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This blog was written by SMT’s very own Mari Carlson in anticipation for her upcoming Swedish fiddling workshop on May 16th—click here to sign up now! If you’ve ever heard Swedish as a spoken language, you’ll recognize the pronounced diphthong — the sing-song lilt and melodic cadence of the language. Similarly, the polska is a Scandinavian type of dance that is as Swedish as the diphthong. The polska is a dance tune, or, rather, an overarching term for various subsets of polskas from different regions. Its rhythm defines its melody and also gives it direction, drive, and an invitation for the listeners to MOVE! Characterized by its 3/4 meter, it bobs along with heavy emphasis on 1 AND 3, and...
  • April 25, 2021
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Picking up a new instrument often feels like a daunting challenge, especially if it’s a woodwind instrument that requires such a unique set of muscle movements. That’s why we asked Seth Kibel—SMT’s own clarinet, saxophone, flute, and woodwind teacher—to tell us about his own Secret Sauce for Musical Success. In the following collection of practice tips, Seth talks about how you can make the most of your woodwind lessons and dodge some of the biggest pitfalls of beginning musicians! 1) PRACTICE OFTEN: So much about learning music involves muscles and muscle memory. As woodwind players, we use muscles in our fingers, our lips, our tongue, our cheeks, and more—which is why it is VITAL to practice regularly in order to build...
  • March 28, 2021
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This blog post was written by Rhia Morsberger — a Maryland-based yoga instructor and mobility specialist who will be teaching a Movement for Musicians workshop for the School of Musical Traditions on March 8th. Anyone who uses their body for some art, sport, or trade will experience some effect of physical overuse or fatigue. For musicians, it is not so much the movement itself (e.g. working their wrists and arm muscles to play an instrument, maintaining poor posture during practice, etc.) so much as the lack of variety in the movements that get them into trouble. What you really need to treat those aches and pains is actually more movement. I can teach you all kinds of novel exercises and...
  • March 7, 2021
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Spring is just around the corner! So here are some important updates on our school closures and term invoicing… Closed for Easter We are closed April 3rd and 4th. Students will not be billed for those dates, but if you and your teacher would like to meet for a lesson that weekend, simply let us know so we can add that lesson charge to your monthly invoice! Spring Term starts April 5! Dates: April 5th – July 2nd Memorial Day Closure: May 29th – 31st Why sign up for the term? The term cost includes one free week, to be used at any time during that term. This allows you to miss one lesson or receive an extra lesson at...
  • March 4, 2021
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Hello musical friends and neighbors! I’m Jonathan Vocke—banjo, ukulele, guitar, mandolin, and violin teacher for the School of Musical Traditions. We are very excited to announce that we will be offering—for the first time EVER—an in-person/virtual hybrid youth string band class! Before we go any further, let us assure you that we are taking COVID-19 very seriously here at the school and we will be implementing a number of safety precautions for the in-person workshop meetings. So what is a youth string band? For starters, string band—also known as “oldtime music”—is a popular form of folk music that most commonly accompanies square dances and that sort of thing. In the youth workshop, we will be learning a set of 3...
  • February 25, 2021
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