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October 8, 2015 - Musical Education

New York Music School’s “Learning Experience”

You know by now that our teachers make house calls in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Riverdale. But here’s a question: what kind of learning environment have you created in your home in preparation for your music training? Does it foster creativity and productivity or, to the contrary, are there too many distractions around you, preventing you from concentrating?

Trying to master an instrument is not that different from any other kind of learning. Your surroundings are a big factor in how well you are able to absorb the information at hand. If things around you are chaotic – say your cat is jumping on your instrument and your dog is chewing your notes (just as n example), you’ll be too distracted to pay attention to your lesson. Now, before, we tackle some of the ways to “clean up” your learning space, let’s look at why it is important to have an environment that’s conducive to your music lessons.

Noises off!

It has been scientifically proven that too much stimuli in our environment, such as disorder or noise, will diminish our learning capacity. These factors create bad study habits; your mind is distracted and “all over the place,” instead of concentrating on the most essential tasks. That’s why it is important to develop a one-track mind! Your attention should not be diverted by things that are unrelated to music. When you lose your focus, you might as well pack up your instrument.

Get ready!

We know that living in New York – the city that never sleeps – is not always conducive to a learning-friendly environment. Plus, apartment walls are often paper-thin, so noises from the neighbors trickle into our own living space. What’s a city dweller to do? It’s true that you can’t eliminate all the distractions around you, though you can certainly minimize them. Focus on things that you can – and should – control. For instance:

  • Location, location, location: Pick a quiet room in your apartment where you feel most comfortable and relaxed.
  • Clean up and organize your space: You may think that clutter doesn’t affect your learning capacity but it does, because the mess around you creates a distraction. You don’t need a large room to practice your music, but you do need a tidy space.
  • Disconnect yourself: During your lesson or practice session, turn off your computer and cell phone. Incoming calls, tweets, texts, etc. are sure to interfere with your lesson.

Make your lesson count

The above are some of the suggestions for creating an environment that is pleasant and conducive to music learning. But there are other things you should do as well, which should be obvious but we are going to reiterate them anyway: no matter what you play – whether it’s the guitar, violin, or any other instrument, please be prepared. In other words, when your teacher rings the doorbell, you and your instrument should be ready to go. Preparedness is a lesson worth learning!

Photo by unknown, available under Creative Commons License
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