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1 May 2019

I can still remember when I bought my first guitar Remember just how good the feeling was, put it proudly in my car And my family listened fifty times to my two song repertoire And I told my mum her only son was gonna be a star Kevin Johnson My parents aspirations for me certainly didn’t go as planned. A sporting career was on the horizon.However, kicking the ball in the wrong direction didn’t...

At Caroline Springs School of Music, we teach musical improvisation from the very early stages of every student's education. Improvisation studies should not preclude beginners and the earlier we get started, the better for our future development. Improvisation is valuable to all musicians, not just jazz or modern players. Great classical masters such as, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart were all inc...

At Caroline Springs School of Music we recommend the following minimum daily practice amounts for each exam grade:

Introductory: 10 minutes

Preparatory: 15 minutes

Preliminary: 20 minutes

Grade one: 30 minutes

Grade two: 45 minutes

Grade three: 60 minutes

Grade four: 1 and a half hours

Grade five: 2 hours

Grade six: 2 and a half hours

Grade seven: 3 hours

Grade eight: 4 hours

Diploma exams: Practice every...

At a recent workshop I conducted for a range of students, I surveyed them all to see how much they were practicing. 

There were 67 instrumental and singing students involved, ranging from five to fifteen years of age. The results were very interesting.

On average they practice their instrument for twenty three minutes per day.

I then asked them how much time they spent on their I pads, I phones, t...

When tuning your guitar always warm up the strings first. Rub your hand along the length of the strings half a dozen or so times. Failure to do so will see the strings go flat once you start playing due to the heat emitted from your fingertips. 

Don't forget to tune in the following order A5, E1, E6, B2, D4 and G3.

Tune your guitar right before you play, even small fluctuations in temperature aff...

 One of the most common mistakes that I see from guitar students is; holding the guitar on the wrong angle. Never hold the guitar straight across your body, or worse still; angling down towards the floor.

The correct playing position for your guitar is 45 degrees, with the head of the guitar angled upwards as pictured. This is the correct guitar position for seated or standing playing. We spend...

 Our repairmen and guitar teachers have noticed that a number of guitarists do not know how to effectively tune their guitars. Keep the following tips in mind to help keep your guitar in tune.

1) Keep good quality strings on your guitar and change them regularly. Old or dirty strings do not stay in tune and even once they are tuned they will often not hold intonation. Once you have changed strin...

 Since I first started teaching guitar over 30 years ago, I have noticed some general changes in the way young students initially approach the instrument.

Most students now adopt the thumb overhand approach (as pictured) when they first pick up the guitar. I have also noticed this happening more often with piano students. 

In my first 20 years of teaching guitar, I only recall this happening...

16 May 2017

Nearly every day at Caroline Springs School of Music we hear parents saying: “But I don’t know anything about music.” The good news is; you don’t have to!

We are teaching your child to play, not you.

Many parents seem worried that without their guidance that the student will make mistakes when practicing. Don’t worry, nothing bad will happen when the child inevitably makes mistakes. These errors...

Everyone knows that all musicians need to practice daily. But what exactly should we be practicing?

One of my best music teachers once said to me: "Tonight go home and make up a big list of all the things you are good at. Then make a list of all things you are bad at. Throw out the first list, the second list is your practice list" It may seem like common sense, but I have found that most studen...

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