Products featured here are selected for review by ANDREW EALES
Find out more: ABOUT PIANODAO REVIEWS
From time to time I have the good fortune of enjoying a curry with my friend Paul Harris, and as often as not we end up sat at a piano, diving into his latest musical doodles…
“I’ve been working on my next Piece a Week book, and this is what I’ve got so far”,
…or similar words will precede his playing, with the modest disclaimer,
“I’ve only spent a couple of days on these, so they aren’t all quite as I want them yet.”
This is followed by a performance of some 20 pieces, all composed within the preceding 48 hours or so. And even though I know that Paul, genius that he is, can routinely pour out another set of brilliantly characterful and playable pieces, I am consistently amazed at how creative yet well honed his gift for composition is.
Bartók famously resisted teaching composition, and he had a point. How does one even begin?
With his latest creation, Musical Doodles, Harris perhaps offers something better: an opportunity for any musician, however elementary and whatever their instrument, to have an enormous amount of fun exploring the nuts and bolts of creativity, quite possibly developing their understanding, experience, engagement and musical inspiration in the process.
Let’s take a look at Musical Doodles…
Continue reading Paul Harris’s Musical Doodles
Supporting Educators • Promoting Learning
Written by ANDREW EALES
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?
Supporting Your Piano Playing Journey
Written by ANDREW EALES
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