Nieuwkerk Music

Excellence in Performance and Education

Tag: music

Talking Music. Part 2: Notes, Scales and Chords

Once you know how to talk about where notes are in the bar it is also useful to understand the terminology surrounding what the notes are. One of the things I have found whilst teaching students about music theory, aural studies, and improvisation is that it is often difficult to engage with these concepts because of the sheer volume of new vocabulary. Continue reading

Talking Music. Part 1: Rhythm

I’ve had this theory for a while that if you have the words to describe what is happening when you play music (physically, mentally, emotionally) it assists greatly in the development of musicality. My experience has been that having a vocabulary to express what you hear is integral to being able to improve. This is because great musicians are always comparing two things: their ideal concept of what something will sound like and what their playing sounds like in reality. Yet, in the way that we teach, we often tell our students “that’s wrong, it goes like this,” without giving them the tools to be able to express why something doesn’t meet their own aural concept. It’s just as important to do this with the nuts-and-bolts of music (rhythm, articulation, pitch) as well as the more expressive aspects of music. This is because giving students building a musical vocabulary early enables them to understand instruction more quickly and develop self-reflective practising skills.  Continue reading

Yesterday, I started composing my first work using graphic notation

Visual Diary with Pencil Markings
Yesterday, I felt inspired to finally embark upon a creative project I have been thinking about for a while: a location specific work composed with graphic notation. I have recently performed graphic scores for the first time in 10 years and composing one of my own just felt right. So, I went out and bought a visual diary to begin my very first graphic composition. Continue reading

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