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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It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you have been playing music—it can always be a challenge to sit down and practice your instrument on a regular basis. But have no fear… our SMT teachers are here! As a means of helping our beloved music students stay motivated, we asked our teachers to share their top tips for how to practice on a regular basis and make the most of your music time. Over the course of the last month, we have published two collections of practice tips (here are the links to our first and second collection)—so now without any further ado, here is our third and final anthology of teacher tips! To Start Us Off,...
  • February 17, 2021
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It doesn’t matter if you just started taking lessons or if you’re a longtime instrumentalist—it can be difficult to sit down in front of your instrument for practice on a regular basis. Believe it or not, music teachers experience the same problem. That’s why we reached out to our SMT teachers and asked for their top tips on how you can use your time efficiently, how to stay motivated, and how to get yourself to practice regularly. We published the first collection of teacher practice tips last month—so now, get ready for part two! Short and Simple: Here are 3 Basic Practice Tips From Marta Samuel (violin/fiddle, viola, piano) 1. Practice consistently and focus on the basics. 2. Do a...
  • February 11, 2021
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