BlogCreative_PerfectAuditionPiece3

Choosing the Perfect Audition Piece for You

Tips on how to do well at an audition are more or less universal, but the perfect audition piece is not. (Check out our Updated: 40+ Songs for Stage and Show Auditions blog post.) Each individual musician is different just as every performance of a piece varies ever so slightly from the one previous. There is no “one-size-fits-all” audition piece. Not saying it wouldn’t be nice, but it just doesn’t exist. There isn’t a perfected audition piece that will work for everyone the same. There is, however, a uniquely perfect audition piece for you. Musicnotes.com is here to help guide you through three basic steps to take when selecting the
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Benefits of Playing Music Infographic

Learn The Many Ways That Music Benefits Your Mind – Fun Animated Infographic

As musicians, we appreciate a vast array of music benefits that come from playing and practicing. For some of us, music helps to relax us. For others, it helps to pep us up! Sitting down at the piano or picking up our violin can offer a fun diversion, or it can challenge you in unique ways. Aside from the general pleasure we get out of practicing and performing, learning and playing music has proven benefits when it comes to mental, cognitive and emotional health as well. For example, did you know that playing music increases memory, coordination, and can actually alter your brain’s structure? School students who study music are
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resolution

Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions and Meeting Musical Goals

The new year presents us with the opportunity to consider what we may want to improve upon or accomplish over the next 12 months. Have you chosen your musical new year’s resolutions or goals yet? Read on to find popular articles relating to seven common musical resolutions, including everything from learning to play a new instrument to getting into tip-top musical shape for 2016’s auditions and performances! Resolution #1: Learn How to Play an Instrument Did you receive a new instrument over the holidays? Perhaps you used to read sheet music, but could use a bit of a refresher. We have simple guides to the basics of reading sheet music,
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Choral Audition

Choral Audition Tips from 6 Stand-Out Choir Conductors!

What do you really need to do when you’re auditioning for that choir, small ensemble, choral competition or festival? We’ve asked several of our choral director friends at the top of their game to tell us what they look and listen for. They’ve graciously shared their wisdom with us so that we can share it with you. You’ll notice that some of our experts give similar advice on a few topics. Pay special attention there, and do what they say! Read on, and get ready for your BEST choral audition ever! Rollo Dilworth – world-renowned conductor and clinician, prolific composer and arranger, chair of music education and music therapy at
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Learn how to read leadsheets

Learn How to Read Lead Sheets: The Theory Behind Music’s Most Versatile Pages

If you’ve searched through the Musicnotes.com catalog, you may have noticed pieces scored as “leadsheets.” If you’ve looked at a lead sheet, you may have asked yourself “Where are all the notes!?”  A lead sheet is a type of sheet music arrangement used by many instrumentalists, bands, and even vocalists. They may only be a page or two, but their uses are many! In this blog, we’ll go over some of the advantages of using lead sheets versus traditional piano/vocal/guitar arrangements, discuss what other useful information a lead sheet provides and find out how using a bit of music theory can open up new doors for our playing.  So, what’s
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TakeLessons2

Song suggestions for vocal auditions, special events and even karaoke!

We’re always on the hunt for new additions to our own repertoires, from vocal auditions and gig/performance songs to fun solos and duets for our impromptu company karaoke nights! Our friends at TakeLessons.com have put together a comprehensive guide of 400+ Songs to Sing for Every Occasion, complete with song suggestions, vocal practice tips, how to choose what to sing and more. There’s a ton of great content to explore in the guide. Molly R., a vocal instructor in Hayward, CA, offers her suggestions for what songs NOT to sing for a musical theatre audition.  Musical coach Heather L. shares her top 10 songs for sight singing practice (download sheet
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How to Read Guitar Tab

How to Play Guitar Tabs: Learn to Read Tab Notation & Play Your Favorite Songs!

Have you always wanted to play guitar, but are unsure about where to start? Guitar tabs offer beginning and experienced musicians alike a quick guide to playing their favorite songs. In this article we’ll explain the basics of how to play guitar tabs, give pointers on reading tab notation, and get you started on the right note with a FREE song and symbol guide! What is Tab? Tablature (or tab) is a type of sheet music scoring specifically designed to help guitarists and bassists quickly learn how to play their favorite songs. In addition to helping the reader associate fret positions with the notes on the staff, tablature also provides
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Hitting the Wall

Tips to Bust Through Progress Walls and Practice Plateaus

We’ve all been there, the dreaded proverbial “wall.” It’s most commonly identified as a point in which, no matter how much you practice, you don’t feel that you’re advancing as a musician. These practice plateaus can (at best) be incredibly frustrating, and (at worst) cause you to believe you’ve reached your full potential and give up hopes of further improvement. Novelist David Foster Wallace wrote that the path to genuine mastery of any craft is “slow, frustrating. Humbling. A question of less talent than temperament.” If you look at your own path of musical improvement, it’s most likely not a straight inclining line but rather a series of peaks, small
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How to choose a music teacher

How to Choose a Piano Teacher

The benefits of learning to play music are indisputable, and one of the most important aspects in creating an exciting, valuable music education experience for yourself or your child is knowing how to choose a piano teacher. Communication styles, learning methods and preferred genres are highly personal, meaning that it takes a little bit of background work to choose the best music teacher FOR YOU. Below we’ll go over our 5 helpful tips for choosing a piano teacher, which actually may applied to choosing any music instructor, and our top resources to turn to for additional help. By following these tips, you can be sure to choose a teacher who
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Counting musical notes

How to Count Music: Be Rhythm Ready with These Basic Tips

Are you a budding musician just starting to learn to read music? Maybe you have plenty of experience playing interpretively, but want to get a better handle on musical technique and hone your timing and synchronization. Either way, learning to properly count music is a skill that you’ll find helpful throughout your musical journey, not to mention absolutely essential if you’re planning to play with other people. The first thing you’ll need to learn in order to keep time is your basic note values. We explored note values in our “How to Read Sheet Music” blog post a while back. You can familiarize yourself with note values, as well as
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