Trey Cooper - Guitar

Thursday April 24 , 2014
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Enrichment through Education

Practice

When The Levee began several years back it was with a dream to enrich the lives of students with a musical education.  This has been our main focus and our cornerstone from day one even until now.  Since those early days The Levee has been blessed and and has grown to encompass many areas of professionalism.  We have been able to thrive due to our adaptability--one of our greatest assets.  Still at times it has been a hindrance--and one of our liabilities as well.  The Levee has in recent days become the one stop shop for all things music, media and marketing.

Though our direction will continue to stay true to this goal, our focus will be realigning back to our roots and life-force:  Music Education.  Music Education plays a pivotal role in the development of our business, our students and in our community.  Throughout history there has been an undeniable connection between an advancement in the arts and the advancement in a society.  Sorkin points out that whether it's Pericles and Phidias, Lorenzo de' Medici and Leonardo da Vinci or Elizabeth and Shakespeare the arts play a role in society.

The Levee has always stood for the arts and will continue to educate its students in that manner.  Whether voice or theory, piano or composition, guitar, drums or bass we believe that music can strength individuals, their homes, their schools and their communities.  This is accomplished not only through personal dedication in one-on-one music instructions but also in group sessions such as Rock Camp coming this summer.

Kids of every age, gender or ethnic background are encouraged to embrace the musical arts in a manner that will grow them personally, emotionally and musically.  This is our focus at The Levee: to see every child enriched through musical education.  It is our focus and our greatest joy to give of our time and talents to kids who desire to learn music.  In doing so we hope to help them learn about their abilities and responsibilities, their potential and promise.  And if they learn to rock along the way, that'd be great too.

 

Language Arts

Practice

Blake
Blake

This week I wanted to explain music in my words but I decided to let the master do it. If you are not familiar with Victor Wooten at this point in your life, buckle your seatbelt. Wooten is perhaps the greatest bass player of all times and I can't wait to get my hands on this complete video.

Talk to ya, blake

   

Phrasing

Practice

Blake
Blake

Really i shirt like you wearing are; no, thats not right.  Shirt like you are wearing i, no thats not right either lets try this one more time.  I really like the shirt you are wearing...there we go!  Read that first sentence again.  If Yoda and a dyslexic had a baby it would be that sentence.  In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of musicians out there with a big musical vocabulary but few of them understand how to  take the musical words and make a complete sentence.  The art of producing these sentences is called PHRASING.

Though phrasing does come natural to many students of music, it is a piece of the pie that can be practiced and perfected.  It is definitely not enough for a musicians to understand chords, scales, and even licks.  Until one becomes aquatinted with phrasing , he cannot truly express his musical talent.

talk to ya, blake

 

   

Listening

Practice

Blake
Blake
Have you ever been in a conversation that was one sided or have that one friend that tries to talk their way out of problems?  These people truly mean well but can be very annoying to hang around for any period of time ( if you are thinking “yeah blake, you are that person” then i apologize).  It is really only one quality in most of these people that would take them from obnoxious to delightful.....listening.

Stop what you are doing for a second and just listen....... what do you hear?  i hear a fan blowing, cake “he’s going the distance” in the front of the store, i can even hear the American flag that is waving outside my window (and if i listen closely i can hear Lee Greenwod singing “and im proud to be an American!!”)  It is truly amazing to discover what we can hear on our instrument if we just take a few minutes to listen to what we are doing.  Most amateur musicians believe that the person who can fit the most notes in a measure wins, but i know that there is a deeper level that we can reach with our instrument if we just begin to listen to what we are doing.  Check out the next article on phrasing.  Open hearts, open minds, OPEN EARS!!

talk to ya, blake

 

   

HAPPY HOUR

Practice

Blake
Blake

Over the next few articles we will be discussing how to make the most of your practice time.  Indeed, time is our most valuable resource and what we do with it as musicians can mean the difference between waste and treasure.  i know that i have diminished the word “practice” in previous articles but I would rather you use a word that you appreciate and spend this time wisely- just like some people have a problem with the word “church”.  I don’t care if you call it church or happy hour, it is what it is and the same goes with practice.  If you don’t like the word practice, insert some other word that takes you to that special place of nirvana.  Any way you slice it, practice should be QUALITY FACE TO FACE TIME WITH YOUR INSTRUMENT.  Here is a forward time schedule for practice time that continues to work for me.

  • 30 mins of warm-up
  • 30 mins of theory
  • 30 mins of licks
  • 30 mins of jamming

As we move along, i will go more in depth in each of these areas and give examples for each.

talk to ya later- blake

   

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