Category Archives: Blog

Bowing on your Violin

Bowing: Practice long up and down bow strokes the full length of the bow. Make sure the bow hair is flat on the string and stays a consistent distance from the bridge. Notice how you hold the bow in your hand and how your wrist and arm allow you to apply more weight on the string to increase the sound volume.

Practice Tempo

When learning a new piece, make your practice tempo slower than you think it should be. Give yourself time to navigate new finger numbers, chord shapes, articulation, dynamics, and hand shifts before playing your piece at it’s intended tempo. You will avoid frustration in practice as well as falling back into bad habits if you play slow and focused.

Hydration for Young Dancers

The hydration needs of children are not that different than adults. Some studies have suggested that infants and children are more susceptible to dehydration because of their smaller body weights, higher turnover of water and electrolytes and lower capacity for sweating. Children should generally drink about 7-8 cups of water a day, however active children should drink closer to 9-10 cups.  This sounds like a lot, but you can add water to your daily routine: 2 cups when you wake up, and at least 1-2 cups before every meal.  Most importantly don’t forget to bring your water bottle to class!

Vocal Development

Vocal development is a process that benefits both expressive speaking and singing. Children begin by exploring vocal sounds, such as sounds from the environment or animal sounds. Gradually, they learn to match and produce specific pitches. In Young Musician classes we introduce a rich and varied repertoire of songs, both for singing and for listening. We specifically choose some songs with a limited range based on the pentatonic scale; the tones of this scale are the easiest for our young singers to hear and sing, starting with the most fundamental and easiest interval to produce: sol-mi. When they progress into our Superstars class, we take this a step further by singing choral songs with an extended range. They must learn to listen to their classmates and produce a tone appropriate for their range. Our students have the opportunity to grow into competent singers by singing these carefully chosen songs.

Creative Movement with Patricia Reedy

Here at Myriad, we are of the mindset that learning never stops. Our teachers attend continuing education seminars a few times a year in order to provide your child with the best music education in the bay area. Our most recent presentation was by Patricia Reedy from the Luna Dance Institute, enlightening us all on Creative Movement in Teaching. We would like to share a bit of what we learned with you: creativity is a product of improvisation whether that be in music or dance. Creating an atmosphere where students are comfortable and free to express themselves is key to sparking creativity. This year our teachers will be sharing these concepts with their students composing, choreography, creative movement and improvisation!

Music Benefits People of All Ages

Music isn’t just good for our youngsters, people of all ages can benefit from the magic that music provides. Watch this short video to see how music brought a man suffering from dementia out of depression and let him enjoy his life.

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!