Hello fellow music lovers!
For the last few weeks, Matt and I have been helping the Rock Band Class prepare for a contest they are competing in this weekend. The students have been practicing individually, and rehearsals have gone well. The band also got two separate chances to perform before they head to contest this weekend. In both of these performances there were mistakes, wobbles, and memory slips, but as a whole they made it through and performed well. I heard a few of the kids lamenting the mistakes later, and I thought about my own obsession with performing perfectly that plagued much of my musical life. It can be so easy to slip into perfectionism in the world of music, and in doing so lose the joy of playing music.
And while I definitely push my students to play accurately and with excellence, if Adele can mess up a performance, can’t we also without beating ourselves up? Instead of aiming to play perfectly, now I aim for improvement over what I’ve done before. When I perform, I want to evoke certain emotions, or make a statement, or get joy out of music—for the listener and myself—not just play every note and rhythm correctly.
So when our Rock Band kids head on stage this Saturday, I hope they have the same goals in mind. There will be mistakes, and there will be success. And we’ll be so proud!
Have a great month, enjoy your music!
Laura Lee Crandall, owner KCRB
Practice Tip of the Month
Understand what to practice, and how to practice, before you leave your lesson.
Parents: drop in for the last 2 minutes of lessons and make sure YOU understand too, in case your student missed something. What exercises? Do the same ones every day or move on? How many times? Ask lots of questions if you aren’t sure. If you realize mid-week something is unclear, contact your teacher! We love to hear you want to learn! Our teachers write the assignments in the red folders, but you can write extra notes on there too if you have things you want to remember!
A live performance is worth about three lessons, so get out and see some music! Here’s a few coming up in the KC area:
3/18 – Kansas City Divas @Blue Room
3/19 – tobyMac @Sprint Center
3/21 – Third Eye Blind @Liberty Hall Lawrence
3/23—Nick Carter @Uptown Theater
4/11 – Willie Nelson @Silverstein Eye Arena
4/16 — The Bad Plus Joshua Redman @Gem Theater
4/18 – Mumford & Sons @Sprint Center
4/28 – Blue Man Group @Topeka PAC
4/30 – George Clinton & P-Funk @Granada
5/11 – Dave Matthews Band @Wichita
5/15 – Carrie Underwood @Sprint Center
5/20 – Deftones @Uptown Theater
Student of the Month
Rosiland has been taking lessons at KCRB for almost 1 year on voice and piano. Her teacher is Karren Schiele.
Q. Why did you decide to take lessons?
A. I decided to take music lessons for a couple of reasons. First, because I love music and wanted to understand it once again. I am the Head Choir Director of our Music Ministry. It was my desire to teach our choirs better singing techniques and sharpen their overall skills… I also take piano so that I can learn how to read music again and one day soon, play for my church! I’m looking forward to this!!
Q. What are some of your favorite things you learned so far with Karren?
A. So far, I love everything that Karren has taught me because I enjoy learning! I am currently working on the Circle of the Fifths. This has been the most challenging lesson, but who doesn’t like a challenge? 😉
Q. Any tips for adults trying to squeeze in a little practice time?
A. Adults who are taking lessons, since we are much older, I always practice at least one hour everyday. I even practice after I get home from class while the lesson is still fresh in my memory! I’m learning now to write down any questions that I may have for my teacher to answer next class time. I sometimes bring a recorder to class. This is useful for times when my teacher is explaining something that is a little difficult for me at the time. Once I play the lesson back a couple of times, then I understand it and come ready for my next class!
Q. What specific pieces or songs you’d like to perform one day?
I will like to perform, “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin and “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Q. Any surprising things you’ve gotten out of music lessons you weren’t expecting?
A. I am surprisingly getting out of the music lessons confidence with my singing and you know what, I can hear for myself, that I am a great singer. lol!! My teacher is Karren Schiele. She is such a blessing to me and I absolutely love and adore her.