I was never much good at maths and so would believe anything to be true if it felt vaguely correct. This led to an unusual situation where, by means of a stepping stone, so incorrect* as to be unreal, a conceptual stream was crossed.
I must have dreamt Continue reading Connect 6
The interface between the practice of forms and combat in tai chi is known as pushing hands – a repetitive two-person exercise. The idea is to build up sensitivity to the shifting weight of the opponent and to use this against them – pretty much as in judo and aikido.
In real life, when the push/strike comes, you parry this to one side and then smite the opponent with
Continue reading Connect 5
There is a very strong link between the pressure of left hand* notes on the guitar and gravity. The earth’s gravity is a natural phenomenon and gravity on the guitar a fabricated one – but necessary. If we mismanage natural gravity we stumble. If we mismanage gravity on the guitar, Continue reading Connect 3
Axis of Accuracy
A left hand position change on the guitar involves a horizontal shift – hopefully moving along the string*. Crossing strings involves a vertical move of one left hand finger. Often the two coincide – sometimes over quite a large distance.
To avoid dizzying uncertainty Continue reading Connect 2
The Field of Play
Thinking about the element of connectedness at the heart of extreme learning has encouraged me to reflect upon the multidisciplinary approach which can be helpful in instrumental teaching. Essential might be a better word as, when dealing with an abstract language such as music, connections to more Continue reading Connect 1
It’s funny how things can turn on a sixpence (2.5p to anyone under forty – or 0.04 Euros for people even younger than that). Recently I listed, in a comment, those people I thought might chance upon my blog. I confessed that I hadn’t really mentioned it to pupils. The option of additional pages has changed everything and Continue reading Nothing to report
Quicker to get off the ground than the Pupils’ mp3 Performance Page will be the Guitar Group Support Pages (on your right). One of these, will include all the parts of an arrangement (notation and tab, where appropriate) so that pupils can access parts other than the one they have been assigned. The idea is to broaden their knowledge of the piece and also to give them more idea of how arrangements are put together. Many will go on to submit “inventions” in SQA exams and exploration of this type should prove helpful.
Already up and running is the “midi file” branch of this page. Continue reading Thither page
One overlooked layout decision – a thousand repeated sentences. (Ancient proverb from the Province of East Lothian).
Publishing houses have some advantages over instructors when arranging ensembles for schools:
- Not teaching 50 lessons per week
- Having in-house proof-readers to spot errors in the notes, fingering, position markings, expression marks and matters of general layout – known in the trade as geography. Continue reading Arranging 5
Instructors running ensembles have two basic choices when it comes to finding suitable music – buying or writing arrangements. My personal preference is to write them, for the following reasons:
- Economy – this saves departments (i.e. the public purse) a fortune
- The levels of difficulty can be more finely tuned* Continue reading Arranging 1
I’ve put forward a couple of new ideas for consideration in the primary schools I visit:
Practice Guidelines For Parents of New Pupils
At the time when enthusiasm is at its keenest, it might be a good idea for households with little or no experience of learning instruments to have description of how best to spend practice time. Continue reading Early Doors