So, you've learned about Google's new Blob Opera. It's fun, right? This online machine-learning app is more than just a fun time filler. It has the potential to enable creativity, and can give learners the opportunity to play with the concepts of not only composition, but also arranging, blend and vowel formation, ear training, voice types and ranges, computer programming, and even theory! Here are some ideas for including Blob Opera into your lesson plans.
Technology can sometimes complicate things but it can also make things much easier for everyone. I know that getting your learners to be creative and being creative yourself can be a challenge. As classically trained musicians, we tend to over-think improvising and composition but these are not as complex as we make them seem. Here … Continue reading Tech Ideas for Creative Musicking
So you have a small class with mostly horns but a couple of kids play guitar and drums, or a group with lots of rhythm players and a couple of horns. You think "It would be really cool to get a rock group going or some type of horn band or at least try to … Continue reading How to Include and Engage Horn Players in Your School Rock/Popular Ensemble
Ask a former concert band learner if they still play their instrument after high school. Chances are 80–90% of them will tell you that they don't play anymore. Of that 10–20% that do, half of them are likely studying music in university and the other half have found a community group to play with. Ask … Continue reading The Pathways to Lifelong Music Making: Classical vs. Popular Styles
Who says you can't play an E chord in the key of C? Bach maybe? Who decides what sounds good? Bach, perhaps again. We often forget that music theory for any genre of music comes after some famous people already figured it out themselves. Those musicians did what sounded good and a bunch of people … Continue reading Freeing Ourselves of Music Theory and Notation: Classical vs. Popular Styles