Benefits of Music on our Mind

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The very reason I have so much passion about teaching music is because of all the tough parts of my life that it helped me.  I had an escape.  I had something beautiful in my life.  I had something that gave me joy no matter what else was happening around me.  And I love to pass that on to others.  After all, we are all going to have tough times in our lives at one stage or another.

Here are some wonderful facts about how music benefits our mind:

  • Listening to 5-10 songs a day lowers your risk of depression by 80%, strengthens your immune system, and can improve memory.music pills
  • Music regulates neurotransmitters.  Listening to music releases dopamine, which we interpret as a reward.
  • Music students receive more academic honours and awards than non-music students.
  • Music majors comprise the highest percentage of accepted medical students.
  • Bringing music instructions into schools helps students be less agressive.
  • Music can reduce chronic pain by 20%
  • Listening to music is one of the few activities that uses the entire brain.
  • Listening to 30 minutes of classical music is equivelant to taking 10 mg of Valium.

Even if you’re not taking lessons at this stage, listening to music and having it be a part of your daily life is extremely effective for your mental health as well.

Playing m371Husic is a form of mindfulness as it is giving you something to focus on.  Often when I sit at the piano and play, I am processing something.  Sometimes I’m escaping for a mini vacation of sorts, and sometimes I’m thinking through something that’s going on.  Music helps me think a little more clearly.

 

So, all this to say, go download a new set of songs (bonus points for classical music) and start listening!

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Practice Tips for Piano Beginners

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Hello students, parents, and readers!  I want to share with you some of my favourite tips for the foundation of piano (and any music) lessons: Practice!

Practice makes perfect, that’s for sure, and the way we practice can make a massive difference in how well you learn the concepts taught in lessons each week.

I hear a lot of reasons from students about why they haven’t practised, and I wanted to address two of the main ones and offer some solutions first.  Parents, if you’re reading, these are some tips to help you motivate your child to practice first.

  • No time.  Try practising before breakfast.  If your practice is done at the very beginning of the day, then you don’t have to try to fit it in when things get busy later (and it doesn’t slip through the cracks of a busy day).  Parents, you can have your child practice while you get breakfast ready.  Maybe tell them you’d like to hear some music while you are putting it all together (if they are the type that like to show off a bit).
  • I forgot/Too hard.  Make practice a part of your routine.  Also, I will address some practical tips for the set up of practice next.  Music theory is an important part of lessons that will help “connect the dots” of what we have learned in lessons so that the student isn’t too confused or overwhelmed.  Make sure you do your theory “homework.”  This can be counted as practice since it’s contributing to your music education.

So how do we practice?  Do we just open the book and start playing?  Do we play old songs or new ones?  Should we start at the beginning of the book or where we left off?

First, make sure you’re sitting properly.  Sitting straight (good posture), feet on the floor, correct distance from the keyboard (knuckles should reach the fallboard with arms extended).  Warm up your fingers for 5 minutes.  Just like if we were exercising our entire body, we would warm up first.  The same is true of our fingers.  If we warm them up, the blood will flow well and help us play more efficiently.

Here is a good example of some warm ups you can do:

Now it’s time to get into your songs.  The best songs to practice are the songs that we have recently gone over in the last lesson.  As a beginner, this will probably be 3 or 4 songs.  Practice your songs for 10  minutes.  Even if you’ve played them all, if your 10 minutes is not up, play them again.  Remember, practice makes perfect!

In your last 5 minutes, play something you enjoy!  This can be a song you made up, a song you learned in lessons that you enjoy playing more than others–anything you want to play for your enjoyment!

Congratulations, you have reached the end of your practice time!  Again, remember to make this a part of your (or your child’s) routine, and it will benefit you greatly as you journey forward in your music education.

Enjoy!

P.S. Tune in this Thursday at 4:30 p.m. for a LIVE practice session of yours truly on my Facebook page!  

 

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Hello and Welcome!

I am so glad you’re here to check out my little corner of the music world.  I have a lot of wonderful content coming in the next few weeks, so please come back regularly!  Selfie

So here’s a little about me:

  • I started playing piano when I was very young (maybe 3 or 4?)  I started taking lessons when I was 8 and haven’t looked back.
  • I was always involved in music at school and yearned for a performing arts school in my area.  In grade 9, my dreams came true!  Indian River Charter High School VAPA opened in my 10th grade year, and I graduated from there.  I was heavily involved in choir, piano, and my church’s worship team.
  • Music helped me through a lot of hard things in my life.  Family problems, teen problems, heartache, and much more.  It is a part of my sanity and mental health.
  • I am American (from Florida originally) and live in Australia.  We moved here almost 8 years ago, and I am quite settled in our 100 year old home in a sweet country town.
  • My husband and I have been happily married for nearly 9 years and have 2 rambunctious and adorable boys.  We are all involved in music (my boys love having their own version of piano lessons).

Let me know if you have suggestions for posts, things you want to learn more about, or anything else!  Check out my facebook page and contact me to book in for lessons!  I am also on Instagram at @Newmanmusic

See you soon!

 

 

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