Selecting A Music School For A Child

Whether you are looking for a music school or a guitar tutor for your child, the most important selection tip is that your child should feel happy and comfortable with your choice. This article talks about selecting a music school for your child but the tips apply to any kind of music teacher or guitar tutor.

Excellent Tips For Selecting The Best Music School For Your Children

Music teachers know the top tips for selecting the best music school for your children. Following their advice is really the way to go. Here are the most often recommended tips from top music experts.

Visit the schools that you are considering. Try to visit at least 3 of your top choices. Make an appointment to speak with the directors about their schools, and plan your visits to coincide with times when you might be able to observe a class in session. If the school policy does not allow for classroom visits, then ask to attend a school recital.

Your most useful information will include not only the information found in the school brochures, but also in the way the students interact with the teachers and staff. You will also learn quite a bit about the way students are learning by their recital participation. Look for not only advanced players, but also for confident beginners. Top schools will tend to prepare all levels of students for performances.

Set up an interview lesson with the teachers that are either recommended for your children, or that interest you most from their resume information. Music schools generally employ a range of experienced to newer teachers. You will want to consider their educational backgrounds, years of teaching experience, expectations, and teaching methods. Use the time to ask about books they use, technical exercises, and repertoire your child might explore.

Having a lesson with a teacher gives the teacher an opportunity to work with the prospective student and show their teaching abilities to parents. It also gives each child a chance to study with the teacher and think about whether or not they like that person. Children often have intuition like radar about getting along with people.

Ask your child which teacher he or she liked the best. Including them in the process is crucial, because they are the ones who will be taking the lessons. You want them to enjoy the lessons enough to stick with it. You may discover that an excellent teacher is not the one who has the most experience. Your child may also discover that a very old teacher can be lots of fun while teaching well.

The music lesson experience is a triangle relationship among student, teacher, and parents. When all three legs of the triangle work together well, quality music learning takes place. Use your own intuition about the teacher, too. If you feel that you have learned something new during that first interview lesson, then that is probably a good thing. Look for energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge in that new teacher.

Do not sign a contract with any of your top 3 choice schools until you have had time to think about what each can offer. Take time to sit with all brochures, resumes, school policies, and information gathered from your visits. Put all the information together in one place, and take a few hours to make comparisons. You will have budget concerns, of course, but you really want to find a qualified teacher that you can afford. Use these music teacher top tips for selecting the best music school for your children, and you will get started in the right direction.

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Music lessons are available at ecole musique Montreal or at Academie de musique de Montreal, your home or in our studios acrossMontreal and suburbs. Visit Academie de musique de Montreal 6503 Avenue de Chateaubriand, Montreal, QC H2S 2N6 (514) 376-8742.

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Tips For Mixing A Song

Sooner or later when you start playing the guitar you may want to start recording your music. If you do this with proper equipment and software, you'll have several tracks, then you need to mix them and equalize them. This article has some great tips for beginners on mixing a song.

Tips For Mixing Songs

I have got some basic and seemingly trivial advices regarding to mixing a song I want to share with you that are mostly missed by beginners.

Reverb & Delay

Personally, I think it's important to keep your song a little 'wet'. By wet I mean to apply some reverb and delay to your tracks -- yes, even to the drum tracks! Note, it can be a real challenge to find a happy medium between wet and dry. Of course you shouldn't get too dry - the listener has to notice that there is some reverb or delay, but more like on a subconscious level. I want to point out here that I'm talking about general wetness and not piercing delays you would want to use for a solo, like for instance in "No No No" by Deep Purple, or a highlighting reverb dosage at the end of a vocal's verse like it's to be found in "School" by Supertramp, or even an excessive, but beautiful use of reverb like in the solo of "Fools" by Deep Purple as well.

Since the individual instruments and their elements respond differently to one and the same reverb and moreover not every instrument requires the same 'wetness', you mostly should choose one particular reverb for each instrument. Naturally, it's not desirable to have your tracks 'swimming' in reverb except when you mean to do so.

Normally, drums (especially the snare since it's so punchy) require only little and short reverb. I'd recommend to equalize it a little 'bluntly' so you get a soft sound impression. Piercing elements consisting of mainly high frequencies and a fast decay like the snare make your reverb stand out more than for instance a bass drum or a crash. The bass drum doesn't have these penetrating frequencies and a crash has a very slow decay which both makes the reverb hardly noticeable.

Especially guitars and vocals require more brilliant reverbs since otherwise they tend to gain what I would call 'vague outlines'. It's up to you to choose the right reverb time and to determine its appropriate percentage, but especially with rock guitars I would prefer a delay because the overdrive sound tends to lose some 'punch' in combination with too much reverb.

In my experience, synthesizers, organs, and keyboards tolerate more reverberation without beginning to reverberate penetratingly.

Critical Frequency Bands

A big mistake I've often made in the past was to stress the low middle frequencies. You probably know that middle frequencies and especially the low mids are responsible for a warm sound impression. The issue I often had was to set up my sounds individually until they sounded great in themselves, but only without the rest of the tracks. And if you set up all your sounds separately, you'll probably find that every instrument sounds full and balanced, but in the complete mix everything suddenly starts to sound awfully fuzzy and blurry.

There is a trick to doing that properly. You sort of have to consider your whole song as one instrument in order to equalize it properly -- I know, it can be quite hard, especially since you have to analyze and set up every single track in a proper ratio to the others. As I wanted every single instrument to sound warm and full I almost every single time added a certain amount of low mids to middle frequencies (in the range of 200 to 500 Hz -- that's the critical point). Unfortunately these frequencies, if they're accumulated much, tend to make the song sound 'blunt' and kind of stuffed full with 'non-brilliancy'.

I made the experience that it is advisable to take out a certain amount of these frequencies especially with guitar, vocal, and synthesizer tracks, and to instead add these to bass guitars and bass drums.

No way would you want to take these completely out, but you'll be astonished how full and balanced every single instrument sounds in the general view by reducing and shifting specifically low middle frequencies.

One more thing: Earlier I had been using loudspeakers that used to emphasize the high and low middle frequencies. Using non-linear loudspeakers can be a great issue with mixing your songs -- back then I thought that all my master bounces were great and brilliant, but when I listened to them through linear loudspeakers the bounces sounded 'as dry as a bone'. The ultimate key with monitoring songs is to firstly make them sound great through linear loudspeakers and secondly through non-linear, maybe even trashy ones.

Take An External View

There are some things anyone who is too much involved in mastering a song can easily misjudge.

It can be a big mistake, for instance, trying to make all instruments sound equally loud -- that doesn't really work. Well, actually it does work and it's possible to make all tracks sound equally loud, but it's probably not what you're really looking for. I tried this myself and had to realize that it would pose more difficulties than it would solve problems. The big issue about this is that the listener doesn't know on which element to focus and this makes listening quite taxing. Best, you create a mix that makes perfect sense to the listener and to which they can simply 'abandon themselves' without focusing.

The key is to so to speak allot a leading role to one particular instrument group and then to emphasize certain elements of this group. As soon as you have chosen a group to 'play the leading role', note that it is exactly the same important to also decide what particular element of the group shall undertake the leading role here. With drums I would always put the snare and bass drum into the foreground, with vocals you would probably choose the lead vocals and reduce the volume level of the others, and with let's say two guitars you'd pick the lead guitar or, if there is none, the one that has more high frequencies or so. It's the exact same thing as the golden section in painting.

If you're now thinking: "Yeah well, but now my other instruments are kind of drowned in the rest", I can reassure you -- It's not gonna happen. One often underestimates how well quiet instruments come through in a mix if they're equalized cleverly.

One more advise for rock songs: If you want to make your song sound powerful, put your drums into the foreground (atonal instruments sometimes require more volume than you would expect). Next, the vocals and one of your guitars (if you got some), then the next guitar together with the bass guitar. At least I underestimated for a long time how much drums actually contribute to a powerful sound impression.

And one more psychological advice: Don't let the graphics influence your mind and power of judgement. I know that sometimes they distracted my acoustic perception a bit, so I often hid my software interface while monitoring, or just opened a track mixer window in order to fully focus on the acoustic impression.

(c) Linus Schachten 2010 (Hamburg, Germany). All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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About the Author:

My brother and I recorded the brilliant song "White Room" by Cream and shot a video, too. For the video soundtrack we took our studio recording, put a 'Space Designer' on the output track, and adapted the reverb to the acoustic features of the room we were shooting the video in. If you want to know how this sounds without 'over-applying' the level of reverb, click on Linus & Dino "White Room"!

Learn Some Basic Guitar Chords

Learn Some Basic Guitar Chords

We all start off with some basic guitar chords, the major chords of A, C, D, E, F, & G are the most common. B takes a bit longer as it is a bar or barre chord. Along with these basic guitar chords we generally also learn some common minor chords especially  Am, Dm, & Em.

These two videos talk about the triad and how chords are named and why, and how you can relate notes to guitar chords. This may not be easy to take in at first, but if you have a chord book and can look at the basic guitar chord variations, it will soon make sense.

This learn guitar video explains

Basic guitar chord naming - the triad for major and minor chords

The more notes and chords you can remember on the guitar, the easier it will be to start to play the songs you really want to play, from lyric and chord notations or from guitar tabs. It gets really frustrating having to look up guitar chords all the time.

So when you start to learn basic guitar chords, say the names of the chords to yourself as you play, to fix them in your memory. Next time you come across a familiar guitar chord, you can just play it, not stop and look it up. The more you do this, the better you will get.

The next video shows you how you can work out how to play these same major and minor chords in different fret positions.

This learn guitar video explains

Basic guitar chords up and down the fretboard

How to Read Guitar Tab

This Video Explains

How To Read Guitar Tab

You've seen guitar tab probably when you've been looking for lyrics and chords. It is often written in a notepad or text doc and it doesn't seem to make sense so you ignore it.

Guitar tab is actually really simple to interpret when you have the key which is explained in the video below. Once you understand this you'll know how to read guitar tab and wonder why you left it so long to give it a try, especially if you enjoy fingerstyle guitar .

In simple terms, the 6 lines represent the 6 strings, the numbers represent the fret your finger presses on counting up from the machine head end, and the progression is from left to right in order, with chords, if they are present, being represented by fret numbers being stacked in a vertical line.

A 0 in a chord stack in guitar tab means that the string is open (not fretted) but is played.

The main thing that guitar tab doesn't tell you, is which note in a chord to play first, you have to work that out by listening as you play. This means it really helps if you know the song.

Guitar tab is also open to interpretation. Many guitar tabs are what a guitarist has worked out from listening to the original song. Many guitar tab versions you'll find online are very similar or exactly the same, but some may add a chord or a note and some may be completely different, in another key, or just far more complex.

When you know how to read guitar tab suddenly many new songs become available to you. Guitar tab can be more complex with more tablature clues making it possible to give more directives so if you want to know more, check the wikipedia link above for more.

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