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Student highlight

Student Highlight- Luke P

Luke P started taking lessons with me after the recommendation of his neighbor Blake. It’s been great working with Luke and helping him learn music. He’s always ready to dive in at his weekly lesson, and even though he doesn’t say too much, I can tell by his playing that he’s excited to make music!

 

Luke is in 3rd grade. His favorite subject in school is math. His favorite song is the Formula 1 Theme Song (he’s playing it at the studio recital this afternoon!). His hobbies are video games, soccer, baseball and cars. His favorite thing about lessons is learning how to play songs.

 

This afternoon at 3 central, Harmanny Music Education will be having a studio recital. It will be livestreamed on Facebook. Check out all of the hard work the students have put in!

 

If you want to join the students at Harmanny Music Education this summer, find out more here.

Student highlight

Student Highlight- Samuel L.

After waiting a few years to start while watching his older brother Caleb take lessons, this year was Samuel’s first year to start with piano lessons. He definitely likes to have fun at his lessons, be silly, but when it is time to focus, Samuel does just that. He’s a joy to work with and encourage!

Samuel is in 3rd grade. His favorite subject in school is religion. His favorite song is “Green Hill Zone” (from Sonic the Hedgehog). His hobbies are piano, Cub Scouts, playing Minecraft, playing with his friends. His favorite thing about lessons is being able to perform for other people.

Samuel and a majority of my students will have that opportunity to perform at the studio recital at 3 PM. It will be live on the Harmanny Music Education Facebook page. All of the students performing have put in a lot of hard work and I’m so excited to see them shine and share their hard work and talents with others!

You can also join in with Harmanny Music Education students, whether in person or online this summer by taking lessons or participating in the ukulele camp the week of June 27th. For more information about summer offerings, click here.

Student highlight

Student Highlight: Blake K

In getting ready for our recital on Saturday, as well as winding the year down, Harmanny Music Education is giving a highlight to students!

 

Blake has been taking piano lessons for 3 years. He is diligent about practicing, always willing to try new things, and has grown as a musician and a person because of piano lessons. It’s been so much fun to see!

 

Blake is in 4th grade. His favorite subject in school is science. His favorite song is “In the Hall of the Mountain King”. His hobby is building legos. His favorite thing about lessons is learning new music. The thing that he enjoys most about music is that it makes him happy.

 

Music does so many amazing things for each individual that learns it. Yes, it challenges and pushes them, but it is also fun and enjoyable. I’ve seen all of this happen for Blake as he has diligently worked to learn music.

 

You can be like Blake and all of my other students who are enjoying the challenge and fun of learning music, by joining us this summer for summer lessons or ukulele camp. You can find out more here. Check out another highlight of a student tomorrow!

 

Student highlight

Student Highlight- Olivia S

Olivia S is a wonderful student! She’s always cheerful when she comes to her lesson, always agreeable and willing to try anything I ask her to play. Just by looking at her during her lesson, it’s clear that she enjoys music and enjoys learning to play the piano. So here is a little more about Olivia!

 

Olivia is in 3rd grade. Her favorite subject in school is science. Her favorite song is “Astronaut in the Ocean”. Her hobbies are piano, soccer, basketball and swimming. Olivia’s favorite thing about lessons is “I like making cool songs sound good.” When asked what her favorite thing about music is, she said, “Everything! It’s fun!”

 

You can join Olivia in making cool songs sound good. Harmanny Music Education is scheduling summer lessons, as well as having a ukulele camp the week of June 27th. You can find out more about both here.

Student highlight

Student Highlight: Caleb L.

Caleb is a student that I’ve had for many years. He’s a naturally gifted musician, who also plays the trumpet! He’s a student (as all of my students are!) that make teaching easy and lots of fun!

 

Caleb is in 7th grade. His favorite subjects in school are computer science and math. When asked about his favorite song or songs, he said, “There are too many I like to pick a favorite.” (Just like his teacher!) His hobbies and interests are piano, trumpet, Boy Scouts and cooking. His favorite thing about music lessons is “learning to play songs I like”.

 

This was Caleb playing the “Superb Mario Medley” for Harmanny Music Education’s online recital last spring!

 

You can join Caleb in taking lessons from Harmanny Music Education by signing up for lessons this summer. You can find out more by going to the Summer Lessons page and finding out about lessons, as well as the ukulele camp that Harmanny Music Education will be offering the week of June 27th. Lessons are either in person or online.

 

 

Music Benefits

Music and fitness?

I’m at an event today put on by a local gym (owned by the parents of one of my students). Now on first glance, that seems a little weird, right? What does taking music lessons and making music have to do with being fit? It’s not going to give you washboard abs, is it? Probably not. But, there are some fitness benefits on the mental and emotional side of things that are huge and essential….and even some physical benefits! So here’s what I’ve put together that I’m going to be sharing with people who stop by today!

 

Better your hand/eye coordination

Hand/eye coordination can be built through sports, but being a musician definitely helps to build hand/eye coordination by following the music and using your hands to play on the instrument.

 

Strengthen your non-dominant hand

Instruments like piano, guitar, drums, violin, viola, cello and bass use both hands. More specifically, place an emphasis on using both hands equally, developing the non-dominant hand, as well as strengthening the dominant hand. 

 

Bettering your breathing

Wind instruments, like singing, playing trumpet, flute, saxophone, clarinet and others, require air to make sound. We all breathe naturally, but we don’t always get full and deep breaths. Playing these instruments requires focus on breath support and that can translate outside of music!

 

Uses both sides of your brain at the same time

Normally, we only use one side of our brain at a time. Music is a great workout for the brain, as it exercises both sides of the brain at the same time.

 

Can improve your memory

Studies have shown that making music does wonders for the brain, specifically in strengthening and bettering your memory. Music is a language, and learning a language works wonders for the brain and memory.

 

Makes your brain more flexible and adaptable

Along with using both sides of your brain, strengthening your memory, music helps the neuroplasticity of your brain. Neuroplasticity is about how your brain adapts and grows throughout your life. Music brings that flexibility and adaptability to your brain.

 

Lowers anxiety

Making music is a great stress reliever! Whether that’s banging loudly on a piano, or having fun playing your favorite song, when you’re anxious or stressed out, making music has been proven to lower your stress and anxiety levels.

 

 

If you’re wanting to sign up for music lessons or the ukulele camp, TODAY is the day to do it! Because of the event, I’m offering $20 off any summer activity for those who sign up today. That means that if you want 6 lessons in June and July, it’s $220. If you want 4 lessons, it’s $155. If you’ve got a student who has finished K-3rd grade and you want them to participate in the ukulele camp, it’s $280. Click here for more information!

 

Music History, Music stories, Musical Community

What is the most famous Mexican song?

Happy Cinco de Mayo! May the 5th is the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, where the Mexican army defeated the French in 1862. It is probably celebrated more here in the United States than in Mexico, but it got me thinking about the question I posed in the title of this post. What is the most famous Mexican song?

 

I’m not as familiar with the music of Mexico, as I am with other countries, so I started doing some research. I found songs like “La Bamba”, “La Cucaracha”, “Oye Como Va” and “Besame Mucho” as the most famous ones. You can check them out below.

 

 

 

 

Other more recent Mexican musicians would include Gloria Trevi, Luis Miguel and Selena, among others.

 

 

 

Do you have a favorite Mexican song? Share it in the comments!

 

Student highlight

Student Highlight: Loghan M.

Harmanny Music Education is blessed to have a group of fantastic students. This month, you will be seeing a regular student highlight focusing on some of the amazing students.

 

Loghan M. is in 5th grade. She has been taking online piano and voice lessons from Harmanny Music Education since the fall. Her favorite subject in school is English. Her favorite song or songs is anything from Hamilton. Loghan’s hobbies include singing and skateboarding. Her favorite thing about music lessons is singing!

 

Loghan is a joy to work with and encourage on a weekly basis. She is a member of the North Houston Children’s Choir. This spring, she auditioned for the Texas Choral Director’s Association’s Elementary Honor Choir that will rehearse and participate at the group’s convention this summer and made it! She’s super talented, always cheerful and willing to work at whatever comes her way!

 

If you want to join Loghan in online lessons, click here!

Music stories, Musical Creativity

May the 4th be with you!

I love Star Wars! Considering that the first movie came out 4 and a half months before I was born, the story has been a part of my life for its entirety! And so today is affectionately called “May the 4th be with you”, a twist on “May the force be with you”, so today, I wanted to share with you some of the blog posts that I’ve written about Star Wars in the past.

Cello Wars

Musical Form and Star Wars

Star Wars on a Melodica

Star Wars Rhythms

Star Wars Fun

Star Wars Kyrie

What is Your Star Wars Name?

 

And finally, for your enjoyment….John Williams directing the Imperial March

 

Music stories

Music is a dance!

Today is International Dance Day! While I personally am unable to dance on my feet, my fingers definitely dance! Don’t believe my lack of dancing ability? The first time I danced with my wife before we were married, I tried to dip her. I dropped her! She still married me and laughs at my lack of dancing ability.

 

But when we make music, we make it dance! The term used is musicality. How do you take the notes and lengths placed on the page and make them come to life? We make the music dance! Whether that is giving natural accents on the first beat on each measure, or phrase the music correctly, we make the music come to life. We’re not robots and the music shouldn’t sound robotic!

 

As we gain experience and confidence as musicians, we’re able to play faster passages, which makes our fingers dance across the instrument. In gaining knowledge and practicing what to do, making the music dance becomes natural and regularly happens without much extra thought. But at first, it definitely needs to be an extra step for students to learn how to do it well.

 

Obviously in music, there are different dance styles that we play, whether that’s a waltz, bouree, minuet, cha-cha and more. Those pieces are written in a way that the music naturally dances, but as experienced musicians, the idea of making the music dance can be brought into any piece, dance or not.

 

How do you dance through music?