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As part of our commitment to music students and teachers, The Learning Musician publishes original feature stories covering a wide range of topics: interviews with notable players and teachers, articles on musicianship and pedagogy, and more.

So, we invite you: sit down with a cup of your favorite beverage, put some music on, and read for a while.

October 1, 2009This One Time, At Band Camp: Rocking out with Girls Rock! Seattle
Songwriter Mai Bloomfield recently spent a week in Seattle teaching girls aged 9-11 how to enjoy the camraderie and excitement of playing in a rock band. Some of the camp participants had never laid hands on an instrument before - yet by the end of the week they had formed bands, written original songs, and performed them together! For Mai, the experience was incredibly rewarding, although not without its challenges. In this article, Mai shares her experiences firsthand.
 
May 12, 2009New Music Roundup: A Few Quick Picks
If you're a music teacher and you're like me, your teaching and performance schedule can leave you little or no time to actually sit down and listen to new music! I keep trying to remember to expose myself to new music, especially in unfamiliar genres. So this month, I'm doing my part by sharing some musical starting points with you -- maybe they'll be inspirational to you as well!
 
December 11, 2008A Little Harsher By Design: A Visit with Lori Goldston
Classically-trained cellist Lori Goldston has played with everyone from Nirvana to Cat Power. In this piece, Shulamit Kleinerman talks with Lori about the different components of her musical life: her touring, teaching, and the many projects in which she strives to expand her instrument's and her own boundaries.
 
October 23, 2008My Trip to Mandolin Camp
Earlier this year, Seattle mandolin player Miller McNay went to the fifth annual Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz, California. A weeklong residential camp, the symposium offers mandolin players of many genres a chance to come together, learn from the world's best players, and play in a variety of ensembles. In this piece, Miller shares a firsthand account of this years's symposium.
 
October 14, 2007Finding Beauty in the Beats: A Conversation with Mingo Lewis
With a 45-year career including collaborations with Chick Corea, Santana, Al DiMeola, Billy Joel, and Miles Davis, percussionist Mingo Lewis has a lot of stories to tell. We caught up with Mingo in his Oakland home to talk about his background, his rather intimidating discography, and his approach to teaching music.
 
July 17, 2007Deconstructing the Beatles: Alan Pollack's 'Notes On...' Series
For the past 15 years, Alan Pollack has systematically analyzed every Beatles song in the canon using the tools of classical music theory. His collected "Notes on..." series represents a longterm commitment to finding the hidden structure within the Beatles' entire repertoire. Contributing writer Nick Stone tells Pollack's story in this article.
 
June 17, 2007A Drumset Teacher's Edge: Playing Bass with Your Drum Students
What's the best way to prepare budding drummers for their first "real" band? For Seattle drum teacher Todd Reber, the answer is clear: "Play bass with them!" In this LearningMusician.com exclusive, Todd explains how he started playing bass during his drum students' lessons and the real benefit of providing a context for all those beats and fills.
 
June 3, 2007Ancient Tunes, Young Ears: Teaching Early Music to Kids
For most American youngsters taking private lessons, Western classical music is the sole focus of the curriculum. Far fewer are ever exposed to early music, whose instruments, harmonic conventions, and performance practice predate classical music by hundreds of years. But there are a few exceptions to this rule: Seattle violin teacher Shulamit Kleinerman is helping a pair of young students see the beauty and sheer "differentness" of early music performance practice.
 
May 12, 2007The Trumpet Shall Sound: Getting a Second Chance at Brass
As a child, Meg Wilkinson loved the sound of the trumpet - and the romance and bravado associated with the instrument. But she was discouraged from learning a "boy's instrument." Now, at age 52, Meg is learning the trumpet - and she couldn't be happier. Read her original essay to find out why.
 
January 6, 2007Navigating a Single Note: The Kronos Quartet's David Harrington
For the past 30 years, the Kronos string quartet has challenged convention, pushing the boundaries of the string quartet form while enjoying worldwide acclaim. In our interview with the quartet's founder and first violinist David Harrington, we learn what inspired David to form Kronos, the way he thinks about learning and teaching music, and what the future holds for the Kronos quartet.
 
November 28, 2006The Highs and Lows of Harpsichord Building: A Talk with Jack Peters
Using homemade tools, more than 70 species of wood, and sometimes no more than a painting as a guide, Jack Peters builds keyboard instruments designed over 500 years ago. In this exclusive interview, we find out how he started building these rare instruments, what daily life is like for a harpsichord builder, and how he keeps his business afloat.
 
September 27, 2006Electric Louieland: Catching Up with Chicago's Premier Guitar Teacher
Nick Stone's exclusive interview with Chicago rock guitarist Louie Zagoras is a fascinating look into the world of a musician who takes his teaching as seriously as his national tours.
 
January 1, 2006Sax Lines and Videotape
Site founder and admitted technophile Michael Connolly discusses the benefits of videotaping your students' performance during private lessons, how the practice can improve your teaching, and how to get the equipment you need without breaking the bank.