<![CDATA[CJW MUSic Lessons - Blog]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 01:49:36 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Another Short Music Theory Tutorial on How it Came to Terms]]>Thu, 16 Aug 2018 20:30:00 GMThttp://cjwmusiclessons.com/cjwlessonsblog/another-short-music-theory-tutorial-on-how-it-came-to-terms
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<![CDATA[How to Create a Folk Template]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 20:30:00 GMThttp://cjwmusiclessons.com/cjwlessonsblog/how-to-create-a-folk-template
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<![CDATA[August 14th, 2018]]>Tue, 14 Aug 2018 20:11:49 GMThttp://cjwmusiclessons.com/cjwlessonsblog/august-14th-20189235080
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<![CDATA[August 14th, 2018]]>Tue, 14 Aug 2018 20:09:22 GMThttp://cjwmusiclessons.com/cjwlessonsblog/august-14th-2018
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<![CDATA[Practice Suggestions for Those Struggling With Piano]]>Wed, 07 Mar 2018 16:36:57 GMThttp://cjwmusiclessons.com/cjwlessonsblog/practice-suggestions-for-those-struggling-with-pianoIt is common for a new or even an experienced piano student to have difficulty with playing pieces of music that are of a certain level of difficulty for them. This often leads to frustration and not wanting to practice. Here are some practice suggestions for those struggling with piano:


  • Practice at a steady tempo that is slow enough for the student to be accurate. We all know that the tempo may be faster on the page, but the brain and the wrists are working together to play the music. If the student plays too fast, their wrists not be able to keep up with what the brain is doing. There will be more mistakes and more pauses in the performance of the work when there should not be.
  • Have the student practice the piece in sections, repeating the sections until they’re seamless. What this does for the student is it helps him or her memorize sections of the piece including chord and hand positions, dynamic levels, pedal markings, and other things so that they won’t be tempted to stop every time due to confusion of what they’re supposed to be playing or the way they’re supposed to be playing it. The student will also feel a lot more accomplished at the end of the piece by practicing it this way.
  • Have the student take note of all the articulations at the beginning slowly. This will cause the student to slow down and look at the music as a whole piece rather than just dive in and try to figure it out.
  • When all is a struggle, have the student take regular breaks. Have them take a few deep breaths. Have them calm down so that they can resume their focus and not have all the nervous or emotional energy that may come from failure of not playing the music correctly.
  • If not for a recital or performance, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can practice a piece for weeks or months on in and still have some mistakes. If it’s not for a big performance, don’t sweat it! Just keep it working in the background while more pressing recital pieces take the forefront.


I hope these five tips will help you or your student(s) with practicing the piano. These are common things that I run into with students and I’m sure you do too. If you have any more practice suggestions, questions or comments, feel free to respond in the comments’ section below.


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<![CDATA[Simple Time [Lecture]]]>Mon, 15 Jan 2018 18:36:34 GMThttp://cjwmusiclessons.com/cjwlessonsblog/simple-time-lectureIn this blog post, we are going to go over simple time. This is going to be a detailed lecture on the simple “back or forward beat” called simple time.


Here’s a little nugget of music theory wisdom: simple time normally goes into divisions of two.

People can easily tap to the beat here whereas in compound time (discussed in the last lecture) you would be sometimes hard-pressed to find the beat because of three being the micro-beat and being an odd number. We tend to follow even beats on the macro level rather than the micro level. More in the video.
​Hopefully, this lecture clarified your concerns. I will be producing a quick music theory course to help all of you who are beginning in music theory and need help with rhythm.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post on syncopations and other rhythmic features.
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<![CDATA[Compound Time and Subdivisions]]>Mon, 15 Jan 2018 18:09:27 GMThttp://cjwmusiclessons.com/cjwlessonsblog/compound-time-and-subdivisionsHello and Welcome to the CJW Music Lessons Blog! Today, we are discussing the intricacies of compound time and subdivisions. We will specifically be teaching on the time signatures of 6/8, 9/8 and some 12/8. It is very important that you understand the differences between simple and compound time. Simple time is usually divisible by 2. Examples include 4/4, 2/2, 2/4 and those types of time signatures. Compound time signatures include “triplet” versions of these very time signatures. For example, 6/8 is basically 2/4, subdivided into groups of 3 each. 9/8 is 3/4 subdivided into groups of 3 micro-beats each. 12/8 is basically 4/4 with micro-beats of 3 each. You will hear me say the term micro-beat very often. Also, you will hear the term macro-beat used. Macro-beat is the large beat. Micro-beat, for our theory purposes is the subdivision.



​Take a listen to this video and tell me what you think. I'm always open to new suggestions from fellow music teachers and clinicians. I will be posting the video on the simple time lecture here on the blog, so stay tuned for that. I hope that you're finding these blog posts valuable as nuggets of music theory information to get you through your day. Stay tuned for more music theory tips and lessons.
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<![CDATA[An Easy Way To Learn Piano Songs Fast]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 21:36:05 GMThttp://cjwmusiclessons.com/cjwlessonsblog/an-easy-way-to-learn-piano-songs-fastHello All! In this blog post, I will be unveiling a system that I have found that will be able to teach you an easy way to learn piano songs fast.
You may not know this but there are many, many songs that are possible to play with the honest tweaking of only a few keys. That is the simple trick to understanding how to play many different songs, across many different genres of music to make you sound like an expert while doing what you love, playing piano.


This is what I have learned by taking the Pianoforall course, one of the fastest-growing and most contentious courses in piano study. I was curious to see how people were learning to play different types of songs really quickly with what seems like very little effort. What I found was, there was effort given into this, but the content of the course is laid out in a simple, well-understood fashion. The course blends bits of scale, chord and other technique in with learning how to play like your favorite pop star! It’s far from the average lectures that seem to drone on about this technique or that technique. You actually get to put the bits of technique you learn into action.


What’s more, the instructor shows you via his lit-up keyboard what notes to play and what notes not to play, which is extremely helpful to beginning students. Every unit of the course combines chord and note intervals and theory (not to technical!) with the practical, step-by-step demonstration of how to switch from one song to another. In this, you get to spot critical patterns in piano structure and voicing that are crucial for any piano player.


So, whether you’re a novice, intermediate level or pro, this course can really give you that much-needed edge you are looking for to impress an audience or to just have fun playing by yourself. This will give you the training you need while also being practical and most of all, fun!

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<![CDATA[One of the Ways that You Learn Piano]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:20:35 GMThttp://cjwmusiclessons.com/cjwlessonsblog/one-of-the-ways-that-you-learn-pianoOne of the ways that you can more easily learn piano is to do it by color. How do people do this? They hear a tone and they hear a color. It is called Synesthesia. Many schools actually use this to teach their students notes. There have been studies that have shown that kids love to color. They learn more from colors than the actual theory behind the notes. Many people are intimidated by theory and when you throw them into the theory matrix, they get soured away from doing music.


If you can assign a color to each of the notes, then students would have a much better time learning about the music and how the colors flow into sound. That's big! If you can get the students to recognize that different color combinations make up different in mixed sounds then you'll be golden.


Let's use the following legend to illustrate the different colors as they relate to different notes. For example, if you take the note C, that often times the red and the synesthesia mindset. If you take orange, you have D. if you have yellow, the note E will appear. Let's say you have green, then you would have the note F appear. If you have a new G, then the color blue with most often appear in your mind. If you have the note A, then the color purple follows that. If you have the note B, then the color magenta comes up. Then, you find yourself right back and C and therefore red. So that's just a legend of the colors that typically come up with synesthesia. 


If you mix C and E, you get this reddish green pigment. If you were to mix E and G, you have green, the same color that F is. With the synesthesia you can also turn up and down the shade of the colors using the octaves on the piano. You could use the low end on the piano to signify darker or mustier shades of the colors and the higher end as brighter shades. I know this is getting drippy but it really does exist. If you “paint” your lessons for your students in this way, it would help them so much with putting a face or visual thing with the sound without over-complicating their minds with too much music theory.


So, when you are teaching, keep this in mind and you will see your students’ soar with musical success.
More later, if you need more help, here is a resource that could help you learn piano songs faster and with ease.]]>
<![CDATA[What Is A Fourth?]]>Sat, 11 Nov 2017 22:00:00 GMThttp://cjwmusiclessons.com/cjwlessonsblog/what-is-a-fourth
In this lecture, (part of the "Intervals" section of my Intro To Music Theory Course) I discuss what a fourth is. There are perfect and augmented fourths. Check the video for more. Check the courses page for more! You'll find the Write Your First Piece of Music Course there!
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