Tag Archives: learning

Make Your Own Music: A Creative Curriculum Using Music Technology

Make Your Own Music is a complete classroom curriculum for learning and teaching music technology, incorporating composition ideas, notation, and digital audio workstation (DAW) proficiencies. Though the fundamental principles can apply to any DAW, each chapter highlights three demonstrable skills to create projects using Notation and/or Studio One. The curriculum includes supporting online media.

Make Your Own Music: A Creative Curriculum Using Music Technology,
by Richard McCready, Hal Leonard Corporation, www.halleonard.com.

Palette of Touches

Joanne Haroutounian’s Palette of Touches

Palette of TouchesThis book introduces students to a variety of legato, staccato, and chordal touches to gain an aural awareness of tonal colors and technical tools to produce them. Together, teachers and students learn to define interpretive decisions in music using descriptive, clear-cut “touch vocabulary” to help students define dynamics and fine-tune their sound.

Joanne Haroutounian’s Palette of Touches: Piano Exercises and Repertoire that Develop Colorful Tonal Qualities, Neil A. Kjos Music Company, www.kjos.com.

Music Improves Reaction Times

A study from the University of Montreal published in Brain and Cognition showed that musical training leads to faster reactions times. In the study, 16 musicians who played piano, violin, percussion, and cello and had started learning as children were compared to 19 nonmusicians. The subjects clicked a mouse every time they sensed a vibration or noise. The musicians performed an average of 30% better than those not trained in music.

Study lead author Simon Landry says the results suggest long-term musical training reduces simple nonmusical auditory, tactile, and multisensory reaction times. Possible implications are that musicians make better drivers and that musical training later in life could benefit older people whose reaction times naturally tend to get slower.

Master New Music Skills Twice as Fast

New research shows that the key to learning a new motor skill, like a new instrument or playing technique, is not how many hours you spend practicing, but the way you practice. By subtly varying training, you can keep your brain active throughout the learning process and can halve the time it takes to get up to scratch.

“If you practice a slightly modified version of a task you want to master, you actually learn more, and much faster, than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row,” says lead researcher Pablo Celnik, from Johns Hopkins University. Scientists believe it has to do with reconsolidation, the process whereby existing memories are recalled and modified with new knowledge. The goal is to develop novel behavioral interventions and training schedules, which give people improvement for the same amount of practice time. The research also has strong implications for rehabilitation.

Be Part of the Music

Be Part of the Music: A New Free Resource for School Music Teachers

Be Part of the MusicMusic education advocate Scott Lang has launched a new music advocacy group called Be Part of the Music (www.BePartoftheMusic.com) to provide free resources to school music teachers, administrators, students, and parents. The stated goal of the organization is to recruit one million new students to American public school music programs. The free, customizable recruitment and retention materials, which currently include 45 documents and 27 videos are designed to help the community better understand the different ensembles and instruments that are available, along with the positive impact that music can play in the life of a child and the school community. Currently available materials are focused on elementary students, but future items will focus on retaining student interest throughout their teenage years.

This new offering to also grow involvement in public school orchestra and chorus programs, is based on the successful Be Part of the Band program, which has increased enrollment in public school band programs by 20% across the nation.

“Music is the silver bullet that makes the school experience better,” says Lang. “Many studies prove that students involved in music programs have higher test scores, higher academic performance, and lower drug and alcohol abuse levels, just to name a few benefits. Our goal of attracting one million new music students is lofty, but we can reach it by adding just 10 students in each and every one of the country’s 100,000-plus elementary schools.”

Be Part of the Music sponsors include Yamaha Corporation of America, Jupiter Instruments, Fred J. Miller, French Woods Fine Arts Camp, NAMM, Music for All, American String Teachers Association, and the National Association for Music Education.

Yamaha Honors Young Musicians

Each year Yamaha Corporation’s Young Artist Services and Band and Orchestra Division honor and encourage young musicians through the Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA) Competition. Competitors submit recordings and supporting material, which are evaluated by a panel of Yamaha performing artists and celebrity musicians. Nine winners receive an all-expense paid trip to YYPA Celebration Weekend. Held June 20-23 this year, the weekend included rehearsals, master classes, social events, and workshops focused on how to establish and maintain a career in music. It culminated with a concert at Emens Auditorium, Ball State University, which kicked-off Yamaha’s Music for All Summer Symposium.

This year’s YYPA winners include: Michael Alampi (flute) Glen Ridge, New Jersey; Graeme Johnson (clarinet) Austin, Texas; Stuart Englehart (bassoon) Olmsted Falls, Ohio; Patrick Bartley, Jr., (saxophone) Hollywood, Florida; Braden Waddell (trumpet) Graham, Washington; Zachary Grass (tuba) Waynesboro, Pennsylvania; Misaki Nakamichi (drum set) Osaka, Japan; Kyle Price (cello) Worthington, Ohio; and Jae Young Kim (piano) Seoul, South Korea.

The YYPA Program underscores Yamaha’s commitment to music education and recognizes exceptional emerging jazz, classical, and contemporary musicians. This year’s featured artist was saxophonist, composer, and educator Jeff Coffin. The three-time Grammy winner and bandleader presents music clinics nationwide. Many past YYPA winners have gone on to successful careers in the music industry, including Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA) member and The Philadelphia Orchestra principal clarinet Ricardo Morales, as well as Local 33 (Tucson, AZ) member and Tucson Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet Conrad Jones.


Grammy 101: A Video That Teaches Viewers About the Grammys

The Recording Academy is often criticized when the Grammy Award winners are announced. While sometimes the complaints are valid, there are also frequent misconceptions. For example, perceived Grammy snubs may actually involve songs/albums that were never submitted for consideration or weren’t eligible in the first place. According to a Recording Academy press release the organization is launching a video series—Grammy 101—to help Grammy Award watchers understand the Grammy Awards and selection process better.


Bass Hanon

Bass Hanon: 75 Exercises to Build Endurance & Flexibility for Bass Guitar Players

Bass HanonThis bass guitar exercise book will help you increase your endurance and flexibility, challenging you in fun and methodical ways. Chop building topics include: left-hand finger patterns, pull-offs and hammer-ons, harmonic technique, string crossing, arpeggios, scales, blues sequences, chords, articulations, rhythms, and harmonics.

Bass Hanon: 75 Exercises to Build Endurance & Flexibility for Bass Guitar Players, by Scott Barnard, www.halleonard.com.

The iPad in the Music Studio: Connecting Your iPad to Mics, Mixers, Instruments, Computers, and More

The iPad in the Music Studio: Connecting Your iPad to Mics, Mixers, Instruments, Computers, and More

The iPad in the Music Studio: Connecting Your iPad to Mics, Mixers, Instruments, Computers, and MoreiPads can bump up spontaneity and creativity in music production. The iPad in the Music Studio takes readers on a tour of the latest iPad-related music hardware and software. It includes information on technological innovations like hardware to link mics and instruments for live multi-track recording, controlling desktop software with an iPad, using iPads and iPhones with mixers, iPad and Guitar EFX software and hardware, DJ equipment and apps, and using the iPad to publish and distribute music through social media.

The iPad in the Music Studio, by Thomas Rudolph and Vincent Leonard,
Hal Leonard Corporation, www.halleonard.com.

Fresh Music: Explorations with the Creative Workshop Ensemble for Musicians, Artists, and Teachers

Fresh Music: Explorations with the Creative Workshop Ensemble for Musicians, Artists, and Teachers

Fresh Music: Explorations with the Creative Workshop Ensemble for Musicians, Artists, and TeachersFresh Music chronicles 40 years of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) member and guitarist Jon Damian’s Creative Workshop Ensemble (CreW), both at the Berklee College of Music and internationally. The book provides refreshing alternatives for improvising and teaching, and immerses and engages the reader in real and practical creative experiences. Written in the form of a play with characters consisting of the workshop members, including Damian, the book invites the reader to join in with CreW activities and ideas inspired by everything in the universe, from alphabets to zodiacs.

Fresh Music: Explorations with the Creative Workshop Ensemble for Musicians, Artists, and Teachers, by Jon Damian, Yo! Publications, www.jondamian.com.