Category Archives: Blog

Building Confident, Happy Dancers

We want our dancers here at Myriad to feel confident before, during and after each class. Here are some tips that will help.

1. Be prompt for class.

2. Come properly dressed in assigned color leotard, without jewelry other then small earrings, and with shoe strings either tucked in or tied in a knot and cut off.

3. Have your hair up off your neck. For shorter hair, pull it back from the face with a headband or clips!

4. You are ready to have a confidence boosting, fun dance class!

The versatility of a guitar or ukulele

The guitar is a very versatile instrument. There are many styles of music and many different techniques to learn and practice. As a beginner you  start playing simple melodies with your thumb. Eventually you start to play with a pick, to strum chords, and even learn classical and other finger style techniques, where you involve all of your right hand fingers. Listen to different styles of music and learn to recognize what kind of playing the guitarist is doing.

Listening vs. Hearing

“Listening and “Hearing” mean two different things when it comes to music. “Hearing” acknowledges that sound is happening whereas  puts meaning to that sound. During Workshop Week we asked our students to draw a picture while listening to their peers perform. The pictures represented how the music made them feel, the scene in their mind that the music invoked, or the general mood of the piece. There were some incredible results including this one!

There’s An App For That!

Have you heard of the Drum  Beats + App? Download it now on your personal device, and your child can choose all kinds of fun steady beat templates to choose from. This is a great tool to use at home, if we have asked your child on their assignment sheet to repeat a passage or song several times a day to ‘iron out a wrinkle’. Choose a tango beat, or a jazz swing beat and play it again – lots of fun!

Drum Beats +

Dance Benefits YOU!

Dance is a powerful ally for developing many of the attributes of a growing child.Dance helps children mature physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively.
Physical Development: Dance involves a greater range of motion, coordination, strength and endurance than most other physical activities. This is accomplished through movement patterns that teach coordination and kinesthetic memory. Dancing utilizes the entire body and is an excellent form of exercise for total body fitness. Young children are naturally active, but dance offers an avenue to expand movement possibilities and skills. To learn more about the benefits of dance Click Here.

dance

How much money did we raise during our fundraising concert??—

Fundraising Concert-2014

 

On February 28th, Myriad Music School and Dance Academy partnered with a local charity, Kids & Art to put on a magnificent concert featuring some of our teachers and advanced students. The night was a huge success with a packed house and some very generous donations. Thanks to all of your support, we were able to raise $2,483 towards helping children and their families cope with cancer through art.

Thanks especially to all of the families who attended the concert and to those who donated online- we so appreciate you!

Here are our TIPS OF THE WEEK! We send little

music2

Here are our TIPS OF THE WEEK! We send little tidbits out every week to keep our families informed about what is going on in class each week.

Toddler Music:

Hand-Eye Coordination: Playing instruments, such as sand blocks with a back and forth alternating movement, gives the child an opportunity to develop hand-eye coordination. The eye leads the hand movements,so that the internal knowledge becomes the basis for the movement. This connection of movement with sight is essential in writing, drawing, playing an instrument, learning a sport or dancing.

Preschool Music:

Expressive Movement: Turn on the music and enjoy dancing while doing chores! During class, we are exploring and creating our own movements as well as using movements expressively in pretend play. In both kinds of activities, they are exploring and learning about themselves and their environment. Expressive movement strenghtens gross motor and social skills and nurtures children’s creativity and imagination. The freedom of creative movement also helps children to express their emotions and relieve some tension.

Music For the Young Child/ Superstar Young Musicians

Benefits of Rhythm: The rhythm of music and language are connected. Children love to read, speak, and hear rhythm. Think of the silly rhythm rhyming stories and poems of your childhood. This skill helps your child understand that lanugage is rhythmic, thus fostering reading fluidity and a love for language and literature.

Dance:

Barre étiquette: In Ballet, the barre represents holding you partner’s hand. So when you have to turn around, politely turn towards the barre, as though you are turning towards your partner. Turning away from the barre would be like turning your back on your poor partner.

Piano:

Musical Improvisation: Each student has a section on their Medal Level sheet dedicated to improvisation. The definition of improvisation is the creative activity of immediate (“in the moment”) musical composition. This is an essential part of learning to be a well-rounded musician but is often the most feared by music learners. Here at Myriad we have a system in place that eliminates all fear by giving our students very structured boundaries to begin the process of learning this difficult concepts. As our students improve and become more comfortable with improv, the foundries start to fall away bit by bit until they are doing it with almost no help at all.

Voice:

“Think down” for high notes: When you sing your warm-ups, try thinking of the way an elevator works: a heavy weight is attached to pulley, and as the weight pulls down, the elevator goes up to the higher floors. So, the highest floor is reached with the weight us heaviest. Similarly, you should use the most “weight” on your highest notes.

Guitar/Ukulele

“Sometimes, you are going to be so frustrated you want to give up the guitar- you’ll hate the guitar. But all of this is just a part of learning, because if you stick with it, you’re going to be rewarded.”- Jimi Hendrix This is a great quote because no matter what instrument you are learning, there will be a certain degree of frustration. Here at Myriad we have many, many tools in place to keep the frustration to a minimum. The best advice we have is to keep working. If you practice regularly and follow your teachers’ practice tips, you will begin to see how fun playing guitar can really be. Jimi Hendrix knows!

Violin:

Play with good tone: To play with good “tone” and sound, listen to the bow on the string and try to play without sounding scratchy. Practice with a nice smooth bowing motion, in a way that sounds beautiful. When you change directions with the bow, do it smoothly and easily.

Check out Marc O’Connor’s website: http://www.markoconnor.com/ We use this method book in our daily lessons

Trumpet:

Embouchure: Because everybody has individual teeth and lip shape, there are a number of embouchure developed. None of them are right or wrong, you’ll have to find the way that feels best for you. There are some general rules though that apply to most of them. You must keep the corners of your mouth firm so the air won’t leak from there. When going up, it’s generally a better idea to push the lips a bit more center than to stretch them. Stretching will thinner the lip tissue which will expose it to damage and will make the sound thinner.

Guitar/Ukulele Quick Tip

If you or your child attends lessons at Myriad Music School and Dance Academy, chances are you have received a “Quick Tips” email pertaining to your instrument. These are usually practice tips that you can work on throughout the week in addition to your assignment sheet. Please take the time to read these as they are written by our teachers specifically for you! Here is one that was sent to all of our guitar/ukulele students but can really relate to all instruments.

“Sharing your music with family and friends is a great way to practice the music you are learning. Get your family together once a week to share one or two of the songs you can play well. If you have friends who play an instrument, organize a get-together to share songs. You can learn a lot from sharing and listening to each other play music.”

Please visit our Facebook page to see more useful tips and to keep up with what is happening at our school!

Professional Development Workshops: Learning Modalities

Here at Myriad we place a BIG emphasis on continuing education. One way we do this is to have clinics for not only our teachers but for interested teachers in our neighborhood! Our teachers had a great time together with author / educator / education clinician Susan Bruckner, from Cabrillo College. Her topic was  “Teaching Students with Different Learning Modalities”. This clinic was part of Myriad’s on-going Professional Development Workshops for our music and dance teachers.  Susan is a talented, seasoned teacher, with  a plethera of research and a great biblio to back up her findings. She presents clinics to educators at various conferences throughout the US. This is her second appearance at Myriad.

Her book is entitled The Whole Musician: A Multi-Sensory Guide to Practice, Performance and Pedagogy.  It’s a great read for parents too, to better understand your child’s learning modality.

DID YOU KNOW? A few highlights..

  • We only know the world from our own experience. As parents and teachers, we have to determine how our child learns.
  • Our culture values and rewards visual learners – what happens to the aural or kinesthetic learners? Do you know how to tell what kind of learner your child is?
  • If you learn to read the tell-tale signs, you can direct your child towards into activities, or learning experiences that will speak to them more authentically. Our teachers learned about some of the signs that can be typical of visual, aural, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory learners. We explored helpful, engaging strategies we can easily employ at the lessons / dance classes that will aid our students to take in information in a meaningful, lasting way.

Sincerely,
The Teaching Team, Myriad Music School and Dance Academy