A World of Music: Brass

Over the last several weeks we’ve been exploring the wider world of musical instruments. We began with a look at the Spanish guitar before moving on to keyboard instruments of the world, and finally, last week, drums from all over! This week we’re going to take a look at another familiar section of the orchestra to see what sort of unfamiliar instruments we can find: the brass section! Most of us are familiar with the trumpet, trombone, and tuba, but the brass family is much larger than just the instruments you’d find in a jazz band. In fact, not every member of the...

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A World of Music: Drums

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been exploring some of the amazing variations to common instruments the wide world of music can bring us We started our journey a few weeks ago when we discussed how the Spanish guitar is different, in both design and technique, from the guitar most of us are more familiar with. We followed that up with a look at the plethora of keyboard instruments found around the world. This week let’s take a look at one of the oldest instruments the world has ever seen; the drum! Today, most of us are familiar with the drum kit, but...

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A World of Music: Keyboard Instruments

The piano is, without a doubt, one of the most popular and widespread instruments in the world. And if you’re a pianist, you’re probably used to the question, “Do you play any other instruments, too?” It may seem like an odd question at first, but many professional musicians who are famous for one instrument, also play the piano (and vice versa). But even if you’re only comfortable with the keys, even you can answer “yes” to this question! It’s just a matter of exploring the wide world of keyboard instruments! Although, here in modern Western culture, we’re most familiar with the piano...

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A World of Music: Spanish Guitar

The guitar is, unquestionably, one of the most popular instruments in the US and Canada. But did you know its history goes back much further, and its popularity is much broader? Aside from the well-known acoustic and electric varieties popular here, perhaps the best-known variation on the guitar, in both physical form and playing style, is the “Spanish” or flamenco guitar. What is a Spanish Guitar? At its most basic, a Spanish guitar is essentially a kind of acoustic guitar that uses nylon strings, and, as you might have guessed, is usually used to play traditionally Spanish music. When played, the strings are...

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How to Optimize Zoom for Music Lessons!

As a musician in the time of COVID, you may have begun using Zoom for your lessons or classes. If that’s the case, there are a few things you should know about this interesting app to help you get the most out of your musician experience. Let’s dive right in! The Basics Zoom can run within your computer’s web browser, but it tends to work a pit better running as an app on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Download Zoom First and foremost, you’ll need to get the app. Luckily, Zoom is free! Go to zoom.us/download, or the Apple Store or Google Play for your...

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Top Tips for Keeping Your Instrument Clean

With the world recovering from the global COVID-19 pandemic, cleaning and disinfecting has become more of a priority. And with some studies showing some viruses might survive on certain surfaces for many days, keeping a clean home is at the forefront of countless minds. There are tons of specific cleaners for almost every surface in your home. But what about your instrument? Let’s dive into some quick tips to help you keep your instrument clean and sanitized, without damaging it. The Basics Wash Your Hands! – The easiest and best way to make sure your instrument stays clean is to be clean yourself. Every time...

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Tips For Returning to Music After Some Time Off

As Ontario moves down the path to recovery, there are tons of students – of all ages – who were forced to put their lessons on hold and are now ready to get back to them. If this sounds like you, you might be starting to feel that itch, that urge to get back into playing music, and you aren’t alone. This week let’s explore some tips, and food for thought about how you can prepare yourself (or your little ones) for a successful musical restart! Find the Right Music Teacher Now might just be a great opportunity to find the best teacher...

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The Role of Articulation in Music

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been exploring some of the more technical aspects of music. Last week we discussed musical phrasing, before that, we touched on time signature and tempo, key changes, chords and keys, and dynamics. This week we’re going to dive into yet another: articulation. Whenever an actor takes the stage, he must know how to speak his lines in a way that best represents the meaning of the words. For example, if the scene is sad, like a death scene, the actor should speak with a sorrowful voice. It would be odd for them to speak in...

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Stand Out with Musical Phrasing

You might already be familiar with the word “phrasing” when it comes to language. But, when it comes to music, phrasing means something a little different. Musical phrasing is how a musician shapes and colours the sequence of notes they play in a passage. They do this to help relay an impression or emotion, and can achieve a stylistic difference from what’s found on the sheet music by changing up the tempo, tone, articulation dynamics, or other characteristics. Over the last few weeks we’ve been exploring different aspect of music, starting with tempo, dynamics, chords and key, key changes, and finally time...

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How Time Signature & Tempo Impact Music

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been investigating different aspects of music. We started with an exploration of volume dynamics in music, then moved on to take a look at how chords and key impact the emotion of a song, before ending up with some of our favourite key changes in pop music last week. This week we’re going to be taking a look at a pair of connected - yet a different - aspects of music: the tempo and the time signature. What is Tempo As you probably already know, tempo is the speed at which a piece of music is played....

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