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5 Tips For Teaching Music Production & Instruments – 2021 Guide

Apple, in Music lessons
Feb 09, 2021 | 7 min read

Written by Leo Nguyen

Teaching is not an easy job, let alone teaching music production. A music teacher doesn’t only inspire the students to learn, but also to keep learning and to continue developing their skills. And particularly, Teaching Music Production & Instruments is an area that goes together with the latest technologies and new trends that run through a great diversity. As an appreciation for your hard work, let us make it easier through this handy 5 Tips For Teaching Music Production & Instruments – 2021 Guide.

Teachers can be found everywhere but it takes a good teacher to include certain qualities in their teaching. As a music teacher, you may know how advanced music technology has become and of course, you must be including the technology in your theory and practicals already. With the right tools and by keeping these few tips in mind, at the very least, you will be creating a group of creativity and as a teacher, your proud moments won’t be too far away. 

1. Bring out the artist inside of you

Music is a gift. It is very important that you combine your personal subject-related experience with your teaching and that will become your greatest strength. Providing information is how it generally looks like, but what actually captivates your students’ interest is your personal touch to it, the facts blended in your details. 

Think about how you stepped into the music field and how and why you ended up learning music production. Start with small details such as your first unforgettable experience that led to music production, your first work of music, any concerts you were working on, working together with other musicians, about the business side of music production, producing a home recording, all those challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Try not to show yourself like a “Mr. Perfect” who always has had everything in his favor, but show them the odds and troubleshoots as well. Let your experience encourage them in the most positive way. And when they know what it takes to be a great musician and a music producer, they won’t be giving up too easily. 

Also, give them an overview of different categories of the music industry. For example, one of your students may want to be a part of a band or another may be interested in rap music, some people love improvising the existing music, while some others are completely into technicality and create their own music. Do they know the day-to-day basis and the long run in each field? Do you? 

Be resourceful. Gather more information through people in the industry or through reliable music webpages and enlighten your students on what they are passionate about as aspiring musicians & producers, and then eventually open their minds to the professional world. 

2. Engagement

A boring class is the last thing you want it to be. The monotony of your lessons or teaching style is not only going to be ineffective but also could create frustration in the students resulting in failure. 

Don’t forget the “fun” element. A little bit of distraction as an ice-breaker is going to literally increase the focus level of the class and also keep it consistent for long. Put yourself at their level, share their feelings and experience as well. Reinforce along the way. And let them know that everyone is making mistakes and it is ok, all we have got to do is fix them and move on. 

Lift yourself up at the same time. Remember when we said try not to show yourself like a “Mr. Perfect”? But by all means, you can make yourself a “Hero”, there is nothing wrong with that. Students wouldn’t want to learn from someone who isn’t worth being admired. 

As you engage with them, let them engage with music at every session. Students come to your class from different styles, different backgrounds, and with different abilities. You as a mentor should be able to recognize their spark and introduce it to them. No one can be forced to music, but where there’s a will, there’s always a way!

Make complex matters easier to digest. Music means being creative and that you need to translate to your theory too. Utilize practical methods to teach them music. The latest technologies are quite helpful in achieving this goal. Involve instruments, the latest and most effective music gadgets, mobile/desktop apps made for music production and learning instruments. 

3. Creating, recreating, and fixing the music

Creating music is not everything, recreating, editing, and fixing music is as important as well. 

When composing music, you first need to hear it in your head. You then put it on paper and translate it to the instruments. Even in production, you need to learn how to hear your own music in your head even before it is drafted on sheets. For that, knowledge about music theory and sounds is vital. 

Every day, before the end of your session, give them a chance to come up with something on their own related to what has been taught. Not only will it increase their interest, but it will also help them remember better and sharpen their creativity & skills. 

Give them basic instruments to recreate their favorite songs. Rather than uttering comments like “this isn’t correct”, ask them “does this sound the way you want it to?” Mastering music takes time, step by step they will develop their skills and make better work of music. 

4. Advancements In Music Technology (Technology Literacy)

Your students must have the capability of working with advanced technologies in the competitive music industry. Unlike in the ancient times when everything had to be done manually and sometimes in complicated ways, in the modern times things are advanced, easy when familiar and smart than ever. One thing to keep in mind.. Most latest technology comes with a price tag, and not all of your students may be able to afford them.

This is when you need to pick the smarter options. For an instance, if you are tutoring about instruments, there are plenty of starter kits you can recommend to your students. Rather than buying individual items, starter kits are affordable and come with the basic modern gadgets required to play the instrument. Example; Starter kits for electric guitar players. 

There are also many reliable mobile/desktop music instruments (software) and production apps for students of every age and level. Apps such as the Metronome app are great tools of technology for students as well as for teachers and professionals. A little research is all you need to do. 

Keep yourself updated with the latest instruments or gears, smart gear add-ons and software technology inputs to the music production and instruments related. Introduce those new technologies to your students and let them experiment. 

As your students create their versions of music clips, sounds, and tunes, showcase them to the class appraising the creativity and talent. That indeed is a direct motivation. 

And our last but not least, and most important tip;

5. Technology Must-haves – Recommended for production

  • DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

Instruments, environment, sound design arena, mixing platform, multitrack recording, pitch/tempo modification, and filtering all in one complete studio inside your computer. Considered as the foundation of electronic music production. There are dozens of options to choose from across the market. 

  • MIDI Controllers (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)

Communications between physical hardware and digital audio workstations. The common form of MIDI controller is keyboard controllers. 

  • Studio Headphones

The accuracy monitoring process requires a studio Headset. Studio Headsets are particularly designed for creating music with great neutral sonic balancing. 

  • Audio Interface

For non-MIDI instruments (analog instruments) such as pianos, guitars, or vocals. This helps to import the audio to your DAW as a digital audio file.

Two main plug-in types used for music production are virtual instruments and audio effects. Some plug-ins come in bundles (end-to-end support from creation to mastering) with more features for a fair price. 

  • Studio Recording Microphones

Designed to capture audio in a studio environment and convert them into digital signals. The most common types in the market are Condenser microphones & Dynamic microphones.

Best for beginner music producers. Many platforms/apps provide numerous sound packs. You just need to listen to sounds until you find what catches your interest, download and drag them into your DAW to use.

Check out this article related to one that you just read:
Home recording studio equipments


Leo Nguyen
Editor-Chief of Sixstringtips
Sixstringtips.com

Leo is a music lover and founder of SixStringTips with 7 years of experience writing music news, music tutorial & 10 years playing guitar. He is an entrepreneur and a marketing director for tech startups in SEA. Leo is the editor at Sixstringtips, overseeing all of the written and video content. The site helps millions of readers worldwide buying their gear with confidence.

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