The Elements of a Successful Music Program
The areas of studying that would be considered part of a well rounded music program.
“You’re born with a spark... to search for the truth, for the best you can be. Practice. Discipline. Preparation. Try and try again. Then one day you‘re on top and they say you're an overnight success, ”a “natural.” You smile, you know.” - Anonymous
Here are a few of the elements that would be typically covered in a well rounded musical education.
Technique is the physical control and coordination needed to play an instrument or sing. It is involves position, efficiency of motion and effort, as well as exercises to develop specific physical skills.
I'm a firm believer that your never going to do anything musically that your fingers haven't done before.
Theory is the body of principles behind music. It includes scales and chord building, intervals, progressions, resolution, harmony, motion, power, color, chord substitution, keys and time signatures, rhythm, melody, etc.
Ear Training is the development of the active and passive capacity to relate to music aurally. It includes the ability to recognize and reproduce melodic and harmonic intervals, chords, chord progression, rhythm, melody and harmony.
From a core foundation of the principles of music you can build and derive additional information from that same foundation.
Basically, just understanding it all works.
Reading is the ability to reproduce music from written notation. It includes five phases; note recognition / alternate note locations, rhythm recognition, fingering considerations, communication terminology and interpretation.
Repertoire includes the songs within a musician's performance ability. These songs maybe memorized or read. They may be literal reproductions or creative interpretations.
Improvisation is the ability to spontaneous create melody over a predetermined chord progression. It involves scales, alternate fingerings, arpeggios, intervalic development, sequences, embellishments, superimposition, rhythm, motifs, development techniques and idiomatic considerations.
Musical Idioms is the study of music and the musical styles it involves well developed categories as; Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz, Bluegrass, Classical, Folk, Urban and Fusion. It also includes subdivisions and specializations.
Songwriting is the creation of original music based on a single melodic line with a chord progression. Lyrics may or may not be included.
Arranging involves the choice of instruments, tempo, rhythmic feel, form, intros, endings, interludes, solos, harmonies, and instrumental accompaniment of a song.
Composition is the creation of original music based on multiple simultaneous and compatible melodies. It historically involves the classical forms but frequently includes more sophisticated levels of contemporary music.
Orchestration involves the choice of instruments for a composition. This choice is based on the ranges and colors of the instruments which best represent the mood and creative intent of the composer.
Interpretation involves the ability to perform a song or composition in a unique and personal way. These skills involve a interrelated set of disciplines which include, theory, ear training, technique, dynamics, embellishments, phrasing, and rhythmic flexibility.
All this leads to the development and nurturing of the artist within us all.
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