What is the Las Vegas International Festival of Music?

The Las Vegas International Festival of Music is a celebration of youth, community and amateur music making around the world, with an occasional celebrity thrown in.

The festival will consist of youth groups, community bands and amateur music makers from all around the globe, all in Las Vegas for one reason – to celebrate the future of amateur, community and professional music. The events will be affordable for all, and in some cases free of charge so if you have the slightest interest in music, or are involved in a community band, we encourage you to come along to see for yourself what we and our partners are doing to support and promote music, and the learning of an instrument for all ages (especially school age children)

Without these young and dedicated musicians of every age, there would be no more military bands, pop groups, live orchestras, parade bands, rock stars, singers or affordable music. These

Is it essential that I learn to read music?
Recommended but not essential, depending on what you want to do. John, Paul, George and Ringo (The Beatles) had no musical training, but they did ok!
Do I have to take formal lessons?
No. You can learn a great deal from YouTube, but it is better to have some formal training to avoid getting into bad habits.
How much time must I devote to practice?.
As much or as little as you need – like everything, the more you practice the better you become.
Can I learn an instrument even though I don’t have any musical talent?
Anyone can learn, and I find that the more I practice, the more talented I get!
How long does it take to be proficient on an instrument?
Somewhere between a couple of months and an entire lifetime!
I have fat fingers so am I unsuitable for the guitar or the piano?
Take a look at Sir Elton Johns’ fingers, and he is doing alright!

Why can’t the schools teach instruments?

Currently schools around the world are heavily cutting general music education and band programmes as they cost money and often do not score points in the schools league tables. Instrument tuition is very specialized and each school would not be able to afford to employ a specific instrument tutor. There used to be peripatetic instrument teachers that covered a large selection of schools just for this purpose, but many of these jobs have now been cut. Why does this matter?

  1. Look at your most popular military band, orchestra, pop singer or rock band in your country. Every single one of these musicians learned to play their instrument, or sing, before becoming famous, and most of them learned at school.
  2. By not funding lessons, instruments or promoting music, only the children with “better off” parents are able to learn an instrument which results in making music the preserve of the rich. Music should be for everyone.
  3. Kids that are involved in music learn many other things:
    • to work as part of a team;
    • Discipline and responsibility;
    • self reliance and time management (practice time);
    • to express themselves;
    • develop language skills;
    • improved emotional management;
    • improved self confidence and self esteem;
    • to have FUN!
  4. So WHY are schools not supporting it?

Community Bands and Groups bridge the divide.

Community Bands exist for one reason. To provide music and entertainment to their community and surrounding areas. There are some side effects though:

  • Networking opportunities for business, work, jobs and socially;
  • Young and old, beginners and professionals all get together and share knowledge;
  • Community bands often have instruments and tuition for free, or for very little money (subs);
  • Practicing your part for the next rehearsal / performance removes the temptation to be out on a street corner getting up to mischief!

Without our local community bands, none of our team would be here doing what we enjoy doing. We are all from “less well off” backgrounds and were given an instrument to learn on (which we could call our own while we were in the band) and tuition as a group IN ADDITION to having general music taught to us in school and the added bonus of once a week missing a double lesson of PE for our one-to-one instrument lessons.

We keep saying it, but if you want to have professional music in the future, then we need to have learners NOW.