Today I have just a quick followup to my post yesterday about homeschool music learning ideas. I really do believe that music appreciation begins at home. Exposing children to great music can influence the way they think and the way they see the world around them. So today my wonderful wife sent me a link to an award-winning homeschooling blog where a mom has found many great resources and brought them together. One of the resources that she has assembled is a study of the life and music of eight of the greatest composers in history. The course material is outlined as follows:
I grew up in a family where my siblings and I were taught at home. Homeschooling has been growing as an alternative method for teaching children over the past few years (see the statistics by the National Center for Education Statistics). This post is not to dispute the positives and negatives of homeschooling. What I would like to do in this article is to give a little background on how I received a musical education while being taught at home. For any home educators that read my posts, this may give you some ideas on how to go about teaching music to your children at home. There will be more articles that give more details about curriculum and methods some other time. This post will simply chronicle some of what I've experienced and talk about the pros and cons of each.
While there are many ways you could potentially organize your sheet music for reference and performance, these methods are the two that I have found to be most useful personally. As I have figured out how to organize my sheet music, I have had better results finding the pieces of music that I need when I need them. Both of these methods are simple, easy-to-understand, and practical for the active musician.
Through my involvement in church music since I was a young teenager, I have learned quite a bit about getting a music group started in a church setting. I've been a singer, instrumentalist, and director of various groups, and I have loved the opportunities that I've had to share music with my fellow church musicians and ultimately with the entire congregation. There are a few things that I have noticed that have helped some church music ensembles to work together better. Here are a few basic tips for starting (or improving) a music group at your church.
One of the latest projects I've tackled in the building of this blog has been setting up a music store. This is an exciting opportunity for me to share some of the music resources that can benefit the readers of the Harmony Passion blog. The newest category in the store is the CD/mp3 albums. Initially, I have selected recordings of classical singers that are great "vocal ideals" for any aspiring vocalist. There will be more categories coming soon.
So you're a modern-day composer looking to get paid for the music you write. Easier said than done, right? What is a source that can show you how to commission music? One resource you may be interested in looking into is the newly merged New Music USA, formerly known as American Music Center and Meet the Composer. Although the website isn't much right now, they seem to have a rich history and great plans for the future. I expect that after the dust settles on the merger, the combined resources will make this organization an excellent connection point for new music. One resource that they currently have available is a guide to commissioning a piece of music, entitled Commissioning Music: A Basic Guide. The pdf document contains some beneficial information, including some price guidelines based on the music marketplace today. Listed near the end of the document are some other resources that budding composers may find helpful. New music is important -- and it's also important for modern composers to connect with resources that can help them prosper. At Harmony Passion, we desire to help community and church musicians to thrive in their art. Keep composing!
By signing up on Scott's website, you can get $5 worth of free mp3 credits on Amazon.com. To nab this deal for yourself, click here. I've already got some vocal harmony group music that I know I'm spending my credits on. What will you use your $5 credit for? Let us know by leaving a comment. Enjoy the free music!
Since the advent of microphones and electronic amplification, the art of singing has been modified to fit new styles that would not have been nearly as practical without the aid of amplification. However, going back to classical voice training is not a bad idea. It will help singers in any genre to maintain a healthy voice and get the best sound possible.
Since I have begun teaching voice students at our local arts center, I have found that there are three basic concepts that I want my students to grasp from the start. These are some of the fundamental concepts that other voice teachers may also want to communicate to their students.
Oftentimes modern music and culture does not take much time to think on things of the past. The common theme seems to be about the present, our current problems and successes, rather than reflecting on anything of a historical nature. But is there something missing when the past is forgotten?
As a musician, taking time to reflect on the past can give great insight into what is truly needed today. By studying how the great composers of past times created their great works, the modern composer can make a more meaningful contribution to today's world. One current composer that obviously does this kind of reflection is the choral composer John Rutter. In this video, Rutter explains how looking into a little history led to inspiration for his most recent recording, This is the Day: Music on Royal Occasions. By looking back even during the period of his lifetime, Rutter created a recording that told a story. See his explanation below:
For more insight from a great composer of our time, see more of John Rutter's commentary videos on his YouTube channel.
In what ways do you look back to the past in your music? Leave comments on this post and let us know.
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