Online Music Lessons – The Safest Way to Learn!

Online Music Lessons

First Online Music Lesson Free

This year we have gone from “business as usual” to extreme social distancing in only a matter of a few short months. The entire world feels like it’s on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Otherwise known as COVID-19, this virus has taken the world by storm, and has pushed a lot of people into a corner, wondering what they can do to achieve some sort of normalcy in their otherwise shaken up lives.

With “social distancing” being implemented everywhere we look, it’s incredibly important for everyone to do their part in helping themselves and those around them to foster an environment focused on both safety and health.

Many schools are now closed, and students are being homeschooled, mostly by parents. This has been a major disruption for both parents and students alike, since a lot of parents are still working (to some degree) either at home or at their place of business. Social media is full of uncertainty, with the popular question, “who will teach my kids?”

We are extremely fortunate to live in a digitally connected world, from Facebook and Instagram, to Netflix and YouTube. At Academy of Music, we’ve been offering online music lessons for quite some time, but lately we’ve seen a lot of students move from traditional in-person music lessons to online learning.

All you need is a high-speed internet connection, and a computer, tablet or phone that supports video communication, and you have everything you need to be able to take part in online music lessons.

Our music teachers are passionate about teaching their students one-on-one, so taking the lessons online is a smooth transition. The best part about online lessons at this time is you can keep learning, while also maintaining social distancing! With so many people at home, your lesson schedule can also be quite flexible, and be worked around your schedule. Your teacher will work with you to figure out a time that best suits the both of you, and we know it will be something you can look forward to week in and week out.

Another great aspect of taking online music lessons at home, is less travel time for those that would normally have to attend a lesson outside of their home. This time saving opportunity allows for increased productivity, to be able to spend more time practicing, or other activities that help us grow. Plus, when utilizing online learning, you can sign up and start taking lessons with us anywhere in the world! No matter how far away you live, it will be like our music instructors are right there with you in your home – in real time!

The Academy of Music offers music lessons for all ages, and we have a lot to choose from! Just check out the Instruments tab in the top menu and you can see that we offer something for everyone. Our secure payment option is a breeze, and you can get enrolled in just a few clicks, making being stuck at home a lot more enjoyable right now.

This world pandemic has forced so many of us to make adjustments. At this time, it’s too early to tell when life will get back to “normal”, but that doesn’t mean we need to stop everything we were doing. History has proven that music will always play a major role in our lives, even when our lives aren’t easy.

We need to focus on the good, more now than ever, and let our passions flow wherever we are.

Where Does Your Taste In Music Come From?

music-tasteHave you ever wondered why people have different tastes in music? Some prefer slower, quieter music, yet some love their music fast and loud. Is it random? Are some of us predestined to like certain chord progressions over others? Does our DNA dictate our preferences between complex rhythms over simplicity? Are we born with a certain musical connection, pushing us towards certain styles of music?

As it turns out, our musical preferences start at a very early age, which is when the seeds are first planted. When a baby is born, they enter the world as a blank slate, an empty canvas. They are capable of speaking any language, and can make any sound for all the languages out there in the world. During the first year of development however, things start to change. Due to their surroundings, the synapses in the brain start to form for certain sounds, while at the same time begin to exclude others that aren’t needed. The same thing starts to happen with music as well. During the first 6 months, babies can follow the syntax of any style of music. As they are exposed to the music of their time and culture, those same connections are forged.

Our own personal musical taste really starts to form in adolescence, when we begin to realize our own identity, which is a way for us to plant our flag so to speak, to say “this is who I am.” We crave to be seen as individuals, which can translate into the rebellion we so often see in the young. This can cause our musical tastes to go against what our parents enjoy. The walls of a teenage bedroom are often adorned with posters of music that they connect to, with their closet full of shirts bearing images and logos of their favourite musical artists.

As we move through childhood, we are mostly surrounded by the music that our parents listen to, but between the ages of 12 and 22, there is what we experience called a ‘reminiscence bump’. This is the time of raging hormones, when we experience so many ‘firsts’ – first kiss, first heartbreak, first live concert, etc., and everything around us feels like it’s the most important thing in the world. During this time, we become emotionally charged as we connect to certain genres of music, and form friendships with people that have the same likes and dislikes as we do. The music we listen to also helps to validate how we’re feeling at the time, and can greatly help in getting us through challenging moments as well. In our early 20’s, this extreme connection starts to subside, and our musical tastes become much more solidified.

Although most people like to hear music from new bands and artists, our desire to seek them out can start to subside a little, as we become more comfortable with the music that has formed us, and we feel that it doesn’t seem to compare to new music on an emotional level as our favourites from the past.

As we get older, we can be sitting in the car or a restaurant, when suddenly a song from our past comes on the radio, overwhelming us with emotion, and bringing back feelings and memories from a nostalgic time. Music has a way of connecting with our emotions and memories on a very deep level, and hits us to the core of who we are.

Our musical taste doesn’t just say who we are, it says who we were. Our musical tastes and our music library can attest to that fact – that we’ve experienced so many things, both positive and negative. We may not be able to physically go back in time, but we can listen to certain songs and through our memories and emotions be instantly transported back to a time when everything was the most important thing in the world.

Top 10 Love Songs

What do you think of on Valentine’s Day? Your significant other? Cinnamon hearts? Roses that suddenly cost a lot more compared to any other time of the year? At Academy of Music, we’d like to take this opportunity to remember some of the greatest love songs ever written. It was impossible for us to mention all of them, and we could only scrape the surface, but here are our Top 10 Love Songs, to commemorate Valentine’s Day!

 

I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

Although this song was originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton in 1973, the 1992 version by Whitney Houston is the one that most people are familiar with. Whitney recorded her version of the song for the 1992 film The Bodyguard, which starred both her and Kevin Costner. If you head over to YouTube, you’ll see that the official music video for the song has been viewed almost 1 BILLION times. That in itself speaks to the power of this love song as one of the most important and effective ever written.

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What is the best age to start music lessons?

The age-old question of when to start music lessons is a good one!

History is full of child prodigies in the world of music, from Beethoven to Stevie Wonder. Whether in school or church, almost everyone knows of someone in their own family, or another, that has a tremendous gift for a musical instrument. This often allows parents to feel pressured to enroll their child into music lessons at a young age. Could this young exposure to music be one of the secrets to success? There are studies that have shown this to definitely be a helping factor!

On the other hand, we’ve all heard from someone that says they were “forced” into taking music lessons at a young age, which brought them to a point of disliking not only the lessons, but the instrument itself. Parents that have had this sort of upbringing tend to lean towards waiting for their kids to show an interest in music; for their child to become a bit older before making a decision whether or not they even want to play a musical instrument. There is nothing wrong with this approach either.

Since each child is different, both of these approaches can be the right way to do it.

One thing is for certain, and that is when a child is young, and their mental abilities are still in the prime stages of development, they are in the perfect place to be exposed to music.

The question that should be asked is not so much at what age to start music lessons, but what is the goal of the music lessons? A very young child isn’t exposed to an instrument to master it, but instead to gain experience and develop a positive relationship with music. If this is your goal, then “lessons” could start any time after birth. These lessons wouldn’t necessarily be what most would consider formal lessons. They would focus on immersing the child in a musical environment, through simple activities like musical games, or swaying and dancing while singing or playing a musical instrument for the child.

Around the age of 3, the child could be ready for an introduction to more formal lessons. At this age, the goal would still have a focus on things like finding the beat within a piece of music, or identifying an instrument or melody.

At age 5, a lot of kids have developed enough of a musical foundation that has prepared them for formal music lessons. At this age, the goal of the lesson should still be to further their understanding of music. Piano and violin are two of the most popular instruments to start learning at this young age, but other good possibilities include the guitar, ukulele and recorder.

By the age of 10, children will not only have a number of skills connected with their instrument of choice, but also possess the physical strength to try other, larger instruments. Some of these could include a brass or larger stringed instrument that would require more strength and stamina. At this time in their musical upbringing, the goal of the music lessons starts to transition from building experience with music, to improving on their performance ability.

Please keep in mind that all children are different, and these are only guidelines. The important thing to remember is that exposing a child to music at a young age has a lot of benefits in their development, and can open the door to a life full of amazing experiences and opportunities.

Where to See Live Music in Winnipeg

Live Music WinnipegHappy New Year! Not only is it a new year, but it’s also a new decade! They say hindsight is 20/20, but we need to keep looking forward 🙂

New Year’s resolutions are made every year, and one that we can really get behind is wanting to get out and see more live music. Winnipeg winters are newsworthy around the world, but they are also a great time to get out and be entertained in one of most musical cities in the world.

Here are the top 10 places in Winnipeg to see live music (in no particular order):

1) King’s Head Pub
Located at 120 King Street, in the heart of the Exchange District, the building was constructed in 1896 and in August of 1987, the Kings Head Pub first opened its doors to Winnipeg as the first pub in the city.
Every weekend, The King’s Head hosts a variety of bands, playing both original and cover songs. It’s also right across the street from The Cube in The Exchange District, which during the warmer months always has something entertaining going on. A pint, a patio, and entertainment oh my!
You can visit their website here

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The Good, The Bad: The Musical

Music is so varied, and used for so many different reasons, it can feel hard to pin down all of it’s benefits. It can be used to create a particular ambiance; sometimes used to convince people to stay in your bar for another drink, other times used to convince young people to stay away from your establishment (honestly, those kids are missing out; loiter awhile longer and listen to Bach). Music can also be used to regulate emotion; it’s so common that a Music for Mood Regulation (MMR) scale has been developed, which you can read about in one of our previous blog posts. All kinds of changes can be inspired by music; most good, but some negative.

A meta study was conducted by McGill University to evaluate some of the positive effects that music can have, and the results were pretty astonishing. As it turns out, music affects more than just your mood in a positive way; listening to music can literally change your physiology. The presence of cells that attack harmful bacteria and germs, as well as antibodies that aid in mucous system immunity, is increased when you listen to music. The presence of cortisol, the stress hormone, is found to be lower when playing or listening to music.

There are other potential positive implications for music use in broader society; there are some telltale signs that seem to indicate music can increase social cohesion through changes to the presence of oxytocin in the human body. Music has also been used successfully to help with a wide variety of cognitive therapies for Alzheimer’s and other illnesses. The meta study conducted at McGill asks researchers to look deeper into the benefits of music, how playing music differs from listening, and how it might be used in a wide variety of treatments. The future of music as a tool for therapy looks incredibly bright.

There may, however, be ways of listening to music that are not beneficial. Consider the MMR; the scale includes three ways of using music to regulate negative emotion: Diversion, Solace, and Discharge. Diversion is the use of music to distract oneself from negative emotions; listening or playing an upbeat song to stop feeling so down. Solace is listening or playing to music that matches your mood; it’s almost a form of empathy, music that’s there for you, and lets you know that others have felt how you feel. Discharge is when you use music to express negative emotions. Women tend to use Diversion and Solace more, while men are more prone to using Discharge. Discharge seems to be linked with some bad coping strategies; men who use it tend to ruminate more, and it might actually worsen emotional states; the same was not found to be true for women. One idea about why this is happening is that men tend to externalize their emotions, which is not always the best coping strategy.

There’s a lot of progress being made in music schools to better understand how music affects our bodies and minds, but as we can see from the studies, there’s a lot of room left to go. It’s an exciting time to be involved in the world of music, from listening, to playing, to researching, so get involved!

Fall is just around the corner!

With summer coming to an end and fall just around the corner, The Academy of Music would like to extend a warm welcome back to all students!
Have you been wanting to pick up that guitar you’ve had for ages? What about that piano in the corner of your living room you’ve been meaning to play?
The Academy of Music offers a wide array of music lessons for the aspiring musician ranging from piano, guitar, voice and more!
With our trained instructors coupled with the convenience of in-home or online music lessons, living the life of a musician has never been easier!

Register today!

Children’s Art Tax Credit

As you may know, the 2016 federal budget has eliminated the Children’s Arts Credit for 2017 and subsequent taxation years. The provincial government however offers a Children’s Arts and Cultural Activity Tax Credit that provides parents of children under 16 with a non-refundable benefit of up to $500 of eligible expenses per child may be claimed for participation in eligible non-fitness activities including music lessons. Please keep your receipts given to you by your instructor as they will be sufficient to claim this credit. For more information please visit the Government of Manitoba tax information link below.

https://www.gov.mb.ca/finance/personal/pcredits.html#cultural