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Reading Music

Reading Music: A Primer

Reading music is a goal of many students who come to Nashville Music Academy. Given my own struggles with sight reading as a young student, I always find this to be a valiant request. Learning to read music is like learning another language, and therefore comes with the benefits that you would expect from the latter. Adding to the challenge is the fact that each instrument has it’s own method for reading music. These include tablature for guitar, rhythmic notation for percussion, both bass and treble clef for piano, and the list goes on. Let’s discuss the challenges and benefits of reading music!

When I was first learning to play piano, it was by Suzuki method. Suzuki method is largely reliant on ear training. The student listens to a piece of music many times and watches the instructor perform it. Then with minimal assistance from the sheet music, the student attempts to play the song again, and again…. and again. When I enrolled in the music program at WVU, it was clear that I would have to become proficient at sight reading. It was a struggle. Of course I had been familiar with all the grade school techniques of memorizing the lines and spaces on the staff. We all know the old moniker Every Good Boy Does Fine. The challenge immediately became figuring out those notes while reading the rhythm and trying to keep up a decent tempo. Over time though, it became easier and today I am a decent accompanist.

Reading music is definitely like learning a foreign language. I would equate it to Russian, Chinese, or Arabic since it requires a new symbol charter. Like a new language, it opens you up to a whole new world. Like language, it has different dialects as well. Most are familiar with sheet music. The old familiar staff and notes sprawled out over many pages, marked with classical symbols for loud (f) and soft (p), staccato, slurs, ties, crescendos, etc. However, when I moved to Nashville I learned the “slang” of music known as charts. While some charts can be very complex, Nashville has it’s own language called the number system. This system uses numbers to represent chords, and various other markings to let you know how to emphasize certain parts of the  music. Yet again, I found myself speaking as  a “foreigner” and this time I had the privilege of being too formal.

Now I am able to navigate the formal and informal settings of music because I know how to read both sheet music and charts. Because piano was my first instrument, I can also read all the other forms of sheet music for the various other instruments. For this reason, many recommend starting with the piano. Reading music requires a patient student, but when it’s all said and done it’s definitely worth it. All of our instructors at NMA are proficient in both sight reading and ear training, and are literate in charts and score. To set up an appointment today, give us a call or text at 615-521-1937!

Author: Owner and Classical piano instructor/Tatia Rose

Tatia Rose Bio

music teacher

Why I Love Being a Music Teacher!

The job of being a music teacher is a wonderful one. Today I received a wonderful text from a parent (see attached photo). Not only was it accompanied by an illustration by my student Jack (who is 7 years old), it reflected what he thought about our piano lessons together. It’s a great honor to sit with a child (or adult) for an hour or more every week and help them learn how to play an instrument. As many a music teacher knows, music lessons are often more than just instruction. They are a time to listen, share, and be a friend.

This particular student of mine has been studying with me since he was 5. He is quite advanced now (not a surprise since both his parents are musicians). It is my joy to see him enthusiastic about music and the progress he has made. I have many students that I started with at Jack’s age and now graduating high school. While my tenure as a music teacher lends to the fact that I’m getting older, it is one of the most wonderful things about sharing the gift of music with others.

(Written by owner/piano instructor Tatia Rose)

 

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music teacher
A drawing from one of my piano students.
music and memory

Music and Memory: A Stronger Mind Through Music Education

Music and memory; a topic that interests parents, care-givers, physicians, and educators. You have probably seen the video of elderly dementia patients listening to music and traveling back in time mentally to a place they previously couldn’t remember. Several studies support that music and memory are connected, most notably the recent ones outlined in the article here that outline how music aids in learning language, repairing damaged brain, and activating the auditory, motor and emotional regions of the brain.

My father had Alzheimer’s Disease, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that there is a connection between memory and music.  When I would go to his Alzheimer’s unit and play the piano or sing for him, he would draw closer to me. Sometimes he would even make eye contact and speak (this was in the later stages of his disease). The other residents on his floor would also come over and listen. They would appear more relaxed, and their anxiety would lessen whenever music was being played. Because of that experience, I have strongly campaigned for more music volunteers and listening programs for nursing homes and Alzheimer care units.

Music also assists with learning new languages. It is often found that when students sing the phrases they are trying to learn, their retention rate increases dramatically. This is because music activates parts of the brain known as the auditory cortices (on both sides of the brain). Listening involves the memory centers in the brain which assists with retention. When you incorporate a rhythmic movement, like tapping along with the music, your cerebellum becomes involved. All of this simultaneous action is excellent for the mind and it’s development.

Besides learning new languages, music can benefit many people suffering from brain injury. When neuroscience began mapping the brain while it was engaged in either listening or performing music, they discovered that music accesses and activates the systems of auditory perception, attention, memory, executive control, and motor control. It can drive complex patterns of interaction among them and repair damaged parts of the brain by increasing neuropathic activity. It’s kind of like a jump start for the damaged parts of the brain.

We have always enjoyed music, but now the benefits to music and memory are proving to be more than just enjoyable. Whether you want to give your child a leg up in math, science, or language; or you have a parent suffering from dementia, music can be a great gift.

Tatia Rose, piano lessons, Nashville Music Academy

Tatia Rose Employee Spotlight at Nashville Music Academy

Tatia Rose founded Nashville Music Academy in June of 2015, but it had previously thrived as Rose Music Group since 2006. Rose is not only the owner, but also a piano instructor at the academy. Her primary focus is Classical Performance and Music Theory and Composition. Rose also serves as director of the Special Needs Music Program at NMA.

Upon graduating from West Virginia University in 2003, Rose moved to Nashville to pursue a career as a songwriter and pianist and eventually left that pursuit to work from home as a teacher and entrepreneur. This arrangement worked well for a young working mother, but the business (much like the baby) refused to stop growing. Her entrepreneurial work began including more diverse projects that reconnected her with the Nashville artistic community. Under the banner of Rose Music Group, this included production of concerts, artist bookings, and talent management.

In 2015, the school and the entertainment agency (RMG) were separated, and Nashville Music Academy was created in the rebranding. Tatia Rose serves as President of both companies. She is a member of the Nashville Chapter of the Nashville Recording Academy, proud supporter of Autism Speaks and the Alzheimer’s Association, and received an award from Nashville Mayor Dean recently for her work with individuals with disabilities. Her executive experience also includes aggregate management.

Please check out our sister company Rose Music Group LLC.

music therapy, nashville music academy

Alzheimers Patients Find Music Therapeutic

My father (pictured) passed away from Alzheimers Disease. It began when I was a young teenager still living at home, prepping for college while continuing my studies in classical piano performance. I would practice the upright piano and he would sit quietly in the other room. Most other times, he would pace nervously back and forth between the various rooms in our modest but aging house. It was an escape for both of us…

As an article from the Alzheimers Foundation so apltly pointed out,

“Music has power—especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. And it can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late stages of the disease.

When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements.

This happens because rhythmic and other well-rehearsed responses require little to no cognitive or mental processing. They are influenced by the motor center of the brain that responds directly to auditory rhythmic cues. A person’s ability to engage in music, particularly rhythm playing and singing, remains intact late into the disease process because, again, these activities do not mandate cognitive functioning for success.”

This is a detailed way of saying something very simple. Music is therapeutic. It heals things that are broken within us that we cannot see nor explain. Somehow, we are unlocked by harmony, melody, and rhythm. The vibration that creates sound, stirs something us in as well. As a music teacher and daughter of a parent with Alzheimers, I can tell you firsthand that I have seen the healing powers of music.

http://www.alzfdn.org/EducationandCare/musictherapy.html

piano lessons, nashville music academy, student story

Piano Lessons Open Doors! A Student Success Story

Piano lessons are the most popular choice for students when it comes time to choose an instrument to study. Perhaps it’s because of the familiarity, or the absolute joy that comes from sitting at the piano. Either way, the piano teachers are often the busiest at Nashville Music Academy.

When George came to the studio, he was looking for voice and piano lessons. He had heard about our work through the great folks at ARC (an adult resource for individuals with special needs that met at Vanderbilt). George had played the pipe organ his whole life, but wanted to improve his technique and perhaps find an advocate who could help him find work as a church organist again. He was assigned Tatia Rose for piano lessons and Janine Le Clair for voice lessons. Both teachers immediately fell in love with George, who was a funny and bright (and highly talented) individual with Autism.

As time went by, George eventually shared a secret with his piano teacher. He had been working on a complete Symphonic work for organ and had been using the theory he was learning at piano, to complete the score. He asked Ms. Rose if she would help him find a place to perform his work. In August of 2015, George did just that at Vine Street Baptist Church. This also led to George securing a job as an organist at a church in East Nashville.

All of this good news came from George’s choice to better himself with music lessons. The dedicated staff at Nashville Music Academy recognized his potential and gave him the encouragement and support he needed to achieve his goals. Here’s to the power of piano lessons, and of course… a great student.

 

 

 

 

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The Benefit of Music Lessons for People with Special Needs

A personal letter from owner and piano instructor, Tatia Rose… As a music instructor, I have been working with people who have special needs (predominantly autism) for almost 10 years now. The most important thing I have learned is that music is indeed the universal language, even for those who are non-verbal. The connection between vibration and sound allows all of us (even those with severe disabilities), to participate and create in a method of expression.

In addition, the confidence that is born from self-expression, enhances the social interaction of people who have difficulty connecting with others. The recitals we have every year are a great example of this. A parent of one of my autistic students relayed a great story to me…

“I picked up John from school, and the teacher pulled me aside and said, “Who is this Tatia that he keeps talking about today. And he said something about playing for people.”

She relayed that I was his teacher, and he had just done a great job at his recital and was very proud of himself. The best part of this though, is that John was communicating. I consider him a prodigy given his aural and theory skills, but John lacks the ability to use words like you and I. Since starting piano lessons, John has started singing along with some of his songs, and he’s using clumps of words as opposed to sign language and out of context, one-word responses.

This is the power of music. It is healing, connecting, and divine. It enables us individually and collectively to do amazing things. If you or someone you know could benefit from music lessons, please contact us info@nashvillemusicacademy. If you would like to know more about autism or programs for individuals with special needs, please visit http://autismspeaks.org.

 

 

 

voice lessons nashville

Voice Lessons with Janine LeClair, a Teacher Spotlight

Looking for voice lessons? Janine Le Clair is one of Nashville’s best acting coaches and voice teachers. She played the leading-lady for international musicals and productions like The Sound of MusicThe Mystery of Edwin DroodThe Secret GardenBrighton Beach Memoirs, and Annie. LeClair also has extensive on-camera experience, and has been acting in network television commercials for financial institutions, home furnishings, restaurants and tourist destinations as far away as Australia.

Teaching under the same principles she was taught under (Stanislavski), LeClair also includes Uta Hagen and Meisner in her technique. Her personality is warm and inviting. This compliments her coaching style, which is patient, fun, and goal effective. She has been a music instructor at Nashville Music Academy (formerly Rose Music Group) for 10 years. Best-known for the results she achieves for both beginners and advanced students, LeClair provides a professional and experienced background enabling her to sculpt each lesson to the needs of the student. She is available (by appointment only) on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings.

http://janineleclair.com

nashville music academy

Get to Know Nashville Music Academy

Hello future students! This is an invitation to get to know our music school and music teachers! We offer music lessons for EVERY instrument and ANY age. We are also honored to serve the special needs community. We have students of every range of ability and disability, which is why Nashville Music Academy is a proud partner of http://autismspeaks.org. Most of our instructors have been with us for 7 or more years and have AT LEAST a Bachelor’s Degree in their area of teaching expertise. The studio, located in Berry Hill, is comfortable and laid back. There’s free Wi-Fi and a kid-friendly waiting area. We look forward to meeting you!