tips-for

Start Playing Music Again – Tips for relearning an instrument

There are many of us out there who took music lessons as a child but stopped when we reached adulthood. If you are experiencing the urge to get back into playing music as an adult, you’re certainly not alone. Here are some tips and food for thought about how to prepare yourself for a successful musical restart. Finding the right teacher There are several reputable online resources out there that can help you locate a teacher that will be a good fit for you. As a teacher, I have favored Reverb Lessons, and have had some of my best students find me through that channel. Be sure to get in
Continue reading…

three-piano-songs

Three Piano Songs That Are Nearly Impossible to Play

The question of “What piano songs are the most difficult to play?” has inspired friendly arguments among music lovers, likely for as long as piano songs have been composed. The issue of what, exactly, makes a piece of music “difficult” to play is difficult to define. For example, a song which is ten hours in length is going to be “difficult” regardless of the complexity of the song itself. Then there is the question of entertainment value. If a song is not pleasant to hear, then pianists will have little interest in playing it simply to take on the challenge. Therefore, the only true way to determine which piano songs
Continue reading…

How to

How to Choose Sheet Music for Piano Students

Piano teachers know that the day always comes when a student asks to play a song or piece that isn’t in their method book. If they’re a first or second year student, it’s quite possible that they aren’t ready to play the most difficult (and usually most accurate) arrangement available. As their teacher, it can prove challenging to find appropriate sheet music for piano students. Fortunately, these days there are multiple difficulty levels of nearly any song or piece to choose from, such as those offered here at Musicnotes. What criteria should teachers consider when choosing an appropriate arrangement for a student? In my experience, the three most important skill
Continue reading…

MusicDictionary2

Contrafactum: What’s That?

A lesser-known musical term, contrafactum, refers to a song in which the melody is similar or even identical to another song yet contains different lyrics. One of the most popular examples of contrafacta are “What Child is This” and “Greensleeves.” While the lyrics convey very different meanings, the melody remains the same for both. There are several reasons for why a composer would choose to repeat one melody across two different pieces. Often times, the composer has chosen to reuse the melody from another piece because it brings together the beginning and end of a show. For example, “Come to Me,” also known as “Fantine’s Death,” is sung in the first
Continue reading…

-POP

Tips to Keep You Cool While Playing Hot Summer Gigs + Win a Musicnotes.com Water Bottle & Tee

Festivals, farmers’ markets, garden parties, weddings and sporting events, whether you’re playing under the hot sun or a hazy moon, summertime is prime for outdoor gigs. Unlike the more temperate (climate controlled) indoor venues, there are additional considerations to keep both your body and instrument in prime condition while playing on hot summer days. We’ve put together a quick list of the 5 most essential tips for outdoor summer gigs. Read to the end and enter to win a limited-edition Musicnotes.com Contigo™ reusable water bottle and cool t-shirt! (Note: This contest has ended and winners have been notified via email. Thanks to everyone who entered!) 1. Hydrate Proper hydration is essential
Continue reading…

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
Continue reading…

Ask a Music Publisher

What YOU Should Know About Music Publishing, with Sean Flahaven of Warner/Chappell Music

Downloading sheet music to play instantly is easy as can be, right? Did you know that before a song makes its way to the huge Musicnotes.com catalogue, joining more than 300,000 other instantly available works, it first takes a journey through a legal process, a proofing process and a technological process? Today, we’re going to focus on the legal part of sheet music publishing with our first-ever Ask a Music Publisher post, with guest expert Sean Flahaven of Warner/Chappell Music. In addition to writing and performing music, there are so many other musical fields that allow you and I to enjoy playing the songs we love. In the most simplistic
Continue reading…

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
Continue reading…

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,
Continue reading…

Music Crafts

Simple Musical Crafts for Kids: 12 Rainy Day Projects

Even if your little ones are a bit too young to start formal musical training, it’s a terrific idea to expose them to basic concepts like rhythm, pitch and melody. A fun and exciting way to get youngsters involved in their earliest musical training is by helping them to make their own musical instruments. We’ve scanned the web to find 12 go-to (simple) musical crafts perfect for a rainy day, a quiet weekend or really any time! Looking for something a little more advanced than the preschool-level activities below? Use these 100% FREE resources to teach little ones how to read sheet music: Beginner Notes sheet music, keyboard note guide, and keyboard apps for iPad
Continue reading…