A guide to six useful music blogs available to help musicians, music students and music teachers with practicing, teaching and performing.
The number music-related blogs has exploded since 2008. When Dolphin Music published its list of the "Top Ten Music Related Blogs", music blogs did not make many top ten lists. In 2010, a Google search on "music blogs" yields over 250,000,000 results and nearly 100,000,000 results for "top music blog sites" and subdivided by genre, instrument and musician level.
The following is a compilation of some music related blogs in the blogsphere:
Music Teacher Blogs
There are countless more blogs written by musicians and music teachers which share everything from dealing with teacher burnout to tips on writing studio policies. Two blogs that share a wide mix of information and resources for music teachers are the Music Matters Blog and Layton Music – Games & Resources.
The Music Matters Blog was developed by Kansas-based piano teacher Natalie Wickham. She launched Music Matters in September 2005 and offers "creative, practical and up-to-date resources for the independent music teacher." Entry categories include: group class ideas, ideas for parents, music history, recital ideas, resource reviews, compositions and computer help, and on-line resources. Wickham even welcomes guest posts.
Layton Music – Games & Resources – Where Music Teachers Come to Play was developed by Arizona-based piano teacher D’Net Layton. Her blog includes reviews of music teaching resources, articles about composers, group lesson ideas, student incentive programs and games.
Helpful Blogs for Music Students and Their Parents
Many music blogs available are written by music teachers to help music students and their parents with their at-home practice routine. Common blog themes include: quality versus quantity practice, how parents can help their child practice and practice requirements. Two such blogs are Learn Theory of Music Blog and Music Noodle.
Learn Theory of Music Blog was developed by British musician Julian Partridge. To him, "Music education is an emotive subject and this country has seen it's fair share of neglect over the years." Some of his recent posts include: "What Is Stage Fright?", "The ABSOLUTE Beginners Music Dictionary" and "The Best Music Recording Programs". Partridge, a bassoonist for the Ulster Orchestra, launched his blog in 2007.
Music Noodle offers music practice advice to parents of young musicians. It offers a discussion forum where teachers and parents can discuss practicing, motivational challenges and how parents can set their children up for musical success. Some recent posts include "Create a Good Music Practice Environment", "Is Music Practice Supposed to Be Fun?", "No More Music Practice Disasters" and "Bagged! Are You a Pushy Music Parent?"
Useful Blogs for All Musicians: Performers, Students and Teachers
Another growing category are the musician blogs, where they can discuss industry challenges, career paths, practice strategies and more. Two helpful music blogs in this category are The Collaborative Piano Blog and The Practice Blog.
The Collaborative Piano Blog looks at the art of the piano in ensemble, various piano-related resources and events, classical music, music education, technology. Launched in 2005 by Ontario-based pianist, teacher and vocal coach. Some of his popular posts are "How to Get Work as a Freelance Collaborative Pianist", "31 Days to Better Practicing" and "15 Ways To Add 10-minute Practice Blocks To Your Routine."
Foley regularly posts news about upcoming performances, online resources and some humorous posts for stress relief.
The Practice Blog is an ongoing music practice resource for students, teachers, parents and performers. Some popular posts include: "Music Practice Books", "Digital Audio Recorder", "Zoom H4n Review", "Lesson Notes and Practice Targets" and "Essential music practice techniques for all instruments".
This list is just a sampling of music blogs available. There are countless more blogs, from jazz music blogs to classical music blogs and from guitar blogs to rock music blogs. The blogs listed above contain a wealth of information for all musicians, from resources and pedagogy tips for music teachers to practicing ideas and advice for music students and their parents. All musicians, regardless of playing level can learn something new from the music practice and performance-related blogs.
This article was originally published on Suite101.com on May 29, 2010. All rights reserved by Rhona-Mae Arca.