The Difference Between Musicians & Trained Monkeys

If you want to know the difference between musicians and trained monkeys, the answer is “musicianship.”


Teachers, please teach your students how to be musical.  Far too many student musicians are being turned into trained monkeys that perform with no emotion, no musicality, no feeling at all, and while the technical nature of what they’re able to accomplish may be impressive the fact remains that we’re teaching them to to perform in a way that none of us would pay to hear! We connect with music because it stirs our emotions…whatever emotion that may be. We especially enjoy a performance when the performer can convey the emotion of that piece to their listener by way of their performance. Emotion needs to be a part of learning to make music as well.

Please don’t just teach notes and rhythms! Teach dynamics, articulations, phrases, sentences…teach the musician to be able to connect with the piece, connect with their audience, and actually make music instead of regurgitating notes and rhythms!

Okay…stepping off my soapbox now.  Have a great day!


“Music is a mor…


“Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, and children should be taught music before anything else…I would teach the children music, physics and philosophy, but the most important is music, for in the patterns of the arts are the keys to all learning.” – The Republic by Plato, Book III (398-403).

Strategies to Memorize Music

Some great ideas here from the Pure Musician Blog! I’ve used most of these personally, including mistuning your guitar (it’s harder to play than you think!) If you want to get that muscle memory down, it’s definitely worth your time to try each of these tips! Happy reading!

pure musician

Momorize a pieceOne of the obstacles in playing an instrument is to memorize pieces. The next concern is how to make sure we won’t forget the piece during an exam, a performance or a recording session. Anyhow, memorizing the music is an important skill, regardless of the genre and the style of music. Certainly, one can play a piece much better when he/she can play it by heart rather than reading off of the score (sight reading). Naturally, one can be more confident when he/she knows the music by heart as well.

Here are some helpful suggestions to memorize the musical pieces and to make sure we won’t forget them during a performance, exam or recording session (the following suggestions are for all instruments):

1- Analyze the piece before playing it. It shouldn’t necessarily be a thorough analysis. Even a quick and simple analysis can help a lot, as long as you…

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