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Joseph Mook's World of Music Cleveland, Ohio
Contact Details
Name:   Joseph Mook
Phone:   2162240570
Website:   Click here to go to my website
Facebook:   Click here to go to my Facebook page
Last Update:    2020-03-30 12:32:51
Cleveland (west, downtown), Rocky River, Fairview Park, Brookpark, Middleburg Heights, Berea, Parma, Strongsville, Westlake, Bay Village, North Olmsted



I began taking piano lessons at the ripe old age of 9. Like every young boy at the time, I was more interested in playing video games, watching cartoons, and playing with friends. However, by the time I was 12, I started to fall in love with piano playing, and decided to expand my horizons a little bit by starting to learn trumpet and play in the wind band at the private school I was attending. I took that new skill into high school, participating in one of my favorite activities--the marching band (even becoming student president by senior year). My freshman year I begrudgingly agreed with my father to give violin a try through private lessons at the local community college. I'm glad I did, because eventually I developed a passion for yet another instrument! It was also during this time that I started to accompany the high school choir and soloists in Solo & Ensemble events, as well as playing for weddings. These branch-out opportunities truly helped me to become a diversified musician! During my high school years, the two most influential people in my life were Mrs. Shellhammer, my private piano teacher, and Mr. McKenzie, my high school band director. Because of these two great educators, I decided that I wanted to study music in college (after a year of trying architecture---which I hated!). After 4 years of studying under great music professors, including Dr. Steven Glaser, I graduated from OSU in spring of 2012, and decided that I wanted to start my professional music career by teaching private lessons. I have found in the 7 years since then that I can affect more change in a student's musical life than a choir/band/orchestra teacher can in a public school setting (no offense to any of my colleagues out there!) I have found many different ways that motivate a student to practice and succeed, and other things that don't work so well. And I have discovered that I have not stopped learning---I learn alongside my students every day!


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Name:  Catherine S.
Title:  Adapts to personal goals
Testimonial:  Joseph has been great! He\'s helped to cater lessons and challenges to fit my goals with violin. I would definitely recommend him!

Name:  Chris P.
Title:  Great with both kids and adults
Testimonial:  We\'ve had the pleasure of having Joseph as our music instructor for a few months now. He is very adept with teaching both children and adults. My 8 year old son had no previous experience playing piano and Joseph has helped him progress far more than I thought would be possible in a few short months!

Name:  Cate B.
Title:  New Interest in Piano
Testimonial:  My boys had taken lessons with other teachers in the past but had never enjoyed playing the piano. Since beginning lessons with Joseph, they both look forward to taking lessons, enjoy practicing and are progressing quickly! I highly recommend Joseph Mook!

Date:  2020-03-30 12:32:51
Subject:   Scales & Arpeggios: More than just boring warm-ups!
Blog:  Most musicians know that in order to be well-disciplined and to have a smoother performance, they need to first warm-up with scales and arpeggios. A lot of them dread this or think it\'s boring, especially beginning music students. Of course, to make these essential exercises a little more intriguing, we can add dynamics (piano, forte, crescendo, diminuendo), articulation (legato, staccato, accents) and rhythms to liven up this monotonous drill. This method of spicing up scales can also further prepare a musician for an actual style of playing in whatever piece they\'re studying. Furthermore, what some musicians don\'t realize is that they are playing these in their music more often than not! For example, I started one student on a traditional Christmas song, \"Joy to the World\" (I know: really early as of mid-November, but it came up in our lesson book). If you simply study the melody, all it really is is a descending scale pattern, with a rhythm of mixed note values. Also a few months back I joined a local rock band. As we were listening to Queen\'s \"I Want It All\", I noticed that it had arpeggios in the keyboard part based on the harmonies in the chord chart. Of course I instantly recognized the familiar pattern! I even jokingly said to my band mates that I would tell my students that here is a prime example of arpeggios in REAL MUSIC, but here I am telling the whole world! I could go on and on of countless examples of both arpeggios and scales in songs and pieces, but this post would be too long. I just wanted to quickly give you all an idea of how these fundamental exercises and warm ups can be expressed in everyday music.

Date:  2020-03-30 12:31:17
Subject:  Spring-Time Pieces
Blog:  \"Ah! Spring is in the air!” With March almost over, and April coming up, with warm weather and thunderstorms popping up, spring really is finally here. So, I was inspired to do a quick gathering of seasonally appropriate pieces and songs to get you excited for those gorgeous blossoms and happy chirping of the birds. Parents, ask your child’s teacher to start teaching him or her these musical gems. Teachers, it’s not too early to introduce these to your pupils, even if it means getting an easier arrangement and/or transcription! Fellow performers, even if a piece is not for your primary instrument, you can always find a transcription suited for your instrument(s). 1) Vivaldi’s Concerto No. 1 in E Major, Op. 8, RV 269,”La Primavera” (Spring), from the “The Four Seasons” 2) Haydn’s Spring section in the Oratorio, “The Seasons”, Hob. XXI:3 3) Beethoven’s Violin Sonata, Op. 24, No. 5, “Spring” 4) Schubert’s “Faith in Spring”, Op. 20, No. 2 & “Dream of Spring”, Op. 89, No. 11 5) Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 in Bb, Op. 38, “Spring” & “Spring Song” from “Album for the Young” 6) Mendelssohn’s “Spring Song”, Op. 62, No. 6, from “Songs Without Words” Book 5 7) Strauss’ “Voices of Spring” Waltz, Op. 410 8) Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” 9) Copland’s Appalachian Spring If anyone out there has a favorite spring-related piece and/or song, feel free to comment below!

Date:  2020-03-30 12:30:00
Subject:  The Most Efficient Way to Practice
Blog:  When students first begin to take music lessons, it’s only natural that they really don’t have a whole lot to practice. For example, they could just be learning simple rhythms of quarter and half notes paired with only three to four pitches, with songs lasting a whopping fifteen seconds. However as they start to progress and their songs/ pieces become longer and more complex, they might find it hard to practice in a more efficient method. Most likely, students will want to practice the whole song over and over again and quickly tire of the process, causing their practice schedule to be spotty and short-lived. Others will progress in certain spots or aspects and will want to only practice those areas, completely ignoring the rest. There are a few key ways to effectively utilize what little practice time students have today. Here are a few you can try with your child (or yourself!): (1) If already playing pieces with both hands, take hands apart and practice each hand separately. This really works if the student has just recently started learning to play with both hands. Caution must be taken not to play the simpler hand’s part (usually left hand) with a much faster tempo than what the other hand is ready for. When both hands are combined again, it should be a tempo that the student can handle. (2) The last part of the previous point leads to this: play at a slower tempo. Sometimes this will have to be very slow and tedious, and most younger students will want to simply rush through everything, but it allows the student to securely understand the music and what their fingers have to do. (3) Identify the hardest sections and focus on them. They can be as small as two to three beats, or as long as three measures. It really depends on the complexity of the music. Don’t focus on the easy parts, or parts you’ve already mastered. Sure, it might be a confidence boost, but it’s taking away time from the parts that really do need more work. It’s that simple! (4) Study the music—don’t just play through it! Students should look for clear patterns, any group of notes and rhythms that happen to pop up in different parts of the piece. This helps in two ways: first, the student isn’t as psychologically burdened by the immensity of the music—they now know it may only be eight measures that look and sound different, that are only repeated later on and modified slightly at the end. Second, they also know they can practice these first few measures and only practice the slight changes later on in the music. Students can understand patterns as early as preschool, so this should be talked about as early as possible. (5) Put it all together! Now that certain trouble-making sections are tamed, students will need to make sure they can easily transition between these and other parts. If it was smaller-scale, it might mean linking measures. A major connection issue is always going from page to page, so be sure that is secure. ​ To recap, these are the biggest common practice techniques: practice hands separated, slowly and carefully. Focus on the hardest sections, and take time to study the music for patterns and see the overall structure. Wrap it all up by putting everything back together. There are also plenty of other techniques that can be individualized to the student’s needs and learning styles. So stay tuned- for more to come!