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Benefits of Private Woodwind Music Lessons

Learn more about Music Notes Academy’s Woodwind Teacher, Ms. Elana. Here are some benefits of private woodwind music lessons. 

Ms. Elana is a woodwind specialist teacher. She plays all flutes, clarinets, saxophones, oboe and bassoon. With a Masters Degree in Multiple Woodwind Studies from New Jersey City University and an Undergraduate Degree in Music Education from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Elana teaches private lessons and teaches woodwind clinics in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Ms. Elana has taught music in elementary and middle schools in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties and prefers to teach private lessons to better connect with students.

School music classes can provide a great starting point for young musicians to experience playing in a band and starting a woodwind instrument. Individual attention from a private lesson once a week will help students develop their musical abilities much faster compared to a classroom setting. Private lessons allow students to learn more about their instrument, study from a specialist and learn additional music that cannot be learned in their daytime band classes. Private lessons often consist of scales, instrument specific techniques and repertoire that would not be included in a school music program.

Without proper instruction, woodwind students often develop bad habits that inhibit their ability to improve. Most-commonly, students play with excess tension in the embouchure muscles. This causes squeaky sounds and impedes the ability to extend the range of notes a student can play. Often the student will take a small breath of air in between every note they play. This creates a choppy sound, will not develop proper air control and is often paired with not articulating properly. Other warning signs to look for are bad posture, lack of reed care, a fuzzy or airy sound, difficulty reading sheet music and playing with good time. A dedicated private teacher can focus on correcting a student’s individual weaknesses to gain musical proficiency. 

Private Music Lessons Help Students Develop Better:
Tone Quality: A controlled, focused sound that is characteristic to the instrument
Rhythmic Accuracy: Counting while playing with a steady beat and holding out notes for their designated amount of time
Music Notation Literacy: Understanding how a music staff works and how to read notes and play the instrument at the same time
Embouchure Development: Embouchure is a French word that musicians use to refer to the muscles of the face (primarily the lips and tongue) used in creating sound on a wind instrument. A private teacher will cover the proper use of these muscles and develop them in a healthy way to improve tone, articulation and intonation. 
Articulation: How notes are started and connected. Often with the tongue and air.
Breath Support: playing a woodwind instrument involves breathing and moving the air a different speeds to play in tune and have good sound
Musicality: Musical expression through volume control (dynamics) and phrasing of musical ideas
Musicianship: Musical responsibility developed from regular practice, technique development, ownership of mistakes, openness to learn, and bringing a positive attitude to lessons and rehearsals

Founder of Music Notes Academy, a '12 NJSBDC award-winning community music school in East Brunswick, NJ. A teacher of music since '00, with degrees in music and education, specializing in curriculum and instruction.

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