Jacktice and Friends

Music practice tips and tricks with Jack Blakey, local musician, music teacher and the founder of professional music practice supervision company Jacktice and Friends

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March 21
Performing again


Getting back to performing will be a scary task as no one has done it in a while.


So to make sure you are on top form before a performance remember to practice WHOLE pieces without going back and fixing anything until you have finished.


Performing is a skill in itself and needs as much attention as technique!


Please let me know if there is anything in particular you'd like me make a video on

If you need more help then do get in touch.

Jack

Contact:
Jack Blakey
Jacktice and Friends 
Tel: 07464 954611
Email: jackticeandfriends@gmail.com
www.jackticeandfriends.co.uk


There are a lot of parents that email me saying that they just don’t know how get their child to practice and they are worried that they will give up before they have reached the ‘fun’ part of learning an instrument!

BUT…

It’s very easy to get kids to practice when they are enjoying what they are practising! Getting someone (no matter their age) to practice against their will is never going to produce the best results at the end of the day.

We always look at how we can get the child to enjoy what they are doing before we start on anything else because that’s the best way to keep up an instrument in the long run!

If you:

· Are struggling to inspire confidence in your child which spills over into arguments about their practice

· Feel like you start each session from zero and there is no progression

· Would love to see your child enjoying music and playing in bands or orchestras

· Don’t think you have a knowledge base to sufficiently help them complete the tasks they need to between each lesson.

You need to send me an email or a message! These are exactly the things that Jacktice and friends was designed to fix. My goal is to allow as many young musicians as possible to enjoy music as much as I did. Every day we help young musicians realise that ‘not being naturally talented enough is a myth!

The first session is always free so there is no risk to you at all.

Jack

March 5th
My tip this week…READ THE MUSIC!! 


Try not to guess what the notes are...Reading music is really hard, so make sure you go back to basics if you need to.

Keep practising…

 "You practice and you get better. It's very simple" - Phillip Glass

I may not be quite the authority Phillip Glass is on the subject, but for what it's worth... I agree.

Contact me on jackticeandfriends@gmail.com if you'd like some help following Phillips advice.

Enjoy getting back to school,

See you next week,

Jack

*****

A lot of teachers and parents are worried that a practice supervisor will be ‘stepping on the teachers’ toes’ and two teachers will just confuse the situation… I agree.

That is why Jacktice supervisors will NOT teach your child in a practice session. They will help to implement what the teacher has taught during the weekly lessons.

More often than not, if the teacher provides good notes outlining what they would like the pupil to achieve during the week, then the supervisor can help the student complete these with a very high level of understanding so that the teacher never has go back over things they have taught in the lesson… it’s a win for all parties concerned.

Teachers are happy because they have a student who is prepared every week, parents don’t have to worry about spending money on lack of progress because they is none, and the pupil is happy because they get better!

Check out our website at www.jackticeandfriends.co.uk if you don’t believe me.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Jack

Contact:
Jack Blakey
Jacktice and Friends 
Tel: 07464 954611
Email: jackticeandfriends@gmail.com
www.jackticeandfriends.co.uk

Feb 26th


If you were looking for an exercise to train your ears or a game to work on the ability to hear intervals, then look no further.

Make sure you start with a simple tune because it will be hard at the beginning.

If you need more help with this then send me a message!

Jack

Contact:
Jack Blakey
Jacktice and Friends 
Tel: 07464 954611
Email: jackticeandfriends@gmail.com
www.jackticeandfriends.com


Feb 19th

Sight reading


Try sight reading something old! But be careful not to rely on your memory because it won't help you as much as you think with this task.

Read the music and try a peice you already know but one that you haven't played for a while!

It is surprisingly hard!

See you next week,

Jack

Contact:
Jack Blakey
Jacktice and Friends 
Tel: 07464 954611
Email: jackticeandfriends@gmail.com
www.jackticeandfriends.com

Feb 12th

Dynamics and Articulation


It's so important to achieve a large contrast between the extremes of Dynamics and Articulation for a number of reasons.

Not only does it give you more room to play with in the middle, but the extremes you do play will have a far greater impact on the listener... If that's an examiner then that means more marks!

Give this a go with the piece you are playing at the moment. It's harder to do but definitely worth the extra effort!

See you next week,

Jack

Contact:
Jack Blakey
Jacktice and Friends 
Tel: 07464 954611
Email: jackticeandfriends@gmail.com
www.jackticeandfriends.com

Feb 5th

Flat keys


�� Flat keys this week! Now there's no excuse to struggle with keys ever again... you have a cheat code.

Example:

�� If you have a key with 4 flats, the second to last flat will be an A flat, and therefore also the major key of the piece.

See you next week,

Jack

January 29th


Woooop a trick to help with key signatures!

An example:

If you have 2 sharps in your key signature, the last sharp (the furthest one to the right) will be C#. A semitone above that is a D and so the major key related to that signature is D Major.

I'll do more videos with tricks for relative minors and flat keys but for the time being, see if this trick helps with the pieces you're playing!

Happy theory, see you next week!

Jack

Contact:
Jack Blakey
Jacktice and Friends 
Tel: 07464 954611
Email: jackticeandfriends@gmail.com
www.jackticeandfriends.com

January 23rd
Motivation...

I love practicing my instrument, I would do it all day if I could!

However, I didn’t always! You’re not born enjoying practising scales.

BUT…

This is the reason for most people giving up their instrument when they are young (if you aren’t enjoying it, then fair enough)

Everyone has periods of time when they lack motivation. 

In my case, all I needed was an inspiring adult to practice with me (my mum in this instance is luckily a musician) and a Malteser as a bribe every now and again and I managed to get through that unmotivated, boring phase without too much struggle.

A lot of people are of the mindset that if their child gets bored and loses interest then they should give up and focus on other things.

Don’t give up at the first hurdle! All they need is inspiration. It might be seeing a live performance of their instrument, it might be a fun practice supervisor, or it might be a Malteser. Whatever it is, its worth taking the time to find out what, because it will pay off in the end!

Send us a message or an email if you are having these issues! I started this to keep as many people playing their instruments as possible and the only way to do that is to make it enjoyable and not another chore!

I look forward to hearing from you,

Jack

Contact:
Jack Blakey
Jacktice and Friends 
Tel: 07464 954611
Email: jackticeandfriends@gmail.com
www.jackticeandfriends.com

January 16th 

Practice makes perfect?


In my career as a musician and a teacher, the number of my pupils who don’t practice correctly (or at all) is staggering.

This however, IS NOT ANYONE'S FAULT!

· You cannot expect parents, unless they are trained musicians, to know anything about how to structure a practice session, as this is something that takes many years to achieve.

· To expect a student to complete efficient practice at home on their own is also unrealistic as they have simply not been alive long enough to acquire this skill.

· With little or no practice between lessons at school the pressure put on one teacher to achieve results in exams and teach the theory, scales, pieces, as well as train the students musical ears and teach them to play well in an ensemble setting in the 30 minutes a week they have with them is an also an unattainable goal.

This is where Jacktice comes in…. we don’t teach, we implement what teachers have taught. So there is only one stream of information for the student to follow so it doesn’t become confusing!

· Parents will avoid all those ‘practice arguments’ that happen because kids don’t want to do it. Parents can then rest easy in the knowledge that their child is getting the most out of their week between lessons.

· Students will make improvements really fast! After this happens, they will begin to enjoy their music practice and the upward curve will only increase!

· Teachers can be sure that their pupils will have practiced and mastered all of the things that they learnt in their previous lesson so there will be no teacher having to go over and over the same stuff because no practice has been done!

It’s a win, win, win ….

I hope to see you all soon,

Jack

Contact:
Jack Blakey
Jacktice and Friends 
Tel: 07464 954611
Email: jackticeandfriends@gmail.com
www.jackticeandfriends.com

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