No Lessons on Memorial Day

No lessons on Memorial Day 2012! Enjoy this time with your family and friends, and we’ll see you Tuesday.


Just Another Music Monday

Watch this for your own benefit!


Guitar Lesson Gift Certificates

Did you know that 90% of the gifts we give at Christmas will end up in the trash within 6 months?

That being said, you can see why more and more people are leaning towards sustainable gifts that will make a lasting impression on the recipients life – such as books, instruction, and high-quality handmade gifts.

If you’re giving a guitar this year, or you have one lying around the house – why not gift that and guitar lesson package to the lucky musician in your life this holiday season? Get a gift certificate package from The Rhythm Factory along with it and you’ve got a gift that could potentially change someone’s life. We’ll package it up with one of our custom guitar picks and Jon’s contact information, and then mail it to the recipient of your choice.

If you don’t have a guitar at the moment, instrument rentals are available at The Rhythm Factory location.

Click here to see our gift certificate options.


A Well-Rounded Musician

guitar lessons in boise, idahoWhen I first started taking guitar lessons, my instructor suggested that I learn a bluegrass song, just for the fun of it.

I looked at him like he was crazy. I didn’t sign up to learn the guitar so that I could play Alison Krauss; I wanted to play Green Day!

His persistence won me over, however, and soon I was learning a bluegrass song – and having more fun on the guitar than I could have imagined.

Being a well-rounded musician includes listening to many different genres of music, from many different time periods. We live in a time where you can listen to the best musicians in the world, for free – so take advantage of it! Listen to flamenco, Americana, and more to get some variety in your musical diet.

Here are a couple of new albums I suggest to start expanding your scope. Parents: the content of some of the songs on these albums may not be suitable for your younger kids to be listening to, so use your best judgement.

Gungor: Ghosts Upon The Earth

This album is rich with a variety of genres and content subjects. Michael Gungor and his wife exhibit a creative style that mixes modern music styles with older playing techniques – the guitar playing is very advanced, and would challenge any student that wanted to learn one of their songs.

While listening to this album, take mental notes about the rhythm of their arrangements – see if you can replicate, play along, or write your own song inspired by their techniques!

Ryan Adams: Ashes & Fire

Ryan Adams’ relaxed acoustic style is the kind of music that makes you feel good when you play it. A bit of a modern-day Bob Dylan, Adams writes more songs than most of us have the time to listen to.

Don’t be afraid to give this a listen.


“The Richest Child is Poor Without Music”

While we all know there are many benefits to music education, this list may include some points you’ve never really thought about. Consider the benefits, weigh the investment, and see just how rewarding a solid musical education can be.

1. Brain Development

Musical training aids in brain development, specifically in the areas of language and reasoning. Familiar songs, when linked with new information, help to keep the learning fresh in their minds.

2. Problem Solving

Music isn’t math – there isn’t one right answer for the problems they’ll encounter, and there are many ways of looking at a song or a style of music. With the help of a teacher, they can search through all the possible answers for the one that suits them best.

3. Higher Test Scores

Recent studies show that students who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests such as the SAT. They also achieve higher grades in high school.

4. Cultural Awareness

A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures (and their own) and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to development of greed and a “me first” attitude, provides a bridge across cultural chasms that leads to respect of other races at an early age.

5. Craftsmanship

Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student’s own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.

6. Hard Work

In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.

7. Expression

Music provides children with a means of self-expression. Now that there is relative security in the basics of existence, the challenge is to make life meaningful and to reach for a higher stage of development.

8. Work Ethic

Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on “doing,” as opposed to observing, and teaches students how to perform, literally, anywhere in the world. Employers are looking for multi-dimensional workers with the sort of flexible and supple intellects that music education helps to create as described above. In the music classroom, students can also learn to better communicate and cooperate with one another.

9. Taking Risks

Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later. Risk-taking is essential if a child is to fully develop his or her potential.

10. Enjoy the Knowledge for Life

Music is a skill that will last a lifetime – long past high-school football and video games. A person who invests in music education now will thank themselves in 20 years if they keep practicing, making strides in improvement along the way.

This post has been adapted from TheChildrensMusicWorkshop.com.


Beginners Guitar 101

Getting my mom’s old Fender Classical Guitar out of the dusty case this week reminded me of my first guitar-playing days…

I taught myself how to strum two or three basic chords on a nylon-stringed mammoth of a guitar – my poor fingers! After enrolling me in lessons for a few months, my parents decided I was serious enough about learning guitar and they bought me a brand new acoustic guitar.

 

Getting that first guitar yourself, or as a gift for someone, can be a daunting task. I’ve provided a list here of some great beginners guitar models that you can purchase online or at a local music store: Dunkley’s Music and Gig’s Music are both great local places to get that first guitar.

Fender’s Beginner Acoustic Guitar Pack

Yamaha Acoustic Junior Size Guitar with Gig Bag

Fender Beginner’s Electric Guitar Pack

If you can, stick to tried and true brands: Fender, Yamaha, Gibson, Epiphone, Martin, Taylor, and Ibanez are brands that usually deliver a well-made instrument. Brands to stay away from: First Act, Washburn, Spectrum, Encore. If it looks cheap, it probably is – which means if you’re really interested in playing you’ll be back out looking for a new one in no time at all.

If you have any questions about which guitar to get, feel free to call me at 208.412.5740.

 


Have a great Labor Day!

After spending most of this weekend with my family in the beautiful Sawtooth mountains, I don’t know if I’m ready for this weekend to end! I am ready, however to jump in to this fall with new students, new songs, and a new rhythm to my own life. We’re looking forward to making some video lessons, getting some new gear for you guys to learn with, and more – so stay tuned!

If you’re looking for guitar lessons in Boise, Idaho then don’t hesitate to call me at 208.412.5740. I can’t wait to help you on your journey to learning more about the guitar and music in general. Get in your after-school sessions now, before they fill up!