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So far BelCanto has created 11 blog entries.

Fall Semester begins…

2017-09-14T14:15:03+00:00 September 14th, 2017|

September is here, school’s back in session, and our semester has begun as well!

We accept registrations throughout the year;  no need to wait for a current semester to end and a new to begin, to sign up.

Don’t let geographic location limit your music learning!

2017-07-02T23:39:45+00:00 July 2nd, 2017|

Music lessons via Skype

Skype logoThe trend of digitalization had made many things accessible to users on the internet, regardless of where the user is located — and it hasn’t left music lessons out in the cold!  Taking instrumental or voice lessons via Skype is no longer a strange idea.  With a decent internet connection, an instructor can do some productive work with a student, even if they’re in different time zones.

Benefits of Skype lessons

Efficiency for teacher and student

When snowy Boston weather strikes, a traveling instructor might have to cancel and reschedule a lesson.  A digital session can replace that session, and everything can go as originally planned. (In fact, we offer Skype lessons even to students in the Boston area, when there’s a bad snowstorm or perhaps if a student is sick but is well enough to have a lesson.)

More freedom in choosing a teacher, if you live in an area without many…

Maybe you live in a place where there aren’t many (or any!) good music teachers around.  Now that Skype lessons are an option, the world of choice opens up.  You are no longer limited by your geographic location.  A student can learn from the comfort of home, and can do so with the instruction of someone miles away!

An easy way to record lessons

It can be helpful for students to review a lesson in the week or so between lessons.  The virtual lesson can be recorded, and later reviewed with ease.

 

In-person sessions are, many times, ideal.  However, modern technology allows us to do things that weren’t possible before.  Launch a simple program, and it seems like a person on another side of the globe is sitting in the room with you.  We want to leverage this capability to provide valuable instruction to students all over the United States, and in other countries too!

Gift Certificates

2017-04-03T23:32:48+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|

Remember that we offer gift certificates for lessons.  You can purchase a set number of lessons, or a whole semester!

Bel Canto Boston gift certificate

Why do we play exercises?

2017-03-26T01:36:24+00:00 March 16th, 2017|

Why play exercises and scales when we have interesting songs and pieces to play and sing??

Do you have memories from your childhood of taking lessons and being forced to play scales and exercises, and never really understanding why? Music can involve such a level of feeling that something which appears on its face to be so mechanical as a scale or a technical exercise, seems to be completely antithetical to real, living music.

Exercises help us to get comfortable with technical difficulties found in the pieces we play — outside of the context of those pieces.

So often a student wants to play something – whether a classical piece, or an arrangement of a song they like from the radio – but has a hard time because the music requires a certain facility at the keyboard (or the guitar, etc.).  The solution to that, is to play exercises!

Technical exercises help to develop finger strength and independence, develop specific skills in a focused way, and get us used to rhythmic and melodic patterns that we might encounter in our music  – all of which makes it possible to play the pieces we want to and to do so with more enjoyment, since our fingers are prepared for the challenge. Would you run a marathon without working up to it with shorter runs, and whatever else a runner does in preparation for that event? While playing your instrument isn’t exactly running a marathon, the better prepared you are for the challenges found in the music that you enjoy, the better time you will have learning and playing it!

And of course, exercises should be played mindfully.  You certainly don’t want to plug away robotically, while thinking of something else!

Exercises can be satisfying to play, if you see them as a challenge and remember why you play them!

5 benefits of music lessons for children

2017-03-26T01:36:24+00:00 March 16th, 2017|

1. A deep enjoyment of music…

Taking instrumental lessons with a knowledgeable and engaging teacher just might help give your child a real love of music, something that will always be with them. Quality lessons should introduce young people to a rich world of beauty, a world that goes beyond the ‘everyday’ and yet is connected to it.

2. Learning to focus!

To learn how to play an instrument, or how to sing well – these require focus.  It’s so valuable, especially in our world of seemingly endless distraction, to learn from a young age to get in the habit of really focusing our attention on something, and to engage with it without our attention wandering.

3. Family activities?

A child who learns to play an instrument or sing, can experience the fun of playing that instrument with siblings, or with parents who play.  This can be such a nice activity for a parent to share with a child, or for a child to share with siblings or friends!

4. A skill for the rest of your life.

Playing an instrument is something you will always be able to do, should you choose to.  It is a skill that, if kept up, you will always carry with you.   And of course, singers carry get to carry even their instrument with them wherever they go!

5. Relaxation.

Needless to say, we live in a stressful world and it seems helpful to be introduced from a young age, to things that might encourage relaxation and provide a healthy and joyful change of pace within everyday life.  While it’s true that music comes in a vast variety of characters, moods, and ‘musical images’, some of which are far from relaxing, many people do find playing their instrument to be relaxing.  In any case, a person who mindfully plays an instrument mentally enters a different ‘space’ when he does so – a space quite apart from the stresses of everyday life.