Playing the Trombone
Learning Trombone from a private Teacher
The trombone is a popular and common instrument that is a staple in orchestras and many bands. It’s a versatile and melodic instrument, pleasant to the ears and enjoyable to play. If you have begun to develop an interest in playing the trombone, but don’t know where to start or find trombone instructors, don’t worry. Playing the trombone can be easy and fun if you get good trombone instructors, study hard, and practice daily.

The trombone is a member of the brass family and a unique instrument. With its slide and natural pitch bend effect, it is like no other in either sound or appearance. A staple of marching bands, jazz bands and classical concert groups alike, one could not imagine a performance in any of these genres without this instrument. This instrument was also a staple (some would say a necessity) in the New Orleans style of music that was the beginning of jazz in the US. Many will tell you that jazz as we know it would not have been the same without the influence of the trombone.

One of the best places to discover trombone instructors is in your local school. Not all schools have music teachers of course, but larger and higher quality ones are sure to, and among the music teachers may be one who knows the trombone. You should look especially in schools which have a marching band or other musical features, because they will often keep a trombone teacher on staff whose classes you can attend.

If no schools have trombone teachers in your local area, the next logical place to search is in music stores, where contact information and referrals for teachers are often kept. A local music store might have the information for hundreds of local music instructors, and one that is right for you will surely come up.

If neither of the above options works out for you, then you should look in classifieds both online and in newspapers. Classifieds often features ads by local trombone instructors who are searching for eager students. If you can’t find any trombone instructors, then you can always post an ad of your own.

These are just a few of the best ways to discover trombone instructors that are right for you. If you’re serious about learning this powerful and beautiful instrument, the time and energy you spend finding an instructor will be well worth the invaluable knowledge you will gain.

Photo Credit:ACE Foundation

Amy Whitcomb of Delilah at the Hong Kong International A Cappella Festival 2012
Learn Voice Over Acapella and How to Sing
Learning voice over acapella music and how to sing is a rewarding experience for anyone interested in music. There is a vast difference between listening to a truly great singer who sings almost effortlessly, and a not so great one whose singing seems rather like someone straining or lifting a heavy object. With the latter, it can be painful to listen to or watch. The best way to learn voice over acapella music and specifically how to sing is by taking vocal lessons. Whether through attending workshops presented by a professional vocal coach, getting private vocal or singing lessons, or going through online or DVD courses.

It’s not that learning how to sing is that difficult, but it does take determination, perseverance, and inner motivation. Without those qualities, a student will usually end up giving up before the lessons can pay off. This is especially true with voice over acapella singing, where there are only vocals and no instruments to accompany. Anyone who wants to learn music can, if they have the determination to develop their skills and not give up too soon.

Some of the basic building blocks involved in learning how to sing voice over acapella music are the mastery of breathing, using the diaphragm, and learning how to relax vocal chords and muscles. To learn music and how to sing requires using specific techniques that can enhance the singer’s ability and skill, such as cord adducting, smoothing out the bridges, controlling the larynx, and resonance. Most of the time, it’s very difficult for new students enrolled in singing classes or a vocal workshop to grasp these concepts and techniques on their own, it’s simply too confusing. However with voice over acapella music, you will only hear a voice or voices, so the differences in technique upon playback will be more evident.

New students as well as professionals with years of experience behind them constantly need vocal coaching to help them hone their craft and vocal range when singing voice over acapella music. Even professional singing artists understand that to truly learn music and how to sing without accompaniment requires an attitude of constantly upgrading and expanding their techniques in how to sing. The valuable assistance of a professional vocal coach can make the difference in growing as a singer or stagnating. Learning voice over acapella music techniques and how to sing should be a fluid experience, with the student always eager to learn more, practice and perfect their craft. Find information on which microphones to use for voice over acapella singing here.

Photo Credit: istolethetv

Band Playing
Hiring a Band in Raleigh, North Carolina
Bands for hire in the NC triangle have plenty to offer to crowds of varied tastes. Whether one is looking for a wedding singer, a party band, or something for a corporate shindig, Raleigh has mercenary musicians for any event. If you want to hire a band in Raleigh North Carolina, here are some of the top choices on offer.

For the rock category, two bands can expect to carry the title. Aftershock, featuring four solid vocalists led by Gary Frost of Milford, CT, is the band of choice to keep a party going. Aftershock plays mostly covers from the 70s and 80s, but they have plenty of newer music in their expansive catalogue. From Van Halen to Daughtry, Aftershock’s versatile rock sound is sure to win the crowd. Next up in rock is Rockzilla, featuring an even broader playlist than Aftershock. Rockzilla mixes pop in with their rock, including tunes from Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga and many more. This band’s magic plays out on the dance floor; partygoers are most likely to gel with Rockzilla if they can dance to the beat.

To hire a band in Raleigh North Carolina in country and bluegrass, there are a few excellent choices. Victoria Lee from VGL Music is a powerful solo vocalist that sings a mix of country, bluegrass, and gospel. Ms. Lee is still in her teens, but this hasn’t stopped her from reaching for the top of the local country scene. She is not solely a cover artist either; Victoria has a number of original tunes to share with her enthusiastic audiences. Next up is Swift Creek, a country/bluegrass combo with a tangy sound. Lead vocalist Kevin Brown has a smooth voice and Casey Elder brings some class to the show with his mandolin and dobro. Swift Creek is a winner with any crowd looking for some Southern twang, and finally, the D.R. Wells Medicine Show is a testament to the preservation of old-fashioned bluegrass and gospel. The Medicine Show brings the banjo and fiddle into the mix, with tunes that bring the past to life and a lot of downhome cheer.

For event planners looking to get some brass into the mix, Raleigh has swing and big band music to spare. Timeless is the frontrunner here, with eight members and both male and female lead vocalists. From the 40s to present day, Timeless’s strong brass and sax performers can make any event more memorable. Rising Star award winner Swing On! comes next. This big band focuses on instrumental music, so they are a perfect background group for more stylish events. Finally, The Moonlighters Orchestra wins the category on versatility, as bookings can range from four to the full twenty members to meet the client’s needs.

Raleigh also has class acts in other categories. In hip-hop, Willie P. & D. Gutta’s rap duo is a good choice for a more urban flavor. Janis Dionne can put on a fun, energetic act for children of all ages. The UNC Achordants have no need for instruments; this a cappella group has strong harmonies with some comedy mixed in. It is clear that there is plenty of talent if you want to hire a Band in Raleigh, North Carolina. These performers are at the top of their class and are ready and willing to put up an excellent performance for any event.

Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley

Guitar practice young girl
Local Music Lessons Are Necessary for Learning to Read Sheet Music
So you want to learn how to read sheet music? Local music lessons will teach you about these aspects of sheet music!

Understand the Structure of Sheet Music

Before you can read music, you must first understand all that is incorporated in a piece of sheet music.

  • The Staff is a grid made up of spaces and lines upon which the music is written.
  • The Treble Clef is used for instruments that produce a high pitch.
  • The Bass Clef is for lower pitched instruments.
  • The Key Signature signifies which whether the notes are sharp or flat.
  • The Time Measure indicates the speed at which the notes are played.

Take Music Lessons

Music lessons will reiterate the importance of understanding the structure of sheet music. Then the information required for understanding notes can be taught. Once you understand the theory and technique behind notes, you will be able to effectively read and comprehend sheet music. The goal is to allow you to play a variety of styles and types of music.

Make Note of the Notes

Notes are indicated by the letters A-G and together form an octave. Music lessons are strongly recommended for learning all that is associated with notes, such as whether the note is a quarter note, a half note, or a whole note and whether the note is flat, natural, or sharp.


It is important to understand that different instruments require different aspects of the sheet music.
For example, the flute uses only the Treble Clef, whereas the piano requires both the Treble Clef and the Bass Clef. It is best to begin music lessons by reading music for a single instrument before advancing to multiple instruments.

For more information:

Kids Playing the Piano
Tips for Teaching Piano Lessons to Four and Five Year Old Students
Many teachers unfamiliar with teaching piano lessons to children under six have asked me questions over the years since that is something I am very familiar with, so here is an article with a few tips to help. These tips and techniques were developed over years of teaching private lessons to four and five year old students, and although they are not by any means the last word on the subject, overall I would consider them good advice.

I most often worked with the Alfred All-in-One series for younger beginners for the “book portion” of the lessons, and usually found it to provide an effective foundation for reading. I have found that lots of repetition and explanation with the occasional redirection, and a well written lesson plan for both parents and students to follow is usually the key to optimize working with any student under age six.

The following is a basic outline (not necessarily exactly in this order, but in general it seems to work well). You will have to go back and revisit many of these things often during the lesson to make sure they sink in. Some of them may take a long time for some of the youngest students, perhaps weeks or even months, and that's ok. Just keep going over it at each lesson.

  1. find the groups of two and 3 black keys
  2. find the group of two black keys in the middle
  3. distinguish the right hand from left hand
  4. find middle C
  5. find middle C scale position with right hand
  6. 5 note C scale with right hand (slowly)
  7. hear the difference between high and low notes
  8. 5 note C scale with Right hand 3x in a row
  9. attempt C chord (open 5th at first, then when ready make a "spider" with your hand for the full chord. This may take a while--keep trying at every lesson.)
  10. learn all finger numbers with Right and Left Hand--(you can use the page in the book to illustrate this) and quiz by holding up or pointing to--"which is your RH 2nd finger", etc.
  11. 5 note C scale with Left hand (C below middle C - 3x in a row when ready)
  12. 5 note C chord with Left hand
  13. play some music for listening (you can do this at any time to get attention, and then go back to one of the previous things you were working on) - teach fast/slow, loud/soft (not TOO loud of course--just enough to make the point), hi/low, happy/sad (major/minor)
  14. start working in book, very slowly, and review often
  15. add other scales (5 notes slowly, both hands separately) and chords (both hand seperately)
  16. once they get past C, G, D, A scales, you can try both hands together on C (this could take a long time)
  17. after first few songs become easy in the book, start rhythm exercises with metronome (If they can't do it at first, let it go & come back and try it again at the next lesson. Some will get close immediately, some NEVER will. The goal is just to improve whatever their natural ability is.)
  18. try to add metronome with scales (not too fast, around 60BPM is good)
  19. eventually the goal is to know all 5 note scales and triad chords (may take years for some)

In general as lessons progress, I usually start the lesson plan with 5 note scales or partial scales to both strengthen fingers and provide piano theory (with a metronome once the student has the ability), then chord studies (all 3 voice Major, minor, for older students eventually progressing on to 4 voice, etc), then studies in the lesson book (again using metronome whenever possible), and then ear training (if there's time and if the student has done the other homework). Of course every teacher has his or her own methods, and I am very appreciative of that. I hope this information helps.

Photo Credit: Don DeBold

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