The Year 2015 is here!
To celebrate and make the most of a new year in music, the staff and teachers at Music & Arts have some great resolutions for you. Here are some suggestions, comical insights, and encouraging tips from your fellow musicians to ring in the New Year!
Kevin Malicki (Manager): Take advantage of all of the events at Music & Arts. Between our monthly Open Mic Nights, Pointers for Players, and the Teacher Concert we're planning in The Spring, there are loads of opportunities to experience music for free at M&A.
January 10th, Pointers 4 Players will be our first musical event; an extravaganza of hour-long introductory classes for budding keyboardists, guitarists, and drummers! If you purchased any of those instruments with M&A during the holiday season, you should already have a ticket. If you don't have a ticket, please stop by or call the store to ask how you can be a part of P4P.
Open Mic Night will start at 6pm on the last Friday of every month, and our first of the year is January 30th -- my first goal of 2015 is to play a few pieces that night for classical and electric guitar. I also plan on making great strides for the Waterford store in 2015 by leading the staff to be the best, partnering with Ed Reps to broaden our school relationships, and to bring the music community together every day. I want to continue to make M&A a thriving part of musicianship in our area and beyond. Part of that vision is holding a faculty concert in the New London area in the Spring -- stay tuned for details!
Elaine Steele (Expert Staff): I want to go back and listen to my old recordings, 3-CDs-worth of content from my undergraduate years. The recordings are from my practice sessions and performances. It's important to record yourself when practicing so you can chart your progression and spot bad habits. I also would like to try out more horns, since I have only ever owned three. Trying out different horns can help determine which problems are coming from bad habits, and which problems are natural to the brand of your horn. It’s also good to be exposed to different horn’s timbres to figure out which sound you’re looking for in your own performance.
Graham Benedict (Expert Staff): This is the year I finally learn "Smoke on the Water" ... in all seriousness though, I aim to practice regularly with a set "everyday practice" schedule. Good practice scheduling is crucial to enjoying the music you already love. Most importantly, I wish to acquire a vinyl copy of Beck's "Odelay".
Nick Angelo (Expert Staff): To buy less guitars, but I know that won't happen. Between my father and myself, we have about 30 ... you can never have enough. So, really, my resolution is to buy more guitars ... Actually, I want to buckle down and learn the Piano -- the theory, the real stuff, not just toying with one in my free time. It's been something I've put off for too long.
Steve Cleary (Guitar Instructor): All original music in a big way. I've put it out to all my partners in music that this is something we all need -- new, original music from the heart. And learning more, older music; always expanding my repertoire. Also, very excited to start up my website -- it's the first time I've taken my music to my own spot online. It's critical if you are promoting a band to have a professional website. Up to this point I had only used Myspace and Facebook. Lastly, I really want to get after the Banjo. Today was the first time I got to sit down with one, and it was a blast.
Lou Valentino (Guitar Instructor): Believe it or not, I need a nicer, hard-shell guitar case. It seems simple, but a nice case makes a huge difference on the wear and tear of your instrument. Also want to make sure I take better care of humidifying my Guitars for winter.
Rob Kennon (Percussion Instructor): Practice. Every. Day. At least 2 Hours. Not just messing around either, the real deal. With a few new instruments in my arsenal, Guitar and Piano, I'll have plenty of outlets to focus my energy with. I'm pumped.
Ashley Crawford (Flute Instructor): There's a big difference between practicing your instrument and playing off the page. Improvising, strengthening your ear by playing with people and doing gigs is totally different than running through arpeggios, scales, and classical technique in a music-book. I definitely want to strengthen my off-page playing this year; it's one of my focal points for 2015.
Dan Lukens (Clarinet Instructor): Sometimes it’s easy to forget the tricks you’ve learned over the years when you’re not using them. For example, just today while practicing a difficult phrase from Debussy’s “Premier Rhapsody,” I continued to stumble on a particular note. When I began concentrating on the note that came before it, however, I was able to fix it – and then it dawned on me, I already knew about that trick ages ago. The only way to unlock this type of knowledge is to constantly challenge yourself with your instrument, and watch things resurface over time.
Stay tuned as we update the Resolution list for 2015, from staff, teachers, and customers! Happy New Year!