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Our Teaching Philosophy

Lessons at the Music Academy are based on the Seven Fundamentals of Music, an educational philosophy developed by the founders of the MAGC. The Seven Fundamentals bring focus to each lesson and ensure that students receive a well rounded music education.

The Seven Fundamentals are
• Notation Reading
• Technical Proficiency
• Theoretical Understanding
• Ear Training
• Improvisation
• Composition
• Historical Context

As students progress at the Music Academy, they are exposed to elements of each of these Fundamentals, with emphasis on each one at specific times in their development. Please read below for a detailed description of the Seven Fundamentals of Music:

Notation Reading is the ability to comprehend and transmit musical notation to an instrument. Every student, regardless of age or experience, learns to read music from the onset of lessons.

Technical Proficiency is the physical aspect of playing an instrument, such as strumming or breathing. Proper technique builds dexterity, tone, and intonation, and is paramount to playing an instrument well.

Theoretical Understanding includes an understanding of chords, scales, arpeggios, rhythm, melody and harmony. Learning music theory helps a student gain independence and makes transitions from one instrument to another more seamless.

Ear Training includes intervallic, chordal, and scalar recognition as well as transcription. Ear training can be as basic as the dierence between high and low pitches and as complex as transcribing a dicult solo.

Improvisation is the ability to play spontaneously on one’s instrument.
Contrary to what many believe, improvisors do not select random notes, but rely heavily on an extensive knowledge of music theory coupled with a highly trained ear.

Composition is the art of writing music. Composition utilizes each of the
other six fundamentals to varying degrees and requires an intimate knowledge of the physical capabilities of one’s instrument.

Historical Context is the perspective gained when a thorough understanding of the historical development of an instrument, musician, or genre is attained. Historical perspective is essential for proper performance technique, and also increases appreciation for various styles and composers.


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32 Nassau Blvd South, Garden City, NY 11530
| Phone: 516-292-2777
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