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October 2015 Newsletter

Music Lessons in Knoxville TN for Guitar, Piano, Voice, Drums & More

Knoxville Academy of Music | Musical Notes | Newsletter Banner Logo

Director’s Notes

Knoxville Academy of Music | Pet Pictures | Misha Bs Dog Ollie Eating Ice Cream

Does your pet eat ice cream, play with your instrument, or go on outings with you? We want your silly or cute pet pictures! Email them to us and you might see your pet’s picture featured in our newsletter! Info@KnoxvilleAcademyofMusic.com

Knoxville Academy of Music would like to welcome our newest team member, Lynda Forrester!
Lynda has joined our front office team, and is looking forward to helping you with all of your musical needs.

Don’t forget to email us if you would like to win 2 concert tickets to the next Guitar Society concert.
We love these concerts so much, we want to share the joy of them with our students too!

We’re open even earlier now! Call us today to grab a lunchtime spot starting at 11:00 am!


Knoxville Academy of Music | Check In Today

Getting the Most out of Practice

Success with Reading Music, & Other Activities

With the school year just getting started parents are hoping their kids are going to have a good experience. In my 25+ years as a music educator I have witnessed one thing over and over: The kids who are the most successful with school, and really life in general, have parents that show (and keep showing) interest in what their kids are doing. Not just what they are doing in school, but in their kids interests.

I write about music and learning because that is what I have the most experience with. Yet whether your child is interested in music lessons, or sports, or chess, etc. I think the same principal applies. Your kids want you to take interest in them, even when they say they don’t. I’m not saying parents should micro-manage tweens and teenagers.

As kids grow they naturally expand their autonomy, so the parents role changes over time. Parents must ”back off” gradually as our kids take more responsibility for their own lives. This does not mean we abandon our influence over them: We can stay interested as our  level of involvement in their interests  lessens.

Most children have a natural interest in music, and numerous studies show a correlation between music study and improved performance in other areas of study such as math, and language. If someone in your family is learning to read music this article is for you. Even if your family is not particularly interested in music, you may find the following article quite useful in gaining insight into (or maybe memory of) how kids tick.

Getting the Most Out of Practice – Chapter 3, Part 2 – Age and Reading Music

A lot of music processing is done in the same part of the brain that processes language. People at different ages learn language differently. As we try to help our children or even ourselves learn how to read music, it is very useful to know the different challenges and the  advantages for each of the various age groups.

Children from age 2-3 to about 6-7 are naturally in a language acquisition mode of life. They are learning to understand and use the abstract symbolism of written and spoken language, and they are learning fast (acquiring about 20 new words/day). If they study music, learning to read music typically comes easily, if there is daily practice. These young students will need parental help in getting started each day and will need supervision. Practice time should be short, make if fun and do it daily. Younger students will need more supervision. Parents should be aware that their fine motor skills are still developing, so actual musical skill may seem slow to develop. Music students who start instrumental lessons in this age range, and continue to practice the skill of reading usually become very fluent, and read musical notation with ease.

From approximately age 7 through 12, language acquisition continues but slows down as kids develop higher thinking capabilities and logic skills. These kids usually accept reading music as a way of learning, and learn reading with relative ease. Their improved fine motor skills also help them play music with more ease. Some children with strong kinesthetic or auditory learning preferences may prefer to learn by listening/practicing/memorizing. They can still learn to read but may need encouragement from teachers and parents.

For adolescents and adults, learning to read music is another story. They can really struggle to learn reading music. Why? Language acquisition has come to a slow crawl (adults learn about one new word/week), while their fine motor, and cognitive abilities are more highly developed, so they can learn the act of playing the music much faster than they can learn to read a new written language. Sometimes these music students get bored trying to learn reading skills and abandon the pursuit. However, adolescents and adults can learn to read music, but it requires a commitment to persistent study. The good news is that if you commit to learning, you will do it.

Next time we’ll start to look at specific ways to learn music reading faster and easier.

Jeff Comas, Director
Knoxville Academy of Music

Knoxville Academy of Music | Director - Jeff Comas

Jeff’s Sports Corner

Is The Honeymoon Over?

It’s four games into the season and the Vols are 2 & 2. Two big wins over cupcake teams, and two heartbreaking losses where the Vols snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. In both of these games B. Jones & gang looked like they had it wrapped up, but in both games offense AND defense sputtered late in the game and let it slip away. Many are blaming the coaching and claiming poor play calling.

What’s particularly hard for Vol fans to swallow is the 11th straight loss to Florida. I think that in most fans heads this was the year TN was supposed to break that streak. The Gator O-line is inexperienced (much like TN’s situation last year), their QB play is inconsistent, and the experts say TN has better talent then FL. The Vols dominated the game and had what seemed to be a comfortable lead. Then the coaches started playing overly conservative offense, and soft defense. Next thing you know the Gators are in control, and take the lead with less than two minutes to go. The Vols fight back and get in position for a win, but poor clock management and a penalty leave the kicker with an extremely difficult field goal attempt. The kick looks like it is going in, but barely misses, and the Vol nation hangs its head.

Is the honeymoon over? The over reactionary are already calling for Butch Jones’s head. Myself, I still think the Vols are headed in the right direction, and I think it is entirely possible that they end up with 8 wins this season. Nonetheless the optimism of Vol fans is challenged, and the grace period for Butch Jones has probably ended.

Till next time, Go Vols!

Knoxville Academy of Music | Jeffs Sports Corner | October 2015

K.A.M. Pets

Knoxville Academy of Music | Pet Pictures | Kirra B and her dog Chewy

Guitar student Kirra B and her dog Chewy

Knoxville Academy of Music | Group Make Up Lessons | October 2015

Knoxville Academy of Music | New Students | October 2015 Newsletter

Knoxville Academy of Music | Referral Program Card (Master)

Valid 30 days from 10/1/2015

Win FREE Concert Tickets!

Knoxville Academy of Music | Adam Levin Classical Guitar Concert

The Knoxville Guitar Society has another great concert coming up! The next concert is Adam Levin on Saturday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m.
 at the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan.

Knoxville Academy of Music will be giving away two tickets for each concert. Register to win by emailing info@knoxvilleacademyofmusic.com with ‘WIN CONCERT TICKETS’ in the subject line.

Tickets: $20 adults/ $15 members/ $5 students 12-18 /Children under 12 free with adult admissions.

Is Your Favorite Instructor Almost Sold Out?

Alla Ousley (piano, voice) is accepting students on Tuesdays starting at 11:00 am and has availability right after school too!

Andy Freeman (piano, banjo) has just 1 spot left on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. before he is SOLD OUT!

Chris Brock(banjo, guitar)has one spot Thursday before he is SOLD OUT, and is available Monday starting at 11:00 am!

Dave Campbell(drums, voice, more)is almost SOLD OUT on Mondays, and is now available Tuesday starting at 11:00 am!

Doug Bowling (guitar, Childbloom®) has 3 spots left on Mondays and Thursdays before he is COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!

Jamie Seiple(drums, bass, voice)is now available starting at 11:00 am every Wednesday – Friday!

Jim Cooper(guitar, beginning piano)has just 1 opening on Wednesday evening before he is SOLD OUT!

Michelle Quimby(guitar, Childbloom®, piano)is accepting students on SATURDAY and Wednesdays beginning at11:00 am!

Phil King (piano, voice, violin) has just a few spots available on Fridays and isCOMPLETELYSOLD OUT on Thursdays!

Susan Nielsen(voice, piano, violin) is SOLD OUT on Tuesdays, but is accepting students Mondays starting at 11:00 am!

Travis Strike(guitar, bass) is COMPLETELY SOLD OUTon Thursday, and has only 2 spots available on Tuesdays!

Important Dates:

Oct. 12th & 13th – Fall Break, No Lessons

Nov. 21st – Adam Levin Concert, Knoxville Guitar Society

Nov. 25th through 28th – Thanksgiving Break, No Lessons

Dec. 22nd through Jan. 3rd – Winter Break, No Lessons

K.A.M.’s Featured Student

October 2015 Edition

Ethan F.

Knoxville Academy of Music | Featured Student | Ethan F (and his dog Ellie)

K.A.M. Featured Student of the Month Ethan F. and his dog Ellie

What instrument do you play?
I play drums, and I am teaching myself keyboards.

Who are your favorite musical artists?
I am a big fan of Prince. I also really like Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, and Carlos Santana.

What are your other hobbies besides music?
I enjoy playing with my lazy Great Pyrenees, Ellie, and playing video games.

Favorite Foods:
I enjoy eating blueberries, macaroni and cheese, burgers, and steak!

How long have you been taking lessons?
I have been taking lessons with Jamie for four months.

Coolest thing you’ve learned in the past 3 months?
Learning to play Tom Sawyer by Rush on drums.

Do you have any performances coming up?
I have a band concert coming up at West Valley Middle on November 17th!

Have you recently achieved something great?
I won Student of the Month in school, and took my dog through obedience training. I have also hiked Mt. Leconte twice, and have hiked almost all of the waterfall trails in the Smokies.

What made you interested in taking music lessons?
To get better at drums and improve in music. I play percussion in middle school band, so I took lessons to get better.

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