13 Things You were Led to Believe are True in Music School that are Actually False

Bach is the epitome of composing. His methods are the only way. Sure, he's good, but there lots of other ways to sound good, and his was only one way to sound good in the 1700s. Music learned outside of school is lesser. It's not, it's just different, and much more relevant to how music is made in society in general. Band is everything. It's not. It only really exists in schools and the military, so why would you think that? And community bands only exist because they exist in schools. Classical is a higher form of music. Nope, it's mostly just old. And prescribing classical theory to other musics is inappropriate. Popular musicians aren't real musicians. In a lot of ways they are actually better musicians in the deepest sense of the word. They all tend to be able to read some form of notation, improvise, compose, and learn by ear with relative ease.

Should we Learn by Ear Instead? Ear Training vs. Learning by Ear

Music teachers often understand and agree that a "good ear" is important to learning music, and helps to contribute to the overall skill of musicianship. This is why classical music programs, and many formal approaches to music education focus a portion of their time and energy on the concept of "Ear Training." However, the way … Continue reading Should we Learn by Ear Instead? Ear Training vs. Learning by Ear

7 Cool Things You May Not Know about Song Maker

Have learners input notes using only their voice or an instrument of their choice. Once they have their choices, play it back in a loop (it will do this automatically) and play an accompaniment that fits while the loop is playing. If you are working in a particular key, this could work really well for reinforcing that particular key signature. Help reluctant singers find their pitch by seeing if they can make one of the colours light up by either singing loud enough. This function is much more sensitive if the notes played are in tune. It could work for helping singers stay on pitch or for pitch training.

The Flute is Not a Woodwind Instrument: Re-imagining and Challenging the Western Instrument Families

Ever wonder why flute is still a woodwind after all these years of, you know, not being made out of wood? And have you ever thought about how Eurocentric and "White" the 4 instrument families are? I've always had an issue with the "Traditional Four," as I will call it. It just didn't feel right to me. For me, it was always something about piano being percussion and not strings, the avoidance of an electronic family, and the flute fiasco? Of course, they were primarily invented to describe the instrument families of the Western European orchestra, which is part of the issue. It is problematic, at best, to lump all instruments on the entire planet into the Traditional Four designed to describe the epitome of Western European Music.

MIDI for Music Teachers: Using MIDI in the Music Classroom On and Offline

Musicians across all genres of music have heard of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI). What is interesting, and rather mind-boggling (to be honest), is that music teachers (myself included) trained in university classical music programs either never heard of it or have heard of it but just don't really know what it does. Music educators graduating without modern musician skills and knowledge is an issue discussed in another blog post. Those who have had experience with making music electronically or have dabbled in a bit of recording would possess this knowledge, but mostly those training to be general music or secondary music specialists may not ever embrace this versatile computer protocol.