How to Include and Engage Horn Players in Your School Rock/Popular Ensemble

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

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The Art of By-Ear-Learning: Classical vs. Popular Styles

During our classical music degrees we were challenged with sight-singing, ear training, and transcription projects that were seemingly unrelated to the rest of our degree. "Ear Training" was a separate course and usually only done in that class—in complete isolation from everything else. Yes, our "ears" did improve with that course because it helped us … Continue reading The Art of By-Ear-Learning: Classical vs. Popular Styles

Freeing Ourselves of Music Theory and Notation: 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

21 Things I Learned From Teaching Full Time While Touring With a Rock Group

I originally wrote this back in 2012 when my ska-rock band, The Sidewalks, were actively gigging and touring eastern and central Canada but never published it. Much of the observations and "advice" here is very tongue-in-cheek but may help you in your decision to pursue this or not. Or maybe you are already doing it! … Continue reading 21 Things I Learned From Teaching Full Time While Touring With a Rock Group