Music and Friendship
in the Beauty of Central Maine


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Below are some suggestions for getting started with the new music. ALWAYS, feel free to email me (or call) if you have questions. I can usually help quite a bit, even on the phone or in an email. So first, a bit about using sound files to help you learn the music.

There are several really good reasons for listening to the sound files of music you are playing:

  1. To get a sense of how the music sounds, its style, its phrasing, its harmonies
  2. Following your music while listening to the sound file (not playing) helps you learn how your part fits with the whole and helps you learn to keep your place
  3. Playing along with the music (once you can play it on your own) gives you more opportunities to "practice with the group" than you can get just in rehearsals.
  4. If you purchase the software, Amazing Slow Downer (from and you can practice with the sound file slowed down to where you can play along.
    (Sound files must be on the same device where the Slow Downer resides; you can not use YouTube or sound files that are streamed from the web). For those of you cautious about what you download, this software site is safe according to Norton. Slow Downer is cross-platform and available for Mac and PC.)
  5. You can also slow down YouTube by clicking the gear and adjusting the percentage. You don't have the minute control of the speed, but it is better than nothing!

If you are new to working with sound files, DO NOT try to play along right away. Your first task is to listen several times while just following along in your own music (not playing), and I recommend that you use your finger to keep your place in the music. See if you can stay with the music, whether or not you can hear your own part (sometimes it doesn't sound like your instrument because you are playing the same thing as some other instrument and your part adds to the overall, but isn't itself distinguishable). Watch for things like holds or sudden loud spots or a change from legato to staccato to see if you can hear those as you listen. Until you can reliably follow along & keep your place in your music while listening and looking at your part, you will never be able to play along. Be sure to do the listening first or it is just frustrating! Once you get good at that, try listening and speaking your rhythms. Once you can do that, then try playing with it, although you may find that it is too fast for you to keep up.


We will be working on the two pieces below:

--When the Wind Whispers (by Rob Romeyn): Click HERE to listen to the demo recording.
--Elizabethan Dance (by Mark Williams: Click HERE to listen to the demo recording

Click here to download a more detailed set of instructions for Getting Started on a New Piece of Music

Snow Pond Center for the Arts

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