Posted in Summer

An alternative to summer practicing

Yesterday I wrote about how it is beneficial to continue to practice, even if you’re not taking lessons over the summer. Today, I’m going to give you an alternative…even though you should still practice!


The alternative is quite simple. Music camps or unique music exploration activities are definitely helpful. Let’s unpack each idea. A music camp is quite simple. It takes a concept or an instrument and focuses in on them for a period of time.


For Harmanny Music Education, 2 camps are being offered, one fully online and one in person with an online option. The online camp is for students who have finished K-3rd grade. We’ll be diving in to Camille Saint-Saens’ work “Carnival of the Animals”. There’s so much to explore in this journey, not only looking at why Saint-Saens wrote the work, but how he masterfully and creatively mimicked the animals through music. This camp is the week of June 20th and will be for 1 hour.


The second camp is a ukulele camp. This is in person, but the opportunity to join online is also available. This camp will teach you how to play the ukulele. Not only how to play it, but the history of the instrument, as well as how to care for it. This camp will be for students who have finished 1st through 5th grade, and will be for 2 hours daily the week of June 27th. For more information on both camps, click here.


Now what about this music exploration activity thing? What is that? Well, it’s actually quite simple. Whether that’s checking out YouTube videos or reading blog posts about music history, or listening critically to music, these are the things I’m talking about. One of the things I’ll be doing this summer is creating a music listening calendar for June and July for my students, and then I’ll be going through them and highlighting them on the blog daily. There are lots of different YouTube channels that are fantastic. My two personal favorites are Charles Cornell and Adam Neely. They can get a little over the head of younger musicians, but definitely are fun. George Collier notates in music different performances and other musical things which can bring about inspiration. Or, if you just look up music history for kids on YouTube, you get a number of fantastic videos!


There are so many possibilities to keep your child engaged with music over the summer, whether that is practicing, creating their own instruments (I recommend having earplugs around for that), or learning a new instrument for fun over the summer (again….earplugs), as well as learning more about music. There are so many resources online that the possibilities are endless!


Posted in Summer

What to do over the summer?

Back when I took lessons, my parents let me take the summer off of lessons. There is a delicate balance when it comes to summer. A bit more freedom and flexibility in schedule is good, but if you don’t keep up the practice over the summer, those skills can deteriorate. Taking a break can be helpful to have a bit of a breather and help you appreciate what you are doing along with bringing in a renewed set of focus. I offer summer lessons, but completely understand that families will want to take a break.


If you are taking a break for summer, here are some tips and tricks that I have learned along the way.


Keep in a (relaxed) practice routine. Don’t completely give up practicing altogether, but make time to practice as your schedule allows. 5-10 minutes per day or every other day is better than zero.


What should you practice? Review pieces you have already played. Find pieces to try to challenge yourself. Review your music theory to help keep things sharp. The more you can do things like this to keep yourself sharp, keep your skills up and even grow your abilities, the better.


Practice makes better. That’s just how things work. I think that even a few lessons here and there over the summer will help to keep your skills sharp, but that’s totally up to you. Continuing to practice will definitely make a difference!


If you are looking for those few lessons over the summer, Harmanny Music Education can help! Whether it’s 4 or 6 lessons, or a fun online camp diving into the “Carnival of the Animals” for students who have finished K-3rd grade, or an in person and online ukulele camp for students who have finished 1st-5th grade, you can find out more about it all here.