I love music. I love singing, dancing, playing and listening to music. Almost all of us love music. There are many people who take their love of music and make it into a career. These people are professionals and they get paid to do what they love. But you do not have to be a professional to learn more about music. If you have ever thought about playing an instrument, or if you just want to understand more about music in general, I can help. In this series I will focus mainly on how to play an instrument and how to read music since I have dedicated a good portion of my time to instrumental music. I play mainly saxophone and clarinet, but my advice in this series can be applied to pretty much any instrument. So if you are ready to take your passion of music to the next level, keep reading.
How to Begin
I know that many students at LMU are not music majors. But one great thing about LMU is that you do not have to be a music major to join the choir or band. We have a community band and a community choir that both welcome musicians of all ages from the surrounding counties and musicians from different departments at LMU. Don’t know how to play an instrument or sing? You can take lessons from the staff for one credit hour if you are interested in learning. You do not necessarily have to take lessons, but they are extremely helpful, especially if you are just a beginner. If you are a beginner, your lesson will mostly consist of learning to play your chosen instruments, but as you go on, you will focus on more nit-picky things like dynamics and entrances. I strongly suggest beginning with lessons since a professional or even an amateur that can give you great advice and can even help you pick an instrument
Pick an instrument
From here, I will mostly talk about band since I have never been much of a singer. However, many aspects that are applied to learning an instrument can apply to choir; reading music, for example, is fairly useful in both band and choir. I recommend you do some research on instruments you are interested in before going out and buying one; they’re not cheap. I am not saying you can’t learn different instruments later, but in the beginning, you should focus on one. I am not going to go too much in depth over picking an instrument right now since my next post will cover all you need to know.
As you can guess, practice is essential to music; it is essential to just about anything, really. When you are first learning to play, you will have to practice reading music, counting music, embouchure, instrument fingerings, and even breathing. You should practice at least an hour a day but as you progress, you might need to lengthen your practice time so you do not fall behind. I know it sounds like a lot, but once you get in down, it becomes second nature. Then real practicing can begin! I will give you tips in practicing later on in the series.
Show up to Rehearsal
Now that you’ve got your new instrument and you have had a bit of practice time, and you’ve (dare I say it?) gone to a few lessons, you can join band! Don’t be scared to just come to practice; we don’t bite! You can come to concert band on Tuesdays from 6 p.m.. to 8 p.m. for some music that is more on the classical side. You can come to pep band of Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. if you want to play at basketball games. Or you can come to jazz band Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. if you are interested in Jazz.
Of course you are welcome to come to all three; we would love to have you. The series does not end here, it’s just beginning. You may have some instruments in mind, but you will not get far in practice if you do not know how to play your part. There is more that goes into playing an instrument than you know. When you see your favorite musician play he or she makes it look easy but trust me, it takes hours of practice to perfect a piece of music. Making it look easy comes after you have spent weeks preparing to play it in front of an audience. Learning to play an instrument, no matter what you pick, will not be an easy task. So if you are interested in learning how to play an instrument, keep reading!
Are you thinking about picking up an instrument? Comment if you have any questions and keep reading to learn more! Remember to like my post and check in every other Wednesday for a new one!