We all know that becoming a musician takes a great deal of patience, discipline and practice. Whether your goal is to learn to play an instrument for your own enjoyment or to become a successful electronic music artist, at some point we all get stuck and must face the choice: to persevere in our goals or to give up. What is the difference between those who go on to success and those who do not? They find a way to break out of the rut and unstagnate.

This week we feature several people who have learned the art of perseverance: from famous DJs and music teachers to our very own Christopher Sutton, Founder of Easy Ear Training and Musical U. Let’s begin with a man who’s revolutionising how piano is taught – one teacher at a time.

AnyTune transcription appFirst though: Congratulations to the winners of our Anytune Giveaway Contest! As part of our series How to Transcribe Music Like a Pro we gave away six copies of the helpful software Anytune for Mac to six lucky Facebook fans this week. Be sure to “Like” our page for the chance to win future contests yourself!

How Tim Topham Teaches Piano (Differently!)

At Easy Ear Training, we have a philosophy that learning music should be fun, easy and musical and in Tim Topham we have found a kindred spirit. Tim is changing the way piano students learn—by changing the way they’re taught! Followed by over 8000 teachers, his piano teaching website guides piano teachers to teach creativity, curiosity, and competency.

How Tim Topham Teaches Piano and Piano Teachers DifferentlyWe were very excited to have the opportunity to ask Tim about a wide variety of subjects and were pleased that we had so much to talk about! In Part One of his interview we discussed the state of music education, teaching creativity, online vs. in-person lessons and business education.

Tim persevered through his mistakes to become a teacher that now influences tens of thousands worldwide. Have a look at his blog about the six mistakes he made when he first started teaching piano.

Are you a piano teacher yourself? The Curious Piano Teachers have these five tips for the new piano teacher and The Cross-Eyed Pianist shares insights on teaching piano from the viewpoint of a veteran.

Practice Tips to Try Today

You already know how important practice is to becoming a successful musician. But do you sometimes feel frustrated that all that time spent practicing is not paying off?

The rewards of practice can be awesome, but it is not meant to be the same kind of fun as playing. Practice requires discipline, repetition, systematic performance, and perseverance, all combined with the goal of reaching the next level of competency and mastering an instrument. Over at Musical U, they have laid out four tips for you to help you make the most of your practice time and reach the next level of your musical abilities!practice-tips-2-1

For more advice on effective practicing take a look at these five practice techniques from Profusical, and Trust Me I’m a Scientist has these six science-supported practice habits to building great musicianship.

When it come to advice, nothing can top the words of the great masters. It’s Good Practice has created a blog rounding up advice on practicing from great musicians, such as Chick Corea and Charlie Parker.

Ten Steps to Play Violin by Ear

Like any craft, learning to play the violin by ear is a skill that takes time, but there are many ways to speed up the process and keep it fun. Branch out and get your eyes out of the sheet music! This guest post from Naomi Cherie will start you off right.

play-violin-by-earNaomi is a violin teacher with TakeLessons – the largest online marketplace connecting music teachers and students for in-person and online lessons. If you are looking for some easy tunes to get started playing the violin by ear, have a look at their recommended violin songs for beginners.

There are some great video tutorials out there for the beginning violin player, especially those of you who want to tackle learning to play by ear. Violin Noobie answers your questions on playing violin by ear and Red Desert Fiddle has great advice for playing the violin by ear in this video tutorial:

Cris Jarvis and the Art of Perseverance

One of the most exciting figures in the world of electronic music today is Colchester native Cris Jarvis, who has made a considerable name for himself with the “trademark gritty yet melodic sound” of his remixes and productions in dubstep and other bass music scenes.

The Power of Persistence: Interview with Cris JarvisMusical U interviewed Cris this week about how he creates music and the steps he took to build a successful career. His success demonstrates the awesome power of persistence on two fronts: Always learning, improving, and creating better and better music — and persistence in believing in your music enough to keep sending it out and keep sharing it.

For more on the art of “polite perseverance” in the music industry, check out this blog post by Bandzoogle. Songcast Music discusses the “Three P’s” for musicians: Positive, Professional, Persistent.

For all you Dubstep/Video Game fans (we know you’re out there!) check out this fun desktop game and make Dubstep your weapon!

Unstagnate Your Musical Development

Our very own Christopher Sutton was recently interviewed for Unstagnate, a podcast dedicated to helping people “leave the rut behind”. He was asked many questions by host Almog Flitter about his own musical background and the creation of Musical U and Easy Ear Training.

dont-die-with-your-music-still-inside-you-unstagnateAs you may have seen in our Meet the Team series, once upon a time Christopher struggled with feeling “unmusical”, which let him to discover how ear training can help. In this podcast, Christopher explains how Musical U help their members break free of their ruts in music learning and discover practical ways to unleash the untapped potential that lies within them.

One major step out of the rut is to clearly define your musical goals.

Living a life without goals is like a ship lost at sea, according to Hip Hop Push Media. They explain that many talented musicians don’t make a career in the music industry because they don’t set clear goals. New Artist Model has advice for setting expectations and achieving goals as an independent musician in this video:

Start of Semester Sale at Musical U

Craving a simple and structured way to break free of your rut and reach your true potential? That is precisely what Musical U was built for and this weekend they’re offering a Start of Semester sale. It’s an opportunity to become a member at half the usual rate. Wow!

Learn more at musical-u.com and take advantage of this great opportunity.

If you find yourself in a rut, don’t worry. It happens to everyone learning to be a musician at some point. Set some realistic goals, have patience, and most of all persevere and you will find yourself back on track in no time!

And speaking of patience: good luck descending these stairs!

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