Music Theory

Beats and Budo

Beats and Budo

Several months ago, one of my fellow iaidoka (AKA, “The Tiny Samurai”) posed a question to Kim Taylor sensei of Sei Do Kai with regards to beats and budo. Taylor sensei shared some of his thoughts here, then made a reference to me (AKA, “The Tinier Samurai”) to try tackling the question.

When I first began my Iai journey in the mid 2000s, I recognized immediately the many shared themes between music and martial arts. Beats and budo, now this is something that I have been grappling with since Day One.

What does pizza have to do with studying music theory?

My students and I had our first music theory study and pizza party this weekend. It was an enjoyable experience for students and teacher alike.

Beginning major scales Book Review

A look at Paul D. Sayre's Beginning major scales Technique & Theory Workbook. Smart design and text, I can see it meeting the needs of certain groups of students and look forward to the release of the next book in the series.

Setting up the Studio Computer Lab

Students can improve their note reading, ear training and more on the computer,  Photo by R-M Arca.

Technology and music is a huge area for growth as far as music teaching goes. I recently transformed my old office laptop into a music computer lab.
I downloaded various cool (and free) apps from Ubuntu's software center, including:
  • Audacity
  • Linthesia
  • Score Reading Trainer
  • GNU Denemo
  • GNU Solfege
  • Hydrogen Drum Machine
  • Linux Multimedia Studio
  • Virtual Midi Piano Keyboard
  • Musescore
Generally, I zoomed in on apps that help students with note reading practice, ear training and rhythm work. The music notation software and audio recording software is to give them something fun to create.
One student was tickled pink that he earned three Maestro Bucks for creating a funky drum loop (and tutored his sister on how to use the program).

Great Link about Articulation & Music Terms

I stumbled upon this link in my search for a refresher on tremolos:

I particularly like the chart about all the different accents. That will come in handy when I start reviewing accents with my students.

Now I better get back to practicing. I'm "parachuting" in as a choir accompanist for a short-term project so I need to speed-learn the pieces for tomorrow's rehearsal. And yes, I just got the music today. Isn't that how it always goes?

The jazz lessons are paying off. My style of chunking the information has changed with my year in jazz.

(c) 2009 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.

Music Review 101

The one thing that music teachers enjoy about Christmas break is that it's a chance to rest our overworked braincells and catch up on sleep. The downside however, is that some students really take "Christmas Break" to a whole new level. These links are for those students and the teachers that are looking for funky ways to refresh their memories:

Speed Note Reading Practice - everything from note reading to ear training drills - Games

And let's not forget my all-time favorites: - Head to "Trainers" - The Piano Player

(c) 2009 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.