The Practice Page

The Practice Page

Competition and Contemplation (ft. Service)

by Kevin Hart on 10/19/17

I’ve been thinking, lately, about competition. A family in the studio, deeply involved in sports, academia, and other competitive endeavors, asked about guitar competitions.  And while competitions certainly exist, and can provide motivation, I wonder about their true value in society and to the individual today.

In the interest of full disclosure, as they say, much of what I do and am interested in can be found in competitions. Music, nordic skiing, and even fly fishing (!) have competitions associated with them. But the reason I, personally, am attracted to these pursuits is not about competition, but, rather, contemplation. Each of them offer the opportunity to look within oneself and learn.

Perhaps in a world where so much emphasis is placed on “winners” and “losers” (italics, mine), it would be a good idea to take time to just “be”. To just feel. To just think.

And if you want to have the interaction with others that competition offers, consider, perhaps, service. Doing something with your music, or your time, to help others. Everyone wins that way.

Music as language

by Kevin Hart on 09/21/17

Victor Wooten is here with a lesson about learning music as we learn language. Very Suzuki, I think. Enjoy.

Just for fun

by Kevin Hart on 08/23/17

Here's a fun piece of music that draws from Classical (Paganini's Caprice No, 5), Flamenco, and Rock (The Animals, among others). I hope it gives you the energy needed to start your semester. Enjouy!


by Kevin Hart on 07/18/17

The details change for each of us, but here is why we play .

That Rings A Bell

by Kevin Hart on 07/17/17

Quick Idea to share.

Do you have a student who needs a little motivation? Try this.

Have your student record their newest polished piece and make it your ring tone!

Each new piece becomes your ring tone as it is polished. You’ll always know it’s your phone, but, please, don’t let your phone go off in group! Can you imagine the confusion?

Majoring in Music

by Kevin Hart on 06/06/17

Forbes has an interesting article on majoring in music here. I am often asked about this by students and their worried parents. For the record, of the students who went on to major in music, all of them came out just fine. All of them went on to successful careers in and out of music. For those who went into other careers, they all still play. Those who stayed in music are also still playing and are not starving or living in their parents basements or on the streets. All career paths are difficult and, as the article suggest, music can prepare a student for anything that life throws at them. 

LCG Guitar Ensemble

by Kevin Hart on 05/15/17

Our studio guitar ensemble has been busy with a recording project this month.

You can find it here. New tracks are being added frequently.

The Joy of Lifelong Learning

by Kevin Hart on 04/26/17

There is an inspiring article here from the Wall Street Journal for those learning, or considering learning, a musical instrument later in life. It's never too late. Enjoy.

We Recycle Musical Instrument Strings!

by Kevin Hart on 04/05/17

I am happy to announce that we are now part of D'Addario's Playback string recycling program. Bring your used strings by the studio and drop them in the string recycling box. That's it.  

It's Spring. We have a recital coming up and you want to sound good. Earth Day is around the corner. You've been feeling down lately and you want to do something good. This is just how you roll. These are all good reason to change your strings!

Tell your friends and relatives. It's not just guitar strings and it's not just D'Addario products.We take any musical instrument strings. Here is a sad fact: Most municipalities don't recycle strings. It is estimated that 1.5 million pounds of strings end up in land fills each year. Put into perspective, that's enough strings to build 2.5 Statues of Liberty. 

Hope to see you, and your old strings, soon! Have a great day!

Keeping a Practice Log

by Kevin Hart on 04/03/17

Keeping a practice log or journal can be a very helpful activity.  It can inspire you to practice on the days that you may not really feel like it. It can help you keep track of what you have and have not been doing. It can show you the successes that you may not realize you have had.

A practice journal can be written in a notebook or in a digital format. A practice journal could be or include video or audio recordings. These recording could be shared, or not. It’s up to you.

A practice log could include how much time you spent on different parts of your practice (5 minutes on scales, 15 minutes on review pieces, 10 minutes on your newest piece) in a chart. A practice journal could also be written in a more narrative style, telling what you have practiced, and how you feel you’ve progressed and what you need to work on.

Practice journals can be fun, inspirational, and inspiring. Give it a try.