Give Life to Your Music

Give Life to Your Music

How can our imagination help improve our performance in music?

When I first began playing piano I never understood what my teacher meant by the phrase “bring your music to life.” I realized that when I played music, I was playing like a robot. I was playing every single note right but not giving my music the story or emotion it was meant to have. Now, as a teacher, I tell my students every day to use their imagination to create a story out of their music.

Our imagination is one of the most powerful tools we can utilize as musicians. We can play the music, but can we make our audience feel and understand it? Can we put an image into their own mind and make them imagine a story to tag along with it?

One of the biggest examples I can think of is Venetian Boat Song in F# minor (Op. 30 No. 6) by Felix Mendelssohn. This piece paints a picture in your mind by creating the movement of the water on your bass line. While your left hand creates these waves of water, your right hand sounds almost like a person singing on a gondola on an evening in Venice.  

So any time you begin learning a piece, do some research on what the piece is even about. Learn about the composer and the era they lived in. Search on how the composer lived his/her life and the way their music portrayed their personal life. Find a way to connect all of that information and understand why and how they came to writing the music they did. Once you do that, try to put it into your practice.

And if you’re like me and sometimes don’t feel like doing all of that research, learn hands separately and pay close attention to the melody and the harmony on their own. How do they relate? What connects them besides the theory? What does the melody make you feel or even imagine? What does the harmony do to connect or to add to the melody? It might sound crazy, but do you hear the picture? Do you hear a walk in the park, a heartbreak, a midnight stroll, or do you hear anger? What kind of emotion does the melody inflict on to you? If any emotion or image come to your mind, can you put it into your practice and make your audience imagine that too? 

So when you begin learning a new piece, find a recording of it and listen for that story or emotion you heard throughout it. The importance of this is so that when you play it you can transpose that feeling into your own practice and therefore make your audience paint pictures with your piece.


Mari Garza, Piano Instructor

Jesusa Pons-Garner

I’ve had both my children attend lessons at this location. The staff is absolutely wonderful. Mrs. Amber is an incredible piano instructor!

Jesusa Pons-Garner / parent
Jennifer Ortega

San Antonio Music Academy is very well organized. My daughter's piano teacher is wonderful! She's been taking lessons for 5 months and looks forward to each lesson. I really enjoy the recitals at the LOL Comedy Club.

Jennifer Ortega / parent
Esmeralda Saavedra

My daughter has been registered here since she was 7. Each instructor she’s had has been very friendly and great to work with. Currently she has lessons with Ms Maria and we are so grateful for her and the entire SAMA staff. I can’t recommend enough.

Esmeralda Saavedra / parent
Elio Maldonado Jr.

Jacob was an excellent guitar instructor. He was patient and prepared. I definitely recommend him to any person wanting to learn guitar.

Elio Maldonado Jr. / parent
Crystal Reyes

We absolutely  San Antonio Music Academy!!! All 3 of my children take lessons and they love it. My daughter Taylor has really improved her vocal abilities with the help of a wonderful vocal teacher.

Crystal Reyes / parent
Steve Dell

San Antonio Music Academy is awesome, my son loves the guitar lessons and is super excited to attend every week! He started with zero experience and progressed surprisingly fast. Randy is an amazingly talented guitarist/teacher. He is very patient, yet knows how to push students to the next level. Highly recommend all the instructors, the staff is great!

Steve Dell / parent
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