Learn Now Music, Inc.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why Choose In-Home Music Instruction?

Well that seems like kind of a silly question. Doesn't it? Anything that comes to you is GOOD! LOL

But if you need further thought, let me now set the scene for you......

"....It's your 5 year olds' ballet lesson time. You are sitting in the overcrowded waiting room, watching the gaggle of "well-behaved" children running and screaming in the center as parents and children try to maneuver around them in and out. Did I mention your 3 year old is one of them? :) Oh sure, he's having a great time throwing tinker toys (yes - they still make them.) but YOU are MORTIFIED!!!...phone rings as you're trying to rein in your "little angel" and your 16 yr old calls and says they need to be picked up right now because track is cancelled today..."


With a quality in-home music service the professional educator comes to your house. You are able to continue doing dishes, supervising homework completion, etc. and maybe, just maybe, even sitting down for 5 minutes!

For info on professional services in your area CLICK HERE!!!

Happy Practicing!

The Music Momma

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Teacher - Julius Baker - Legend of the Flute - Julliard School of Music

I sit and listen to this interview and I instantly remember being in lessons with this amazing man. He was an incredible musician and an incredible man. And what a sense of humor!!!!

I remember my first lesson with him. He was a small man. Walked into the room slowly after his lovely wife, Ruth, showed me into their home and where I would be having the lesson. He just looked at me and gestured to start playing. As I ended he remained silent for quite some time and then he finally said, "Huh, you can really play. …Sounds beautiful. I just thought you were a cute blond!" Ha ha ha ha...I just about fell over. We had a wonderful friendship and teacher/student relationship ever since.

I will truly miss him as he passed August 6, 2003.

Fantastic Video Interview with Julius

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Music in the Womb

Fetal Development - Music in the Womb - Bonding with Baby Before Birth

Your baby's growth and development in the womb is a remarkable experience. At the beginning of your second month of pregnancy, your little one's eyes, nose and ears are clearly visible via ultrasound, and by the fifth month, your baby's hearing has fully developed. His newfound ability to recognize you and other familiar voices in the environment around him is quickly established.

Prenatal stimulation through music heard regularly while in the womb might provide some babies with a sense of confidence and relaxation after they're born. You and your baby also will quickly discover an excellent way to bond and share in the emotional and potential intellectual development benefits this method may bring.

Prenatal stimulation through music while in the womb might provide some babies with a sense of confidence and relaxation after they're born.

The ABCs of Prenatal Music Stimulation
Prenatal stimulation is a method that uses stimuli such as sounds (mother's voice and musical ones), movement, pressure, vibrations and light to communicate with a developing baby prior to birth. While in the womb, Baby learns to recognize and respond to different stimuli, which leads to encouragement of physical, mental and sensory development. Stimulation exercises will allow Baby to communicate with you and your spouse/partner through her movement in the womb, establish a relationship between specific stimuli (such as your voices) and, most importantly, help develop her memory.

Making the Right Music Choices for Baby
Does your baby move rhythmically with the strains of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, or do you find she kicks up a storm whenever a song by Madonna comes on the car radio? With the right mix of sounds and repetition, Baby may enjoy a mix variety of music.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Repair that old instrument or get a new one?

So what to do? You have a broken instrument. It seems logical to just get it repaired right? Not necessarily. Many times, the repairs on some of these instruments can be much more time consuming and costly than just purchasing a new instrument.

Be sure to get an accurate estimate and then add 25 % to that for any incidental things that might occur along the way in repairing the item. Then check what a new instrument would run.

To check costs of new instrument TRY HERE.

Happy shopping!

The Music Momma

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Teacher Salaries and why MORE and MORE Qualified Teachers are Turning toward the Private Sector

Every few years the American Federation of Teachers releases a Teacher Salary Trends report about teacher salaries across the United States. This information helps teachers decide where to teach and how much they should earn. The latest report indicated that the average teacher salary was $47,602. The Federation indicated that unfortunately, teachers are struggling to find housing in their areas that they can afford on their salaries. As more teachers pursue additional education after receiving their bachelor’s degree, their student loan debt increases dramatically. New teachers may not start at an average teacher salary and could therefore struggle even more than veteran teachers, who may have higher salaries.

In a profession with increasingly high turnover and recruiting issues, boosting the salaries of new teachers could help to increase the amount of time they spend with a particular school or school district. Additionally, wide discrepancies between teacher salaries from region to region also affect the likelihood that a qualified teacher will work for a school with low salaries. Some school districts offer high teacher salaries and great benefits, while others do not. With the rising price of gas and other inflation, teachers must make difficult choices when considering where to work. Again, the discrepancy in teacher salary from district to district can hinder the likelihood of retaining veteran teachers. Before accepting a position, teachers should research the salaries from district to district in their areas. Ask other teachers where they enjoy working and for a list of pros and cons of a particular school or school district.

With a Salary of approx. $47,000 a year the actual take home is more like $33,000 (after all the "benefits" that actually drain your paycheck but you never see it and you could typically purchase these options of health insurance, retirement, insurance, etc. cheaper a la cart, and not to mention numerous taxes and dues to the school district and union, etc.)

Now you're in a job with an enormous amount of responsibility, working an average of 50-60 hours a week (not including travel time) and if you do the math, you're now making about $11.40 an hour with your Master's Degree. Makes you wonder why you stopped waiting tables huh?

This is a shame. This is why we do not retain qualified teachers where they could move into a private sector teaching job making between $30 and $40 an hour and have more flexibility and ability to grow in their positions.

For music education, etc, it's even worse. Once "secure" teacher jobs are not at all secure when districts are handing out pink slips without regard to work ethic, education or results as they attempt to reach their new budgetary restrictions. After all, public schools don't differentiate like the private sector does between teachers that are effective and qualified and teachers that are simply "doing time". In fact, it's quite the opposite where you see numerous amounts of teachers that merely for the fact they have been sitting around in the teacher's lounge longer get to keep their low paying teacher job where talented and enthusiastically highly educated new teachers get to walk the plank and wonder why they went into teaching in the first place.

I can speak from experience. I taught public school for over 10 years before going into the private sector.

For more info on teacher's a salaries READ MORE

Friday, March 25, 2011

Music Aids Alzheimer's Patients in Remembering New Information

Music Aids Alzheimer's Patients in Remembering New Information

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have shown that patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are better able to remember new verbal information when it is provided in the context of music even when compared to healthy, older adults. The findings, which currently appear on-line in Neuropsychologia, offer possible applications in treating and caring for patients with AD.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Create Your Own Music Summer Camp

Looking for a fun musical experience this summer? Try creating your own music summer camp!

Learn Now Music, Inc services MD, VA, DC, FL and CA with in-home music lessons.

Getting started:

- Contact them at 1-800-399-6414 or On-Line

- Choose the following info:
- Which instrument you want? (They can deliver your rental to you FREE!)
- Which dates and times you would like the lessons and for how long?

And that's it! Voila! Instant Music Camp at your home!

They also offer discounted in-home group lessons for 2 children or more.

Contact Learn Now Music, Inc. for more info on how to create your own In-Home Summer Music Camp this year!

Happy Practicing!

The Music Momma

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Voice as an instrument

Many overlook their most powerful instrument - your voice!

Yes, your voice is an instrument. You just carry it around with you all the time! A wonderful compliment to any instruction is using your voice. Try singing your lines you play on your instrument for a different challenge. You don't have to be Mariah Carey (oops - maybe that's too old of a reference) or Lady GaGa to sing.

Try singing! Your own personal instrument!

Happy Practicing!

The Music Momma

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Time to Practice?

Trying to cram too much into one day like the rest of us?

Here are two tips to sneak in a little practice:

- Get an instrument stand and leave your instrument set up and accessible -
Some times, having to just open the case, set things up, find your music, that's enough to make students of all ages feel as though they don't have enough time. When everything is set up you will be more apt to sit down and get in a few minutes of practice

- Be realistic with your practice - you may not be able to practice every day - that doesn't mean you should quit. Music should be a fun release. Not one more thing on your plate you end up dreading. Be realistic with yourself and allow yourself to play and enjoy. You may find when you take the pressure off you will be more willing to sit down and relax with your instrument (aka - practice!)

Happy Practicing!

The Music Momma

Monday, March 21, 2011

VH1 - Save the Music

Fact Sheet on Music Education Research
1) The Benefits to the Brain: Cognitive Development
Students in high-quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of community.
Playing a musical instrument significantly enhances the brainstem's sensitivity to speech sounds. This relates to encoding skills involved with music and language. Experience with music at a young age can "fine-tune" the brains auditory system.
— Nature Neuroscience, April 2007
Results From The Elementary School Study
• Students in top-quality music programs scored 22% better in English and 20% better in mathematics than students in deficient music programs.
• These academic differences were fairly consistent across geographic regions.
• Students at the four elementary schools with high-quality music programs scored better than students participating in programs considered to be of lower quality.
Results From The Middle Schools Study
• Students in top-quality instrumental programs scored 19% higher in English than students in schools without a music program, and 32% higher in English than students in a deficient choral program.
• Students in top-quality instrumental programs scored 17% higher in mathematics than children in schools without a music program, and 33% higher in mathematics than students in a deficient choral program.
• Students at schools with excellent music programs had higher English test scores across the country thanstudents in schools with low-quality music programs; this was also true when considering mathematics.
• Students in all regions with lower-quality instrumental programs scored higher in English and mathematics than students who had no music at all.
— Journal for Research in Music Education, June 2007; Dr. Christopher Johnson, Jenny Memmott
Young Children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year, compared to children who do not receive musical training. Musically trained children performed better in a memory test that is correlated with general intelligence skills such as literacy, verbal memory, visiospatial processing, mathematics, and IQ.
— Dr. Laurel Trainor, Prof. of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior at McMaster University, 2006
Stanford University research has found for the first time that musical training improves how the brain processes the spoken word, a finding that researchers say could lead to improving the reading ability of children who have dyslexia and other reading problems… ‘Especially for children ... who aren't good at rapid auditory processing and are high-risk for becoming poor readers, they may especially benefit from musical training.’
— From “Playing music can be good for your brain,” SF Chronicle, November 17, 2005 (article on recent Stanford research study linking music and language)
The musician is constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing, and feeling –
training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attention skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression.
— From A User’s Guide to the Brain, May 31, 2003; Ratey, John J., MD
Learning and performing music actually exercise the brain – not merely by developing specific music skills, but also by strengthening the synapses between brain cells…What is important is not how well a student plays but rather the simultaneous engagement of senses, muscles, and intellect. Brain scans taken during musical performances show that virtually the entire cerebral cortex is active while musicians are playing. Can you think of better exercise for the mind/brain? In short, making music actively engages the brain synapses, and there is good reason to believe that it increases the brain's capacity by increasing the strengths of connections among neurons.
— From “The Music in Our Minds,” Educational Leadership, Vol. 56, #3; Norman M. Weinberger
Music enhances the process of learning. The systems it nourishes, which include our integrated sensory, attention, cognitive, emotional and motor capacities, are shown to be the driving forces behind all other learning.
— From Empathy, Arts and Social Studies, 2000; Konrad, R.R.
Taking piano lessons and solving math puzzles on a computer significantly improves specific math skills of elementary school children. Children given four months of piano keyboard training, as well as time playing with newly designed computer software, scored 27 percent higher on proportional math and fractions tests than other children.
— From Neurological Research, March 15, 1999; Gordon Shaw, Ph.D, University of California, Irvine
Researchers at the University of Munster in Germany reported their discovery that music lessons in childhood actually enlarge the brain. An area used to analyze the pitch of a musical note is enlarged 25% in musicians, compared to people who have never played an instrument. The findings suggest the area is enlarged through practice and experience. The earlier the musicians were when they started musical training, the bigger this area of the brain appears to be.
— From Nature, April 23, 1998; Christian Pantev, et al
Nowhere in the spectrum of arts learning effects on cognitive functioning are impacts more clear than in the rich archive of studies, many very recent, that show connections between music learning or musical experiences and fundamental cognitive capability called special reasoning. Music listening, learning to play piano and keyboards, and learning piano and voice all contribute to spatial reasoning…In the vast literature on spatial reasoning (about 3,000 studies in some bibliographies), it is clear that mathematical skills as well as language facility benefit directly from spatial reasoning.
— From James S. Catterall, UCLA, Fall 1997

2) The Benefits to Students: Personal and Academic Success
Nearly 100% of past winners in the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science, and Technology (for high School students) play one or more musical instruments. This led the Siemens Foundation to host a recital at Carnegie Hall in 2004, featuring some of these young people. After which a panel of experts debated the nature of the apparent science/music link.
— The Midland Chemist (American Chemical Society) Vol. 42, No.1, Feb. 2005
Students consistently involved in orchestra or band during their middle and high school years performed better in math at grade 12. The results were even more pronounced when comparing students from low-income families. Those who were involved in orchestra or band were more than twice as likely to perform at the highest levels in math as their peers who were not involved in music.
— From Catterall, James S., Richard Chapleau, and John Iwanaga (2002), “Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: Extending an Analysis of General Associations and Introducing the Special Cases of Intensive Involvement in Music and Theatre Arts.” In R. Deasy (Ed.), Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, Washington, DC: AEP.
Students at risk of not successfully completing their high school educations cite their participation in the arts as reasons for staying in school. Factors related to the arts that positively affected the motivation of these students included a supportive environment that promotes constructive acceptance of criticism and one where it is safe to take risks.
— From The Role of the Fine and Performing Arts in High School Dropout Prevention, 2002; Barry, N., J. Taylor, and K. Walls
Dr. James Catterall of UCLA has analyzed the school records of 25,000 students as they moved from grade 8 to grade 10. He found that students who studied music and the arts had higher grades, scored better on standardized tests, had better attendance records and were more active in community affairs than other students. He also found that students from poorer families who studied the arts improved overall school performance more rapidly than all other students.
— From Catterall, UCLA, Fall 1997


Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Benefits of Music and it's effects on Autism

Autism Disorder - Music Therapy Could Bring About A Significant Change

A neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain is called autism. Autism is usually noticed within 30 months of age. The worrisome syndrome had no treatment till now, when autism music therapy is emerging as one mode of treatment. Music therapy for autism is accepted as an intervention for autistic people since 1950s.

Benefits of Music Therapy
Music therapy autism is based on innate responsiveness everyone has for music

Facilitates Communication, both Verbal and Nonverbal
A study on effects of music therapy on autism shows that it facilitates improvement in communication skills due to reduced stress and strain. It provides for greater interaction, both verbal and non-verbal, and builds relationships. Verbal communication can be bettered in steps by music therapy. Parents singing simple songs with identifiable words and phrases get them to verbally repeat them echolalically. Actions mimicked while singing induces to attempt the same, helping to improve nonverbal communication too.
Facilitates Creative Self-Expression and Promote Emotional Satisfaction
Monotonic speech eliminated by following rhythmic songs is one way to promote self expression. Using music encourages improvement in social, emotional and perceptual-motor areas by motivating nonmusical skills also. Engaging in music in some form or the other, including playing instruments, influences change in responses, serves as vent for pent-up emotions, thus gratifying and facilitating creative self expression.

Autism music therapy reduces negative and/or self-stimulatory responses. Autism children music therapy creates positive interpersonal environments and interactions. Observations made by trained music therapists reveal improvements in psycho-social, perceptual and communicational improvements.
Does Music Therapy Help Families Of Individuals Diagnosed With Autism?
The causes of troubles, the families of autistic individuals take, are repetitive behaviors, obsession with a particular thing, difficulties in speech. The parents can employ music to echolalically train their child. Music therapy is a big rescue for families in this direction. Using a familiar melody, the speech and learning abilities improve. Sustained and non-tempered interaction is essential in this regard.
Can Teach Family Members Alternative Ways to Interact, Socialize
Situation goes out of hand when demands from autistic people cross the ability of the family to meet them. But awareness that it is an international problem and that there are specific national programs can help mend the ways the family members interact with them.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Traditional Piano VS Keyboard for beginning piano

So we get this question a lot..."I have a baby grand (etc.) piano. Is this appropriate to start by 5 yr old on for lessons?"

OK - so here's the skinny on this subject. Keyboards are actually an excellent start for young students beginning piano lessons. There are keyboards that are sized for their small fingers and there is no resistance on the keys which allows for greater ease in pressing down those first notes.

As they grow, there are keyboards that are slightly larger with bigger keys and even touch sensitivity (not hammer action) which allow for the teaching of dynamics (loud and soft) with out the difficulty still of pressing down traditional keys.

Finally, there are full size keyboards or digital pianos that have 88 full size keys with-out and with hammer action which then gives the much desired "feel" of a traditional piano.

My normal suggestion for parents is to go digital. The sound is better, they are smaller, less cumbersome, lighter, and need virtually NO upkeep as "traditional" pianos need a lot of care. We suggest, for the health of the instrument and your investment, 4 tunings a year with perhaps a few having a pitch raise and some minimum maintenance, as well.

Hope this helps in your decision making!

Happy Practicing!

The Music Momma

Friday, March 18, 2011

Music Education in the Schools

It's a sad state of affairs these days to see Music Programs among the first to be cut in efforts to trim bulging school budgets.

Music is one of the essential learning experiences in a child's life.

In order to supplement the dwindling opportunities in the public school system (and don't get me STARTED on private schools - as most have never put a large emphasis on quality music education) parents are faced with the idea of finding alternatives on their own.

A professional music organization can help with all your needs and many come straight to your home to help with busy after school times trying to get homework done, dinner, baths, etc. Also, some schools are incorporating these professional institutions into their after-school programs allowing parents to leave the children safely in the confines of the school to explore their musical abilities.

Either way, we must strive to allow our children's voices to be heard even as the school systems are attempting to balance their books.

Happy Practicing!

The Music Momma

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Professional Music Education Service

What is a professional music education service?

Teachers are required to have a minimum a Bachelor’s; many will have a Master's or Doctoral Degree.

Teachers are back ground checked.

Company is part of professional Music Education Associations.

Company is insured

Materials, Equipment, Rentals, Accessories, and Repairs, etc are all taken care of by the company.

When your instructor is on vacation/sick or otherwise unavailable for the lesson a sub is sent in their place so your schedule is uninterrupted.

When it is necessary to change instructors, the company seamlessly transfers you to another professional instructor so, again, your instruction and schedule are unaffected.

Happy Practicing and Music Shopping!!!

The Music Momma

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is Ukulele the right instrument for my 5 year old?

Hmmmmm....Is Ukulele the right instrument for anyone??? LOL

No really. It's actually a beautiful instrument (minus the visions of Tiny Tim playing "Tip toe through the tulips" that's now running through everyone over 35 years of age’s mind...sorry for that everyone! :)

I guess the question is why? Is it because they have heard all the new and exciting usage of this instrument in pop music lately? Or, is it because you are looking for a size alternative to the guitar?

It's it the latter, look no further! Guitars are sized for different ages!

At age 5 they would be using a 1/2 size guitar easily picked up at any reputable music school or store location. Many even rent-to-own so you can see if your little “Tiny Tim”, oops, I mean “rock star” really likes the guitar before committing. :)

Keeping practicing!

The Music Momma

1/2 Size Guitar Rent To Own