eric


Free Exploration

Natural Free Exploration

Children love the potential of the piano. Within minutes of having an empty piano in a space, I see children gravitate to the bench. I see them hit the same key repeatedly, observing that the pitch doesn’t change. In addition, I watch them vary their strength (usually to the upper dynamic level!), to test out the power of the piano. Even further, I observe them go up (right) and down (left) with joy, experiencing the huge range of notes.

The piano is unique, in the fact that it’s easy to make pitches. In fact, you could literally slam your fist down, and create a cluster of pitches. Compare this to using pencil crayons! Pencil crayons are easy to use; press the tip against the paper…and ta da! Colour.

Some instruments are not this easy. Have you ever tried to play the flute or trumpet before? Think back to your first time trying to blow a solid note. How did it go? For me, it was a huge mess! I mostly sputtered all over, with no discernible pitch. Those instruments add tremendous value to how our body relates to the instrument to make music. However, for a beginner, it is much harder to explore before that basic technique is achieved.

EN Music Studio truly believes free exploration is important to the student. Just like when a child learns to draw, we can not force them immediately to draw an apple or tree. They are more likely to scribble! To explore the different effects one can achieve depending on the weight of the pencil, the pencil type, and the different drawing strokes.

Piano is no different. Before we create fine art, the student needs time to explore the canvas of the piano freely. If stifled into a strict exercise only routine, piano students will view piano as an academic subject, and not as an artistic one. There is nothing wrong with the academic side of piano! The question is: what are you intending for the piano lessons to bring to the children?

 

 


Simple Creativity Tips

Hi everyone,

As you may be aware, living a creative life is one of my priorities in life. I think that being creative encourages a zest for life- which I need! For me, I am most happy when I feel that I am being authentic and open to change.

That being said, I am always looking for ways to be more creative in my every day life. In my daily grind, I often find myself working into a rut. With many tasks and routines to get through, I tend to focus more on efficiency, rather than creativity. How can I do this better with less time?

Of course, the number 1 tip for living a creative life…is to create. Write a blog! Write songs! Draw! Even if it’s only for 10 minutes every day, that dedicated time adds up. At the end of the week, you would have been creative for more than an hour.

Today, I want to talk about injecting creativity into our everyday tasks. This helps boost that 10 minutes a day into an all day lifestyle direction.

  1. Add little differences to your meals–  cooking is my biggest challenge! I personally do not love cooking, but understand it is essential to my living. While making breakfast, I often experiment with little changes. Little things such as a different way I cut my avocado to different arrangements on the plate make a huge difference! Not only does it visually looks different, I feel myself more aware of what I’m doing- breaking out of the mundane routine. I also enjoy that I get to be more aware of what kind of foods I like and don’t like.
  2. Go for a 10 minute walk everyday, but walk in a different direction every day. I enjoy exploring my neighbourhood! It gives me different visual input everyday.
  3. Don’t use your phone while you wait for things– whether at the grocery store, at the elevator, or on your break at work, I try not to use my phone as a distraction tool. Breathe in every minute! The break from digital media helps me discover my own thoughts.

With these small changes, I find that I participate in my life much more actively, which is a key component of feeling creative.

 


Review of “Music Lessons Teach Discipline and Dedication”

Hi Everyone,

Today I will reviewing the article “Music Lessons Teach Discipline and Dedication” by Top Ten Reviews. This article details why piano lessons may have a positive effect towards children’s views on discipline and dedication.

Dedication of Piano Practice

The article states that in order to improve at any skill, a person must commit to a regularly scheduled training session for a specific amount of time. In a child’s life, this is often not introduced until music lessons. The article notes that this practice, is what sets the blueprints to attitudes towards higher education and career when it comes to discipline. Along with discipline, comes the ability to focus on one task at a time, and learn delayed gratification.

A Personal Account

As someone who went through 16 years of piano lessons, I thoroughly resonate with these. While I also clearly remember the struggle of maintaining regular practice times, as well as discourse with my parents who enforced it, I also understand that it was that 1 hour practice everyday that led me to play the piano at an advanced level. If I practiced one hour every day, that means I practiced a total of 7 hours in a week. To reflect, I now realize that I am likely to improve at anything  I spend 7 hours a week doing. If I wanted to improve on my health, I know that spending 1 hour everyday working on my health would have long-term effect. If I wanted to improve on my speaking, I know that spending 1 hour everyday practicing speaking would help induce improvement.

This practice has leaked over to other areas of my life. In University, this ability helped break large tasks in manageable chunk. I found this to be way more effective than cramming the night before the due date. In my work, I know that all quality work requires time and attention.

The article does not speak about the benefits of lower stress due to discipline. By consistently work on improving and building projects, I experience less anxiety over procrastination, deadlines, and lack of progress.

While piano lessons are not the only way for a child to build discipline and focus, it certaintly is one of the more fun ones.

 

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