Ever been to a class where the instructor doesn’t count with the beat of the music? It drives you mad doesn’t it? I take classes all over the country, and it amazes me how many “great instructors” cannot count their repetitions with the beat of a song. It takes everything inside me not to disrupt class to move with the actual beat of the songs they are playing!! The class moves at a different pace, clients are confused and now have only the instructor to look to for any changes in the choreography. Another downer? The class starts and stops, making it less effective.
Music is one of the MOST important aspects of teaching a great class…..and if you focus on staying with the beat of your music, your music can HELP YOU teach class. As a BodyBarre™ instructor this all may sound familiar to you, but it’s always great to have a REFRESHER. :)
Fundamentals of musicality and teaching a class:
Find a song with the same BPM’s throughout it’s entirety
Use a continuous mix until you are experienced enough to choreograph a series to a song. If you’re using different songs throughout your class, you MUST make sure that each series begins and ends WITH THE SONG. A continuous mix without words will help you listen to the beat and help your clients hear you when cueing a series. If I haven’t created a playlist I’m in love with, or am unsure of what exactly I plan to teach that day, I throw on a continuous mix, and that allows me the creativity to change my series on the fly!
A well mixed song will change every 32 counts. (4 sets of 8 counts/repetitions). Listen and count. If it changes more often than that, don’t use the song. Even the best instructors can lose the beat or rep with a poorly mixed song.
When cueing your students, it is important to keep up with the rhythm and the beat of your music. This is helpful, so students can follow you and stay with your cues and choreography…they will instinctually know when a change is coming. It will also help you to cue the next exercise ahead of time.
As you know, all BodyBarre choreography repetitions are always done in multiples of 8’s (8 reps, 16 reps or 32 reps). Listening and being mindful of the beat and the 8 counts will help you keep track of how many repetitions your class has already completed.
Cueing with the music will help you be able to cue positioning of each series and count repetitions correctly, helping your class to follow your every move or cue.
KNOW YOUR MUSIC! Knowing where and when your music builds or gets softer can help you choreograph a great flowing class, and create an overall “experience” for your clients. Think of a BodyBarre™ class as an “experience” or “show”, if you will. Increasing the intensity as the music builds up, or softening your choreography as the music starts to quiet, creates an overall amazing experience for your clients.
Practice counting to your music 24/7: count in the car, count at home, count in your head. Get familiar with what it feels like to count to music. Don’t be afraid to sing your cues to the music…..BONUS: If you have kids, this will drive them insane, LOL!!
Counting: Try to always count repetitions DOWN, from 8-1. (Never count from anything higher than 8….if you’re doing 16 of something, just count backward from 8 twice) This will encourage clients not to give up on the reps!! If they know they only have 8 more, they’re more likely to stick with the exercise and push through the burn!
Any other tips you have on cueing or musicality? Found a great song or playlist that you love? Share it with us!!