Life + Arts

Students, profs agree practice key to success

Music video games and karaoke have made music accessible to students, but instructors and students of Moores School of Music insist that a golden voice and strums of steel take much more hard work.

Kisa Parker, interim director of the Preparatory and Continuing Studies program at Moore’s School of Music, said private lessons teach fundamentals of music theory and technique that a person cannot get by learning by ear or by teaching themselves.

‘You have to have a teacher to guide you in the fundamentals,’ Parker said.

The Preparatory and Continuing Studies program offers private lessons to non-music majors in a variety of instruments for students of all abilities.

Parker said the instructors are available to help students excel at their own pace and ability, as long as they are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to progress.

Business sophomore – and Chili’s Too Cougar Karaoke Night regular – Eric Tran said students unable to afford professional lessons should seek out a friend with a piano and practice vocal exercises.

‘It’s not perfection if you’re practicing the wrong techniques,’ Tran said.

Music education junior Jennifer Agbu agrees.

‘There’s a way to sing right,’ she said. ‘Once you get it, you have to practice so you remember how to sing it right.’

Cougar band member and music education junior Candice White said newcomers to music must take time to learn the historical context of symphonies and bands as well as the basics of theory in order to gain a more sophisticated ear that will understand the artistic choices made by composers.

‘Pay attention to texture, meaning in a musical sense, the combination of instruments and how they play and when they play together,’ White said.

Music education sophomore Arnel Dayrit said complex music theory is easier for growing performers to swallow in terms of visual imagery.

‘Think of hills and valleys,’ Dayrit said of making music, comparing loud notes to tall hills and subtler notes to flat valleys.

‘A state full of plains is boring, but North Carolina’s mountains and valleys are interesting.’

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