also like to throw in an "other" category to cover reading assignments or music research that tends to pop up.

Vocal Warmups App

We love this app in my studio!  If you have an iOS system, this app will be a fun way to practice vocal exercises at home.

The Most Practical Tips for Practicing, According to Science

A valuable and short TED Talk video with accompanying article about how to practice smarter, not harder.

Toby Rush's Music Theory for Normal People

This is a great overview of reading music notation generously offered by Toby Rush.  As he says, it's music theory for musicians and normal people (!).

Theta Music Trainer

This is the site where working on music theory is easy and fun to do at home!  Current students get a full-access subscription included with their paid tuition.  If you are a brand-new beginner, here are the games they recommend starting with:
- Channel Scramble
- Band Match
- Speed Pitch
- Tonal Recall
- Tone Drops
- Paddle Pitch
- Flash Rhythms
- Flash Notation (Notes)

Anyone can play around for free for the first couple of levels... it's definitely worth your time to explore this site's offerings.  

"The notes I handle no better than many pianists.  
But the pauses between the notes -
ah, that is where the art resides!"
~Artur Schnabel

(Links checked 8/2020. If you find any that no longer work, be sure to let me know!)