Saturday, January 28, 2012

Let's Practice "Music Friend Waltz"

Practice piano at home with Ms. Tonya!

This is a beginning piano song in which the student only needs to know notes "C", "D" and "E". 

Watch where to put your fingers.

Listen to Ms. Tonya play and sing the song.

Go practice on your piano!

Have fun!

Please leave a comment!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Which Music Will Calm My Child? Which Music Will Get My Child Moving?

classical music, music and behaviors, music benefits, music therapy, music list, strings keys and melodies

Music has the ability to change our feelings and behaviors.  Slow, soft music can make us feel calm and relaxed.  While fast music with a lot of rhythm can make us feel energized and get us dancing.  Parents have asked me to suggest music for their child to listen to while falling asleep or to get them moving. 

We all know each person is made up of body, mind and spirit.  Did you know that music is made of three components that match those parts?  The three parts of music are rhythm, melody, and harmony.

 Rhythm affects our body and stimulates our arms and legs.  Percussion is the group in the orchestra that provides rhythm.  Percussion instruments include the drums, cymbals and shakers.

 Melody affects our mind and stimulates our head.  The woodwind instruments, such as the flute, clarinet, and oboe provide melody. 

Harmony affects our spirit and touches our hearts.  The string instruments provide the harmony in the orchestra.  Violin, viola and cello are string instruments.

The goal is to select music to stimulate or calm the body, mind and spirit in order to create balance.

Not everyone will react the same way to a piece of music.  So I can suggest pieces to play for your child but you will have to see her reaction to it to determine if it is right for her.

Most of these suggestions are classical music and that is because classical music usually contains all three parts:  rhythm, melody and harmony that is necessary for balance.

Stimulating Music

Children who are lethargic or have weak limbs need to be stimulated with rhythm.  They need rhythmic percussion to invigorate them.

For children with weak muscles and limbs and to energize sleepy bodies play stimulating music with the volume slightly louder than usual.

“Bolero” by Ravel-orchestra

“Mephisto Waltz” by Liszt – piano

“Stars and Stripes Forever” by Sousa-marching band

“German Dance” by Mozart- orchestra

“The Toy Symphony” by Leopold Mozart-orchestra with horn and glockenspiel calling out “cuckoo”

Calming Music

Hyperactive children can be calmed by playing music with more melody and harmony and less rhythm and percussion.  Instead of being physically and mentally active she will be relaxed and soothed.

“Romeo and Juliet” by Tchaikovsky-symphony orchestra

“Carmen Suite” Nos. 1-2 by Bizet – orchestra with a lot of wind instruments

“Andantino from the Flute Quartet in C Major” by Mozart-orchestra with a lot of flutes

Music for Anxiety

Anxious children respond well to music that has pronounced rhythm and melody

Waltzes by Strauss- orchestra

Anything by Mozart but you can start with the “Adagio from the Divertimento in B Flat (K. 287)” The Italian word adagio means “to put at ease”.

Music for Chronically Ill

Soft music is wonderful for chronically ill children

“La Mer” by Debussy-orchestra

“Andantino from the Flute Quartet in C Major (K.171)” by Mozart-orchestra

Music for Emotionally Sensitive Children

Children who are emotionally sensitive need a lot of harmony in music.

“Jupiter Symphony” by Mozart-orchestra

My Favorite Sleeping Music.

Classical music has a calming effect that helps children fall asleep.

Some studies also show playing classical music as children are falling asleep and waking up can reduce the incidences of seizures since episodes frequently occur just before or after falling asleep and soon after awakening.

My girls’ favorite nighttime music is “Classical Naptime for Tots”.  It has a variety of classics from Bach, Debussy, Beethoven and Puccini

They also love Jewel’s Lullaby CD from Fisher Price

My Favorite Stimulating Music

“Jazz for Kids” is a favorite to play while using all kinds of rhythm instruments like sticks, bells and maracas.  It features Jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong singing child friendly jazz songs.

“First Steps in Classical Music:  Keeping the Beat!” is a favorite full of classical pieces to play with rhythm instruments.

Everyone has different musical preferences. Try these suggestions and see how your family responds.  If the song doesn’t work for you and your child then skip it and move on to another piece.  In order to save costs, you can find most of these songs on You Tube and these CD’s at the local library. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Practice with Ms. Tonya: See the Pony & Listen for Bells

I made two videos so students can practice their piano pieces at home.

We have been singing these two songs in class for several months.  We have clapped, danced, play boomwhackers along with singing to them.  So they should know these songs and playing on the piano should come pretty easily.  It is just a matter of finding the right notes on the keyboard.

Watch the videos a time or two and then try playing the piano along with me.
Good luck and have fun! 

See the Pony

Listen For Bells

Please leave a comment if you use these videos!  Thanks!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How to Stand in Playing and Rest Position

Good posture is extremely important when playing violin.
This video shows beginning students how to stand in both"rest" and "playing" position.

Parents of beginners can use this video when helping their student practice.  I usually make charts for students to stand on that show where their feet go in both of these positions. Make sure your student is standing up straight and has relaxed shoulders!
Happy Practicing!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Benefits of Music

children and music, music, music therapy, music education, strings keys and melodies

The benefits of music are endless but they are especially wonderful to growing and developing children.

Music has the ability to fill us with energy and really get us moving which is great for those who are undersensitive and need extra stimulation or for those who have been sitting in school all day.

On the other side, music can calm us down and relax us which is great for those with ADHD, Asperger's and those in pain or stress.

Music helps us express our emotions even when words fail us.  There is nothing like banging on a drum when angry, dancing with a scarf when happy or swaying to a lullaby when tired or scared.  So, for children who have a hard time expressing themselves, music becomes their language.

Studies show music creates new neurological paths in the brain, stimulating our brains and therefore making us smarter.

Playing an instrument helps develop eye-hand coordination as well as confidence and great self-esteem.  It also develops discipline as the student practices and realizes a goal.

Music is also a vehicle to learning other subjects.  Practically every child learns the alphabet by singing the ABC Song.  There are numerous songs to learn colors, numbers, adding, subtracting, geography and other important facts.

As parents and teachers, we need to expose our children to music in all kinds of situations.  And continue to encourage them to explore and make music on their own.