Top 10 Tips for Keyboardists
By: School of Rock’s Josh Therriault
1. Listen to music: You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but you’d also be surprised how many young music students neglect this step. Learning music is often likened to learning a language, and much like a language, the more you hear it, the faster you learn it.
2. See live music: Watching the pros can tell you a lot about how to conduct yourself on stage.
3. Be fearless: When you get an opportunity to play music: TAKE IT! Nothing is learned from sitting on the sidelines.
4. Practice slowly: You have to learn control to learn speed. Be patient and you’ll reap the rewards.
5. Relax!: Your fingers will fly over the keyboard if you practice without tension. Tension is the speed killer.
6. Learn music theory: The theory will help you understand the meaning behind what you are learning. This will also make it easier to communicate with other musicians.
7. Use a metronome: A metronome is an adjustable tool that keeps the beat while you practice and it is absolutely invaluable: use it!
8. Set practice goals: Not giant goals, but small, reasonable goals. Setting giant goals and failing to attain them can leave you feeling angry and frustrated. Take small bites.
9. Take frequent breaks: As soon as you start feeling frustrated or clumsy, take a break and do something else for 5-10 minutes.
10. Have fun!: Music is meant to be fun. It definitely can be a frustrating venture (especially practicing!) but remember: The goal is always to have fun!
Josh Therriault Biography
Josh Therriault grew up in Chicago, Bucktown to be exact. At an early age Josh loved music; he especially took a liking to blues men like Little Walter, Junior Wells, Little Richard and Ray Charles. Josh’s father, a well known Chicago based Luthier, helped to cultivate this interest in music and always encouraged Josh to be open-minded and to listen to a variety of music. After graduating from Lane Tech High School on a music track, Josh went to Northeastern Illinois University where he quickly became a musical leader in all ensembles ranging from Varsity Big Band on Tenor Sax to Concert Band on Clarinet and saxophone with countless bands and combos where Josh performed on sax, keyboards and clarinet in between.
Josh has performed live at many Chicago venues beginning when he was just 15! Some of these awesome places include The Kingston Mines, Martyrs, Spot 6 and The Kinetic Playground. Here at the School of Rock, Josh can be found helping out managers, assisting with Rock 101, show directing (he made his debut with the Blues show performed in Highwood in June 2009), giving his wealth of musical knowledge and performance experience to any student, and of course, teaching keyboards and saxophone.
For more information on the School of Rock:
HIGHWOOD: (847) 433-7625