YOUR STORIES • Readers tell us about their own piano journey
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Simon’ latest post tells of how he has, in later life, turned to music as a full-time professional, and his experiences training as a media composer.
Continue reading Your Story: Simon Reich
As well as giving a special insight into his own personal journey, the post will be an encouragement to all considering a career in music.
PATHWAYS FOR TEACHING • by ANDREW EALES
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An article on the BBC News website last weekend highlighted an interesting controversy from the world of education: Do we need to teach children joined-up handwriting? The issue is back in the news because the US state of Illinois has passed a law requiring school students to learn “cursive” (joined-up handwriting), overriding the governor’s veto.
Elsewhere in the US and in some other countries schools have dropped the skill from the curriculum, or made it optional.
Certainly some teachers and parents are concerned that the introduction of joined-up handwriting can prove to be a significant roadblock in childrens’ education.
And the BBC article points out that few adults ever use joined-up handwriting; most of us rarely write by hand at all, except for the occasional shopping list or post-it note. The block hand-writing of a young child is sufficient for this, given that most of us use electronic devices, apps and software for any serious written communication.
The same arguments about educational roadblocks and 21st-century relevance might be made with regard to teaching music pupils to write fluent, accurate and detailed music notation by hand:
Continue reading Should we still teach students to hand-write music?
Should we be teaching students to write music by hand at all?
Guest post by Garreth Brooke
Those of us who grew up hearing stories of the young prodigy Mozart composing his first music aged 5, or Beethoven composing the 9th whilst already deaf, may be forgiven for sometimes assuming that composing is something rarified and mysterious, inaccessible for us ordinary folk.
But if the recent explosion of wonderful original solo piano compositions from the likes of Barbara Arens, June Armstrong, Alison Mathews and Nikolas Sideris and many others that have been featured on Pianodao teaches us nothing else, it is that composition is not reserved just for the transcendent few.
What’s more, there are many resources available that you can use to guide you through introducing composition to students.
These resources, combined with an encouraging attitude and a sense of humour, can make composing a really fun and educational activity that both you and your students will enjoy. Best of all, none of these resources require you the teacher to be a composer. All you need is an encouraging attitude and a willingness to experiment.
Below you will find a list of resources that will help you to introduce yourself and your students to composing, as well as some tips from Barbara, June, Alison and Nikolas.
Continue reading “You Composed This!”
PATHWAYS FOR PLAYING • by ANDREW EALES
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SoundCloud has become, since its inception in August 2007, the website of choice for collaborating musicians, offering them the ability to freely upload tracks, sharing them privately with selected recipients, downloading, and leaving timed comments.
It’s been a simple but winning formula that has won considerable popularity against more complex rival collaborative offerings.
Continue reading Music Collaboration Online