Top Five Performance Problems of Novice and Amateur Musicians.

I had no idea what I was doing when I started teaching. I had gone to school as a performance major and had no clue about teaching, especially teaching beginners. My first 'real job' put me through an unpaid training process where I was to sit in on several hours of lesson teaching to observe and be observed. I'll never forget that day when the Director of the school asked me to teach a young person I had never met and then promptly told me that I didn't know what I was doing and took the lesson over from me. I ended up not staying there, not only because the way I was treated was awful, but also teaching 'Kindermusik' and very young beginners really wasn't and never has been my thing.


But as a performer turned teacher who has been teaching for the good part of the past 15 years I can say that not only have I learned how and what to teach, I've been able to pinpoint the major performance issues that need the most attention with novice and more experienced amateur players of all ages. Here are the top issues in my experience that players struggle with:


1. The biggest obstacle in making a beautiful sound is excessive tension and improper physical set up. Sound is not Made, it is Facilitated.

2. Every note tells you two pieces of information. One, which pitch to play, and two, how long to play it for. Most novice/amateur players spend most of their attention on which pitch to play, and not enough time learning about the duration/time/rhythm side.

3. Most novices don't practice or rehearse efficiently, not because they don't want to, but because they haven't been taught how. Therefore, practicing and/or rehearsing efficiently is a learned skill.

4. Performance anxiety comes from not trusting that the preparation you've done is sufficient to prepare you for sharing your music, and from judging the self negatively leading up to the event.

5. The experience of making music is not an act of ego. It is a selfless task where you, the player, serve as the conduit for the expression of your part in and for the whole.


My courses are designed to facilitate from the beginning, direction for students of music and of string instrument playing, how to allow what's natural to flow through you through the music you so passionately love. This is always the goal and the point at which I come from. As a teacher, my goal is to facilitate students ability to allow their own ego to step aside for musical expression to take over. We passionately love music from our egocentric selves--but we facilitate it's expression through learned, specific techniques, including learning how to step aside and allow creative flow to flow unobstructed through you. I invite you to visit my course page for inspiration and how you can achieve this within your own artistry.



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