Lessons Learned in Music and Dance

Lessons Learned in Music and Dance

I’ve studied a wide variety of musical instruments, musical styles, and dance styles, and have learned a lot from each of them. (But the operative word is “studied”. Many them, I haven’t really “learned”, much less “mastered”! But on a few, I can muddle through passably. And when it comes to Irish Dance, well, my claim to fame is that at one time, I was able to fool quite a few Irish folks into thinking I knew what I was doing!)

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Learning to Play By Ear

Playing music by ear is a technique that is accessible to beginners of all ages. It makes music fun, and takes the boredom out of practicing. It gives you the kind of challenge you get solving crossword puzzles, but builds a skill that provides innumerable benefits, including the ability to interpret, improvise, and embellish a tune.

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“Slow Sessions”

Slow sessions are valuable, and a heck of a lot of fun. Sheet music should be avoided while actually at the session though. For a really slow session, “trading tunes” may be a more useful concept than “playing together”. But with a really qualified session leader, both goals can be attained.

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