February 2013

How to Use a Metronome

February 28, 2013 06:01

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How to use a metronome - It is not as easy as just turning it on and hearing the clicks while you play. It is a process of internalizing the metronome into your being.

The metronome can be very frustrating to work with at first and many students absolutely hate the metronome. The relationship between you and your metronome needs to be a positive one. How is this possible?  Start small and do only a measure at a time successfully and slowly build.

In this video, I discuss and demonstrate how to use a metronome. Like I mentioned earlier, it is not as easy as turning the metronome on while you are practicing and saying "Yeah, I practiced with the metronome." It can click away and you are playing, but there is a good chance you are not with the metronome:) Record yourself playing with the metronome and playback to double check you are truly with the metronome.

When you are looking to purchase a metronome you want to buy one with two different pitches. This way you can make the downbeat, otherwise known as the first beat of the measure, the higher pitched click and you know for sure you arrived on the right beat for the new measure.  This does not guaranty that everything in the measure was played rhythmically accurate but at least it is a good starting point.  After building the framework of the measure you can then start to internally dissect the measure.  The most important secret to excellent rhythm is...................are you ready?

To always SUBDIVIDE:)

Subdividing is basically rhythm division - breaking down the rhythm into smaller increments to increase rhythmic accuracy.

Enjoy the video and remember the metronome is your best friend!!!!

Happy practicing:)

A Dozen A Day - Book One
look inside
A Dozen A Day - Book One
(Technical Exercises for the Piano to be done each day before practicing). For Piano/Keyboard. Willis. Technique. Instructional book. Introductory text, illustrations, standard notation and fingerings. 28 pages. Willis Music #6722. Published by Willis Music (HL.413366)Smp_stars50
...more info

8 replies

First Musical Memory - What is yours?

February 25, 2013 06:00

heather broadbent - how I started the violin

My very first musical memory is this clip from Sesame Street.

I absolutely loved this clip and was excited every time it was shown on Sesame Street.  I was even more excited when I found it on youtube a few years ago.

I remember between the ages of 3 and 5 walking past my great grandfather's violin every day.  My mom had it on display in the formal area of our house on a sideboard.  I would think every time I walked by how much I wanted to play the violin.  My parents did not know where I could study the violin at such a young age but they did know where I could study piano.  So off to piano lessons I went at 5 years old.  I loved the piano - absolutely loved it.  I would come home from my piano lessons and bring my favorite doll out to the piano and teach her how to play.  Without knowing it at the time, this was the best way to learn.  I was reinforcing what I learned at the lessons by teaching my doll.  I loved to read music - it was a new and exciting language.

My mom listened to classical music and she had the Readers' Digest records.  I do remember one that was Russian favorites.  I loved that album.  She would listen to classical music in the car and we would play a game of guessing the composer. While I was learning to read, my mom would watch opera on TV and have me read the opera subtitles out loud to her.  What an excellent educational tool combining music and reading.  Thanks Mom!!

When I was in first and second grade I had to get special permission at the school library to read the older grades books on the musical composers.  I couldn't get enough of this new world:)

My mom loved musicals.  I honestly cannot say how many times I watched South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, and Fiddler on the Roof just to name a few.  Camelot was her favorite so we watched that together many, many, many times:)  Summer of fourth grade came along and my school had a program where I could start violin.  I was so excited and my parents enrolled me in the program.  From that point on I studied violin and piano simultaneously.

What are your first musical memories?  Feel free to share your first musical memories in the comment box below.


Heather Broadbent

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and to my youtube channel

8 replies

American Violinist Working and Living in Bulgaria

February 20, 2013 07:43

Being a violinist in Bulgaria is quite the experience. The Gabrovo Chamber Orchestra is full of such amazing history. The musicians have played together for over 20 years and more. It is an absolute family. So many stories to share. The orchestra rehearses at the House of Culture here in the center of Gabrovo.
It is a beautiful building with many problems. The orchestra's office is now called the dripping room because of water damage that occurred over a year ago. It would cost 5-6 million euro to repair the building. It would have been wonderful to see the building in all it's glory. The orchestra concerts are in the Gabrovo art museum which is just absolutely incredible to be making music surrounded by beautiful art.
This was our film concert we did in January. It was standing room only and the people wanted encore after encore.

The situation here in Bulgaria is very interesting right now. One can easily say it is unstable. The energy bills are higher than peoples monthly wages. This is only an energy bill - not heat. Most people heat their homes by burning wood so the energy bill is only electricity. The electricity is not what is making the bill high - it is the taxes on the electricity. For example a 100 leva electricity bill - only 20 leva is actually for the electricity. These taxes are going to foreign owned electrical companies. The people have been protesting for the last week and a half. The ministry of finance has stepped down and today the prime minister has supposedly stepped down.

Bulgaria is an amazing, breathtaking, beautiful country with amazing people and culture.

Bulgaria will pull through. They have survived over 500 years of oppression from the Ottoman Empire this current trial is but a stone in comparison.

Love, Light and Happiness
Heather Broadbent

To stay in touch with me and my adventures in Bulgaria and for free violinist tips please subscribe to my newsletter at

and/or to my youtube channel

5 replies

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