Elana Segal's Music Studio

Recital Preparation Tips

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 by Elana Segal | Music Lessons

How to prepare for an upcoming performance:

  • Run through your recital piece(s) everyday
  • Spot check difficult sections of your piece(s)
  • Practice your piece slowly, 50% of the goal tempo
  • Practice with a backing track if applicable
  • Practice standing up and in your recital clothes
  • Record yourself and listen back
  • Perform for your family/friends
  • Listen to professional recordings of your piece 
  • Research the composer of your piece 

Day of reminders:

  • Day of warmup - long tones, articulation, tune
  • Keep extra reeds, mouthpiece cap, cleaning swab and other accessories with you
  • Bring a water bottle, it's important to stay hydrated!
  • Bring your sheet music! 
  • A music stand and accompaniment will be provided

Performance Order/Introduction:

  1. Introduce yourself : "My name is _______, I will be performing _______ by ______."
  2. Perform your piece!
  3. Bow, take your music and return to your seat

Virtual Music Lessons

Saturday, February 17, 2024 by Elana Segal | Music Lessons

There are many reasons a music lesson might be moved to Zoom, including illness and inclement weather. 

Here are some tips for having the best virtual lesson experience:

  • Position your laptop/tablet so your instrument is visible
  • Update the Zoom app regularly 
  • Make sure your device is charged 
  • Find a quite space with a strong WiFi signal 

Zoom Audio Configuration: 

See photos bellow. iPads/tablets will only need to complete steps 1-2, students using a computer/laptop will need to complete steps 1-3.

  1. Open "audio settings"
  2. Click "Enable Original Audio" or "Original Sound for Musicians"
  3. Uncheck "Automatically adjust microphone volume"
  4. If you are using headphones, make sure to adjust the speaker and input settings from the "audio settings" window

Audio settings for computers.

Audio settings for iPads/tablets.

Setup for a virtual piano lesson.

Music Practice 101

Monday, January 1, 2024 by Elana Segal | Music Lessons

Practicing your instrument everyday is essential to seeing progress. 

  • It is important to spend quality time reviewing your lesson material on your own between lessons. 
  • Avoid playing through your assignments from beginning to end without stopping. Focus on practicing your assignments in small sections with lots of repetitions. 
  • Musicians cannot cram for their lessons, recitals or performances. Having a daily  practice routine needs  to be in place to maintain your instrumental skills.

Tips to improve your musical success:

  • Be consistent, schedule routine daily practice
  • Always use a metronome to keep a steady beat
  • Practice slow and steady
  • Mark any mistakes in pencil
  • Chunking: take small sections (called measures) and repeat until you can’t make a mistake
  • Keep a practice log/journal
  • Listen to lots of music!
  • Clean and take care of your instrument regularly

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Did I balance all of my assignments or only focus on one thing?
  2. Could I repeat each measure at least 3 times in a row with no mistakes?
  3. Did I play through my assignments and ignore errors, or practice properly?
  4. Did I play all notes and rhythms correctly, in tune and in tempo?
  5. Did I incorporate the dynamics, articulation and other markings in the score?
  6. Am I happy with my progress today?
  7. What do I need to keep working on in my next practice session?

Daily Practice Routine Example:

  1. Warmup: SLOW Long tones, focus on posture, air support, intonation, etc.

  2. Scales: Play slow+fast with various articulations, always with metronome

  3. Technique: Method book assignment, use metronome

  4. Solo Repertoire: see lesson notes, focus on musical expression

  5. Other: Band music assignments, music you want to play/review