Private Music Lessons Are Better for Personal Growth

Susan Loy-Milletics Inspiration 0 Comments

Recently I came across two different articles about a guitar lesson subscription-based app created by the Fender Guitar Company.  First of all, I definitely support everyone, young and old, having access to music study.  But as I read these articles about the app Fender Play, I felt that Fender would be doing a better service to its customers by promoting real music study with private guitar instructors. The first article I read was on the Fast Company blog site and points out the financial motivation for Fender creating the lesson app.  Fender’s CEO Andy Mooney claims that 45% of their guitars are sold to absolute beginners, 90% of whom stop playing within one year.  But if that 45% continue to play, they will need strings, straps and eventually, they will buy a better guitar.  If they really get into playing, they may buy a lot more guitars, because as guitar lovers know, G.A.S. (guitar acquisition syndrome) is a real thing. (There’s even a website to prove it as well as articles, such as this one from Guitar Player.) John Titlow’s article on Fast Company is well written, and he covers all the positive aspects of the app.  It’s pretty cheap …

Five Ways to Engage Your Music Appreciation Class

Susan Loy-Milletics Inspiration 0 Comments

Is listening to music enough to engage students in your Music Appreciation class? Most likely, no.  If you have a class full of musicians that may be a different answer.  But in a class full of students with little practical music experience, listening to music may not capture their interest.  I think one answer lies in giving your class some basic, yet direct experience with making music. Anyone teaching general music or music appreciation will agree that the primary goal is to teach students how to effectively listen to music, to enrich their experience.  Another goal is for them to learn how a musician thinks. The college where I teach recently changed their curriculum design. The title of Music Appreciation was changed to Listening to Music.   But I would argue that even for the seasoned musician, listening to music is a relatively passive activity.  I believe that students learn better if they can experience music directly.  That is challenging in the classroom, particularly if your resources are limited. Why are students tuning out? Experienced musicians may relish the chance to just sit and listen to a great work of music.  And I observe many students wearing ear buds, listening to …