Poor performances can send shock waves through our system. Any of us who have played music for a long time can probably share multiple horror stories in regards to performances. The culprits range from things outside of our control to things we are directly responsible for. Either way, it usually feels horrible.
One of my more recent projects has been creating a suite of electronic music pieces that are meant to be music to sleep or relax to. I’ve been enjoying the process so much because it forces a unique approach to writing and recording.
This song “a bac” is one that I wrote a while back for a project called Spirit Tuck. This version is a reworking of the song. For this recording I recorded a lot of strange sounds from my voice, scissors, a metal-framed chair and some field recordings from outside my window.
Here is the video and song…
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For the next series of mid-week posts I’m going to cover how to record yourself using a computer. I feel like this is something that is essential for most performers and teachers today. I know there are a ton of tutorials out there on this right now. This is going to be very basic for people new to the process.
The first time I hosted a masterclass for my students where they worked with a guest artist, I remember feeling a little confused and disappointed. There were several times during the event when the guest would point out the most obvious things a student needed to do to improve their performance. Because these areas discussed were so obvious, it wasn’t the first time the students had heard about them. However, the students reacted to this instruction in the masterclass way differently than when I had I brought them up in the lessons. It was if they had never realized that these things needed work and they were suddenly eager to improve.
I’d like to share a new song/video from an upcoming songwriting record I’m working on. It’s called “It’s Tomorrow (Everywhere but Here)”. It features beautiful playing by Timothy Young on guitar, Matt Hankle on drums and Forrest Giberson on bass.
Here it is…
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The final post in this memorization series is about learning large chunks of music or big pieces/programs quickly and efficiently – without needing the printed music. If you have been following the last few posts on the topic and trying them out, this post should feel like a logical extension.
Repetition has long been a staple of music pedagogy. As students we were always asked to play the same section a certain number of times in a row to obtain “mastery” (whatever that is). When most of us became teachers, we just continued the tradition. When I broke from that tradition I noticed that my students started to improve much faster and their playing became more personal and lively.
Here’s a chill new electronic track and video I wrote and produced. It has a deep house and ambient vibe. I hope you like it!
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While a student at University of Miami, I wrote an original jazz tune for one of our ensembles that I was very excited about. I felt the tune captured the vibe of the famous Miles Davis quintet from the ‘60’s… That was the theme of the ensemble. The tune had unpredictable harmonic rhythm, harmony based on modes of melodic minor and a lot of suspended chords, and romantic-influenced melodies. It wasn’t extremely complicated but it wasn’t simple either.
Our students are typically really into music. As teachers we often assess a student’s musical engagement by how much and how well they practice in relation to what we ask them to do. However, an untapped goldmine for teachers lies in the music students engage with outside of the lesson.