The Coffee & The Mug
The Music Shed with David Morgan
All art is a blending of two worlds, I like to compare it to The Coffee and The Mug:
The Mug is how we deliver the blend of our own special brew. If the mug is cracked, dirty or flawed, it affects the experience of person drinking the coffee. If the brew is not right (missing notes, rushing, dragging…) no good mug in the world will make it taste good. We need both. I think of John Coltrane – to me he had the ultimate sublime balance between The Coffee and The Mug. He wasn’t only a masterful technician, he actually created new techniques, while at the same time, every note he played had purpose, depth and meaning.
As a music mentor, I am always looking for these two worlds to blend in a seamless way, regardless of the level of the musician I’m working with. I want to see regular, steady improvement in all my musicians. In short, regular practicing at home is the only way to truly implement all of the ingredients we work on in our weekly lessons or rehearsals. A large part of being able playing music is muscle memory, The Mug. If we practice the right way on a regular basis, we will improve, guaranteed. I also want to help every musician to see and feel their instrument as a way to communicate what is inside of them in a soulful and musical way, The Coffee.
When my musicians practice, we are all inspired. When they don’t, it’s tedious, boring and a waste of time and money. Musicians who make the most improvement establish a weekly regular practice routine.
MINIMUM PRACTICING GUIDELINES FOR PIANO STUDENTS
(This is minimum, more is always encouraged!)
2-4th grade: 4 days/week for 20 minutes
5-7th grade: 4 days/week for 30 minutes
8-9th grade: 5 days/week for 40 minutes
10-12th grade: 5 days/week for 1 hour
MINIMUM PRACTICING GUIDELINES FOR MUSIC SHED
3 days/week for 30 minutes (But if you are also taking private lessons, Music Shed songs can be integrated into the regular practice routine, possibly adding some time on to the other music they’re working on.)