Category Archives: Blog

What to look for in a music studio…

Sure, it’s no secret music lessons cost an arm and a leg. Here are what you should look
for and pay for in a music establishment. The person teaching your child should have a
music degree. There are many types of music degrees. There is a music education,
music admin, and music performance degrees. If you are looking for someone to teach
you how to play an instrument, your best bet is a teacher with a performance degree. A
person cannot teach what they cannot execute themselves.

You should look for what schools they have attended, because there are many top tier
music schools that are very hard to get into if you are a performance major. In order to be
accepted to these schools requires passing a grueling entrance audition, each grade level
recital, and graduating from these schools gives you the right and worth to command
these prices in order for students to learn their craft.

Because music lessons are expensive and people do not realize what to look for, I see
more business people taking advantage of the situation in the name of “music”, where
unqualified business men/women will hire qualified musicians/teachers, pay fraction of
the tuition, and conduct really business centers rather than dedicated music or art centers.
It truly is a fine line between business and art.

Don’t make it just a weekly ritual, see how your child is learning, whether you can see
the progress at every recital. Good music teachers teach them how to practice, have
command of a huge repertoire, because they themselves have done it, took time and effort
most likely their whole life to master it, and you should be able to see and hear it in their
own playing.

Vlog, New Year’s Day, 2024

A fella’s will….

You have to have a pretty strong will to study an instrument, because of how long
it takes, and how difficult it is to master any given instrument. The journey in itself is what makes it interesting.  No instruction, schooling, teacher, nor equipment can outdo or surpass one’s will and passion when it comes to music.  It is very much a struggle within yourself to understand yourself. In this journey comparing oneself to another is a pure
waste of time.

When you begin your studies, it takes awhile for you to find a groove, a routine, a
practice habit.  It comes after much trial and error. I don’t always love practicing;
however, at times, I cannot imagine better things to do with my time. I remind
myself if this is not a struggle, I would be bored. Practicing is very therapeutic and
organic alone time to yourself to find your creativity, a time well spent.

“Talent” is a very peculiar word, some people have “advantages” I would say.
Encountering numerous people, musicians, and students, I seldom come across
pure “talent”, don’t even know what is;  however, often I do come
across pure will and self control, and that brings success. Effort,
perseverance, courage to mess up and get up, like in all things is what will make
you come close, and you have your whole life to do it. Pick up your instrument, try
again, and don’t forget to enjoy the fruit of your labor.

from Stephanie’s Corner

Musical studies….what is and how long does it take?

Whether you sign up for piano, violin, or cello lessons, it is not just instrumental playing
you sign up for. Educated teachers will always offer both instrumental instruction and
musicianship because in essence one cannot have one or the other. Oftentimes I get
students that come with much advanced piece of music and ask if they could play this
song, this would be their ideal instruction. That is equal to someone who is just learning
to read and write, that they want to read for example “War & Peace” by Leo Tolstoy. You
can read it, nothing is impossible, but what about comprehension and interpretation.
What good is it just reading letters and words? It is important to read, play, and study lots
of music that is adequate to your level. Experienced teacher can guide and will have
knowledge of repertoire which they can introduce to you that will take you to that next
level. It is this guidance that is critical to your understanding of music and playing.
Musical studies is a lifetime work, takes a very long time, one grows with it, one must be
patient with oneself.

Music Corner

When signing up for music lessons, the most important goal to remember is you are using your chosen instrument only as a medium to learn and get in tune with bigger knowledge which is musicianship. Please remember it is not only about learning how to play your instrument. It is how you will use your medium, your equipment, to gain musicianship and understand music better as a whole. One must learn to read and write music in order to understand the makeup of music. One needs to understand musical elements in order to enhance music making. One must understand styles which existed in different musical periods which also influenced the great composers who lived in that era. It is very much like learning a language. You must read and write it. You must pronounce it correctly. You must learn to convey meaning with this language. You must learn to communicate.

Music Corner is located in the West Raleigh/Cary border, serving the amazing communities of Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Garner, and its surrounding cities and suburbs of the Triangle in North Carolina. We offer piano, violin, viola, cello, and voice lessons to students of all ages and levels. We also offer group string classes.

From Stephanie’s Corner…(Which instrument?)

Here are few tips if you are wondering what instrument you or your child should sign up for.  When determining what instrument you would like to begin your musical journey with, keep in mind your hearing/listening ability plays a big role.  Regardless if you have a perfect pitch, relative pitch, or you are tone deaf, your journey should and will begin with ear training. 

If you can recognize and create a musical note from the thin air, you have a perfect sense of pitch or a very good relative pitch, then you should opt for voice or string instrument lessons.  If you need ear training, if you need to rely heavily on a relative pitch in order to recognize a musical sound, then I suggest playing the piano for awhile, begin learning comprehensive musicianship on a keyboard/piano until your ears are well trained rather than opting for instrument such as a violin or cello where it is entirely up to you to create a sound from scratch without help of any reference or frets, etc.  Piano is a wonderful basic building instrument which will help you branch out and apprehend other instruments of your choice. 

Music Corner in West Raleigh is well situated off of Avent Ferry Road on the border of Cary/Raleigh.  We are very close to Combs Elementary, Athens Drive HS, and NC State U.  We are a home studio who welcome students including homeschoolers of all ages and levels.  We offer individual piano, violin, viola, cello, and voice lessons and group string lessons.  We are open from 9 am to 8 pm daily.  All are welcome, let’s make some music!