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Easy Popular Songs To Play on Guitar, Ukulele, and Piano!

 

 Check out these awesome pop songs that can be played on guitar, piano, ukulele, and bass!

foster the people, pumped up kicks, guitar lessons, park slope, fort greene, upper west side, upper east side, piano lessons, kids piano teacher

1. Pumped Up Kicks (Foster The People)- 4 chords!

Pumped Up Kicks moves between Em, G, D, and A chords. Each chord gets 4 beats.

Notes in Em chord: E-G-B
Notes in G chord: G-B-D
Notes in D chord: D-F#-A
Notes in A chord- A-C#-E

 

 

 

viva la vida, coldplay, easy guitar songs, easy piano songs, park slope piano, park slope guitar, kids music lessons

2. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)- 4 chords!

This song moves between the chords C, D, G, Em. Each chord gets 4 beats.

Notes in C chord: C-E-G
Notes in D chord: E-G-B
Notes in G chord: G-B-D
Notes in Em chord: E-G-B

 

 

 

3. It's Time (Imagine Dragons)- 5 chords!

imagine dragons, easy piano songs, easy guitar songs, park slope guitar lessons, park slope piano lessons, fort greene, music lessons, kids music teacher, learn guitar, jammin with you This song moves between D, A, Bm, Em and G. Each chord gets 2 bars (8 beats).

Order of chords on verse: D-A-Bm-G
Order of chords on chorus: D-Bm-Em-G

Notes in D chord: D-F#-A
Notes in A chord: A-C#-E
Notes in Bm chord: B-D-F#
Notes in G chord: G-B-D
Notes in Em chord: E-G-B

 

 

 

4. Bubbly (Colbie Callait)- 3 chords!colbie callait, bubbly, park slope, fort greene, upper west side,

This song uses the pattern G, D/F#, C, back to G (each chord gets 4 beats)   

Notes in G chord: G-B-D
Notes in D/F# chord: D-F#-A (instead of playing a D in the bass, play an F#)
Notes in C chord: C-E-G

 

 

 

5. Clocks (Coldplay)- 6 chords!easy piano songs, easy guitar songs, park slope guitar teacher, park slope piano teacher

The verse and chorus of this song follow the pattern D (1 bar), Am (2 bars), Em (1 bar)

The bridge follows the pattern Fmaj7 (2 bars), C (1 bar), G (1 bar) 

Notes in D chord: D-F#-A
Notes in Am chord: A-C-E
Notes in Em chord: E-G-B
Notes in Fmaj7 chord: F-A-C-E
Notes in C chord: C-E-G
Notes in G chord: G-B-D

 

ROCK ON!!

Posture makes your Music Lesson!

 

TBad posture 1 at the pianohe other week I was teaching a student and I looked over and her posture was all wacky. Her back was curved and she was hovered over the piano. Her legs were lounging forward and not bent and she was sitting sideways. "Oh my" I exclaimed "We need to fix your posture."

Posture is one of the tools that students learn when they first start to learn piano. If you look in any beginning lesson book there is a section on posture in the first few pages. Posture is a very important tool for any instrument, but as musician we tend to forget the correct ways to sit and this causes problems in our playing.

 

 

Bad posture 2 at the piano

Not sitting correctly with your instrument causes problems with your playing?

Yes! Just like any sport or dance, the postures you use help you perform. Music lessons are just the same. Sometimes when your posture is not correct you make more mistakes because your body is not in the correct postion.

 

 

 

 

 

                                 Key things to remember for correct piano posture:

1. Sitting with your feet flat on the floor.Good piano posture

2. Your knees are slightly under the keyboard.

3. Sitting on the front part of the bench

4. Back Straight

5. Loose shoulders

6. Curved Fingers on keys

 

Remembering this position will make a world of difference in your playing and performing.

2nd Annual Jammin' With You! + Dave Matthews Band Donation

 

Jammin' With You! teams up with the LoVE Foundation to auction off two amazing tickets to the Dave Matthews Band concert on 11/09/2010 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, MA. The tickets also come with VIP hospitality lounge passes, and an author-signed copy of the soon-to-be-released Dave Matthews Band book. To read more about this event, please click here: www.jamminwithyou.com/dmbdonation

To go straight to the auction to bid, click here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180579259457

Jammin' With You! - Dave Matthews Band - LoVE Foundation

Jammin' With You! Summer Fun!

 

Summer has arrived! And this summer we would like to take a moment to interview our teachers and see what their summer fun includes! First up Rob Morrison!

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Jammin' With You!: What do you teach at JWY!
Rob Morrison: Guitar, piano, theory + voice (plus life experience)

JWY!: What have you learned from teaching lessons to JWY! students?
RM: I have learned that there are many learning styles and personalities and therefore there must be alternative teaching methods to accomodate each student.


JWY!: What do you think is different about teaching in a studio vs. in-home music lessons?
RM: The student is generally more comfortable learning at home, but the teacher has to work harder to keep their attention.

JWY!: How have you influenced kids while teaching? AND How have they influenced you?
RM: I feel like I have broadened the horizons of my students by introducing them to improvisation and songwriting at early stages of their musical education. My students have taught me the untrained ear has a lot to offer musically and can produce fresh ideas without the impedence of too much conventional wisdom.

JWY!: What is your favorite summer tune to Jam out to?
RM: Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles

JWY!: What was the best summer concert you went to?
RM: This year, it was Jethro Tull at the Bank of America Pavillion.


JWY!: Is there anything exciting that you are doing over the summer?
RM: I'm taking little vacations to Martha's Vineyard, Vermont, the Cape and Montreal.


JWY!: Where is your favorite place to play music during the summer?
RM: Anywhere outside. Last year my band, Stroamata, played the outdoor festival Harpoon Summer Session, but this summer, you might find me busking (musician-speak for playing for tips in the street) in the public parks of downtown Boston before or after lessons. Barbeques, pool parties or roofdecks are just as good.

Suceed at music recitals! Conquer Nerves!

 

photo by: Maxwell GS

Photo: Maxwell GS

As spring concerts, recitals and shows start filling our calendars your child may start getting a case of the dreaded nerves. When I first started playing at recitals, I would be so nervous everything I learned from my piano lessons went out the window. I would seem to forget everything, including how to sit at the piano to how to play.But when I learned some easy ways to get rid of my nerves I started playing my best.

Here are 5 ways to help your child calm down and rock out at their performance! 

Accept and redirect: 

When we are nervous it normally shows that we care about what we are about to do. We don't want to mess up because we have worked hard and are ready to show the world our talent! Instead of thinking of nerves in a negative light, look at them in a positive light. 

Remember:

*nerves mean you care 

*nerves give you a little adrenaline that keeps you alert 

*nerves are natural and you can get through them

Stretch:

When a person is nervous they tend to clench their jaw, wring their hands or move their legs quickly. Anxiety causes tension.  Do a few simple stretches to relax and get the blood flowing.

*Shrug your shoulders toward your ears and rolling your head from side to side

*Bring one arm across your body and pull and do the same with the other side.

*Rotate your ankles and stretch your legs

* Shake your hands like you have just washed them and their isn't a towel around to dry them.

Silently Sing or Play: 

Mentally review what piece you are playing or singing. You can even pretend you have the instrument in your hand and practice the motions. Doing this will allow your mind to relax and take focus to the task at hand. 

Don't Go Bananas!:

Whenever you feel like you are going to get upset start to focus on your breathing and think happy thoughts. Say phrases to yourself like: 

* It's OK to be upset, but I am in control 

* I am great at what I do!

* I am going to conquer this 

You can also think about a time where you did really well at something or a time when you where very relaxed. Close your eyes, take a breath and imagine you are there. 

*Also, speaking of bananas, eat a banana, it helps lower anxiety.

SMILE:

Show off those teeth. Smiling helps relieve tension in our jaw and overall makes us feel happier. When we smile we are shrugging off the nerves and showing a confident exterior which will slowly come to the interior. 

Remember "When your smiling, the whole world smiles with you." 

So before your child starts to worry about how they will sound at their recital remind them that they are great, smile at them, rub their shoulders and hand them a banana! They are going to be wonderful this recital season and I am sure many people await to hear their talent!

 Photo:Kaex0r

When can my young child start music lessons?

 

photo by: Pink Sherbert

Many times a parent will ask us, how young is too young for music lessons? We normally will tell them to think about their individual child and their personality and ability. Once the parent has decided that their young child is ready to step into the music world here are a few things to think about when choosing a teacher for their lessons.


Your new lesson teacher should know the difficulties of teaching younger beginners.

*students have a shorter attention span

* students tend to be wiggly

*the students can’t read on their own 

* they have not fully developed coordination

So how do we do we teach these students?

An effective young beginner music teacher should be able to make each lesson smooth and prevent some of the difficulties of teaching a young beginner. When talking to your childs new music teacher ask the teacher about how they will run the lesson with your small child. They should say or explain some of these points.

Make lessons have short different parts. 

An effective teacher should not spend the entire lesson on one technique. Each music lesson should have different sections that run for about 5 minutes. Anymore time then the five minutes and the child will start to loose interest.

Let your child wiggle in a structured way.

The teacher will play songs that allow them to “shake their sillies out” during the lesson. These kind of songs will allow the child to wiggle and squirm as much as they want, and also be teaching them about rhythm and pitch. 

Help students learn visually.

Find a book that provided the student with a lot of pictures to help them understand what they are learning. If your child can't read yet, there are different books that help teach the child with pictures and graphs.

Use music for little hands.

Make sure the songs you are teaching are for little hands. Even though your child and you have the same amount of fingers, their hands may not be able to move as fast as yours. The books your new teacher should be teaching from should have songs developed for little hands.  

 

 

photo by: Simple Insomnia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best way to know if your child will be sucessful in their new music lesson is talking to your new teacher and making sure you, your child and the teacher are comfortable with the lessons. Good luck and welcome to the world of music! 

 

Parents are the inspiration for every music lesson!

 


There are many studies on how effective constant parent involvement in a child’s school education helps them grow in many ways. There is even a national organization on it called the National Coalition for Parent Involvement In Education. 
The NCPIE says:
http://www.ncpie.org/
The evidence is in: when schools and families work together to support learning, everyone benefits.
*Students do better in school and in life.
*Parents become empowered.
*Teacher morale improves.
*Schools get better.
*Communities grow stronger.


All of these things are true for your child’s music lessons too. Even if a parent is not musically inclined, simple support can go a long way for your child, you and your child’s private music teacher.

Here are a few simple ways to support your child in their music endeavors even if you don’t know how to play music.

Ask your child what they learned in their lesson:


Asking your child about their lesson helps them remember the new information and they  have to explain what they learned in their 30 min. keyboard lesson.

There are many ways a parent can ask about the lesson:
*Have the child explain what they learned away from the instrument to help them with their verbal skills

*Have the child explain what they learned with the instrument to help them explain visually

*A parent can act as the student and have their child help them learn something on the instrument.

*Ask your child to play them their favorite new song and tell them what you liked about it.

Tell your child you love hearing them practice:

The more they practice the better they get, right?
But sometimes when they practice they make mistakes and get embarrassed. By telling them, things like “wow you sounded great and you are getting better” encourages them to do more practice. Comments like these also tell your child that you are listening and you are taking an interest in what they are doing.


Don’t use the word CAN’T :

I always tell my student’s that the CAN’T word is off limits in playing music. If your student says “I can’t read music” or “I can’t play the guitar” make sure to tell them they can.

The word CAN’T takes the action of doing to a whole different level. Now your child thinks they can’t do something and will stop trying, consciously or unconsciously. If the parent doesn’t correct the child by saying, yes you can, then the child will believe that you think they can’t do it either.

Everyone is different, everyone learns differently and everyone plays different.
Remind your child that they can do whatever they want to do. If they are struggling with something let your music teacher know and then work as a team to help your child succeed.


Share your music idols:


photo by Lance Shields 

Children today listen to many different things like High School Musical, The Jonas Brothers, Hannah Montana and many more. But if you share your favorite bands with your child it is not only teaching them about different types of music but also about your excitement with music.

I will never forget the day when my dad got out his Beatles records and we listened to them all night. It really inspired me as a musician and I got very close to my dad through music.

Music can help create a bond between you and your child. Maybe after you show your child your favorite band you can ask them to show you theirs.

Get out and see live music:

There is nothing more inspirational for a musician then watching other musicians play. Take your child to see all types of music shows.
*Rock Shows
*Folk Shows
*Musical Theater
*Kids Music Shows
*Local Music
*Opera
*Symphonies
*Battles of Bands
*Festivals

 There are many kid friendly festivals in the summer and so many great music venues that you can find something that sparks you and your child’s interest.


Boston venues:
Cambridge - Club Passim

Lennox- Tanglewood

Cambridge-Middle East

Boston Orpeum Theater

 

By taking these simple steps to help support your child and their musical ambition you will see such improvement in how they play, think and talk about music.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Photos by: Ha-Wee, Lance Shields & Fabio Bruna

SAVE YOUR VOICE~ 5 ways to improve your singing lessons

 

 

Colds are in the air and allergies are just around the corner. What do you do to keep your voice healthy and how do you sound your best?

No matter how young you are or how long you have been taking vocal lessons a person should know how to care for their voice. Here are 5 simple ways to care for your voice.


1. Stay hydrated!

Every vocalist should always carry a bottle of water. An voice teacher of mine use to say “drink so much water that you pee clear!” It may sound gross but the more hydrated you are the better you will sound and the less damage you will do to your voice. Try to stay clear of too much caffeine and high sugar drinks.

2. Remember your warm ups

Just like getting ready to play sports or work out, your voice needs a proper warm up before you start to sing. Use a piano or guitar and sing up and down a scale, buzz your lips, hum a tune or do some breathing exercises. Your breath is so important in singing properly. So remember to practice breathing deep and using your entire midsection to support you.

3. Don't Shout!

Try to limit speaking in noisy places, or shouting at events. We all get excited sometimes, but every time you yell till you are hoarse you are damaging your voice.

4. Watch What You Eat

Before you sing a show, avoid foods and drinks that make your vocal cords produce mucous.
*nuts
*dairy products
*sugar
The best way to get rid of the mucous is to drink lots of water and warm up your voice.

5. Heal Your Sick Voice

When you are sick you should rest your voice as much as you can. You do not want to strain it or push to hard. If your voice is sore, besides drinking water try some of these tricks.
*Sleep with a humidifier *Drink herbal teas *Try to keep your voice and throat warm with scarves and turtle necks *Breath in steam

Unlike other instruments that get put away in a protective case, your instrument is your body and everything you do effects it. Remember these tips and sing your best.

Share your song with the world!

photo by Steve Punter

Choose The Right Piano Teacher!

 


piano lessons

How To Choose a Piano Teacher

If you go on Craigslist and search for piano teachers, you will find hundreds of teachers and music schools currently accepting students.  Every ad will look basically the same but as we know, not all teachers are the same.  How do you find the right piano teacher for your child or yourself??

What is the teacher’s background?

How long have they been teaching?  Do they currently have students?  You don’t want to be a guinea pig for a new teacher.  You want to make sure they have taught students like you before.  Ask for references!  Any quality teacher will be happy you want to call one of their current students because they know their students will speak highly of them.   A good teacher doesn’t need to come from a conservatory of music.  But you do want to make sure they are trained on their instrument and know what they are talking about!


What style/method does the teacher use?

Many teachers can teach any style while others are strictly classical or jazz  ect.  Why do you want to take lessons?  If you just want to learn some fun tunes and make a hobby out of it, you don’t want someone who is going to insist you work out of 3 different theory books and technique books and give you stringent practice guidelines.  If you’d like your son to be the next Beethoven, then that’s a different story.  If you want to learn Jazz, there are teachers out there who will do just that. For parents who want their kids to have a positive 1st experience, find someone fun and enthusiastic who will keep them motivated and inspired.  


Where do lessons take place?


If you are signing up for lessons at a music studio, is it a friendly, clean, safe      environment?  Go check it out.  Will you be happy walking in each week?  Many studios and companies offer In-Home music lessons.  Taking lessons in your own home is ideal for most kids.  Mom doesn’t have to drive and kids are in their comfort zone.  Again, if a lesson service or school is going to send an instructor into your home, make sure you talk to some of his/her current students and families.  Make sure this is someone you want to open your doors for each week.  


Does the teacher offer recitals?


Recitals should be part of any music program.  It gives students goals a real reason to practice.  Performing in front of your peers can be stressful and scary but the rewards far outweigh the stress leading up to the performance.  No matter what level students are playing at, completing a recital will be a huge accomplishment and can be very inspirational as you see what others are capable of.   



Cheap Guitar Lessons - Can You Really Learn Online??

 

If you google “guitar lessons”  hundreds of pages will come up.  The Internet has allowed us to learn any song we want at any given time.  But can you really have success, learning guitar online?   This depends on a few things. 

in-home guitar lessons

 

Age- I don’t think any kid under the age of 10 is going to know where to start when it comes to learning online.  Sure, a 7 yr old can Google “how to play Nirvana” but what comes up is not very educational or motivational.  Even a teenager or adult will have a hard time jumping right into their favorite songs without the help of a teacher walking you thru each step.  

Current Ability- Total beginners of any age will be very frustrated if they are looking to learn online.   It is human nature to jump right to the good stuff ie songs, solos ect.

If you have at least a few months of guitar lessons under your belt, you can look up some songs and slowly begin to improve your skills.  However, a lot of time is wasted if you come upon certain chords that you don’t know and aren’t explained within the tutorial.  
Intermediate to advanced players will benefit from looking up tabs, chord charts  and “how to play…” on Youtube.  If you have a good base knowledge of your guitar, you can learn any song you want online today.  
cheap guitar lessons
Motivation– If you’re one of those people who gives up if things don’t come easy, learning online is not the way to go.  Private music lessons are the best way to stay motivated as you will have goals, assignments and deadlines each week as your lessons approach.  

Photos by Bob n Renee and Steven Parker

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