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Learning The Way of Music

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

A systematic approach is important when learning a new skill, especially one as intricate as music. Many people may only consider music to be an auditory skill. To be a great musician, you need an excellent “ear.” While developing your ear is crucial to musical success, music is also a visual and kinesthetic (physical) ability. A good method or “way” will lead you down the path to success by showing you how to “see” music, reading sheet music or chord charts, etc., and as well as how to visualize the “story” of the song or piece in your mind. Your body, including your hands, feet, breathing, gestures, posture, etc., must also be trained to perform at your best. At Perennial, we consider our approach to be “integrated.” We teach to all three of these learning styles. We also call ourselves integrated because we believe that music (and all the arts) are body, mind, and soul activities, and when we perform music, we are using our whole selves. Jacqueline and I have begun to compile lessons of our own that we include in our teaching. We are excited to share “The Perennial Way” with you.

Examples of Materials for Janae’s Studio

Early Elementary Beginners Hal Leonard Piano Course, Hal Leonard Theory, and Hal Leonard Technique books – This course takes young students through a series of five levels, which build on each other and are age appropriate for early elementary students.

Middle to High Schoolers – Many times a student will begin studying piano or another instrument in elementary school but will find that they no longer have the time to practice. Alfred Publishing has released a series specialized for these students. The Alfred Piano Book for Busy Teens and Theory for Busy Teens are designed to keep practice time done to 15-minutes per day so that busy students are able to continue to grow and blossom in their music practice.

Adult Beginners – I recommend the Alfred Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic to all of my older teen and adult students. It is constructed with the adult beginner in mind so that it does not “talk down” to a grown-up intellect, and it is designed to move at a faster pace. It combines many areas of musical learning into one book; songs, solos, theory, and technique are all included.

Vocal Method – I love, love, love Cathrine Sadolin’s Complete Vocal Technique! Cathrine and her team have artfully and scientifically clearly described how any singer can sing in any style without injuring his or her voice. Want to belt like a Broadway baby? Want to growl like a metalhead? Want to sing that infamous super high “F” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute? Cathrine shows you how through her book and website.

Other Materials – At Perennial, we stay on top of the current literature and are always eager to answer any question that our students or their guardians may have about materials. Feel free to reach out to us with your method questions. And remember, there is only so much you can learn from YouTube or a book, a trained and experienced teacher can help you get on your way quicker and with fewer potholes along the way.


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