Monthly Archives: May 2008

Life Before The Internet Lolz!

The onion recently posted a video about Blockbuster. It made me laugh so hard. I love this idea, and the footage was great.

Historic Blockbuster Store Offers Glimpse Of How Movies Were Rented In The Past

But all joking aside, the reality is that companies like Netflix and iTunes are where its all headed (if its not already therre). I know, people still buy CD’s, etc. but I’m so happy to be in this digital age – its all very exciting! Check out that video above – its great, hope you like it!

New Song "Circles"

You can also get the mp3 for free or feel free to purchase it. Here’s a description of the piece:

Everything I see I always think of how things wind up where they start. Maybe its because thats how they were always meant to be, or maybe its because that’s what we’ve always strived for. And maybe that’s the journey – realizing that you were always where you wanted to be. The destination was no different than the beginning, except now you ‘see’ it, before you didn’t.

Thanks guys – hope you enjoy it.

7 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Music Lessons


I host a Daily Music Lesson Show and I often get asked this question. The thing is I feel like most of these points are how to get the most out of anything in life, not just music lessons. So take it, print it out, and read it. Here are my thoughts on what I feel are the 7 ways you can get the most out of your lessons:


Students can start an instrument at any time. Their success is based on how willing they are to commit to practicing. I have taught many beginner students of all ages – from 7 to 70.

Don’t worry about starting at the right age – just start at the right time. The answer is usually ‘NOW!’ but don’t confuse the ‘right age’ with being young. Some of my older students excel very fast because they started their instruction at the right time in their life. Age is not the issue, commitment is.


The age that children begin to develop longer attention spans and can also retain material with ease is about 6 y.o.

Stringed instruments – Guitar, Bass, and Violin

Eight years old is the earliest I recommend for guitar lessons. Guitar playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips from pressing on the strings and a large stretch around the neck of the instrument. Children under 7 generally have small hands and may find playing uncomfortable.

Voice Lessons

Nine years old is recommended as the youngest age for private vocal lessons. Due to the physical nature of voice lessons (proper breathing techniques, development of the vocal chords and lung capacity), the younger body is generally not yet ready for the execution of vocal technique.

Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, and Trombone

Due to lung capacity (and in the case of the saxophone / the size of the instrument), and physical exertion – I recommend that most Woodwind and Brass beginners are 8 and older.


I never understood the ‘Self-taught’ declaration. We learn through each other, so we should take lessons from each other. Learn it right the first time. There’s music theory, guitar and piano technique, arrangement, music technology, ear training, and so on. Its so much fun to learn, bounce ideas off people, and meet others that have the same interests you have. In private lessons, the teacher can focus on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses while the student can progress at their own pace. In contrast, students who learn in group lessons learn from each other – which is a learning experience that no other community can offer. Do both, and watch yourself excel quickly.


Whether its a guitar player, or a music tech inventor, or even a poet who had things to say that make you a better player and person – always have someone to look up to. Learning music is not just a matter of having a qualified teacher. Students are also motivated by having peers who are at different levels and by being exposed to a variety of musicians and instruments. Remember, you only learn by those who are better than you, because one day you’ll be where they are, and you’ll be asked to pay it forward.


Practice… yep – gotta do it – and why not? I have so much fun practicing. Which is why I’ve excelled in such a short time. How short? Well I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 16, and then entered college for Music and was getting ran circles around. But I stuck with it. I was dedicated, passionate about it, and did it everyday. The trick is to learn songs you ENJOY, play an instrument you LOVE, and meet friends you IDENTIFY with. Make goals that reward your awesome work. Maybe you want to learn a song this month, and your girlfriends anniversary is approaching. Well, then learn the song with the goal of surprising someone on their birthday or anniversary.

Here’s how to make practicing easier:


Set the same time every day to practice so that it becomes part of a routine or habit. A 20 minute practice without interruptions is lot more efficient then a 3 hour practice of just fooling around.


For a young child 20 or 30 minutes seems like an eternity. But within that 20 minute practice you should concentrate on ONE or TWO topics. For example, practicing a piece 4 times every day and a scale 5 times a day.


The amount of resources out there are amazing. When I was learning guitar I didn’t have Hi-Speed internet, Video Shows, forums, e-books, etc. Today if I have a question then the answer is now at the tip of my fingers. In addition you can now self-publish everything too, so your knowledge can help others in the same way that others have helped you – it’s so exciting! So the easiest way to learn is to pick the brains of EVERYONE around you. Surf the internet, ask your friends, play gigs, make mistakes, learn from them, try everything, teach privately, join a forum, etc.

No matter what your level, or your demographic, or your location, there’s a place for you – there’s a place for everyone!


You know that new scale you learned today? Or that cool song you spent hours on? Teach it to a friend! Go ahead – do it. And if you get nervous or unsure about it, then it means your not confident in what you’ve learned.

So stand tall, and smile – because you DO know it, so prove it – teach it!

7.) HAVE FUN!!

I always get asked – whats the better/easier instrument to learn. The simple answer – the one you are passionate about the most. Music should be something that you enjoy for a lifetime! If you play guitar because you think it’ll be easier, but your heart is leaning towards the violin or trumpet, then you’re making a mistake. I truly believe that the reason why I have excelled is because I picked the right instrument. When you FEEL it, then your practices not only become more enjoyable, but more productive, too. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself to learn too quickly. If it was so easy then there would be no reward. Stick with it, you’ll get it. Just remember – it’s about the journey as much as it is about the destination.

Hope this helps!


You Know You’re Addicted To Twitter When…


I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that I’m addicted to Twitter. I even check my tweets more than my email. In fact, I notice that I’ll tweet people INSTEAD of sending an email. Its just sooo convenient. As a result, I opened up this question to my Twitter Community by asking them to finish his statement “You know you’re addicted to Twitter when…”. Here are some of the awesome responses.

victorcab … you stress out when twitter is down
@milewis … you finish open ended questions. Like Madlibs… give me a verb!
@slick …instead of reading the magazines while in the restroom… even the “girlie” ones… you check it via your PDA.
@srcasm You start referring to people in real life as @theirusername and when you need to speak in private you preface it with D.
@interjection you go to
@jestutripup you kiss your monitor when the URL changes: “ or /session” turn “*”. kiss & bow silly!

I expect to more to come through, so if you would like to add to this list then Twitter me @waltribeiro  But these are the one’s I’ve received so far. Hilarious!

Oh, and mine? “You know you’re addicted to twitter when… you write blog posts about being addicted to Twitter”

Napkin Confessionals – For Realz

OK… Napkin Confessionals was something started by Alana Taylor and yesterday I decided to make a class project of people sending in their napkin confessionals.

Well, I woke up this morning to find several pics etc. from the class – and even @brandywine did one which I love. The story behind it is that she jumped into the lunch room at work and wrote on a napkin “I Should Be Working.”

Napkin Confessionals

Made me laugh pretty hard.  She’s Awesome! Love it Brandywine :)

I’ll be doing mine soon. Don’t know what I’ll say though! What will your’s say? SEND IT IN YO! MashBash In NYC

So this past Friday I attended The MashBash that was being hosted at the well known Webster Hall in NYC. I was fortunate to be informed of the event via Mike Lewis. One of the nicest guy I’ve ever met. So after getting VIP tickets I had my weekend planned out.

Alana and I at MashBash NYC

Mashable Crew

Tiki johnny

The thing is that the event started at 8pm and I have a Daily Music Lesson show everyday from 6-8pm. The Answer – Do the show on the train with my Laptop on the way to MashBash. Well I’m talking to Alana Taylor a few days before and we decide that I should show up in NYC early and broadcast it from her roof. All went great, in fact Rob Blatt even stopped by and joined us too. It was a different experience, because I didn’t have my normal studio setup, etc. but it was interesting nonetheless. Here’s a pic from the show!

Your Daily Music Lesson with Walt

So after the show we got ready and immediately met up with Kevin Gramble (Tiki Johnny) Mike Lewis, and a few others who we knew.


Kevin Gamble Tiki Johnny

Grandmaster Flash threw down a sick show while the Bash was going on. It was being Sponsored by and and while there I introduced Alana to a few people and she introduced me to a few too. I was fortunate to meet Adam Ostrow, Nate Westheimer, Oz Sultan, Brett Petersel, Charlie ‘O Donnell and many others.

Everyone really had great things to say and everyone was enjoying the scene. After the event we all went to a local Diner around the corner, of which I couldn’t stay because I had to crash at a friends house :(

Grandmasta Flash

Saturday afternoon Alana and I attended this crazy Breakdancing demo at Central Park, then chilled at a new bar called ‘1-2-3′ with a few of my friends. Laughing. All. Night. Long.

Had a great time, met great people! Mashable killed it.

Flippers From Class Wrote Me A Poem :)

OK – this is awesome. Just kind of throwing that out there :)
Flippers, who is one of the students who regularly attends my class wrote this poem and just sent it to me. When I first started the show I had no idea this stuff would happen. Flippers is also the one who created the top banner at the top of the Ustream Shows’ Page – the bottom one was made by another student.

I love how Flippers rhymed the entire poem, and then threw out all the rules on the last line. It gives it a special, quirky, uneasy feeling – but it feels just right. And that’s what the the shows all about – breakin’ the rules :)
Check out this poem, and I hope you all enjoy it! Thanks Flipperz!

Flippers’ Poem About the Show:

When my day has been tough and hard
And I just can’t get through
Walt Ribeiro at 6 PM makes me smile and say woo-hoo!
Lessons, fun, and questions answered all for people like me
Now but I have to admit this show is amazing!

Stronger – New Music

This piece is about the struggle within one’s own body. As you listen, you can imagine being ‘torn’ between two parts of yourself. Not necessarily good vs. bad, but just two unsure and powerful beings that live inside each of us. The ending creates a climactic uncertainty – like any struggle.


Home Education Magazine Features ‘Your Daily Music Lesson’

Home Education magazine (HEM)

Yep. The little show I started out 7 weeks ago is now spreading around the interwebs! Today I learned that the show is now featured here in Home Education Magazine (HEM).

From their website – HEM is respected as the premier magazine in the field, described as “informative and commonsense” by Library Journal’s Magazines for Libraries and “highly recommended” by EBSCO’s Librarian’s Handbook.

My thanks to them for their interest in my class, and to all the students who attend everyday. Check out their site, because if your attending my class everyday, then you’re probably home-schooled one way or another in something else, and that’s the resource to go to.


Thanks HEM!

Alana Taylor Showed Cool Music Tech Sites On Ustream!

@wirelesspacket @waltribeiro @alanataylor @drewolanoff

Hey guys! Alana Taylor was on today showing some pretty cool stuff on Daily Music Lesson.

Here’s what she showed us:

I liked how she mentioned the importance of the kids really enjoying music Technology. I agreed and said Ustream is a cool new technology and has alot of commonalities with Technology in music. For those who aren’t familiar with Alana, she has a neat blog that centers around here thoughts, and technology. She’s very cool, down-to-earth, and has alot of interesting things to say.

The sites she showed us were mainly Blogs and/or Music Tech E-Zines with Feature, Reviews, etc. Soundplan looked to be a recording software, and B Audio looked to be an acoustics Website. Acoustics is the study of sounds that we hear. (Think: The Science behind Hearing)

My thanks to her and those who attended class today :-)

The picture is of @wirelesspacket @waltribeiro @alanataylor @drewolanoff at PodcampNYC. Check out Alana’s Ustream Show!

Looking Back At Web 1.0 And Tech 1.0

Before there was a device that could fit 8 gazillion songs and video within the size of your thumb, there was Vinyl that could only fit 15 minutes on one side. Then there’s Web 2.0 which is changing how we live. As you may or may not know – I have a ‘Daily Music Lesson Show’ where I teach the coolest kids music for FREE in real time online (Think: Music Lesson 2.0) I’m going to leave out stuff like The Milkman, etc. because I wasn’t there for that :) As a result, I began thinking about the world before Tech and Web 2.0 Let’s reminisce, shall we?


Rotary phone. ’nuff said
VCR’s. How weird will be in 100 years discussing how ‘old’ Blu-Ray is.
Typewriters. What? No Cut-Copy-Paste! Ahhh
Rewinding audio or video cassettes
TV Rabbit Ears
“Yo, just call my beeper”
Pong. yep- old school, but I still play this game… seriously
Arcades. Actually, I can see arcades making a slight return.
Having to put www in front of every URL
Remember how taboo ordering online use to be?
Loading film into a camera. Loading memory cards is still the same though… right?
Darkrooms. R.I.P.
Licking stamps. Uhhh!
Paying with a check. So 2006…
Using a pay phone. Quarters anyone?
Napster. The website that started it all.
“Yo my internet goes a whopping 56k”
Having to use an Encyclopedia before Wiki’s
Using carbon paper to make copies
Taping songs off the radio onto a cassette tape.
Sending a handwritten letter. Hey – I still do this.
Writing in cursive. OK – I still do this too.
Mowing the yard with a non- powered push mower
Old-School Nintendo cartridges. We all had SO many secret techniques to make it work : )
Life before Google.
Life before Tabbed Browsing.
Calling the radio station to find out what song that was
Life before Bluetooth.
Ripping the trim off the sides of computer paper
Phone Cards. Haha – they ALWAYS ran out at the worst times
Manually changing the channel. Remotes FTW!

These are just a few – and I can’t wait to look back in a few years from now and say ‘Remember how annoying carrying your music in that thumb sized device was?’ Looking forward to Web and Tech 3.0. Here’s to innovation. Cheers!