Popular music is such an important inspiration in the lives of not only music students, but all of society. Rarely do we hear of a person who does not enjoy music in some capacity, whether they consider themselves musically inclined or not. Therefore, when a student begins study of a musical instrument, their first conception of their instrument is usually in a popular context, meaning that their goal is to play their instrument along with songs or styles they enjoy. Not all students necessarily prefer popular styles over classical or jazz studies, but from the bulk of experiences in a Baltimore in home music lesson, our teachers at Lessons In Your Home see a definite pattern: students want to be able to play the music they love!
Though in this example we are referring to ‘rock’ music, really all popular styles are taught in the same way (i.e. learning to read lead sheets, chord progressions, studying improvisation, etc.). Stylistic differences are present for different genres, but basic techniques discussed here are universal.
Rock Music Lessons For Different Instruments
The application and utilization of ‘rock music’ in lessons varies greatly depending on the instrument and level of the student, and each instrument has a different functionality in the grand scheme of rock arrangements. Piano, guitar, bass, drum kit, and voice are popular instruments for a Baltimore in home music lesson and lend themselves well to rock guitar lessons in general. For example, guitar, bass and piano have a lot of propensity towards learning to read lead sheets and playing by chord, and this can usually be established after the student has learned basics of the instrument for an appropriate span of time that can be determined by the music teacher (Remember: every student is different and the ‘correct’ time to start popular music study should be assessed on a case-by-case basis).
For drum kit, different rudiments, patterns, fills, etc. are studied from the beginning with the intention of collaboration with different instrument, and lessons are geared towards popular styles for this instrument, in particular. Voice is also another instrument that is often part of a collaborative experience, meaning that some form of accompaniment is frequently present, which makes its application in popular styles very easy and obvious.
Other instruments, like orchestral strings, woodwinds, and brass, are not exempt from the possibility of rock music lessons, though. Teachers in a Baltimore in home music lesson must be a bit more creative in finding ways to incorporate popular styles, but learning melody lines of rock songs, or improvisation skills to accompany rock songs, are great techniques for any student to learn, regardless of their primary instrument and if it is traditionally part of a concert band or orchestra.
Benefits of Rock Music Lessons
When a student starts music lessons, rarely is their goal to learn to play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’. As mentioned previously, musical inspiration is mostly derived from what a student listens to and enjoys. Therefore, integrating rock music into a Baltimore in home music lesson has served as an excellent motivator for our students in the area and gives them a goal to which they can aspire. Also, rock music simply makes music lessons more interesting, and these benefits in combination make the music lesson experience a better one overall for the student.
A hidden benefit that I have recently discovered with rock music lessons is the advancement of a student’s self esteem as a result of this study. When a person is able to express themselves artistically in a way that he or she idealizes or appreciates, it builds their self esteem and pride in their accomplishment. Rock and popular music is perfect for this! For example, if a teenager is able to play a rock song for friends or in a performance that everyone knows and recognizes, it builds a different sense of confidence, happiness, and pride that may be experienced from a more obscure work.
Simply put, it’s a lot of fun to be in a band and play with other musicians. Being in a band is something that is widely appreciated and attempted by people of all ages at various points in life, and there is good reason. Music is not just a solo art form, it is a vehicle for creative collaboration between friends, family, and artists.
From an musical advancement perspective, collaboration and playing in ‘small ensembles’ (groups of 2 to 10 players) is excellent for refining rhythm, listening skills, phrasing, balance, and many more important aspects that go into building musicianship. I can say that, as a musician, I feel that my solo playing ability has benefited immensely from working with other musicians both in a classical and rock setting.
In a Baltimore in home music lesson, don’t be surprised if a teacher introduces rock music into lessons! Though it may seem too good to be true, you or your child will benefit greatly from learning popular songs and styles. The goal of music lessons is not strictly academic or strictly fun—it should be a combination of both to lead to an appreciation of musical arts and personal growth, and what better way to do this than with music you love.
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