Quarter notes, eighth notes, sharps, flats, G chord, C chord, F# minor7 chord, strumming patterns……
Learning music can be a daunting task – there is just SO MUCH content to absorb! There are so many ways to learn it these days, and an even greater number of ways to teach it.
As music coaches, it’s important for us to step back, take an honest look at our programs, and ask ourselves one question: What are we REALLY delivering to our students?
The Team Music team put our heads together and distilled the key (no pun intended) ways in which our music lessons are ENRICHING to our students.
1) It’s more than just a music lesson. It’s about CREATING music, not just playing.
Most traditional music lessons have taken a solely “top-down” approach – “I teach you what to play, and you play it.“ At Team Music, once the foundations have been laid, we gear our students towards the goal of CREATING their own music – what a musician really does. Using music recording technology, students are given the opportunity to let us hear THEIR work. Coupled with a feedback system, this methodology enables us to help each student develop in his or her own unique way.
2) Something UNIQUE for everyone
No two classes are the same. And that’s what really gets us going as coaches. Every student and every piece of music is like a story told differently. Our students come in different shapes and sizes, with different backgrounds and experiences, and express different colours at their different levels of growth with us. With the freedom to learn 2 different instruments, their stories take on different hues when told in different voices on different instruments. But it doesn’t stop there. Put them together in a band with other fellow storytellers, and guess what, our students embark on an entirely UNIQUE journey which can’t be found anywhere else!
3) Support in a COMMUNITY
No man is an island. The saying couldn’t be truer for music. That’s why we’re TEAM Music. As counter-intuitive as it might seem, over the years, we’ve seen how learning in a band setting benefits students in so many different aspects.
MUSICALLY, playing in tandem with others on different instruments not only accelerates the individual’s learning, but also provides a more functional mode of learning for the modern musician. After all, how many modern songs comprise only one solo instrument?
SOCIALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY and EMOTIONALLY, group dynamics help to spur our students on towards collective growth. As iron sharpens iron, the mutual encouragement and teamwork in a group forms a nurturing crucible for learning. In the same way that a band gels together and locks in their groove, we’ve had the privilege of seeing how music has brought together complete strangers who are now journeying along with each other through the ups and downs of life, as well as husband and wife, mother and son, brother and sister, spending quality time and deepening their bonds with the power of music.
4) Priority on FUN
“A joyful heart is good medicine.” If there’s one word that we find ourselves always saying to students, it’s “Smile!”. Gone are the days of stuffy music lessons with overbearing teachers and the fear of punishment. Besides providing enriching music education, we also believe in the healing power of music. Be it for the student who comes for his afternoon keyboard lesson after a stressful day in school, or the working professional who comes for her evening drum lesson at the end of a tough day in the office, our aim is for our students to leave their classes enriched musically and recharged emotionally.
5) Learning at your own PACE
Closely in line with the principle of UNIQUENESS, our syllabus comprises different levels of difficulty catering to different ages and every individual’s unique ability and learning style, even for the same song or piece of music. Not in an arbitrary or generic manner, our students are only given to chew what they are able to swallow. But of course, for those with larger appetites, we open up the buffet line 🙂
6) Coach GUIDANCE
As much as we employ technology as a mode of enhancing our students’ learning, we put lots and lots of thought into the one thing that can’t be replaced by technology: the human touch of personal coaching. Having walked in the shoes of a student (and still walking daily), our coaches understand the difficulties of learning music in a deep, personal manner. Hence, instead of merely receiving “instruction”, our students receive a running buddy who runs the race with them.
7. Online Video XCHANGE
Every music coach worth their salt understands that the bulk of every student’s growth happens during their personal practice time. In other words, the secret in maximising our students’ growth lies in optimising the that when we DON’T see each other face-to-face. Our Video Xchange system accomplishes just that. The 1st layer consists of our clear, step-by-step, coaching videos for our students to follow, like a coach at home. The 2nd layer is where students record their own videos, with or without a backing track, for our coaches to rate and give feedback. Just like in a game of tennis: it’s always two-directional, and the more serves our students return, the sharper their skills get
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