Psychology tests – you wait for ages, then three come along at once. In the wake of the VAK and Myers-Briggs tests at last Monday’s In-Service, I volunteered to take part in some research at the weekend – the snappily entitled, “UK Standardisation of Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test III and UK Validation Study of Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System.” I was drained just from reading the title. When the tests finished 3.5 hours later, I felt as though I’d been hit over the head with a mallet.
To cut a long title down to a short story, these are the simple facts: Continue reading Just Like Buses
To TAB or not to TAB
Tablature is an ancient system of notation for fretted string instruments where horizontal lines represent the strings and numbers placed on these lines represent the chosen fret. Many guitar teachers use only TAB viewing notation as a disincentive. The problem here is that non-readers (of notation) can communicate only with other guitarists. Many teachers use notation exclusively, regarding TAB as a form of cheating. My view….. Continue reading Arranging 7
So what exactly is arranging? It is not composing in that the basic material already exists, although it might be about to undergo massive transformation. Many people mix up arranging with transcribing. Were I to take, for example, a Mozart string quartet movement and rewrite the parts for guitar this would simply be transcription – even if I changed the key (transposition) to a more suitable one for multiple guitars. Transcription is an art in itself but it is more to do with accuracy than creativity. Continue reading Arranging 2
Yesterday (Sunday 24th) I attended whatever you’d call the pre-steering committee stage of the Scottish Guitar Federation – the ignition stage? This remains a working title for the moment. Together with the other three members of the
Edinburgh Guitar Quartet we drove through to the RSAMD in Glasgow, where torrential rain had been pre-booked for their September weekend. Continue reading Scottish Guitar Federation
During a recent and especially enjoyable fire-drill, on an uncharacteristically hot September morning, I had the chance to check with a modern languages colleague on some details of Standard Grade content this while brushing splinters of fire-alarm glass from the leather elbow-patches of my gravitas-affording, tweed jacket.
The four elements I had imagined were still in place: Continue reading Don’t Conjugate At The Table, Dear
My wish for Exc-el is a page combining the following features: Continue reading Dear Santa
“There is creative reading as well as creative writing.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 82)
“I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.” Steven Wright (b 1955)
Visual Games – where pupils deal with reading music in unorthodox ways
Purpose – to enable pupils to drop in and out of a performance (but especially in).
The benefit of this may not be immediately clear to non-musicians. Continue reading Games 3
“Originality is the return to the origin.” Antonio Gaudí i Cornet (1852-1926)
Recent deliberations upon technique as the servant of expression, leave me feeling that perhaps a few words on what is meant by expression (and how this is put across to pupils) are required.
What is being expressed? The performer or the music? Continue reading Spot The Difference
“There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start.” Charles Baudelaire (1821- 1867)
“It’s a job that’s never started that takes the longest to finish.” J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973)
Another day without pupils (no, not conjunctivitis – just activities week). I took the opportunity to get stuck into writing reports on an industrial scale.
The dilemma of instrumental reporting consists in Continue reading The Decorator’s Dilema