Pathways: Joanne Cooper

New musicality video:

We are delighted to bring you another inspiring edition of Pathways. In this special series of episodes you’ll hear the stories of music-learners just like you, reaching out and lending each other a hand on our musical journeys. We’re joined by Joanne Cooper, a longstanding member of Musical U, who has particular expertise in a piece of software called Band In A Box. http://musl.ink/pod230

Joanne’s musical life has never been the same since she started using Band in a Box. She went from writing zero songs to writing and covering hundreds of songs! She has learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way, so we were excited to have Joanne on the show to share her musical journey.

In this conversation Joanne shares:

– How Band In A Box made a life-changing impact on her song-writing and musical performance.

– How she used performing with backing tracks as a stepping stone to accompanying herself.

– The simple and specific song-writing process you can try if you’re just starting out.

If you’ve never tried song writing, are nervous performing, or you’ve never come across the Band In A Box software, this episode will enlighten you.

Have you picked up useful ideas or techniques in your own musical journey so far that you think could inspire or help others on their path of exploring their musicality? Get in touch by dropping an email to hello@musicalitynow.com! We are always looking for new guests for Pathways and would love to share your story next.

Watch the episode: http://musl.ink/pod230

Links and Resources

Joanne Cooper Online : https://www.joannecooper.co.za/home

Joanne Cooper – First Song with Band-in-a-Box for Windows video course : https://www.joannecooper.co.za/online-courses

Band-in-a-Box 101: A beginners guide to making and performing with Band-in-a-Box backing tracks by Joanne Cooper : https://www.joannecooper.co.za/ebooks

How To Make A Backing Track, with Joanne Cooper : https://www.musical-u.com/learn/how-to-make-a-backing-track-with-joanne-cooper/

How To Make A Backing Track with Band-in-a-Box YouTube Video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqGvnE1HNqo

Band-in-a-Box for Windows and Mac : https://www.joannecooper.co.za/band-in-a-box

Joanne’s Extensive Playlists of Videos on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/user/JoanneCooperSA/playlists

Musicality Now – About the I, IV, V and vi Chords : https://www.musical-u.com/learn/about-the-i-iv-v-and-vi-chords/

If you enjoy the show please rate and review it! http://musicalitypodcast.com/review

Join Musical U with the Special offer for podcast listeners http://musicalitypodcast.com/join

Let us know what you think! Email: hello@musicalitypodcast.com

===============================================

Learn more about Musical U!

Website:

Musical U

Podcast:
http://musicalitypodcast.com 

Tone Deaf Test:
http://tonedeaftest.com/

Musicality Checklist:
https://www.musical-u.com/mcl-musicality-checklist 

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/MusicalU 

YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/c/MusicalU

Subscribe for more videos from Musical U!

Pathways: Joanne Cooper

Pathways: Joanne Cooper

We are delighted to bring you another inspiring edition of Pathways. In this special series of episodes you’ll hear the stories of music-learners just like you, reaching out and lending each other a hand on our musical journeys. We’re joined by Joanne Cooper, a longstanding member of Musical U, who has particular expertise in a piece of software called Band In A Box.

Joanne’s musical life has never been the same since she started using Band in a Box. She went from writing zero songs to writing and covering hundreds of songs! She has learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way, so we were excited to have Joanne on the show to share her musical journey.

In this conversation Joanne shares:

  • How Band In A Box made a life-changing impact on her song-writing and musical performance.
  • How she used performing with backing tracks as a stepping stone to accompanying herself.
  • The simple and specific song-writing process you can try if you’re just starting out.

If you’ve never tried song writing, are nervous performing, or you’ve never come across the Band In A Box software, this episode will enlighten you.

Have you picked up useful ideas or techniques in your own musical journey so far that you think could inspire or help others on their path of exploring their musicality? Get in touch by dropping an email to hello@musicalitynow.com! We are always looking for new guests for Pathways and would love to share your story next.

Watch the episode:

Enjoying the show? Please consider rating and reviewing it!

Links and Resources

Enjoying Musicality Now? Please support the show by rating and reviewing it!

Rate and Review!

Transcript

Joanne: Hi this is Joanne Coooper, I’m a singer-songwriter from Johannesburg, South Africa, and this is Musicality Now.

Christopher: Welcome to the show Joanne, thank you for joining us today.

Joanne: Thanks so much Christopher. I’m really looking forward to this interview.

Christopher: So, I’ve had the chance to get to know you a little bit. We’ve spoken a couple of times before and you’re a member of Musical U, but I only know a little bit about your back story. So I’d love if we could start out there and I know you got started with music early in your early teens, is that right?

Joanne: Yeah, at about 13 was when I first started playing the guitar. Although I loved to sing way before that and I kind of harbored some secret desires to be in one of those shows, those musical shows. But I came from a very unmusical family, so I had no idea how to go about doing that or anything. And at 13, I persuaded my mum to buy me a guitar and mainly because all my friends were learning to play the guitar and she bought me a guitar, which was very surprising because I never … always, I didn’t usually get what I wanted, what I asked for and she went ahead and bought me that guitar. I was brought up in Zimbabwe so she had traveled down from Zimbabwe to South Africa and had bought me a Washburn nylon string guitar and had smuggled it back through the border on her back. And we all thought it was terribly funny because my mom was acting like she was a hippie, but actually, she was probably a lot younger than I am now. It really was quite funny.

Joanne: But I started playing the guitar and have played all my life. But giving away my age, I obviously started playing long before there was any internet or any way of learning songs. So I went and bought myself a John Denver play along book and one of the songbooks that you used to buy with all the chords and the lyrics and everything in it, and I learned all those songs. And then, just really started playing by ear because that was the only way to learn, I wasn’t going to lessons or anything. And I used to hear a song that I would like to be able to play and I would just listen to it and write up the lyrics by hand, and then switch the record off and then just try and work out the chords and sing along, doing my own thing.

Joanne: So I never really worried that much about sounding like the recording because I ended up, everything was A, D and E. And I couldn’t really understand why everything that I ended up working out was an A, D and E. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve discovered that that’s the one, four and five in my key, my favorite key of A. So, played guitar growing up, played at people’s weddings and around the campfire. And then joined up with a friend of mine called Karen in 1998 and had a little band called Ellis Band, which we thought was very cute, and we used to go around to all the clubs and play with backing tracks. And then she left in 2000 and never really came back to South Africa.

Joanne: So I kind of hang up my guitar for quite a few years. I got married and had kids, and then in about 2014 I took up singing lessons and that revived my interest again in making music. And then shortly after, no sorry, it was about 2010 actually that I started the singing lessons. And shortly after that I discovered Band In A Box on the internet and I bought the tool and downloaded it and immediately started writing songs and recording songs and have been very, very active with Band In A Box. Since then, I’ve written hundreds of songs and recorded hundreds of songs, covers and originals. And became a reseller of Band In A Box last year. So I’ve got a little online business around Band In A Box, I did a course, I did a video for you guys. I made a video that’s done really well actually on YouTube, on how to use Band In A Box, making backing tracks and recording song and wrote an ebook. So I’ve got a small online business doing that.

Joanne: And then, in about 2014 I started making these play along videos, because I was gigging on my own with back tracks, and I decided that if I could make karaoke type videos with the chords and lyrics, then I wouldn’t need to take along a songbook with the chords and lyrics written out. So I made these karaoke videos for my own repertoire. It’s basically a foolproof way of being able to perform, you’re not going to make any mistakes with chords and lyrics and you’re not going to forget what they are, and I’m notoriously bad with chords and lyrics. And then I decided … I wondered if other people would be interested in these videos. I put them on YouTube and it’s been absolutely phenomenal.

Joanne: My YouTube channel has taken off with these play along videos, people absolutely love them. And what I do is I just take popular songs and I make these karaoke type videos. So that’s a big part of my business now, a major part of my income on my online business. And that’s where I am now, I’m doing a lot of performing, live performing now, so I’ve kind of dropped my back tracks now. I don’t generally perform with back tracks anymore. My guitar playing has improved enough that I can perform just with me and my guitar. I’m not a fantastic guitar player, but your site has helped me get confidence that I can perform on my own with just my guitar. I generally just sing loudly to drown out my bad guitar playing.

Christopher: I know guitarists who do the opposite. They play loudly to drown out their singing.

Joanne: Yeah, yeah. I just sing loudly. And I’ve actually recently, well in the last couple of years, teamed up with a really young guitarist and he’s brilliant and he compliments me nicely. But it’s still nice to be able to play on my own, so I do perform a lot of folk clubs and I’ve performed in four national arts festivals, and I’m hopefully going to be accepted for my fifth national art festival. So I go down to Grahamstown and I put on a little one woman show. And there, I specifically say in the adverts, don’t come if you don’t like folk music because there’s going to be three quarters of an hour of folk music, just me and my guitar. So yeah, that’s where I am at the moment, it keeps me very busy. It’s not my full-time job. I am a computer business analyst during the day, working full-time for a FinTech company. So it’s a hobby, but hopefully, who knows maybe it can evolve into a more full-time job in the future.

Christopher: Wonderful. Well, I think the thing I was most keen to unpack with you today was the intersection maybe of creativity and technology. And you mentioned Band In A Box, and as you say, you did a guest video for our YouTube channel a couple of years ago, I think.

Joanne: Yeah, it was.

Christopher: Which is consistently one of the most popular videos on our channel. And it’s just-

Joanne: Amazing.

Christopher: It’s such an interesting area because I think the people who know and use Band In A Box absolutely love it. And yet the majority of music learners, I think it’s fair to say, don’t really know about it. So I definitely want to talk specifically about Band In A Box, but maybe before we do that, we could go back to some of the early years and the roots of your creativity, because you’re clearly a very creative and capable person and you’ve been growing into this identity as a musician who is out there performing and is writing songs and is helping others to use technology to write songs. Was that always the case, were you a teenage kid who was scribbling down song lyrics in lessons and that kind of thing?

Joanne: Definitely always scribbling down lyrics, always scribbling down lyrics. And I still got lots of lyrics in my repertoire of misheard lyrics, but are so in me thatI can’t get past it. Anyway, but I don’t know, I think I was always a confident singer, but I’ve never really been a confident guitar player at all. But I always thought that I could do something, I could perform in a pub or … I went, I was in a ski resort for a whole season many, many years ago, and I took my guitar with the idea that I would play in a pub. I mean, there was no way I was going to be able to do that, I just wasn’t at that level. But I think always had the idea that I could get to that level with a bit of work and that’s where Band In A Box came along and just saved me completely, because I’m not a great guitar player.

Joanne: So with Band In A Box, you don’t need to be a great guitar player because they’ve recorded all these fantastic guitar players who can accompany you. So with Band In A Box, I was able to use my voice and make good recordings, without myself having to play my mediocre guitar playing.

Christopher: I see. And for me, I got introduced to Band In A Box back when it looked terrible. Like I have these really vivid memories when I was at university, I was learning blues harmonica with like the one harmonica teacher in Cambridge. And I’d go to his house and we’d have these harmonica lessons, but he had Band In A Box, and it was amazing. He had this old rickety windows PC and he’d click around and suddenly we’d have a 12 bar blues in A, whatever key we wanted to work in. And it was just, at the time it sounded pretty good. These days it has these incredible parts, as you say, that are almost indistinguishable from real music recordings. Whatever you happened to be doing.

Joanne: They are actually real musicians. So what they’ve done is-

Christopher: Exactly. But it’s drawing on the real samples.

Joanne: Yeah. They’ve recorded real samples and the technology actually transposes that into the key that you want and obviously stretches the audio according to your Tempo and things like that. So what year was that when you were first introduced

Christopher: Wow, showing my age now.

Joanne: No, that’s fine.

Christopher: It was in 2002 to 2005, so this was probably 2004.

Joanne: Yeah. So they were probably at that stage completely MIDI based. Whereas now they … I use … The majority of them are real tracks, which are real musicians, yeah. So that, now you’ll find a completely different experience with Band In A Box.

Christopher: Absolutely. And even then though, it was somewhat magical to me and it was so useful. Because I was just learning to play blues harmonica solos, but to be able to just create realistic sounding, to some measure, music tracks on the fly like that was amazing. And it sounds like it was similarly magical for you and like filling a need that you were otherwise having a bit of a struggle with.

Joanne: I think for me, I wanted to, for some reason I wanted to record a CD. I had no idea how to go about doing that, and my guitar playing obviously wasn’t good enough to record. And I also didn’t really know how to go about getting songs, like getting the licenses for cover songs to record cover songs. So that’s when I started writing my own songs, because I figured if I want to write a CD … Sorry, if I want to record a CD, then the easiest way is if I write all the songs, then I don’t have to worry about the licenses and whatever. So that’s what I did, and that’s when I found Band In A Box. So it was really so that I could write my own songs and record them without anybody else being involved and release these CDs. That’s what I started out doing in 2012. The quality of some of these, the work that’s coming out with Band In A Box is incredible. People are getting really, really good at it now, you cannot tell the difference. They’re so good at mixing it so beautifully and doing the arranging, that you really can’t tell the difference.

Christopher: And so, I don’t want to turn this into a full on tutorial, because-

Joanne: No.

Christopher: Not least because you’ve done that for us on our YouTube channel, we can put that in the show notes. But for someone who’s never come across this software and we’re saying, it can produce the backing track or it can help you write a song. Can you just describe like very roughly what it looks like. When you were sitting down and thinking, “I want to make a song, I’ve got this software.” What were you doing and what was the software doing?

Joanne: So if you have got a normal, a chord sheet, like a good old song, let me try and find something here. That you printed from the internet, let’s say, you’ve got something out of Ultimate Guitar, with just the chords and the lyrics. So the chords are above with the song and the lyrics and that’s how you play the guitar. You just open up the program, you change the key of … On a drop down you say, okay, I’m singing in in G or whatever your favorite key is or whatever the chords on the piece of paper are. You change the tempo and then you just type in the … you choose a style and then you type in the chords and you press play and it’ll generate the backing for you. And they as I said, they’re real musicians and they’ve gone and recorded all these samples. So it takes the audio sample that they’ve recorded and it stretches it and it transposes it, so that it fits in with the chords that you just tap into the interface.

Christopher: And so for someone like yourself back then who’s thinking, “I know I can sing, I’ve got these lyrics, I’m writing the songs on my guitar, but I’m not really confident in my guitar playing.” It let you take what you had and produce something that sounded like a real music recording as it were.

Joanne: Exactly, exactly. And a lot of the time I’ve even gone to the extent when I’ve made a video, I’ve had the guitar and I’m playing the guitar as if I’m the one playing the guitar on the recording. So yeah, it really is amazing. It’ll generate backing for you for whatever style you want. So whatever style of music you like it’ll generate the backing for you. And then you obviously make changes to it, you do arranging, you cut out instruments, you put in other instruments, you generate fills, you … It’s quite endless what you can do.

Christopher: I’m glad you mentioned that. Yeah, because it’s not just press a button and this is your option, it’s very conditional and adjustable, right? So you can still feel like you are the one composing it, even if it’s other kind of synthetic musicians that are playing it for you.

Joanne: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well it comes, the Windows version comes with a free DAW called Real Band. So once you’ve generated your basic backing, you open it in Real Band and you can do your normal arrangement. So it puts it in a .wav file and you can do your normal editing and that you would normally do, as if you’ve recorded the audio live in a studio. So, once I’ve written a song, I’ve generated a basic backing track, I open it and Real Band and I make changes and I generate a set, oh that would be nice if a mandolin played those eight bars and then you just generate a mandolin and you put it in those eight bars. And you do your arranging then, so that you make it completely your own.

Christopher: Fantastic. How did your-

Joanne: Does that make any sense?

Christopher: I think it does, yeah. I obviously have a bit of knowledge of the program, but I think even someone who didn’t would follow what we’re talking about there and the usefulness of it. And it sounds like it was something that let you express your creativity in a new way, into a greater extent than you’d been able to just with you in the guitar.

Joanne: Completely. I think it did more than that for me. It actually changed my musical life completely. It really did, it changed my musical life.

Christopher: And so talk a little bit about that. How did your songwriting continue after that first CD you were working on?

Joanne: Oh wow. So yeah, the first, it’s got a very active community, Band In A Box. So what I did was I went onto the forum and I got inspiration from people who had been busy with the program for years. There’s a lot of people on there who know the program inside and out. I listened to these things and I was like, “Wow, can’t believe what these people are able to do with this tool, it’s completely amazing.” After I’d spent a lot of time that I eventually dived in and bought the product and then started out just writing. I had written a song, I think on the guitar, so a few songs. I’d been on some songwriting course or something, so I’d written a song and I just went into Band In A Box and I made a backing track. I remembered it had a violin in some part, and some guitars.

Joanne: And then I very, very self-consciously posted it onto this user forum in the Band In A Box community just to say, this is my first song ever, my first recording ever. And the encouragement that I got from the folks there was unbelievable, it really, really was, it just set me on the path. Because what I’d been doing before that as I’d been … because I come from a technology background, I started out as a programmer and I’ve always been in computers. I had been mucking about with trying to record my voice and my guitar using Mixcraft, I think it was, and I just had a mixer and I just plugged the mixer straight into my laptop and I’d been making these terrible recordings. So I’d been mucking about with that for quite a while before I discovered Band In A Box.

Joanne: Then when I discovered Band In A Box and I discovered that I could just sing and the rest was all taken care of, I literally, ran down the road crying for joy. I was so happy because I didn’t have to muck about with trying to record the guitar and trying to get the top arch to sound nice and it was … just changed my life. So then I started writing regularly, I take part in February Album Writing Month. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that, Christopher.

Christopher: No.

Joanne: No? It’s an internet forum where songwriters from all over the world get together for the month of February and everybody attempts to write and record 14 songs in the month of February. So it’s a very collaborative environment. I’m not going to make it this time because I’m going skiing tomorrow, but I’m up to nine songs, so far in February. And so I take part in that I write throughout the years. I write for people if they want me to write songs for them. Yeah. So that’s where it’s taken me. Where Band In A Box has literally taken me with my songwriting.

Christopher: Terrific. And did that just lead naturally to being comfortable performing? Or you mentioned you are getting out and performing now. How did that work?

Joanne: Definitely. I have always being on the fringe in performing. I’ve always performed at the folk club, but never really, really been comfortable. I went to my first National Arts Festival four years ago and I went on my own. And at that National Arts Festival, I took … I made backing tracks and I took backing tracks and I performed quite a lot of original stuff and a few covers with backing tracks. Because I wasn’t confident enough to play my guitar, just me and my guitar. And that was okay, but it was a start.

Joanne: And then the next year, I took my guitarist, Libs, with me. So I had him to back me up on the guitar and he also sings harmony. But I was singing the main lead vocals and he was singing harmony and playing guitar. So he came the first year and in the second year he also came with me. In the fourth year I decided this is crazy, I can actually do this on my own. I can pull it off, I can play the guitar, I can sing folk music and just keep my guitar playing quite simple. That’s what I did last year, I just went down and it was my best year actually. I enjoyed it the most, because you are completely free, it’s just you, you don’t have to worry about anybody else. And I performed 10 to 15 folk songs in the space of three quarters of an hour, and everybody loved it. So yeah, it’s been a long journey, but I think I am at it now.

Joanne: At the last National Arts Festival I said to my daughter, who always comes with me, I said, “You know, for the first time the stage fright has gone, for the first time ever.” And since then the stage fright seems to have gone. So yeah.

Christopher: Wonderful.

Joanne: That’s definitely helped me.

Christopher: Were there any tips or techniques that helped you get to that point? Or do you think it was just a matter of repeat practice and putting yourself out there?

Joanne: Repeating, repeating, repeating. And also knowing, it’s not … nothing’s going to happen to you, you’re not going to die. You just get up and sing and you only can put across what you can do. You can’t be any better, you can’t perform like somebody else. And if you forget your lyrics or you forget your chords, it’s not the end of the world. People don’t mind, they’re grateful that somebody who’s got the guts to get up and perform. So I kind of just forced myself to carry on. Carry on going to open mics without my backing tracks, because I think from the singing lessons I could get up and perform in front of 200 people with a backing track. I was quite fine, there would be no problems with that, but take my backing track away and give me a guitar and my nerves were just completely shot.

Joanne: And since then, I have been working on it, but I think I’m finally at a level where I’ve kind of just accept the type of guitar player that I am and the type of guitar player that I’ve become and appreciated it really. Just appreciated the gifts that I’ve been given and I’ve been able to do, and I get up and I perform and I sing. I just sing, loudly to overcome my bad guitar playing.

Christopher: Wonderful. And you were sharing with me earlier, another performing context at a local music shop that sounded like it was a really great opportunity to kind of get comfortable expressing yourself. Tell us a little bit about that.

Joanne: Yes. That’s so interesting. My friend Libs, works at the local music connection, so I’ve become really good friends with him. And they have open mics to two nights a month, and then on a Saturday morning they set up a PA system outside the shop, just on the porch, just right outside the shop and with a big sign saying, “Just come and jam.” And what’s tended to happen over the last few months, is that I’ve tended to be hosting those sessions. Because the people who work in the shop are busy serving everybody in the inside, so they can’t devote four hours to sitting and encouraging people. So I go there, I plug my guitar in and I just encourage people that are walking in and out to come and jam, in whatever form that takes. If it’s a song that they want to sing or play around with a guitar, or play the bongo drums or the tambourine or whatever they want to do, just come.

Joanne: There’s nobody really even watching, because it’s outside the guitar shop, so nobody’s really paying attention, and people absolutely love it. Most people will say, “Oh no, I can’t sing or whatever.” So I say, “Oh well, what songs do you like?” And try and find some common ground between what I can play on the guitar and what they can sing. And they’ll come up and they’ll sing into the microphone and we’ll have a little session there and then they’ll play the mic … play the tambourine and some people will come along and pick up the bass and start just playing the bass, and it’s been absolutely amazing. It’s really been amazing, because people need to be encouraged. There shouldn’t be any snobbery around music, people should be encouraged. For many years, there’s absolutely no ways I would play a guitar in a guitar shop, I would just be too embarrassed to pick up a guitar and play. And there’s no way, people shouldn’t feel like that, they should just pick up a guitar and play, you know? Nobody cares, just play.

Christopher: Absolutely. It’s funny, people ask fairly often whether we’re planning to do like live events at Musical U, like are we going to get out there and do things in person like workshops or events or like, what’s the word? Evangelizing, I guess. And the answer is no, we’re firmly focused online, for now at least. And I just … I love what you said so much. I think if we were out there with Musical U ambassadors, they would be doing exactly what you just described. I can’t applaud that highly enough, because as you say that there’s no need and no value in the snobbery and it causes such reticence in people to share the musicality they do have. So I think that’s tremendous that you’re out there encouraging people to just pick up something and make a musical noise.

Joanne: Pick up … Yeah, just pick up … And kids, will love to come along and to sing something into the microphone. And even if I just play a couple of chords with them and help them sing or whatever, genuinely I can look up the chords on my iPad and just put something together very quickly, it doesn’t have to be great. But they love it, they absolutely love it.

Christopher: Wonderful. Well we’ve mentioned several of your projects already and we’ll have links in the show notes. I believe your main website is joannecooper.co.za, is that right?

Joanne: That’s right, yes.

Christopher: And so that’s where you’ll find Joanne’s music, her songs that she’s written, as well as the play along videos. And tell us a little bit actually about your Band In A Box course and book you mentioned briefly earlier, but if someone’s listening to this being like, “Oh, that sounds amazing, that’s exactly what I needed. Let me go run and buy it now.” Tell them about the training you offer there.

Joanne: The course, I made a couple of years ago, I think two years ago, it’s called First Song With Band In A Box. So it’s a video course, it’s got 12 or 13 videos and it takes you step-by-step through recording your first song with Band In A Box. So whether that’s an original song or whether it’s a cover song, it doesn’t matter. It takes you all the way through from tapping in the chords to generating a backing, arranging your song, tuning the vocals, if that’s what you want to do, all the way through to releasing it on YouTube or on iTunes and that kind of thing.

Joanne: I think a lot of people do battle with Band In A Box and they’re a little bit overwhelmed because there’s a lot in there. You open this interface and you go, “Oh, there’s so much, and I don’t know what to do.” But actually, if you just start out and you just try and make a simple backing track, and then record yourself singing over that simple backing track, you can get up and running within the hour. Leave off the complicated stuff till later, that’ll come, just start recording with what you’ve got. Don’t worry too much if you haven’t got an excellent microphone, you just need a USB $100 microphone plugged into a laptop.

Joanne: It takes people step-by-step through the process of recording their song, using Band In A Box. And then I wrote an ebook a while back, which is just a beginner’s guide, just to sit using Band In A Box to make a backing track. So as I mentioned, these two products with the Windows Band In A Box, this Band In A Box software named Real Band. So when I’m recording a song from start to finish, I rely heavily on Real Band. But actually, you can do a lot of the functionality just in Band In A Box. The ebook just focuses just on Band In A Box itself, and in the course is Band In A Box and Real Band.

Christopher: Terrific. Well, we’ll definitely have links to all of those in the show notes for this episode. Before we say goodbye, Joanne, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask, since you’re so experienced with songwriting, do you have any tips for those in our audience who want to get into songwriting or have been doing it a while? Are there any things you’ve picked up along the way that particularly helped with that creative outlet?

Joanne: Just start. Just start and write. Just start, really just start. Just write a story, try and make it rhyme or put some sort of cadence to it so that it reads nicely like a book, and then just start putting it to music. What I’ve found is quite an easy way to do, is just start with the one, four, five, the major chords, and just start singing over your chords, until you’ve got a melody, and then start going back and changing the chords and re-harmonizing it a little bit so that you can put some variety. And so, just even changing the major chord for its relative minor, will give it a different feel. But when you’re just starting out, just write a story and just put chords to it to start. Use the one, four, five and just start writing.

Christopher: Terrific. Great advice. Thank you so much Joanne, for joining us on the show today. It’s been really a pleasure to get to hear a bit more about your musical background and your journey and I know that listeners and viewers will have picked up a lot from hearing your story. Thank you again.

Joanne: Thank you so much, Christopher.

Enjoying the show? Please consider rating and reviewing it!

The post Pathways: Joanne Cooper appeared first on Musical U.

Four “Defaults” For Positivity And Success, with Brent Vaartstra (Learn Jazz Standards)

New musicality video:

Right now, millions of people around the world are choosing to stay in and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In this challenging and unprecedented time, Musical U’s priority is to provide new free training daily to keep you engaged, excited, and learning during your extra time at home. We’re continuing to collaborate with world-class music educators to bring you everything you need to continue honing your musicality in this time. http://musl.ink/pod229

In this interview, Brent Vaartstra of Learn Jazz Standards and the Passive Income Musician podcast shares his four “defaults”: mindset ideas for getting through this difficult time while staying positive and connected through music.

He talks about:

– The power of gratitude and how to focus on the things you’re grateful for on a daily basis.

– The impact of generosity, and ways to volunteer and donate your resources.

– The importance of community engagement.

– Goal-setting, and how to take this time to invest in your dreams.

– Recognizing the activities and routines that will help you make the most of every day.

Brent’s “defaults” are the perfect antidote to the unusual circumstances we have found ourselves in – his ideas are as helpful for your daily well-being as they are for your musicality. Enjoy!

Watch the episode: http://musl.ink/pod229

Links and Resources

Learn Jazz Standards : https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/

Learn Jazz Standards podcast : https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/ljs-podcast/

Passive Income Musician podcast : https://passiveincomemusician.com/category/podcast/

How to Stop Doubting and Start Performing, with Brent Vaartstra : https://www.musical-u.com/learn/how-to-stop-doubting-and-start-performing-with-brent-vaartstra/

An Ear for Jazz, with Brent Vaartstra : https://www.musical-u.com/learn/an-ear-for-jazz-with-brent-vaartstra/

The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-Being by Hale Dwoskin : https://www.amazon.com/Sedona-Method-Happiness-Emotional-Well-Being/dp/0971933413

If you enjoy the show please rate and review it! http://musicalitypodcast.com/review

Join Musical U with the Special offer for podcast listeners http://musicalitypodcast.com/join

Let us know what you think! Email: hello@musicalitypodcast.com

===============================================

Learn more about Musical U!

Website:

Musical U

Podcast:
http://musicalitypodcast.com 

Tone Deaf Test:
http://tonedeaftest.com/

Musicality Checklist:
https://www.musical-u.com/mcl-musicality-checklist 

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/MusicalU 

YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/c/MusicalU

Subscribe for more videos from Musical U!

Four “Defaults” For Positivity And Success, with Brent Vaartstra (Learn Jazz Standards)

Four “Defaults” For Positivity And Success, with Brent Vaartstra (Learn Jazz Standards)

Right now, millions of people around the world are choosing to stay in and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In this challenging and unprecedented time, Musical U’s priority is to provide new free training daily to keep you engaged, excited, and learning during your extra time at home. We’re continuing to collaborate with world-class music educators to bring you everything you need to continue honing your musicality in this time.

In this interview, Brent Vaartstra of Learn Jazz Standards and the Passive Income Musician podcast shares his four “defaults”: mindset ideas for getting through this difficult time while staying positive and connected through music.

He talks about:

  • The power of gratitude and how to focus on the things you’re grateful for on a daily basis.
  • The impact of generosity, and ways to volunteer and donate your resources.
  • The importance of community engagement.
  • Goal-setting, and how to take this time to invest in your dreams.
  • Recognizing the activities and routines that will help you make the most of every day.

Brent’s “defaults” are the perfect antidote to the unusual circumstances we have found ourselves in – his ideas are as helpful for your daily well-being as they are for your musicality. Enjoy!

Watch the episode:

Enjoying the show? Please consider rating and reviewing it!

Links and Resources

Authentic, Engaging, Cooperative Learning, with Zach VanderGraaff (The Dynamic Music Room)

New musicality video:

We’re excited to have Zach VanderGraaff, the founder of Dynamic Music Room, on the show. Mr. V (as his students like to call him) is a K-5 music teacher who’s developed his own teaching philosophy drawing on the Kodály approach. http://musl.ink/pod228

Zach shares many of our core beliefs here at Musical U. He believes that “talent” is a myth, that music learning can and should be enjoyable, that the learning process should feel musical, that it’s more effective to learn together with others, and much more.

In this conversation you’ll hear about:

– Zach’s own first experience of playing by ear – and why he was frustrated by his family being impressed.

– The key difference between the elementary music teaching Zach does and the more common approaches you may be familiar with.

– The three core concepts on which Zach bases his teaching – and how you can apply each in your own music learning.

You will be fascinated by just how much you can learn from the world of children’s music education. Enjoy this episode and make your music journey more fun and effective.

Watch the episode: http://musl.ink/pod228

Links and Resources

Dynamic Music Room – https://dynamicmusicroom.com/

Dynamic Music Room Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Dynamic-Music-Room-105448370881163/

Designing for Joyful Learning, with Anne Mileski – https://www.musical-u.com/learn/designing-for-joyful-learning-with-anne-mileski/

If you enjoy the show please rate and review it! http://musicalitypodcast.com/review

Join Musical U with the Special offer for podcast listeners http://musicalitypodcast.com/join

Let us know what you think! Email: hello@musicalitypodcast.com

===============================================

Learn more about Musical U!

Website:

Musical U

Podcast:
http://musicalitypodcast.com 

Tone Deaf Test:
http://tonedeaftest.com/

Musicality Checklist:
https://www.musical-u.com/mcl-musicality-checklist 

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/MusicalU 

YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/c/MusicalU

Subscribe for more videos from Musical U!

Authentic, Engaging, Cooperative Learning, with Zach VanderGraaff (The Dynamic Music Room)

Authentic, Engaging, Cooperative Learning, with Zach VanderGraaff (The Dynamic Music Room)

We’re excited to have Zach VanderGraaff, the founder of Dynamic Music Room, on the show. Mr. V (as his students like to call him) is a K-5 music teacher who’s developed his own teaching philosophy drawing on the Kodály approach.

Zach shares many of our core beliefs here at Musical U. He believes that “talent” is a myth, that music learning can and should be enjoyable, that the learning process should feel musical, that it’s more effective to learn together with others, and much more.

In this conversation you’ll hear about:

  • Zach’s own first experience of playing by ear – and why he was frustrated by his family being impressed.
  • The key difference between the elementary music teaching Zach does and the more common approaches you may be familiar with.
  • The three core concepts on which Zach bases his teaching – and how you can apply each in your own music learning.

You will be fascinated by just how much you can learn from the world of children’s music education. Enjoy this episode and make your music journey more fun and effective.

Watch the episode:

Enjoying the show? Please consider rating and reviewing it!

Links and Resources

Enjoying Musicality Now? Please support the show by rating and reviewing it!

Rate and Review!

Transcript

Christopher: Welcome to the show, Zach. Thank you for joining us today.

Zach: Thanks for having me.

Christopher: I know you these days through your website, dynamicmusicroom.com, and I know a little bit about your teaching philosophy and methodology there. But I don’t know very much about your own backstory, and I’d love to know where you came from as a music learner. Could you tell us about how you got started in music?

Zach: Sure, yeah. My grandma, she was a kindergarten teacher, and she was retired by the time I was a kid. In her kindergarten classroom, which wasn’t a music classroom, she loved music and she sang all the time. She would, as a grandma, when she wants to expose us to all this great music that she would sing and listen with us. So music was always a big part of my childhood, but I never really received any music instruction until I joined band in middle school. I started on the trumpet, and then I stuck with trumpet. I picked up tuba. Loved that. Made it all the way through high school, and I always felt like music was just something I wanted to do, I wanted to share with people. I knew that when I was done with high school, I was going to go to college. I wanted to be a music teacher.

Zach: I got into my college classes and actually thought about quitting at one point, because I didn’t want to teach band, and in my mind that was the only thing you could teach. Then I went and observed a teacher, and she was amazing. I saw all the stuff she was doing with her elementary music students, and it just blew my mind that if we broke down musical ideas into elements and a sequence that people could understand, that anybody could learn complicated musical ideas, and even these kids. And I thought, hey, I want to do that. So I got really involved in it, and then since then I’ve been teaching elementary music for about 10 years now, K-5, and I’ve loved it. I’ve also taught private lessons to kids. My youngest was seven, and my oldest was about 70 years old. I taught private lessons on guitar and piano and things like that. It’s been a ton of fun.

Christopher: Terrific. Well, I’m really keen to dig into how you approach teaching, and in a minute I want to ask you specifically what you saw in that classroom with the elementary teacher that inspired you or showed you a different way. But before we do that, let’s go back a little bit to your own journey and the kind of musician or music learner you were, because I think it’s always interesting when I speak to these very expert music educators who now have a very clear understanding of how music learning works and how to impart their knowledge, to understand whether they had that experience they’re now giving their students or whether it was born of something different. What was learning music like for you?

Zach: Well, when I got into band it was a lot of hard work, but it was fun. I appreciated the hard work, practicing day after day and that kind of thing. But for me, I really felt like a musician, and this was weird, but I was in eighth grade, so I’d been in band for three years, and I was at my grandma’s house and she had this little toy piano. They were labeled from C to C in the scale. I thought, hey, I can apply some of my knowledge to playing this little toy piano kind of thing. So I played Hot Cross Buns and Mary Had a Little Lamb, and then I hit the low C to high C, and it just stuck in my ear. I’m like, “Wait, that’s the opening of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” And I’m like, “Hey, that’s pretty cool.” No one had ever taught me that, but I heard it.

Zach: I sat there for, it felt to me like a really long time, probably only like 35 minutes or something, but I sat there and, through many mistakes, plunked out that whole song, except for the bottom leading tone, which drove me nuts at the time. I plunked it out, and I was just so proud, because all this listening that I had been doing and this practicing was applying to musicianship skills everywhere. I went to my parents and my grandma, and I was like, “Hey, look what I can do.” They were so excited. They’re like, “Oh, that’s so awesome.”

Zach: But then they kind of made me mad, because they looked at me, and they’re like, “Oh, you must have a lot of talent.” And I thought, what? Maybe, I guess, but by calling it all on talent, it cheapened all the hard work I had done to figure out the song and all the hard work I’d been doing for three years in practicing my instrument and learning music, just to throw all that hard work away with the word talent. And that really informed all my teaching since then, although I didn’t realize it at the time, to be like anybody can do anything. It doesn’t matter what your talent is. You just got to put in the hard work, and you got to have the right tools.

Christopher: I love that. That is such an elegant story for encapsulating so much of what we care about here at Musical U. When we teach playing by ear, we really encourage our members at Musical U to think about it as a process of figuring things out by ear. And as you get better and better at that, and as you add in some ear training, it eventually seems like you just magically always know the right answer immediately. But you get there by doing it in a painstaking step-by-step, getting harder and harder kind of a way. From the outside, yeah, someone looks at it and they’re like, “Oh, they’ve got some magical talent.” And the musician, obviously, often is like, “Wait, what? No, no, I worked.”

Zach: “What are you talking about?” Yeah, it’s like, I did all the practice. My host teacher when I was student teaching, he made me think about improvisation in a way I had never thought before, and he told his elementary students, he says, “You guys improvise all the time.” And they looked at him like, what? We don’t do that jazz stuff that people do. And he’s like, “No, when you talk, you improvise. You’re improvising a conversation. You’re taking the knowledge you have of words and sentences and all the practice you’ve done, and you’re creating something brand new. It’s just the same thing with music, you just don’t have as much practice with music as you do with speaking.”

Christopher: After that first taste of playing by ear and getting labeled a talented musician, how did you take things after that? I mean, clearly you had that band environment in your school, where it was presumably a lot of sheet music and repertoire and concert performances. Did you also have a strand of figuring things out by ear and improvising and songwriting? Or what part did that play in your own musical journey from then on?

Zach: Well, yeah, the figuring stuff out by ear, ever since I realized that, any time there was any kind of instrument, I tried to figure everything out that I could. One of my favorite things to do, and I still do now, although not on my trumpet, I don’t play that as much anymore, but to figure out songs that I hear, any songs that I think of, or think of from, say, the soundtrack to Harry Potter, Hedwig’s Theme. I was teaching one time, and I had that song stuck in my head, so I picked up my recorder, and through a lot of work, I was able to figure it out. And my kids were like, “Oh, that’s amazing.” I’m like, “Yeah, it’s just because I practiced and I’ve been doing this for a long time.” So I would do that on my trumpet and tuba and pretty much any instrument I could put my hands on. I’d just hear the song and then I’d try to figure it out. Sometimes I’d get close, sometimes I wouldn’t.

Christopher: Let’s jump ahead a little bit, then, to that teacher observation opportunity you had where you were seeing an elementary music classroom. Before you describe it, I want to just illustrate what I suspect are the assumptions in a lot of our audience’s minds about what early music education is or could be, because for me certainly, when I was growing up, early music education looked a lot like a junior version of later music education, meaning you give the kid an instrument, you explain about the staff and the key and where the notes are on the xylophone or whatever you have them playing, or the recorder, and it’s a gentle version of serious music education.

Christopher: And then, at least in the UK, the other option that you encounter is basically a music activity session, where it’s like come along, sing some songs. There’s not really any educational thought put into it, except let’s have the kids have a good time with music. And I don’t want to denigrate either of those. There’s value in both of those approaches, but it’s been fascinating to me over the last four or five years through my work at Musical U to discover, particularly in the US, I think, there is a whole other world of early music education that manages to combine the fun and the pedagogy and produce something that is both enjoyable and educational, rather than seeing those two as very different goals, which is, at least for me, the perspective I had in the UK. You can have fun playing about with music, or you can do some serious music class. So I’d love to hear, what was it that struck you when you were observing that teacher and you were like, “Oh, there’s something different here, that’s not what I was expecting”?

Zach: Yeah. Yeah, you hit it exactly as the way I think most people view elementary music as just fun times. Mine was kind of the opposite. It was more like the structured one. We sat in rows and we sang songs that we read off the staff, and it was not fun at all. But yeah, when I went to observe that teacher, I didn’t know what to expect, because I thought it was going to me like mine. But as the class walked in, she immediately started with music, and it was fun. And I’m like, “Hey, that’s awesome.” They got engaged right away. I’m like, “Yeah, this is fun. This is like one of those fun music classes.”

Zach: But then she smoothly transitioned, taking elements of the songs that she was doing and isolating some of the literacy elements that she could train their ears on so they would be doing patterns they had pulled from that song they started with. And I’m like, wait a second. Without even realizing it, all of a sudden these kids, they’ve moved from playing a game to practicing learning music. And she would have them singing from the staff, and she’d have them singing in canon and in harmony. And I was like, these are second graders.

Zach: And then almost as soon as they started to get frustrated or tired of the hard work for a few minutes, I think it was five or seven minutes, she’d transition them right out into a movement activity that was fun and that kind of thing. It blew me away, the way that you could seamlessly combine, like you said, the fun and the literacy, the serious music practice, that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. And I think it’s important to keep both. That’s what blew me away, I think, that it could be both and they could do all of these things, that these kids could sing in harmony. Adults are terrified of singing in harmony. If we can get kids to do it, we can get adults to do it too. We just have to teach them the right way.

Christopher: Absolutely. And what gets me excited, although I have kind of a personal stake in the early music education in that I have my own daughters, and I’m trying to figure out to run fun little music classes from them at home, actually what gets me most excited about this is how much we can draw on these ideas and insights for adult music learning. We’ll talk a little bit about your approach in your own training and how that all fits together, but I just wanted to highlight a couple of things there for our audience, which are the idea of respecting the fact that the learner needs to stay engaged and enjoy the process.

Christopher: As adults, we typically approach learning in such a strict and, I don’t know, almost masochistic way, where if we’re not suffering we can’t be doing it right. And actually, as you see so clearly with the children, the best way to get them into the learning activities is to make sure that when their attention wanders, you bring them back to something fun, rather than just saying, “Pay more attention.”

Christopher: And the other thing is, I think you mentioned the word transitions there, which is something that I really respect, particularly what I’ve seen in the Kodály world, but I think probably a lot of elementary music teachers are very good at this in the US, which is for us in the UK, growing up in that junior serious music approach where it’s like sheet music and do the instructions, that there was no concept of that really. It was like, okay, now we’re going to play this piece. Ten minutes have elapsed, you’ve lost interest, now we’re going to do this other thing. And it was just completely a series of almost, from the learner’s perspective, completely unrelated activities or tasks. And there was some variety there, sure, and each of the tasks was great, but there was no overall journey or flow.

Christopher: I’ve done a little bit of Kodály early music education training in a workshop where this was really talked about, how you can weave a story in or how you can have elements brought from one thing to another. Again, it’s one of those things, I think as adults we don’t even consider might be interesting or relevant or useful, but it’s such a valuable part, I think, of making that learning experience effective.

Zach: For sure. For sure, yeah. I have three kids now, so I don’t have time to teach private lessons as much as I used to, but I taught private lessons on guitar to adults, including much older adults, and even in those lessons, I would take some of the things that I had learned from my elementary kids in my private lessons with those adults, to work it out for them. We would start with something easy and something fun that they could feel successful at, and then we’d pull some of the harder elements. And like, okay, so now we’ve got these basic chords, let’s try this different chord pattern and do some practicing. We’d get to the meat of the lesson.

Zach: And then for the adults, I’m sorry, adults, I’m one too, we have almost as bad of an attention span as kids do sometimes. Before they get too frustrated or bored, we move on to something else. My adult learners always said that they loved the way that I structured lessons and that it kept them motivated to keep coming back. It wasn’t a chore for them, it was fun.

Christopher: Fantastic. Well, what better feedback to hear from your students, that they keep coming back because it’s fun, and you know they’re learning along the way? You observed this lesson. It inspired you that that might be the direction for you. Where did your own training go from there?

Zach: At my school, you have you music education major, and then you have different minor options. The school had just introduced an elementary minor, they called it general music minor option, that offered more specific classes geared towards what I decided that I wanted to teach. I got to take those classes. Instead of taking double reed techniques to learn bassoon and oboe, I instead took classroom instrument techniques, and I learned more how to play guitar and ukulele and stuff like that.

Zach: And then also, I just felt so motivated by all of this that I would go to workshops all the time all over the place, to see expert presenters and see their takes on everything. I cleared my schedule as much as I could on my Fridays, and I would go into classrooms with teachers that I knew teaching elementary music, and I would volunteer to help there and learn from them. And they even let me work with the kids a lot early on in my career, and that was awesome.

Zach: Then I got into teaching, and I taught for a little while. And then my local university was hosting a Kodály levels programs, and I thought, hey, I don’t really know too much about this stuff, so I’m going to go check it out. And it went, and it just blew my mind, because everything that I had been feeling for teaching music, how you should use fun real music and how you should have fast-paced engaging lessons and you should get the kids working together, that kind of thing, all of that was in there. I decided that I loved this stuff. I got really involved. I did my level one, two, and for each training I got my certificate and got my master’s in the process as well. I mean, that’s been an overview of my training, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Christopher: Absolutely, yeah. And for listeners or viewers who haven’t been tuned into past episodes of the show where we’ve talked a bit about Kodály, or for members watching who haven’t taken our foundations course that uses that kind of methodology or approach or philosophy, could you just explain maybe some of the distinctions between what you had been learning in your degree program and what that Kodály world offered you? What was the distinction or what was new or useful about bolting on that Kodály piece of the puzzle?

Zach: Okay, yeah. The university program, and I respect them a whole lot and some of them are my good friends, but when you’re an undergrad like that, you don’t really know what you need to know as a teacher, and so the elementary music classes that I took for methods were basically survival. Here’s a little bit about the different methods, but if you’re going to do this, here’s activities that’ll get you through the day. Here’s how you should maybe structure your lessons so the kids are sort of engaged and not jumping all over each other. Here’s some instruments you can play and some other resources you can look into.

Zach: That carried me through, plus all the workshops and the relationships I’d built with other expert elementary teachers. That carried me through for a while, but when I got into the Kodály world, it was just, the songs, I had already heard a lot of them, but it gave me a lot more resources for the songs and activities. But for me it was the structure and the overall planning that really made a difference to me, because week after week when I was teaching before, I’m like, okay, what am I teaching next? What should I teach next? What concepts should my kids learn next? And I was struggling to find that myself, and I was building it myself, and then lo and behold, I go and take this class, and hey, people have been doing this for decades now, so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel with this stuff. I can just look at what’s been done and pick the one that most aligns with what I like to do.

Zach: From the Kodály classes, I got the more resources for good songs. I got more information on a sequence and a structure for teaching, what you should teach when and that kind of thing. And then also, I shouldn’t forget this, because Kodály was huge on this, that he believed the music teachers should be really good musicians themselves. And so as part of our levels training, we had to go through solfège training and ear training and rhythm training, and we had to practice conducting, even though we don’t really conduct in our elementary music programs. And that, even though I haven’t used all of the solfège training stuff, like I’m not going to have my fifth graders sight read Bach canons in solfège, that’s just crazy, that made me a better musician for them. I’m more aware of what they’re doing, and they can hopefully see what this stuff they’re learning can lead to.

Christopher: Gotcha. And on that front, there’s a couple of phrases I wonder if we could unpack, that have come up. One was literacy, I think you mentioned along the way there. And the other, I’ve heard you make reference to how approaching things this way can help anyone to become musically independent, I think you said. And those are two ideas that I think are really useful to unpack as part of illustrating to people, what’s the point of all this? Okay, it’s fun and it’s effective, but what kind of musicians are we creating here? What’s so different about the effectiveness of this kind of education versus some of the traditional approaches?

Zach: Yeah. Literacy, you hear the word literacy, you think reading, and it’s not just about reading in sheet music. It’s also, I think, in music it’s about this idea of sound concepts and your aural connection to the sounds and that kind of thing. And then developing that by playing and singing and hearing all the patterns and doing them yourself. And then applying it afterwards to the symbols. We call that sound before symbol, always. There’s both of those parts, and then you go on to create yourself. And you need that to become what I like to call musically independent. Other people call it that as well.

Zach: Musically independent people, it’s not just that they can read music, whatever music they pick up, it’s that they feel comfortable doing music. It’s that they can go to church, if they go to church, they can look at a hymn and they can kind of figure out their way through the hymnal. They can ride in the car with their friends on a road trip and they can all sort of sing in tune and have a good time doing it. They can all not embarrass themselves at sporting events when they’re clapping along with the band and they’re sticking with the beat, that kind of thing.

Zach: That was really Kodály’s goal and my goal too, is I’m not trying to train professional musicians, and not everyone should be a professional musician. We need all kinds of other jobs. But music should be a part of everyone’s life, and providing this foundation is going to help everybody have music more in their life. It’s a part of what makes us human, I think. I don’t know if I walked away from your answer too far on that one.

Christopher: No, that was tremendous, thank you. And so much of what you said there is near and dear to our heart here at Musical U. I don’t think musically independent is a phrase we’ve used very much, but it describes exactly the kind of empowerment we try and provide our members and the opening up a whole new world of possibilities for them that we try and deliver. These days, as well as teaching, you have a fantastic website, Dynamic Music Room, where you share some of these ideas and lessons and resources for other K-5 and even secondary teachers. I’d love if we could talk a little bit about what defines your philosophy or your approach there, because you’re not just coming out and saying, “Kodály, Kodály, Kodály, everyone should do it that way,” or anything else. You’ve got your own perspective and philosophy, I suppose. Could you talk a little bit about that?

Zach: Yeah, sure. Kodály is my big background, but I recognize and acknowledge that there’s many different methods out there, or even if you combine methods, that’s awesome. My host teacher when I was student teaching, he was actually a wholly Orff-certified person. They’re not totally different at all. They all have a lot of the same elements to them, and so I looked at all the world of music out here, at least in the US, and I see that there’s basically three groups of people. There’s one group that subscribes to a methodology and says they’re the best and everyone else stinks. There’s one group that says they subscribe to a methodology and they think they’re the best, but they say, “Hey, you guys are good too.” And then there’s the group of music teachers that pull from the different ones and try to create an eclectic classroom. And there are great teachers in all three categories.

Zach: I imagined a site and a resource that was independent of a methodology per se, that reached what I though were the most important qualities of music education and music teaching for all grades, which is why right now it seems to be more focused towards elementary, because that’s my background, but it’s my hope eventually to provide more and more resources for secondary as well. But that’s why the three words for my slogan for Dynamic Music Room are “Authentic, engaging, and cooperative.” Authentic being we’ve got to use real music and real good activities and fun stuff to engage the students.

Zach: And then engaging, obviously there’s no learning without engagement. There’s no motivation. You have to get buy-in from the students, whether they’re five years old or 50 years old. If they’re not engaged, they’re not going to learn, and so you have to create lessons that can guide them through learning in ways that they don’t get frustrated, or if they do, they’re not so frustrated they want to quit.

Zach: And then cooperative is one I feel like we’re forgetting a lot, we’re missing out a lot of in our elementary music world especially, but also secondary from what I see. That’s students working together to teach each other and share the knowledge they’ve gained with each other. That’s a big part. I feel like there’s a lot missing from a lot of people there and that kind of thing.

Zach: My goal for Dynamic Music Room is to create these resources, but also a place where teachers from any methodology can come and just take their teaching to the next level, just a little bit more. That’s my hope.

Christopher: Tremendous. Yeah, we’ve been codifying our pillar beliefs here at Musical U this year and trying to get very specific about the vague stuff that’s been driving us and motivating us for the last decade. A couple of our pillars match very closely to what you just said, which is probably why I connected so much with your site when I was looking around it. But when you’re talking about cooperation, for us, better together is one of our pillar beliefs, where it’s just like we’ve seen so clearly that when someone’s learning in a community and there is that kind of peer-to-peer engagement, it just works so much better.

Christopher: Another of them that kind of maps to your engaging is that we believe music learning is a journey, and you should enjoy the ride. This should be an enjoyable journey, an enjoyable process, and if it’s not, you’re not going to learn well and you’re not going to enjoy it. So that was really interesting. This is the kind of thing, these are my three words, where you can just dash them off and people forget about them. I don’t want that to happen, because I know you’ve thought very deeply about these.

Christopher: So I wonder if we could just unpack each of those a little bit more, and maybe one way to do it would be if you could explain what it looks like when this is missing, why you care so much about bringing this ingredient in. And then if you have any tips or ideas for what this looks like in practice, to illustrate the specifics of what the right way of doing it, as it were, would look like, that would be really great.

Zach: Sure. Yeah, yeah. Start with authentic. Authentic music means real music. In the elementary world, it’s real folk music. If you were in the band world, you’d be using music that was composed for band, for example. And if you were an adult musician just trying to learn something, you would be trying to learn songs that were real. Like if you’re trying to learn guitar, you’d be looking at real pop songs and music played on guitar. You wouldn’t just be looking at exercises. If you don’t have that authentic piece, your music classroom, it feels like it’s missing something, because you’re either just using a bunch of composed songs that are only written just to teach a specific concept, and they just feel cheap, they don’t feel satisfying.

Zach: In the elementary world, we pick old folk songs, because our idea is that if these songs have survived hundreds of years to remain around today and stick in people’s ears, like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, love it or hate it, everybody knows it in one of its forms or the other. The indefinable quality, it satisfies you more than a cheap composed song. In the elementary world, the same thing we want to be careful of is modern pop songs, because they’re often inappropriate, and they might not be musically satisfying. That’s why when I look at songs to include for pop songs, I’ll often look for music of the ’60s and ’70s, because that’s been about 50 years now, and the ones that have stuck around, you know they’re going to be that good quality. And the funny thing is, even my little five-year-olds, I’ll turn on Yellow Submarine or something and they’ll be like, “Hey, I know that song,” and stuff like that. So you know some of these songs have some kind of quality to them.

Zach: And it’s same way when I work with adults. If they’re learning something, you got to pick a song you love. You got to pick a real song and hold that in your head as a motivator to stick with the practice you’re going to have to do, because you have to practice. You have to have the exercises and that kind of thing. But don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to get to, which is you doing that real authentic music too. Does that work for “authentic”?

Christopher: Amazing. Yeah, yeah, that really unpacked it well. Thank you.

Zach: So then engaging, in the music teaching world, we have a hard time engaging our students more and more lately, because they’re always distracted by other things. We can’t have learning without engagement. The research shows that if a student is not engaged, they are doing zero learning. Even if they’re not disrupting, they’re just sitting there staring off into the distance, they’re not taking in anything. They’re not learning. You have to be doing music. In a classroom or in a lesson that isn’t engaging, you often have the students, the learners just there. They’re not really a part of the learning process, and you need to get the students as much of a part of the music-making as possible. Not talking to them, just talking with them to build the knowledge.

Zach: Part of that, at least from my perspective, is designing your lessons in such a way that they are small chunks that students can stay engaged with and that you alternate high energy activities with low energy activities. The low energy activities are actually your learning activities, because you’re slowing things down and you’re concentrating. And then you go right out of it again. In my world we glue all these different chunks together with transitions to connect them so everybody gets that hey, we’re doing the same thing the whole time. It isn’t disjointed. Everything’s connected in that music is everywhere kind of a thing.

Christopher: Maybe we could just pause on that one for a moment, because as I highlighted earlier, I think transitions are often really just not even considered in the world of adult music education. And for me, the first time I took a one-to-one Kodály lesson, it was so striking that from the very first moment, we were doing something musical, and that flowed into the next thing and that flowed into the next thing. And at the end of the lesson, I was like, oh, we’ve done seven different things, but it didn’t feel like seven different things.

Zach: And you don’t realize it, yeah.

Christopher: No. So maybe you could give an example or talk through some of the transitions you might use, for people who’ve never encountered that idea, to show how smooth or how clever it can be.

Zach: Yeah, sure. I think of one I just did yesterday. I had my first graders come in, and as we walked around the room, I had them doing call and response right away, while I played on the ukulele and stuff like that. And then we got to our spots, we moved into a vocal warmup, instantly as soon as we stopped. And then the last vocal warmups I did were the pitches of the next song I was going to do. And my kids right now, they’re so well trained that as soon as they hear me start to specify what I’m doing, they’re looking for the next song, because they know it’s coming. It’s like a treasure hunt for them. Like, “Oh wait, I know that’s this song.”

Zach: So then we sang a song. That was just a fun, silly echo kind of song. It was about pie getting stolen or something like that. And then after we were done singing it, we sat down and I said, “Hey, the weirdest thing happened to me the other day. The pie was gone, and I wanted to find it, so I set a trap. And then when the pie was taken, I chased after the person that stole it, and it was a pirate. And he captured me, and he made me sing this song and pull on the anchor rope. And then we sang a song about pulling on the anchor rope, and then for first graders, that song also used a lot of quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests. So after we played that game, I was able to throw up some patterns that had those rhythms that they could read, and they practiced reading.

Zach: And then I would change some of the notes to different patterns, and then by the time I was done, of course, they know what to look for. The new rhythm I had put up there was the next song we were going to do, something like that. So continue in that manner through storytelling and borrowing elements to compare with other songs and that kind of thing. I just love that my kids now, they get it. It’s, like I said, like a treasure hunt for them. They’re always looking for it. “I found it. It’s right here in the second line backwards.” I’m like, “Geez oh Pete, I got to get better ideas. You guys are too smart for me.”

Christopher: That’s wonderful. I can’t applaud highly enough someone who manages to work puns into their lesson planning as a pivotal transition, as a way from “pie” to “pirate.” And obviously, we don’t want to trivialize it. It’s a funny example, but I think anyone following along can imagine how useful that is. If you compare it with the alternative, where you sing a song about pie and then you turn around and you’re like, “Now we’ll do our next song, it’s about a pirate,” the kids are going to have that mental confusion. And yeah, maybe you catch their attention, but-

Zach: Like whiplash.

Christopher: Exactly, yeah. And so even if it’s a contrived or a storytelling transition, it bridges it so smoothly. I’m sure you’ve found ways to do that same kind of thing with your private adult students too.

Zach: Yeah, yeah, for sure. It’s not so much the cutesy story stuff, although sometimes, I mean, I’m pretty cheesy as a person, and even my adult friends know that, and my adult learners also. In the summer, my wife and I conduct a community band throughout the summer. We co-conduct. And they know how I am. They’re always prepared for bad puns and stuff like that.

Zach: But yeah, in my lessons with adult learners and that kind of thing, we can transition. We can pull, like if we start the lesson with an easy song they know and they like to play, I can then isolate something and just transition and say, “Okay, now go back to that C chord, but now this is what we’re going to do. We’re going to move that ring finger over here, and now we’re playing an A minor chord.” Even that kind of small simple transition, I think, just helps to connect it. And it doesn’t feel like hey, now we just played a song, and now we’re doing learning, and then we’re going to play a song again, that kind of thing.

Christopher: Yeah, and I’m sure there’s a whole world of pedagogical theory and philosophy we could explain all of this with, but I think aside from the engagement, I think you mentioned earlier that idea of starting with something easy to build confidence. And I think those transitions really help with that too, where if you’re starting your A minor chord from the C you just played, it’s a bit more approachable than if just out of nowhere, your teacher’s like, “Let’s play an A minor.”

Zach: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Christopher: I interrupted you at going through the three. The third is cooperative. Let’s just talk a bit about that one.

Zach: Oh, cooperative, yeah. Yeah, sure. Music is naturally meant to be shared with others and that kind of thing, and we’re meant to work together. Even solo artists who are all by themselves always have a backup band or something like that, even if it’s just a crew that helps them get on the stage and do their thing. Music is meant to be shared. In classrooms, I think it’s more than just them singing together. To help build knowledge, you need to re-explain it and share what you’ve learned with other people and that kind of thing.

Zach: In my classrooms, I always try to have the students take some time with a musical idea. Even if I’m not looking for a specific right answer, to take some time to try and re-explain an answer with each other to build a better answer themselves. Or here, let’s create our own rhythms. In this group, you have to have eight here, they must use this. And have eight there, they must do that. Then you must split up and perform them in canon with each other or something like that kind of a thing.

Zach: Getting them to work in smaller groups and cooperatively really helps to build the knowledge. It helps their engagement, and it reaches a type of learner I think we often forget about in the different brain theories of learning styles. Everyone knows the visual and the physical and the aural and stuff like that, but everyone forgets that there are social learners too. Social learners need to re-explain and work with other kids to learn in their best way, and I think we forget that part a lot. I’m trying to push that a lot, to give as many opportunities for kids to re-explain to each other.

Zach: I know as an adult learner, when I was picking up the ukulele more seriously, that I appreciated, I didn’t take private lessons on it, but I did go to group classes. I found I almost learned as much from that as I did from private lessons, because I was able to share with other people and see how other people did it, even if they weren’t the teacher. They had their own tricks that often worked just as well or hit something for me that the way the teacher was saying it didn’t, and that kind of thing. So I always encouraged my students when I had them, my adult students, to also play for other people or find someone else who was learning the instrument too, and connect and play together, because that’s important.

Christopher: Fantastic. And so “Authentic, engaging, and cooperative” is the tagline or the slogan for dynamicmusicroom.com, and as I hope this conversation shows quite well, there is so much that adult learners can pick up from the world of early music education and so much that independent learners can learn from teachers talking to teachers about it, as you do on your website. And so I wonder if you could just share a little bit about what you’re up to at dynamicmusicroom.com and what people can find there and what’s coming up next.

Zach: Sure, yeah. Right now, I only started this about four-ish months ago. I’d been sitting on the idea of starting something like this for a long time, and then finally, I’m just going to do it. As I move forward, right now I’m just putting out a lot of content, a lot of helpful resources for teachers that I feel haven’t quite been answered as specifically as teachers might want or are held back by the experts from yore, who they won’t… “Yeah, here are all the answers. You got to buy my book, though,” and that kind of thing.

Zach: I want to provide helpful resources for teachers to get into things and to get their buy-in, and then my goal is to eventually flesh out more about the authentic, engaging, and cooperative learning, flesh it out even more. Because I kind of explain it, and maybe it’s clear, maybe it’s not, maybe I ramble, but I want to flesh it out even more, maybe like a course. I don’t want to say a book, because I think books are just, they’re good, but you need to see someone doing it or do it yourself. Obviously, that’s what I believe. So maybe at some point coming out with a course or a guide for including these three things more in their classrooms, regardless of whatever kind of teacher they are.

Christopher: That sounds great. Well, I said to you before we hit record, how much I was enjoying looking around your website, and so I would really encourage anyone who’s enjoyed this conversation to go and check out dynamicmusicroom.com. We’ll have a link to that in the show notes for this episode at musicalitynow.com. Zach, I’m excited to see what you move on to next with that website, the new resources you’re putting out, and definitely, if you come up with a course in the future, I will be one of the first people lined up to take that. Thank you so much for joining us on the show today. Thanks so much for having me. I’ve loved doing this, and I love what you guys are doing over there at Musical U. It’s really cool.

Enjoying the show? Please consider rating and reviewing it!

The post Authentic, Engaging, Cooperative Learning, with Zach VanderGraaff (The Dynamic Music Room) appeared first on Musical U.

Stay In. Play On!

If you’re reading this then you’re well aware of the current situation with the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. Like most of the community at Musical U, you may be faced with the prospect of staying in for several weeks ahead. You may be quickly turning to music as a rock you can rely on. Music can be an incredible force for keeping our spirits high, helping us stay connected with one another, and inspiring us to hope and be thankful.

With the opportunity to spend more time on our music learning there’s a silver lining: We can come out of this situation with new and better skills – and feeling more musical!

To help you stay musical and stay connected we’ve put together a special page at StayInPlayOn.com. We will be updating as new opportunities come about. We are eager to get you excited to get out there and enjoy performing and collaborating at a new level once life returns to normal.

Watch the episode:

Enjoying the show? Please consider rating and reviewing it!

Links and Resources

Enjoying Musicality Now? Please support the show by rating and reviewing it!

Rate and Review!

Transcript

If you’re watching this episode when it airs then you’ll be well aware of the current situation with the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19.

Now I’m not here to offer health advice or news updates – no doubt you’ve got enough of that flying at you already. But it seems clear that the sooner people self-isolate, the more lives can be saved.

I’m here in Spain on total lockdown with my wife and two young daughters – and although it’s all a bit crazy, we are all in good health so far.

And if you’re like most in our community at Musical U then faced with that prospect of staying in for several weeks ahead, you’re quickly turning to music as a rock you can rely on. I’m glad that my home office is always packed with instruments so I can keep playing. I did have a momentary panic when a guitar string broke – but it’s okay, it turned out I had a spare set.

Now I don’t want to trivialise this and say “hey, never mind, let’s all just have fun and play music!” – this is a serious situation.

But at the same time, music can be an incredible force for keeping our spirits high, helping us stay connected with one another, inspiring us to hope and be thankful. And with the opportunity to spend more time on our music learning it even offers a possible silver lining, that we can come out of this situation with new and better skills, feeling more musical, eager to go out there and enjoy performing and collaborating at a new level once life returns to normal.

So I wanted to record this special episode to share some cool things that are happening right now which can help you make the most of any extra music time you may find you have.

First off, you can expect Musicality Now to continue as normal. We took a short break – and I’ll share in a minute what we were busy with elsewhere – but we’re back on track for an episode per week, possibly more, so that you can always count on that new episode to listen to or watch.

Beyond this show though there’s actually a lot of other stuff available for you that I didn’t want you to miss out on.

Here at Musical U over the last week, as it’s become increasingly clear how many people likely face lockdown for weeks or even months, and that the sooner people start self-isolating the better – we’ve been talking with members and brainstorming in the team, trying to figure out how we can best serve you all in the weeks ahead.

Last week we announced a few quick measures for members, which I’ll just mention because I know we have a lot of members who listen to the show and you may have missed that announcement. We will be keeping our doors open at Musical U and doing everything we can to make sure you can rely on us for “service as normal” throughout this period. And we’re also doing a few extra things based on what we’ve been hearing from you.

Firstly we know a lot of folks are facing financial difficulties with their work interrupted so we’re offering an amnesty on membership payments for anybody who needs it. We don’t want your membership payment to be a source of stress and we’d hate to lose you from the community.

Secondly, we were hearing that many of you anticipated more time available for music practice, but your regular activities like local group rehearsals or performances were all cancelled so you needed something new to sink your teeth into. So for a limited time we’ve dropped the prices of all five of our standalone courses in half for you – that’s Foundations of a Musical Mind, The Musician’s Ear, Ear Training For Beginners, The Circle Mastery Experience and even our latest course, Improv Immersion.

We’re also shaping up plans for more regular drop-in Q&A sessions where you can connect with the team and other members, virtual jam sessions, a member “perks” page with exclusive discounts and offers on recommended products and services, and a new series of live masterclasses with outside experts for you. And of course we’ll be continuing to talk with you in the community to find out what you most want and how we can help.

So that’s members. We also wanted to do something to help our wider audience who aren’t yet members, like our Facebook fans and email subscribers.

So last week we launched a series of free daily masterclass reruns – one hour-long music masterclass every day for a week, free of charge. We have an incredible masterclass library inside Musical U and so it’s been exciting to share some of the highlights more widely, with sessions from folks like “The Learning Coach” Gregg Goodhart, vocal coach Davin Youngs, improv extraordinaire the late Forrest Kinney, and several more. And we’ve had such a great response to those with hundreds tuning in for every session, we’re going to keep that party going with a few more daily masterclasses at least.

Along with those masterclass sessions I wanted to provide a way for those who were eager to get access to even more. So even though we don’t usually offer a free trial of Musical U membership, for a limited time we’re offering free membership for a full 30 days, with no obligation and no strings attached. So if you miss a masterclass you wanted to catch, or you want to watch them all, or you want the full in-depth skill training that complements them or you want to connect with other music learners like you during this time, then you can come in, try it all for the next month, and not pay a penny. We do of course hope you’ll choose to stay, and you can enjoy a big discount on regular pricing if you do – but there’s no pressure and no obligation, you’re able and welcome to come in, use it all, including the new special events we’re organising for members – and then leave at the end with no payment required.

So that felt like a good start, to do what we can to help our community and wider audience stay engaged in fun, productive music learning at this time.

Of course if you know us here at Musical U you’ll know we never pretend to be the one true be-all-and-end-all of music learning – we love to collaborate with and help recommend other amazing online music educators. So from the outset we were also looking for ways to go beyond just what we at Musical U can provide ourselves.

This week we went ahead and added a new “Friends” page to the Musical U website. You can find that by going to musical-u.com and clicking “Friends” in the top menu. This is something we were working on anyway as part of bigger website changes to showcase our mission and more of what we’re all about here at Musical U – but given the circumstances it seemed smart to go ahead and make sure all visitors to our site had easy access to our top recommendations for other resources that can help you in your journey of becoming more musical.

As you can probably imagine, that wasn’t an easy page to put together! Because I wanted to include pretty much every single one of the amazing guests we’ve had interviewed here on the show! We did have some particular criteria for who to include though, which is a bit hard to explain until those fuller website changes are made. But just to say if you spot any notable absences, folks like Brent Vaartstra at Learn Jazz Standards, for example, who you know we highly recommend and consider a good “friend” of Musical U – that’s no slight on his work, it’s just about the particular framing of that page, which will hopefully become clear in due course.

As well as that Friends page, over the last week I’ve been reaching out to all our friends and contacts in music education to see what they have planned, and paying attention to what’s been going on in the various music teacher groups online.

A lot of us have been trying to figure out how to adjust what we do to best serve music learners at this time, and a lot of music teachers have been hastily making the shift to online teaching. A big shout out to some of the amazing teachers-of-teachers like Sara Campbell, Glory St. Germaine, Bradley Sowash, Tim Topham, Anne Mileski and Melody Payne who’ve been rapidly providing special training and guidance to help with that transition.

So there’s a lot going on! And to help you stay musical and stay connected we’ve put together a special page at stayinplayon.com with details of everything I’ve mentioned.

You’ll find there the free daily Musical U masterclasses and whatever we do next after that, you’ll find a list of all the special resources and opportunities with other music education providers online that we know about, as well as a way to let us know if you come across any we’ve missed. And we’re also compiling a list of independent teachers who are accepting new online students at this time if you’re looking for something new or you want to support music teachers at this difficult time.

We’re also encouraging you to share what you’re doing to stay musical during this time, by posting on your social media of choice, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever Snapchatty Tik-Toky thing the cool kids are using these days, with the hashtag #stayinplayon – so that even if you’re not joining us for our group activities inside Musical U we can all still feel connected and inspire one another to draw on music as our comfort, our refuge and our silver lining at this time.

I would love to hear what you’re up to – but instead of our usual invitation to drop us an email I’m going to ask you to put it out there on social media for more people to see and be inspired by. Hashtag it #stayinplayon and we’ll see it there.

So head over to stayinplayon.com and check out everything that’s happening and I hope to see you at some of the live events we’re organising for members and the public in the weeks ahead.

Stay healthy. Stay safe.

And together, let’s stay in – and play on!

Enjoying the show? Please consider rating and reviewing it!

The post Stay In. Play On! appeared first on Musical U.

Stay In. Play On!

New musicality video:

This is Christopher Sutton from Musical U, and this will be a special short announcement episode to invite you to Stay In – and Play On.

http://musl.ink/pod227

If you’re reading this then you’re well aware of the current situation with the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19.

And if you’re like most in our community at Musical U then faced with that prospect of staying in for several weeks ahead, you’re quickly turning to music as a rock you can rely on. Music can be an incredible force for keeping our spirits high, helping us stay connected with one another, inspiring us to hope and be thankful.

And with the opportunity to spend more time on our music learning it even offers a possible silver lining, that we can come out of this situation with new and better skills, feeling more musical, eager to go out there and enjoy performing and collaborating at a new level once life returns to normal.

So to help you stay musical and stay connected we’ve put together a special page at StayInPlayOn.com which we’ll be updating as new opportunities come about.

Listen to the episode: http://musl.ink/pod227

Links and Resources:

Stay In. Play On! : http://stayinplayon.com/

Musical U Friends Page : https://www.musical-u.com/friends/

Free Daily Music Masterclasses : https://secure.musical-u.com/mar20-btn

Learn Jazz Standards : https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/

Sara Campbell : https://sarasmusicstudio.com/

Ultimate Music Theory : https://ultimatemusictheory.com/

Bradley Sowash : https://bradleysowash.com/

Tim Topham : https://topmusic.co/

Anne Mileski : https://anacrusic.com/

Melody Payne : https://melodypayne.com/

If you enjoy the show please rate and review it! http://musicalitypodcast.com/review

Join Musical U with the Special offer for podcast listeners http://musicalitypodcast.com/join

Let us know what you think! Email: hello@musicalitypodcast.com

===============================================

Learn more about Musical U!

Website:
https://www.musical-u.com/

Podcast:
http://musicalitypodcast.com 

Tone Deaf Test:
http://tonedeaftest.com/

Musicality Checklist:
https://www.musical-u.com/mcl-musicality-checklist 

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/MusicalU 

YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/c/MusicalU

Subscribe for more videos from Musical U!

Stay In. Play On!

Welcome to the first in a series of free daily masterclas…

https://secure.musical-u.com/mar20-btn
Welcome to the first in a series of free daily masterclasses from Musical U!

These replay recordings are typically only available for Musical U members, but we wanted to do something special to help make these times more musical for you…

With so many apps, websites, and software, it can be difficult to keep up with music technology despite all it can do to accelerate our musical growth.

Fortunately we were joined by one of the world’s leading experts in using technology to teach and learn music: Katie Wardrobe. Katie shared her own method for figuring out songs step-by-step, along with the apps which can help you at each stage.

https://secure.musical-u.com/mar20-btn

In this masterclass you’ll discover:

– The 4-step workflow that makes arranging music a much simpler task
– How to set up your playback app to focus in on short sections of a song
– Recommended notation software for writing lead sheets or full scores
– How you can slow down any part of a song to give your ears a chance to listen, making transcribing a breeze

This masterclass is packed with useful ideas for using technology in your musicality training. Tools and tricks that will help you speed up the process of learning and arranging by ear.

https://secure.musical-u.com/mar20-btn

In this interview, we spoke with Dave Bainbridge about hi…

https://www.musical-u.com/learn/blues-celtic-music-and-a-passion-for-instruments-with-dave-bainbridge/
In this interview, we spoke with Dave Bainbridge about his musical beginnings, his love for both the blues and Celtic music, and the joys of being a multi-instrumentalist.

Read on.

https://www.musical-u.com/learn/blues-celtic-music-and-a-passion-for-instruments-with-dave-bainbridge/