Hi friends and music lovers! We hope you are all enjoying your summer. September is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to get your Fall schedule in order and sign up for Fall music lessons! Whether it’s for private lessons for your favorite instrument, or the “Kiddie Music Time” group class for your young children.. Monument Square Music School is excited to start up the Fall semester! We currently offer drums, bass, guitar, piano, voice, flute, sax, mandolin, banjo, violin and cello lessons! We love being able to offer lessons on so many instruments with such a high caliber of teachers. Our location in downtown Leominster is a great spot and allows us to service Leominster, Sterling, Princeton, Westminster, Lunenburg, Fitchburg and other towns in Central MA. We always get talented students who are serious about becoming good at their instruments and studying with great teachers. Other than learning technique and how to perform music in different styles our students learn theory, harmony, ear-training, sight-reading, rhythm, improvisation, and perform in recitals every year! Check out our faculty biographies at FACULTY and contact us at CONTACT to make an appointment or find out more information.
We are getting back in the swing of things here at Monument Square Music and kids and parents are starting to trickle in after a 2 week break from music lessons. The last two weeks have been a good chance to unwind from an awesome year in music lessons ending with a recital at Unitarian Church in Leominster in June where the all the kids played SO WELL! The church is such a cool spot for a student recital and the students and families had a blast. Students also got a chance to play with some of the teachers and there were some great jams happening! There were drum, voice, piano, and violin students playing a in WIDE variety of genres from pop to classical to jazz to rock and everything in between. It is refreshing to watch and hear these kids as young as 4 and 5 years old get up on stage and really perform so well. It is also great to see the improvement of students as they progress through years and get older and develop into great players. We can’t wait until the next recital! I also wanted to point out some dates for students hoping to sign up for classes and current students. Summer session runs until August 23rd and students can sign up at anytime. The Fall session starts on September 8. For those interested in Kiddie Music Time signups, the weekly 11am Saturday classes start on September 27th and run through December 6. Click here for Kiddie Music Time Registration. For private lessons please give us an e-mail at Monumentsquaremusic@gmail.com or a phone call at 617-823-1848 and we will get you all set up with one of our teachers. We are currently offering piano, drums, bass, guitar, banjo, sax, trumpet, flute, violin, cello, and voice lessons. We are looking forward to seeing all of our students this summer and meeting all the new ones!
We are well into the new year at Monument Square Music School. Music lessons are going great and students are practicing hard for recitals and other performances. Whether you play drums, voice, guitar, violin, cello, sax, flute, trumpet or any of the other lessons that we offer at Monument Square Music School, practicing a musical instrument is tough business! These tips can make it easier and more fun…
1.) Practice slowly. If you can’t play a song perfectly you’re practicing it too fast. You’re probably playing the same mistakes over and over again and your “muscle memory” is memorizing all those mistakes that you’re making. You might even learn the song after a while, but it will take longer and you will probably make a lot of mistakes. You can fix this by slowing it down dramatically! Don’t speed up until you can play the song perfectly and effortlessly at a slow tempo.
2.) Practice effortlessly. You should always be relaxed when you play or sing. Unnecessary tension can make playing an instrument more difficult. Certain things are impossible to play if a musician is too tense. Relaxing will help rhythm, accuracy, and sound. Jazz pianist Kenny Werner wrote book on effortless practicing and performing called Effortless Mastery. This is a great book for older students. Here’s a link for that book.. http://kennywerner.com/
3.) Practice small sections or “chunks” of a song. Don’t just run the song from top to bottom every time. This is especially useful for longer, more difficult songs. If a song is hard enough, and you are making a lot of mistakes, break it up into small sections or chunks. After you master a small chunk of the song move onto the next chunk. When the second chunk is mastered combine the first and second chunk. Keep progressing through the song like this and you’ll have the song mastered in no time!
4.) Start a practice journal. Buy and a notebook and start keeping track of your practices. Jot down the time you start and finish, and what you worked on during the practice session. This will help keep you on track and motivate you to practice consistently.
5.) Set long-term and short-term goals. What do you want to accomplish with music lessons? Do you want to play for friends and family? Join a rock band? Play in an orchestra or chorus? No goal can be too big or small. People take music lessons for many different reasons. It’s just nice to have something to work towards. Writing down your goals will help keep you focused. Short term goals can be more along the lines of preparing for a recital next month, or learning your songs for the week.
6.) Don’t be afraid to review old songs. Make “review songs” part of your daily practice. I don’t know why some students are hesitant to go back and play songs that they know and love! It is definitely not a waste of time. Take 10 minutes a day to review and you will become a better player.
7.) Space out practice sessions. Practicing through shorter and more regular time intervals improves concentration and reinforces new skills and material. Shorter periods also can be more convenient. Everybody’s different and some people have no problem concentrating for long periods of time. However, many students are much more comfortable with 10 minute practice sessions 2 or 3 times a day.
8.) Have a comfortable practice environment. I know that sometimes it’s impossible to have the ideal practice space, but if you can improve your environment it can make practicing more enjoyable. Put up a cool poster or inspiring picture. Make sure the room is neat and tidy (if that’s what you prefer). It’s also a good idea to find a space that is private and quiet!
9.) Record yourself playing/singing. You will probably find ways to improve by listening to yourself perform. Simply buy a cheap recorder and keep it handy near your practice area. Ipods/smartphones have recording apps installed in them. A recorder is also a great tool for those of us that compose. It helps to jot down your ideas quickly!
10.) Listen to music for motivation. Listening to a great CD or going to see an amazing concert can be motivation to hit the practice room!
11.) Have fun! Focus on the interesting sounds you are creating. Improvise freely. Learn your favorite tunes. Play along with recordings. Play with other musicians. Compose your own music. Your enthusiasm will reflect in your playing.
Music Lessons for the New Year
The Monument Square Music School has kicked off the New Year and new semester in a great way – with many new students for private lessons to welcome to our school, new talented instructors joining our faculty, and of course we can’t forget to mention the adorable, new little faces in the Kiddie Music Time group class for ages 1-5! The first class was lots of fun and we are still accepting registrations for this semester…so it’s not too late to sign up the kiddies for a music education class full of song and dance!
It’s always refreshing to start a New Year. It’s a time to make new beginnings and a fresh start. Many of our new students are taking a risk and trying something new, something that they’ve always wanted to do. Music lessons are rewarding in many different ways. Learning an instrument is difficult and not for everybody, but the accomplished feeling and the joy a student experiences when they master a concept, learn how to read music, learn a new song, have a great performance, or even compose a new song is priceless! Music is difficult to master, but it is a skill that a great student will retain for life. It could be compared to becoming fluent in another language, becoming a master in a martial art, or becoming an amazing dancer. It takes time, and practice, and hard work, but nothing worth getting is easy! The joy of progress is something that our teachers get to see over and over again, and probably why we love to teach in the first place. We are grateful to have a chance to pass on our knowledge and talents to students, and love to musically serve the Leominster/Fitchburg/Sterling area! From all of us at Monument Square Music… we would love to wish you Happy New Year!
**Hello dear music loving friends! ‘Tis the Holiday season and what better gift to give your children/loved ones than the gift of…MUSIC. Monument Square Music School has excellent teachers for ALL different instruments and styles. How about a singing lesson for an interested child, or guitar or drum lessons for the rocker kids out there? or.. Maybe a couple of piano lessons for a spouse or loved one who has always wanted to learn to play the piano… We will assist you in getting the right teacher and even help you find the best instrument. Music lessons can have a huge impact on a child’s life and we feel like there’s no better gift to give!
We are gearing up for the next semester at Monument Square Music. There is a lot of stuff going on. We introducing new teachers for flute and drums. Eastman graduate Judy Brady is teaching flute, and Berklee Graduate and drummer for hip-hop band Hoodie Allen, will be on the drums! These musicians are both great players/teachers and you can find out more about them on our faculty page.
We are also introducing a weekday class to our Kiddie Music Time program. Starting on January 9, we will be adding weekly, Wednesday 10:00 am classes. We will continue our Saturday 11:15 am class as well. Give us a call or register online! We have four classes left in our current Kiddie Music Time class and tomorrow we start holiday music! Fun stuff!
Wow, what a busy week! Between getting ready for our grand opening, teaching lessons, preparing for the first kiddie music time class, promoting, and playing gigs it has been absolutely crazy.
We are excited about our new faculty members: trumpet teacher Staffan Jonsson and sax/woodwinds teacher Chuck Langford. You can read their bios on this site and we will be telling you more about them later, but for now I will just say… These guys are serious players! Quality instructors will make a huge improvement in the Leominster music scene and that is always our goal! You can see Chuck play along with bassist Bob Simonelli and myself at our grand opening on Thursday night, October 4 from 6-8pm. I hope some of you will come check it out!
Monument Square just got some new sounds. Opening its doors for its inaugural semester, Leominster MA’s brand new Monument Square Community Music School is now in session.
Monument Square Music provides educational opportunities to music-lovers of all ages including, private lessons and “Kiddie Music Time” group classes for toddlers and young children. Our instructors teach a variety of instruments, styles, and techniques. There’s something for everyone!