“There are many benefits and ways to advance as a musician by taking advantage of playing with others.”
Here at Musicology, our students have many opportunities not only to learn how to practice and play by themselves, but they also learn to do these things with their teachers and other students. We do this by offering band classes, guitar ensemble, and performance opportunities. While many good things can be achieved through individual practice and performance, there are many key benefits that come from students working on music with others. Here are a few thoughts on the importance of group interaction in music:
We learn new things and how to become better musicians because of other people’s help. Whether someone learns an instrument through books, the internet, teachers, or friends, learning music is always due to help from outside sources. Musicians and students alike tend to limit themselves if they ignore the many ways they can learn to advance and grow their skills. For example, when I first started playing guitar, I spent the first year working with one book and a few chords a friend showed me. Eventually I felt like I hit a wall and just couldn’t get any better. That’s when I started taking lessons. I grew as a musician at a much quicker rate and was able to achieve much more of what I wanted to do. As I added things to my practice such as new scales, music theory, techniques, and music styles, my playing became capable of more things.
Group interaction allows people to get better at communicating about music. Like math or science, music has many parts and terms. The more you talk about and practice these things with other people, the more you understand what all these things mean.
Playing with others will reveal whether you are correctly performing important parts of music. Consider tempo. Good music keeps a steady rhythm or pulse - and notes are often supposed to be played at specific points in the time of a song. It’s more difficult for someone to maintain a tempo by themselves, or to be aware their playing isn’t staying steady. But if you’re playing with someone else, it will reveal whether your timing and rhythms are correct. A song won’t sound smooth or correct if people are playing at different tempos. Playing with others offers a very direct way to practice maintaining better musical habits.
You are motivated to do well when working with other people. There is a healthy peer pressure for people playing in a group. Typically, no one wants to show up to a practice unprepared.
They would perform poorly in front of friends or teachers, and also slow the group’s progress. So when student’s work with others, it encourages them to work hard so they perform well.
It’s fun to play music as a group. You can get together with friends or other like-minded people who enjoy music. As a musician, sometimes I find my playing has hit a wall, or has become boring. A sure way for me to enjoy my music and to improve is by getting together with my friends and working on music. I get to hear what I’ve been working on with other instruments added to it, learn new things from what my friends are doing, and enjoy good company.
These are just a few reasons Musicology finds group music opportunities to be an important part of what we do. There are many benefits and ways to advance as a musician by taking advantage of playing with others. If this is something you or your student is interested in doing more of, please speak with one of our teachers about our band classes, guitar ensemble, and performances.
Written By Jonathan Slater Instructor @ Musicology School of Music
Student of the Month
1.What instruments do you play?Voice
2. How long have you taken lessons? 6 months
3. Who are your favorite musical artists?
Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift
4. What are you other hobbies, besides music? Dance and Art.
5.Favorite Food? Fries
6. What is the coolest thing you’ve learned in your lessons in the past three months? Singing in my head voice.
7. Do you have any performances coming up? National American Miss Pageant in Hollywood California.
Teacher of the Month
1. What are the things you like most about teaching? I love seeing the “light bulb moment” that moment when a student gets the concept and begins to smile.
2. How do you inspire students to practice more? I try to give students the right amount of a challenge. I give exercises that they are truly capable of playing with an adequate amount of effort. I never set my students up for failure with exercises and songs that they cannot do.
3. What part do you feel that playing in a group has in a students’ development?
Timing. Students that only play by themselves can begin pause and stop the music without even knowing it. Playing with other people quickly reveals if you are playing the song correctly. I also feel that playing with other people can push the student to strive to their maximum potential.
4. What is you favorite type of music? I LOVE the BLUES. The Allman Brothers is my favorite band of all time. But I truly like other genres of music. Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass, Country. (Basically any kind of music that is played by real live musicians and not computers….. like rap and most pop.)
Musicology School of Music teaches over 500 students a week from the Huntsville / Madison area.