Dan Christian Music Teacher Dan Christian Music Teacher Blog Posts http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog ABRSM Exam Results - March 2016 <h2>ABRSM Saxophone Exam Results</h2> <p>Congratulations to all my students who took exams this time around. We had 5 saxophonists and 1 Clarinetist go for their Grades ranging from 1-6. Some of the players were veterans and others were taking their very first exam. Worksop College is a fantastic venue to take an exam or give a recital. The building is often referred to as "Hogwarts" by my students and you can see why!</p> <p><img src="/system/images/BAhbB1sHOgZmSSI7MjAxNi8wNC8wNy8wOF8xM18zOF81Nzlfd29ya3NvcF9jb2xsZWdlX2dyZWF0X2hhbGwuanBnBjoGRVRbCDoGcDoKdGh1bWJJIg0yMjV4MjU1PgY7BlQ/worksop%20college%20great%20hall.jpg" title="Worksop College Great Hall" alt="Worksop College Great Hall" rel="225x255" width="225" height="150" style="background-color: transparent;" /><img src="http://www.jhs-jp.com/system/images/BAhbB1sHOgZmSSIwMjAxNi8wNC8wNy8wOF8xNV8yM183MTVfd29ya3NvcF9jb2xsZWdlLmpwZwY6BkVUWwg6BnA6CnRodW1iSSINMjI1eDI1NT4GOwZU/worksop%20college.jpg" title="Worksop College" alt="Worksop College" rel="225x255" width="225" height="150" style="background-color: transparent;" /></p> <p>There are practice rooms for students to warm up in and this really helps settle nerves and warm up those saxophones and clarinets. Everyone played exceptionally well and it marked a very proud day for me as a Saxophone Teacher. Results are in and we secured 3 Distinctions, 2 Merits and a well deserved Pass. Fantastic day all round, well done everybody!</p> Thu, 07 Apr 2016 08:08:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/abrsm-exam-results-march-2016 Skype / Google Talk Saxophone Lessons Now Available! <h3>Skype Saxophone Lessons - <a title="https://saxcasts-store.myshopify.com/">TO BOOK YOUR SAX LESSON CLICK HERE!</a> </h3> <p>The buy now function for Skype sessions is now fixed on the <a href="/skype-lessons" title="Skype Lessons">Skype Lessons Page</a>&#160;you can book singles or a block of 3/5 lessons at a discount. If you have been learning purely online or are getting into a practise rut, come book a lesson and lets get you motivated and enjoying the saxophone again.</p> <p>Purchase your lesson number from <a title="https://saxcasts-store.myshopify.com/">here</a> and I'll get your email address, I'll contact you with some time options and we'll get the lessons underway.</p> <h3>What equipment do I need for a skype lesson?</h3> <p>You will need a webcam, a microphone (the internal microphones on most web cams are fine) and a functioning saxophone I can provide the music and backing tracks.&#160;</p> <h3>Can I purchase lessons as a gift for a friend or family member?</h3> <p><a title="https://saxcasts-store.myshopify.com/">Saxophone lessons as a gift</a> are a fantastic idea and one that will go down really well get in touch and we'll sort out a package fit for a great present!</p> <h3>I'm nervous about playing infront of someone!</h3> <p>There &#160;is always a degree of anxiety when booking your first sax session especially through a medium such as Skype. But, hey, I'm a nice guy! You'll find that I'm just as approachable in person / over skype as I am in my videos. My job is to make you feel comfortable and help you take your sax playing to the next level. Give <a title="https://saxcasts-store.myshopify.com/">some lessons a try</a>, you won't regret it.&#160;</p> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 19:57:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/skype-google-talk-saxophone-lessons-now-available Taking Online Saxophone Lessons to the next level <h3>Learn Saxophone Online - Brand New Website</h3> <p>Hi everyone and first of all apologies because, as I'm sure you've noticed, I've not been all that active on www.jhs-jp.com recently. The reason for this is because I've been working on preparing content for the next level in the evolution of my work here. I have been working on a new site called <a title="http://saxcasts.com/">SaxCasts.com</a>. This website has allowed me to spend much more time on each video, structure courses and create resources to infinitely enhance the amount of learning for you guys.</p> <h3>New Kid on the Block - Meet Jon</h3> <p>Launching a new website has also allowed me to bring a good friend and Saxophone Collosus - Jonathan Hibbard. Jon is going to be handling the majority of the Style Modules on the website. He specialises in Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll and Improvisation and on top of being a world class educator he is a really experienced "working" sax player too. He has played everywhere from the <a title="http://mamacolive.com/thejazzcafe/">Jazz Cafe</a> to Glastonbury and he has a LOT to offer. Check out the new videos on <a title="http://saxcasts.com">SaxCasts.com</a> to see him in action and read a little more about him <a title="https://saxcasts.com/about-us">here</a> </p><h3>Features of SaxCasts</h3> <p>Now this is the part that I'm REALLY excited about. The team at <a title="http://coursecrunch.com" target="_blank">CourseCrunch</a>&#160;have been working around the clock for me and they have created a fantastically designed website that looks absolutely amazing. The site is currently equipped to deliver videos, without the need to go to YouTube to see my lessons, which means all my videos are now available for you to enjoy in one place, yay! Secondly, you have the ability to create your own account over there which means I can track you progress and keep an eye on what you're up to (in a non creepy way). This will give me a sense of where you are up to in the courses, allow me to get personalised info about your ability if you choose the <a title="https://saxcasts.com/packages">Monthly 1-1 Session Package</a>. All videos will come with a backing track and/or PDF file to accompany the lesson meaning you will have the opportunity to practise away from the website.&#160;</p> <p>Features coming soon:</p> <ul><li>Learning Pathways - We currently have Saxophone Courses available to work through (in the same style as the free one here) but the pathways will allow you to branch out into other areas. &#160;You might begin with Saxophone basics but then fork off into a Blues Course and Learn to improvise after which you can move onto more advanced Jazz Courses.</li> <li>Trophies/Badges - We have a reward system that will track your progress and reward you for completing quizzes and videos throughout the courses</li> <li>Experience Points - The more you watch and play the more experienced you become, the <a title="http://saxcasts.com">SaxCasts</a> will track this and you will "level up" based on your experience allowing you to see just how far you've come!</li> <li>A Store, Forums and much more</li> </ul> <h3>Saxophone Video Lesson Changes</h3> <p>Due to the support of subscribers I have finally been able to invest in a couple of new cameras to really show you what going on "under the hood". You will now be able to see close ups of the Sax in detail so you can see exactly what my fingers are doing. Each video will contain "music stave overlays" meaning that I can finally teach you all how to READ music and reinforce this each lesson. You'll be fluent in now time!</p> <h3>Invest to Succeed</h3> <p>SaxCasts is not free, but it is WORTH the tiny monthly cost that I ask. As of this moment (5th August, 2014) I have over 50 videos live on the website and many more waiting to be released plus the new videos I'm filming. Each video has been planned down to each final detail to really make sure it is of value to you. Invest in your playing and I promise that your ability will sky rocket. Rather than buying another mouthpiece (that probably isn't suited to you) buy a years membership to the site and really see how much better you can sound. &#160;</p> <p>So, that's all from me. I hope to see you over at SaxCasts, where together we'll really get your Sax playing taken to the next level.</p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 05:47:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/taking-online-saxophone-lessons-to-the-next-level Saxophones, Clarinet and Piano MEGA DAY - Students' Concert 2013 <h2>Mission Improbable...</h2> <p>September 2013, Sheffield, Chesterfield Area in England, outdoor concert? &#160;CRAZY IDEA! &#160;But we somehow managed a beautiful day with excellent weather for a Summeresque BBQ and the entertainment of well over forty Saxophone, Clarinet and Piano players, family and friends some of whom had travelled from as far as Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster. &#160; The day went tremendously well and had way more attendees this year than last, which is a great sign.&#160;</p> <h3>Playing in front of others</h3> <p>Taking up an instrument, for most people, isn't a professional exercise. &#160;It's supposed to be enjoyable, fun; aims include being able to play Bakers Street on the Saxophone, Boogie Woogie Piano or Gershwin on Clarinet. &#160;Music can be a very intimate thing, it allows you to express yourself in ways that you simply can't in most other scenarios that crop up in life and allowing people to see this can be incredibly difficult for many people. &#160;Everybody did great and the informal, fun arrangement of the day helped somewhat to calm nerves and allow people to enjoy their moment in the spotlight. &#160;</p> <h3>Benefits of Live Performance</h3> <p>Gaining practical experience is vital to improving. &#160; You never really know how stable your embouchure, technique, piece is until you try it under a bit of pressure and the ability to calm your nerves and rely upon what you have achieved in the practice room is vital. &#160; If you can pull of a performance in front of fellow musicians then you can perform anywhere!&#160;</p> <h3>Well done!</h3> <p>Well I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I think everyone who watched and participated did to. &#160;It was a great day and we even managed to play a few ensemble pieces together which was thoroughly enjoyable!</p> <p>Roll on 2014 :-)</p> <p>Some pictures can be found here</p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 09:08:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/saxophones-clarinet-and-piano-mega-day-students-concert-2013 Free Online Saxophone Lessons and Saxophone Fingering Chart - Update <h1><a title="http://saxcasts.com">Check out this step by step Saxophone Beginners Course created by Dan Christian - Click here to start your lessons now!</a> </h1> <p>----------------------------------------------------------</p> <p><a title="https://www.patreon.com/freesaxlessons" target="_blank">Help more people learn Saxophone Online FOR FREE by CLICKING HERE</a> </p><h2>And so it was, once more into the breach dear friends...</h2> <p>I'm finally over a pretty nasty cold, hurrah! Or maybe it was just man flu and the inlaws visiting...but either way I'm back.</p> <h3>Free Saxophone Fingering Chart</h3> <p>I've added a totally free Saxophone Fingering Chart for you guys to print off and use for reference as you work your way through the Online Beginners Saxophone Course.</p> <p>It can be downloaded - <a href="/system/resources/BAhbBlsHOgZmSSJMMjAxMy8wMy8yNS8xNl8xMl8xOF8xNjJfU2F4b3Bob25lX0ZpbmdlcmluZ19DaGFydF93YXRlcm1hcmtlZF9mZWludC5wZGYGOgZFVA/Saxophone%20Fingering%20Chart%20watermarked%20feint.pdf" title="Saxophone Fingering Chart Watermarked Feint">HERE</a> </p> <h3>The story so far...</h3> <p>Today was a massive snow day here in Chesterfield so inevitably I had a few cancellations of private students and managed to get some filming done. There should, power dependent, be a Free Online Saxophone Video Lesson released every day this coming week and I aim to carry that on well into the following week too. &#160;I'll keep you posted.</p> <p>For now please enjoy the new series of "Movie Themes for Saxophone" videos for you to sink your saxophone teeth into and get learning, they were fun to film and I hope you get as much joy learning them as I did working them out for you guys. &#160;I'd love to know what you think and hear any requests you have for the next songs to learn.</p> <p>More Saxophone lessons coming soon!</p> <p>DC</p> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 15:10:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/free-online-saxophone-lessons-and-saxophone-fingering-chart-update The Free Online Saxophone Beginners Course - Progress Report <h2>Online Saxophone Beginners Course - Video Lesson Update</h2> <h3>Beginners Saxophone Course Stage 3</h3> <p>This part of the saxophone beginners course is now complete, definitely make sure you add the information found in the practise summary in BC312 to your daily practise routine so that you can get the most from this course and your saxophone!</p> <h3>Beginners Saxophone Course Stage 4 - Is now underway!</h3> <p>I'm currently filming and editing all of the videos for stage 4 and they should be live over the next few weeks time dependent. &#160;I have quite a few commitments coming up so I'm unsure how soon they will be up but keep coming back and I'll get them up as soon as I can. &#160;</p> <h3>Requests</h3> <p>Always looking for songs to teach you guys so if you have anything in particular that you would like me to do a tutorial for be sure to send me a message and I'll get to it. &#160;</p> <h3>Donations</h3> <p>I'm running this site under an <strong>HONOUR SYSTEM. &#160;</strong>I am providing this website entirely free of charge so that people who aren't fortunate enough to be able to afford lessons can have full access to them. &#160;This means I really need YOU to Donate &#160;in order to allow me to dedicate the time to improving the site and posting new&#160;videos&#160;for you all. &#160;If you feel you have benefited from www.jhs-jp.com and can afford to, please hit the donate button on the main page and definitely drop me a line telling me what you think of the site; positive or constructive :-)</p> <p>The donate button will be working again soon! &#160;And it'll have a nice new home too as I need the other page free for a special something else I have in the pipeline for you guys.</p> <p>**Update 10/03/2013** Donation button now fully functional - Thanks <a title="http://andre.ws">Andy</a>.</p> <h3>Finally...</h3> <p>I hope your Sax journey is going well and these beginner saxophone lesson videos are helping you along the right path, as&#160;always, I'd love to hear your feedback and comments!</p> <p>DC</p> Wed, 06 Mar 2013 15:48:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/the-free-online-saxophone-beginners-course-progress-report Five top ways to Practise Saxophone on the GO GO. <h3>Practise? &#160;That der is a rather taboo subject in dees 'ere parts....</h3> <p>WHOOOAAAA. Practise? &#160;Things are getting serious. &#160;It will be of no surprise for me to tell you that Practise is the only way to improve. &#160;There I said it: you have to practise to improve. &#160;A little practise every day is far better than a mammoth session on Sunday morning once a week. &#160;Now the main issue with practise is that, for most people at least, finding a regular spot every day for practise and therefore, building a routine, is extremely difficult. &#160;In a hectic life with so much going on and little time for YOU time, here is a list of practise tips for you to do when you don't have your beloved Saxophone close to hand.</p> <h3>1. Active Listening</h3> <p>In the car, on the treadmill, on the office radio. &#160;Listen to Music. &#160;Active Listening is the ability to pick up various aspects from a piece of music whilst you listen to it. &#160;This enables you to pick up the pulse and attach yourself to a beat, a MUST have skill for every Musician not only Saxophone players. &#160;Next time you're listening to your favourite Girls Aloud track (Kidding :p) &#160;see if you can FEEL a pulse? &#160;Where is the emphasis? Is it every 2 beats? Every 4? &#160;Is it swung or straight quavers (Eigth Notes)? &#160;Next, see if you can&#160;decipher&#160;the Key. &#160;Now by this I don't mean&#160;literally&#160;A Major for example. &#160;Unless you have perfect pitch it is highly unlikely that you will be able to tell the exact key. &#160;However, you can probably tell if it's Major or Minor. &#160;What shades are used in the Music? &#160;Light, Dark? &#160;Does the music "sound" like a certain colour? &#160;These are all questions that will help you bring life to your own playing. &#160;Listen to melodic shapes in solo's. &#160;Does the tune rise and fall? &#160;Why does it sound so good? &#160;Are there any little licks that you may want to "borrow" for your own playing? Make a note and get to transcribing it when you finally get chance to do some physical practise!</p> <h3>2. &#160;Air Saxophone</h3> <p>Take some time to practise Air Saxophone. &#160;It's not only Rock Guitarists that get all the fun! &#160;</p> <p>Air Saxophone is a useful tool to let your fingers get a workout without having to worry about embouchure and posture. &#160;You can play scales, runs, licks, tunes by using your fingers to make the correct shapes without a saxophone. &#160;When you're doing this make sure your finger movements are spot on. &#160;No BIG movements. For example: Take three notes: B A G. &#160;"Play" B A G over and over with 123 of your left hand, carefully and steadily build up the speed getting those&#160;tendons&#160;used to playing quickly. &#160;Once you have that nailed move to other Saxophone movements how about D --&gt; F# ---&gt; Palm Key D? Play any movements&#160;that&#160;you find particularly tricky. It's all easy on air saxophone!</p> <h3>3. Improvisation, Singing and you</h3> <p>Singing? No way,&#160;that's&#160;why I took up Saxophone! &#160;</p> <p>You don't need to be Frank Sinatra to have a go at singing and you don't need an instrument to try out an improvisation. &#160;Take a backing track with you in the car, stick it in the CD player and start whistling, singing or thinking the ideal head(main tune) and improvisation. &#160;Many jazz courses get students to sing their improvisations before playing them on their Saxophone. &#160;You should jump on this proven method too. &#160;The trick to this is remembering what you actually sang that worked and then trying to&#160;imitate&#160;that on to the saxophone when it is to hand. &#160;Of course, you don't need to use a backing track you could try singing either a harmony line to an existing song or improvised fills between lines. &#160;There's no difference between doing it with your voice or via your Saxophone, well, there shouldn't be ;)</p> <h3>4. Theoretically Speaking</h3> <p>Dig out those&#160;mnemonics&#160;and start (re)learning your major scales, after all they are the pathway to all things modal and improvisational&#160;supremacy!</p> <p>To remember the major scales I teach the following mnemonics: &#160;</p> <table><caption>Ways to Remember all of your Major Scales</caption> <tbody><tr><td>Charles - C Major - No # or b's</td> <td>Flat Major Scales</td> </tr> <tr><td>Goes - G Major - F#</td> <td>Farm - F Maj - Bb</td> </tr> <tr><td>Down - D Major - F# C#</td> <td>Boy - Bb Maj - Bb Eb</td> </tr> <tr><td>And - A Maj - F# C# G#</td> <td>Eats - Eb Maj - Bb Eb Ab</td> </tr> <tr><td>Ends - E Maj - F# C# G# D#</td> <td>Apple - Ab Maj - Bb Eb Ab Db</td> </tr> <tr><td>Battle - B Maj - F# C# G# D# A#</td> <td>During - Db Maj - Bb Eb Ab Db Gb</td> </tr> <tr><td>For &#160;- F# Maj - F# C# G# D# A# E#</td> <td>Good - Gb Maj - Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb</td> </tr> <tr><td>Country - C# Maj - F# C# G# D# A# E# B#</td> <td>Christmas - Cb Maj - Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Start with a closed fist: Charles (C major - No #s or b's), Count on thumb (1# - Goes --&gt; F#) and take this concept out and about with you, you'll soon have nailed all of your sharp and flat scales. &#160;You could then combine this with air saxophone and practise them while waiting in the queue at your local supermarket :-)</p> <p>To remember the order of the seven sharps found in key signatures remember this: &#160;Father(F#) Charles, Goes, Down, And , Ends, Battle</p> <p>To Remember the order of the seven flats found in key signatures : &#160;Boy(Bb), Eats, Apple, During, Good, Christmas, Festivities</p> <h3>5. Note Reading / Memory Skills</h3> <p>Feeling like you have a little musical dyslexia? &#160;No problem, I have a sure fire solution to your notation reading woes.</p> <p>In order to improve your note reading and memory, I like to use the hand staff. &#160;Take your left hand so that your palm is facing you and rotate your hand so that your fingers are horizontal. &#160;Spread your fingers and "Hey Presto!" you have a perfectly workable Musical Stave. &#160;Your little finger(Pinky) is the bottom line and then each of the fingers and gaps between them represents each of the musical lines and spaces. &#160;</p> <p>From lowest to highest the treble clef lines are: &#160;E(very) G(ood) B(oy) D(eserves) F(ruit)</p> <p>And to learn the spaces: &#160;F (space between little finger and ring finger) A, C, E --&gt; FACE. &#160;</p> <p>Have a look at your hand and imagine a note head bouncing around there. &#160;Get used to reading the notes from your hand and you'll be sight reading like a pro in no time.</p> <h3>Finito.</h3> <p>Although, these methods aren't a replacement for real practise (Why would they? Playing Saxophone is so much more FUN!!) they are useful for maintaining steady improvement even when you don't have time. &#160;</p> <p>Do you have any of your own ways or learning the major scales?</p> <p>Do you have any other ways you practise when you don't have a sax to hand? &#160;I'd love to hear them.</p> <p>Happy Saxing.</p> <p>DC</p> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 08:32:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/five-top-ways-to-practise-saxophone-on-the-go-go Learning Saxophone Solely Online - Is it really possible...? <h2>You know, wouldn't it be amazing if I could play that solo from...</h2> <p>I've now taught thousands of hours of Saxophone; people of all shapes, sizes, ages and every mature student that has walked through my door in response to me asking: "Why did you take up the saxophone?" has replied with a sentence beginning with "I've always wanted to be able to play the Sax part in...". &#160;Now that's motivation. &#160;They may be a parent, doctor, dentist, Managing Director and in a role with massive responsibility but "...if I could play <a href="http://www.jhs-jp.com/media_library/videos/how-to-careless-whisper" title="http://www.jhs-jp.com/media_library/videos/how-to-careless-whisper">Careless Whisper</a> my dreams will have come true." &#160;</p> <p>But in a digital age of freely available information it's surely easier than ever to get there, right?&#160;</p> <h3>He whom seek-eth Knowledge must YouTube-eth...</h3> <p>The internet has impacted all kinds of learning in a massive way. &#160;If you need to learn how to unscramble a set of rather heavily beaten eggs there's probably a <a title="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ps13Y3Ah1I">video on how to do it</a> on YouTube. &#160;This is great right? &#160;You are now in COMPLETE control of your Saxophone learning, no need to pay someone to teach you the secrets when someone is willing to totally do it for free! &#160;However, if you were the reader who dared to click the link to the unscrambling of the proverbial egg you probably fell "Fowel" (sorry! ^_~) of one of the largest problems of YouTube. &#160;Anyone can post anything. &#160;Without some kind of time machine there is no way to unscramble an egg and without a lot of hard experimentation, no YouTube video can show you exactly why your beloved (and very shiny) Saxophone is making nasty noises. &#160;</p> <p>Now don't get me wrong, there are some amazing pearls of wisdom to be found on YouTube and I'd be the biggest hypocrite in the world (having quite a large collection of Online Saxophone Video Tutorials on this site...) if I said I never use YouTube to check things out. But doing research or discovering a new technique is quite the contrary to learning saxophone entirely online. &#160;&#160;</p> <h3>Technical Tantrums - The Titillating Truth </h3> <p>Lets take a technique like Tonguing. Now, hopefully most of you, who have been kind enough to read up to this point, should know what Tonguing is in a Saxophone context. (If you do not and you are Sax player, you should. And if you don't - definitely check out <a href="http://www.jhs-jp.com/media_library/videos/bc109-tonguing-technique" title="http://www.jhs-jp.com/media_library/videos/bc109-tonguing-technique">this video</a>). On YouTube, MrEpicSaxTonguer999 has posted a nice tutorial on "Everything you need to know about Tonguing your Saxophone" a budding Saxophonist then comes along wanting to learn all there is about the said technique and watches intently. MrEpicSaxTonguer999 tells the viewers in YouTube land that they should say "Dah" when they tongue the Sax. Great "Dah", easy. They now fall for one of the biggest and most common beginner errors on Sax, they start to bunch up their tongue and hit the reed with the underside of it, oops. They develop an extremely spitty sound, probably start squeaking every time they try to tongue and generally get fed up, annoyed and frustrated. Their ambition of being able to play Careless Whisper is fading faster than <a title="http://www.sarednabworldprops.com/img/bttf/024.jpg">Marty's Portrait</a> in Back to the Future. Information that you cannot query can easily be misconstrued, poorly delivered, false or simply does not work for you as an individual.&#160;</p> <p>This is especially true with learning to play Saxophone, there is no hard and fast, one size fits all way of doing anything. I've spent 20 years trialling out, with varied degrees of success, different ways to achieve certain techniques, and from one student to another I rarely teach the same technique in the same way twice. We are all individuals and we all need to be treated as such, especially when learning a new skill.</p> <h3>Pwoar this is tough...ohh...a video of a cat, falling into an empty box....</h3> <p>One of my biggest gripes about YouTube is really the vast amount of flashing moving imagery that you have to do a <a title="http://jaymckinnon.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/the-matrix-bullet-time.jpg">Matrix Style bullet dodge</a> of. Every video has some advert or another there to get in the way of your concentration. Are you really able to get the most out of your valuable practise time if you're watching Several instances of Kevin Bacon monologues? Or will you really be able to extract the full value from an online saxophone tutorial when in the related videos section there is a picture of dog skateboarding alongside a beach path? When you can, perhaps you have reached true enlightenment, but for most of us we can never truly ditch the one to one, full 100% dedication and attention of a real, in-the-flesh saxophone teacher. &#160;&#160;</p> <h3>A true teacher is....</h3> <p> A listener, a friend, a mentor, motivator, judge, jury and in certain cases, executioner (just kidding, I'd not have many students left ;)) to a certain degree you can get some of these aspects from a video tutorial and more so on <a href="http://www.jhs-jp.com/contact" title="http://www.jhs-jp.com/contact">Skype</a>&#160;Saxophone Lessons. But, you can never replace the truly bespoke and focused learning experience of a 1 to 1 lesson. So my closing advice to you as a friend and teacher is; Check out YouTube, enjoy the dancing bears and cats and definitely check out some of the YouTube tutorials but take them with a pinch of salt, be sceptical, does this person really know what they are saying? Does it work for you? Ask questions if possible and definitely invest some money in some private lessons. You won't regret it and you'll soon be on your way to playing like <a title="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaoLU6zKaws">Sexy Sax Man</a>&#160;or <a title="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R0fSNCWUo0">Sexy Sax Girl </a>(Thanks Sue!) in your local department store. &#160;&#160;</p> <p>Catch you all next time, thanks for reading!</p> <p>So, what do you all think about learning Sax Online? &#160;Comment below and let me know!</p> <p>DC</p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 18:10:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/learning-saxophone-solely-online-is-it-really-possible Which Saxophone should I buy? Saxophones by Budget. <h3>Buying your first Saxophone</h3> <p>I played on Elkhart 100 Series when I first started playing, it started me off well and I apparently made a good sound. &#160;Some years later and no doubt after my parents believed that I was going to stick with the Sax they bought me a YAS 62. &#160;When I returned to the Elkhart it felt, awkward, clunky and sounded horrible in comparison to the YAS62. &#160;But initially, I don't think I would have realised any difference in the quality of these Saxophones. &#160;You will however get what you pay for and you should most certainly pick a budget and spend as much as you can simply afford especially if going second hand as the Saxophone market is fairly robust.</p> <h3>Which Saxophone? &#160;</h3> <p>The Saxophone comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. &#160;This factors into the type of Saxophone you should be buying in the first instance. &#160;Without a doubt the two most popular types of Saxophone are the Tenor Sax and the Alto Sax. &#160;These two are considered the most&#160;accessible&#160;to beginners by myself and many other professionals. &#160;When asking yourself which one to buy you should really have a listen to some Sax players that you like play their respective horns and make a decision. &#160;After all, you'll be spending (hopefully!) lots of time with your newly acquired Saxophone.</p> <p>Soprillo, Sopranino, Soprano - Are the highest (in pitch!) of our family members and require a lot of embouchure strength to produce a solid tone on.</p> <p>Alto/Tenor - The Trebles, The most common and therefore, have the most music written for, Saxophones (Recommended Starting Point)</p> <p>Baritone, Bass, Tubax, Contrabass - The bass section, bulky and heavy to carry around with you and require a rather hefty set of lungs.&#160;</p> <h3>Used or New?</h3> <p>New - You know you are getting a Saxophone that is ready to be played and if it doesn't, you want your money back! &#160;It may however have not been set up properly and be very awkward to play.</p> <p>Used - The Saxophone may need some minor or major work (攏30-300) depending on the state. &#160;Or it may have had major work in the past where the integrity of the sax has been compromised. &#160;It may also have just had a service in which case it is in perfect condition and you may have grabbed&#160;yourself&#160;a bargain. &#160;The risks are the same as buying anything second hand, totally up to you.</p> <h3>Decent Saxophones for less than 攏210 (including delivery)</h3> <p>A cheap saxophone will not last you forever, you will need to upgrade and it will probably break. &#160;Disclaimer over, here is a list of Saxophone Recommendations that are classed as decent starter Saxophones for the money. &#160;They are often stencil models of more expensive saxes and often don't have the same level of quality control that the bigger companies do.</p> <p class="image-align-left"><iframe src="http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=danchristiann-21&amp;o=2&amp;p=8&amp;l=as1&amp;asins=B0014Z950G&amp;ref=tf_til&amp;fc1=000000&amp;IS2=1&amp;lt1=_blank&amp;m=amazon&amp;lc1=0000FF&amp;bc1=000000&amp;bg1=FFFFFF&amp;f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe> </p> <p><a title="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0014Z950G/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=danchristiann-21&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1634&amp;creative=6738&amp;creativeASIN=B0014Z950G">Alto Saxophone from Gear4Music</a>&#160;- 攏199 + 攏10 Devliery&#160;</p> <p>A cheap Saxophone. &#160;This Saxophone will get you started in the right way but do expect to need to upgrade as you improve. &#160;The Mouthpiece that these come with however are actually HORRENDOUS!! So invest 攏25 in a decent <a title="http://amzn.to/UcOU7l">Yamaha 4C mouthpiece&#160;</a>.</p> <p>Don't expect miracles from this saxophone but as a total beginner coming to the instrument you can't really go far wrong for 攏209.</p> <p>Pros - Cheap. &#160;Decent feel and sound for the price range</p> <p>Cons - Not very robust. &#160;Hit and miss even brand new. Not a great tone but nothing that will impede a beginner. &#160;The model I personally tested was unplayable due to manufacturer errors that would&#160;undoubtedly&#160;have been fixed but until they send me another to try this verdict will stick.</p> <p><strong>Recent Test Model - Arrived with an extremely stiff neck joint making the saxophone practically impossible to assemble. &#160;This was fixed with some finger lubrication and a bit of wire wool but nevertheless a pain to put together for even a veteran sax player. &#160;The soldering done to the B + Bb pads was so poor that the guard had detached itself in transit. &#160;Not Impressed...buyer beware....not happy, Gear4Music. &#160;Gear4Music did, in their defense, offer an apology and fully refunded the customer.</strong> </p> <h3><strong>Acclaimed Saxes for Less than 攏300</strong> </h3> <p><a href="http://http://www.studentmusicsupplies.com/jericho-j6agn-alto-saxophone---goldnickel-197-p.asp" title="http://http://www.studentmusicsupplies.com/jericho-j6agn-alto-saxophone---goldnickel-197-p.asp">Jericho J6AGN</a> - 攏299 but not tried be personally, claimed to be as good as many saxes twice as expensive....</p> <h3>Used Saxophones for 攏300-450</h3> <p>Used choice - <a title="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000UTIJ0E/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1634&amp;creative=19450&amp;creativeASIN=B000UTIJ0E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=danchristiann-21">Yamaha Alto Saxophone 23, 25, 275, 301</a>, Vito A100</p> <p>Brilliant Saxophones for the money and very robust. &#160;I am a yamaha fanatic. &#160;I play on a Yamaha 62 which is their entry level professional model and there isn't a world of difference between these earlier models (23, 25, 275) and my own. &#160;</p> Sun, 30 Dec 2012 18:02:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/which-saxophone-should-i-buy-saxophones-by-budget The Official www.jhs-jp.com Facebook page! <p>Please like the official <a title="http://www.facebook.com/DanChristiandotnet">Danchristian,net Facebook page!</a>&#160;</p> <p>I'll posting all of the Totally Free Online Saxophone Lessons over there so could have a chat!</p> Sun, 23 Dec 2012 20:57:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/the-official-danchristian-net-facebook-page Questions, Advice, General comments? <h3>Happy Christmas!</h3> <p>Myself and&#160;<a title="http://andre.ws/about">Andy yates</a>, have been burning the candle at both ends to get www.jhs-jp.com up to speed with the <a title="http://www.youtube.com/user/mccristo32?feature=mhee">YouTube Channel</a> I've been running. &#160;The site has nearly 40 totally free video tutorials on Saxophone for you guys to work through in a structured way. &#160;I hope you're enjoying learning from them as much as I enjoyed filming them! &#160;I've got some great feedback so far but I'm always keen to hear from everyone who has used the site.</p> <h3>It's got a widget.</h3> <p><a title="http://andre.ws/about">Andy yates</a>&#160;has added a comments widget to the bottom of each page to allow you to ask questions or comment about each individual video. &#160;If you have a problem or comment to make about the video, or you just want to have a chat about something related to the topic feel free to post. &#160;I look forward to reading what you have to say.</p> <h3>Free Sheet Music</h3> <p>I've added a few little compositions I did for intermediate Saxophone Players, feel free to check it out on the <a href="/resources/free-sheet-music" title="Free Sheet Music">Free Sheet Music </a>page&#160;</p> <h3>Donations</h3> <p>I REALLY want to keep this site free for everyone but unfortunately I do &#160;need to earn a living. &#160;I haven't&#160;received&#160;any donations yet toward the upkeep of the site meaning that I've been forced to focus on <a href="/resources/private-lessons" title="Private Lessons">Private Teaching </a>once again. &#160;Every <a href="/donations" title="Donations">donation</a> I receive really does motivate me to keep adding <a href="/media_library/videos" title="Videos">free videos</a> for those who haven't got the time or funds for private saxophone lessons. &#160;Every little helps even as little as a 攏10 one off donation or 攏5 a month from each visitor would allow me to spend a day a week filming free videos for you all. &#160;</p> <h3>...and finally...</h3> <p>I wish you all the best for Christmas and an awesome New year.</p> <p>PS: &#160;It's not too late to learn <a href="http://www.jhs-jp.com/media_library/videos/ps103-fairytale-of-new-york" title="http://www.jhs-jp.com/media_library/videos/ps103-fairytale-of-new-york">Fairy Tale of New York</a> to surprise your family on Christmas Day! The bells are ringin' out and so am I.&#160;</p> <p>PPS: Don't forget to sign up for the <a href="http://www.jhs-jp.com/#subscribe" title="http://www.jhs-jp.com/#subscribe">Newsletter</a> to recieve News, free Saxophone videos, advice and tips.</p> <p>DC</p> Sun, 23 Dec 2012 11:48:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/questions-advice-general-comments Amazon Store <p>I've put together a few recommended products on Amazon. &#160;Buying stuff from there, doesn't cost you any more but does help keep the site alive.</p> <p>My store page only recommends product I'd use or I've used before :-)</p> <p><a title="http://astore.amazon.co.uk/danchristiann-21" target="_blank"></a> <a title="http://astore.amazon.co.uk/danchristiann-21">Amazon Store&#160;</a> </p> <noscript>&amp;lt;A &amp;gt;Amazon.co.uk Widgets&amp;lt;/A&amp;gt;</noscript> Fri, 23 Nov 2012 23:23:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/amazon-store Content Overhaul in Progress! <p>Hello everybody!</p> <p>Thank you all for visiting, the site traffic since relaunch has quadrupled, please tell your friends if you think this site will be of use to them! &#160;Also, thank you for the feedback to the videos, the response has been sensational and getting feedback really helps me improve the service.</p> <p>Just a quick post to tell you all that I'm in the process of writing up extra details to accompany every video, all that info that is a bit too time consuming to put into 5 minutes of video will be written underneath on the video page. &#160;This is quite time consuming so I'm pausing recording new material until I've caught up with the website. &#160;</p> <p>Do recheck the video pages to catch up if you've already worked through the lessons as the new content is REALLY important! &#160;</p> <p>Also make sure to send me a message requesting any songs/techniques or queries. &#160;I'd love to hear from you and, a not so subtle plug, if you enjoy the site and want to help it grow please consider donating so I can afford to keep putting time in to fresh content :-)</p> <p>Thanks everyone,</p> <p>Dan</p> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 14:40:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/content-overhaul-in-progress Saxophone, Clarinet and Piano Lessons available + other Services <h3>Free Online Saxophone Video Lessons</h3> <p>www.jhs-jp.com has over 40 completely free online saxophone video lessons to get you started on Alto, Tenor, Baritone or Soprano Saxophone. &#160;Video lessons will only take you so far, so in order to develop your playing further and improve better definitely get some <a href="/resources-bookings/private-lessons" title="Private Lessons">private lessons</a>. &#160;They will give you structure and drive. &#160;A grade 8 saxophone player is just a beginner who never quit! Saxophone History right there :)</p> <h3>Saxophone, Clarinet or Piano Lessons available</h3> <p>I teach Saxophone from my stuido in Barlborough near Chesterfield in England. &#160;The surrounding towns/cities are Sheffield, Chesterfield, Worksop, Matlock, Mansfield and Rotherham.</p> <p>The easiest way to get to my studio is via junction 30 of the M1</p> <h3>Skype Saxophone or Skype Clarinet Lessons</h3> <p>If you are too busy to attend lessons in person or live to far away but would still like to&#160;receive&#160;private tuition from me, then please <a href="/contact" title="Contact">Contact Me about Skype Lessons</a> </p> Sat, 27 Oct 2012 13:50:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/saxophone-clarinet-and-piano-lessons-available-other-services Student Concert June 2012 <p>What a great day!</p> <p>Let me say a huge thanks to everyone that made the day so special. BBQ, Music and even good weather!</p> <p>Everyone played great and believe me, I鈥檓 so unbelievably proud of everyone who had the courage to come up and play. Well done everyone! Highlights for me included the Cockerels accompaniment during Shepherds Hey and everyone taking shelter during the (thankfully) brief torrential downpour!</p> <p>Watch this space for more Students Concerts on the way, where hopefully we will have an even greater turn out than this time.</p> <p>Checkout the <a title="http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4224313934247.2174129.1477215717&amp;type=1" target="_blank">photos on facebook</a>.</p> Mon, 02 Jul 2012 16:18:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/student-concert-june-2012 Musings on teaching composition <p>鈥淚 want you to compose a piece of music. It must be around 3 minutes in length and the title must be 鈥楽pring Morning鈥? Go.鈥? These were the words of my music teacher upon giving me my first composition lesson. I remember the looks of astonishment and fear from the majority of the class, but also the look of blissful excitement from the gifted few. I remember my teacher rolling her eyes when I told her that I had no idea where to start or what to do. At this stage in my music career I had had very little musical training per se. I had done ABRSM examinations but no theory exams, so the concept of composing my own music was a terrifying one. It appeared to me that composing to my teachers was a 鈥渓et them get on with it鈥?topic. Critically however, I do not know yet whether this was necessarily the outrageous attitude that I consider it to be. Surely there are a plethora of educational and inspirational methods that a teacher can employ to ignite the embers of compositional genius that dwell in all young musicians?</p> <p>鈥淭eaching composing requires not only practice of technical devices but also building up a store of tonal and structural knowledge. Students must be taught how to problem-solve, as well as what effective solutions to composing problems might be.鈥?(Berkley, 2001, 122)</p> <p>I agree with the above statement that tonal and structural knowledge are an integral part of composing but when does this knowledge cease to be a guide to a student and instead the teachers ideas in the students composition. I feel this exact knowledge is part of the dilemma when teaching students composition. When a student hits a creative barrier, the emphasis needs to be upon the problem solving element of composition. But then this retracts away from composition being a creative task and instead one akin to a 鈥減roblem solving鈥?exercise. However, with a solid grounding in this specific musical area it becomes possible to suggest directions in which way the piece may travel. I feel that this was not the case with my own education. I remember a specific case of my teacher 鈥渇illing in the blanks鈥?in order to meet the deadline. I feel this was not an appropriate learning curve for me as a student and in effect stole a vital opportunity for problem solving.</p> <p>This was also the case in a school I visited last year. I observed the teacher writing large chunks of compositions for students. I later discovered that this was common practice and that the teacher would send samples of less favourable students for moderation. While this in itself is poor at best in my humble opinion I thought the teacher was very engaging, highly respected and really got the most out of his students. This was justified by him asking a group of 鈥楢 level鈥?students to treat me to an outstanding ad hoc recital of Allegri鈥檚 Miserere Mei in the staircase. It does make one wonder why an obviously good teacher feels it necessary to jeopardise his and his students鈥?results by plagiarism. Incidentally, the head of music that I observed also has outstanding teacher status from Ofsted. If an outstanding teacher can鈥檛 teach composition to the point at which they don鈥檛 need to interfere, then how is a good Good or Satisfactory music teacher going to cope?</p> <p>鈥淒ifferentiation is the art of tailoring work to suit students of different abilities, ages</p> <p>and learning styles, by using different equipment, resources and teaching styles.鈥?(Berkley, 2001, 123)</p> <p>It could be said that the knowledge of a GCSE music teacher needs to be almost non exhaustive. Every student is different and every composition will be based upon different influences. A difficult issue that teachers face is that students may want to compose anything from a string quartet to a piece for a death metal group. The teacher is unlikely to have the expertise in both genres that they need in order to provide positive input into a students work when things go awry. The sheer amount of technology that a teacher must understand is also vast. Sibelius, Cubase, Logic, Garage Band to name but a few could be an unnecessary evil or the greatest inspiration to different students. This is time a teacher must invest in not only their own continuing education but also an option that they must offer to every student. This is time consuming and sometimes a pointless endeavour for certain students. I remember that when I was at school the music department had one copy of Sibelius that the teachers did not know how to use. In my own personal composition I find myself lost without Sibelius now. This just reiterates the need for a broad understanding of the various learning styles in a classroom environment.</p> <p>During the long journey a student takes to become a fully-fledged music teacher, there are certain pre-requisites that I am yet to find missing from courses. A university student must be able to analyse music, read and write standard notation and be able to perform to a suitable degree on his or her instrument. After the years of studying the academic side of music including contemporary composition the trainee teacher is faced with students such as Berkley鈥檚 X:</p> <p>鈥淥bservation revealed that far from struggling, X was a proficient rock guitarist with an impressive portfolio of pieces on tape, created on multi-track recorder and live performances with friends, as well as many draft pieces and improvisations[鈥`You don鈥檛 have chord I on a guitar鈥? X remarked acerbically, `I don鈥檛 think of keys, I work in scales鈥?鈥?(Berkley, 2001, 132)</p> <p>After years of studying music critically at university the teacher is then thrust in a completely different direction to which they are unfamiliar. It seems to me that it would be highly beneficial for prospective music teachers to be indulged in both the standard notation and the more free form creative styles of composition during their education. The modern education system is built upon 鈥楨very Child Matters鈥?principles and accepting that all pupils will work in different ways. This should also be addressed in composition and with this in mind students like X should be praised for their creativity rather than being dismissed as struggling.</p> <p>This may be the case when a prospective teacher has taken composition as part of their training. Composition, however, is not a compulsory part of all university music courses to a substantial degree. Students often take modules that interest them or what they think they will achieve the best marks in. Composition appears to be somewhat of a 鈥渕armite subject鈥?and as education is one of the only more 鈥渃oncrete鈥?career options for a music graduate, it is highly probable that many students becoming teachers have little or no training, desire or experience in composition, let alone be able to teach it effectively. Berkeley states:</p> <p>鈥淎part from a handful of in-service training courses, the vast majority of teachers have not studied teaching composing in either undergraduate or teacher training courses and comment that they were obliged to work it out for themselves.鈥?(Berkley, 2001, 128)</p> <p>The current Edexcel syllabus states that candidates must present either a full score of the piece or a 鈥渨ritten commentary鈥? At first glance this appears to be an insightful solution to the young gifted musicians who lack the appropriate notation skills although their imagination and creativity are clearly worthy of greatness.</p> <p>A main problem faced by all teachers when trying to teach composition is the subjectivity and individuality that composition entails. Teaching a student to write their own feelings and emotions on a piece of manuscript is neigh impossible. Composing in general has many difficulties, relating back to the earlier requirements of both structural and tonal knowledge but specifically the ability to form an idea in your head and allow this to move unobtrusively to notation. Teaching someone how to be individual is somewhat of a paradox, instead it must become the teachers鈥?task to highlight certain methodologies while at the same time remaining abstract yet inspirational.</p> <p>Subjectivity is a problem when teaching composition in schools. All students are individuals and therefore have their own opinions and ideas as to what sounds good or bad. The teacher is no different. When assessing a piece of coursework a teacher must be objective about something that is entirely subjective.</p> <p>This is a sample from the Edexcel GCSE in Music exam board:</p> <p><img src="/system/images/BAhbB1sHOgZmSSIoMjAxMi8xMC8wMy8xOV8xNV80Nl83MTdfZWRleGNlbC5qcGcGOgZFVFsIOgZwOgp0aHVtYkkiDTQ1MHg0NTA+BjsGRg/edexcel.jpg" title="Edexcel" alt="Edexcel" rel="450x450" width="450" height="192" /></p> <p>For a student to get 5 marks in this small segment of their composition it must make imaginative use of ideas and conventions. I believe further study needs to be done as whether this is an appropriate marking scheme for teachers to be using. I could hypothesise that 10 teachers rating the same composition would give totally different marks based upon their opinion of what 鈥渋maginative use鈥?may or may not be. More importantly, does the tuition and preparation for this exam focus on the students鈥?imagination or the teachers鈥?concept of how a student should use their imagination? I personally find this extremely vague and unhelpful.</p> <p>In Jonathon Savage and Marin Fautleys鈥?study 鈥淭he organisation and assessment of composing at Key Stage 4 in English secondary schools鈥?done in 2011, 24% of the 94 classroom teachers surveyed disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement 鈥榃hat I teach, in composition, is heavily influenced by the criteria I know the students鈥?compositions will eventually be subject to.鈥? Savage and Fautley also found that the current syllabus could be said to 鈥渁lienate鈥?students, with one teacher having said:</p> <p>鈥淏ut now, all of a sudden they鈥檙e saying, you鈥檝e got to do this and you鈥檝e got to do that. You鈥檝e got to do a waltz. My kids go 鈥榃hy have I got to waltz? I don鈥檛 want to do a waltz.鈥?And I don鈥檛 know why they鈥檝e got to waltz either. (Female teacher, in interview)鈥?lt;/p> <p>It could be said that the current syllabus covers too much of a shallow spectrum of styles and forcing students to compose under restrictive criterion has a negative effect on overall creativity and learning. I believe that forcing pupils to try out different styles will have a positive affect and introduce them to new ways of composing, perhaps unlocking previously unknown pathways. It is important, however, to make sure that the pupil 鈥渟ees the point鈥?in a given task, because the moment a pupil no longer understands why they have to do a task is the moment at which they become disengaged. I feel that this methodology is far superior to the one used in my first composition lesson that I previously referred to.</p> <p>I feel that school funding plays an important role in the blight of teachers when it comes to teaching composition. Heads of department, especially the music department, are in a constant battle for funding and I think that teachers are fully aware of the consequences that poor exam results will bring. This could be in the form of a slacking of the departments funding or a rebuke from senior staff. It is, therefore, important to consider that when composition is being taught, it is not necessarily in a way that best benefits the child鈥檚 creativity and compositional enthusiasm, but rather the number of marks that the child will attain for their piece come results day.</p> <p>These concerns were raised in the article 鈥淯nder-pressure teachers admit to faking pupils鈥?test results or risking 鈥榗uts to funding鈥欌?by Louise Boyle (2011) where she states 鈥淭he teachers questioned also revealed that that they faced consequences if their pupils failed to perform, including less funding for their department and being told off by senior staff.鈥? Although not all teachers will fall victim to the pressure of teaching towards results rather than teaching toward compositional individuality it stands to reason that this remains an issue for school music teachers.</p> <p>Over the course of this essay and my preparation beforehand, I have found very little in the way of instruction for teaching composition. The syllabus highlights marking schemes and assessment briefs but gives little instruction as to how to teach the subject. There is much complaint from teachers in regards to the ambiguity surrounding teaching composition. Berkley found that: 鈥淎s more than one teacher pointed out, how well students are taught `depends on the teacher, the teacher makes the course鈥?鈥?</p> <p>The much praised resource website for teachers from the 鈥淭ES鈥?found at http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resources/ has many resources for all subjects and key stages. However, it must be said that many of the resources found for composition are also lacking in depth. The best rated resources are merely explanations of compositional forms, styles and suggest possible step by step guides to composing. The resource 鈥淕CSE MUSIC COMPOSITION BOOKLET鈥?(2011) contains a teacher鈥檚 guide to an exam driven composition. He states 鈥淪elect your time and key signatures. Remember, if you are wanting to gain top marks, being able to demonstrate a key change in your composition will allow you do gain more marks.鈥?This statement leads one to believe that students need to change key whether it would be appropriate or not, else they will not get the extra marks available. This does, however, encourage the students to use modulation as a device, but on the other hand, takes away choice and influences their composition. It must be debated whether a step by step method to composition is really effective for all students or merely a desperate effort to approach a creative task in a methodical and structured way.</p> <p>William Russo (1980) introduced what he considered to be, at the time, a new approach to composition. In this book he introduces a practical approach to composition. He states that 鈥淚t [the book] is not a book about composition. It is a book that requires your participation; you will actually begin composing in the first chapter.鈥?This approach is now implemented widely in classrooms; ensemble composition and small tasks are used to give the students a taster of compositional options. Russo goes further and sets very strict rules and tries to instil good compositional technique. He claims that 鈥渞estrictions are a way of not having to pay attention to anything except what is deep inside of you鈥? (Russo, 1980, p .4)</p> <p>To conclude, it stands to reason that teaching composition effectively is extremely challenging. A teacher can teach the students about notation, styles, genre, devices and all the surrounding components of creating a successful composition. However, a teacher cannot tell the student what to compose. They can merely give guidance as to what the student might explore or where a composition may move to next. A teacher can show student effective compositions, they can analyse the why, the how and the what of solid compositions in various styles but even at this simplistic level, opinion becomes a factor. Teachers face a struggle from the outset of teaching composition. The subject is so broad and the technology pool is now becoming so inexhaustible that teachers face an uphill struggle when trying to stay 鈥渁head of the game鈥? The likelihood of a music teacher knowing enough about each style of music to guide a student effectively is slim without heavily compromising the students ideas and flow.</p> <p>Although the current syllabus encourages some diversity in composition, it has been argued that this is still too shallow and alienates some students (Savage and Fautley, 2011). Teachers then face the dilemma of teaching for the good of the student as a composer or for the good of the student as an exam statistic. The current syllabus appears at face value to be one of the most engaging and comprehensive to date. However, the same challenges are faced by teachers and composition remains the most taxing part of a teacher鈥檚 career. With the current desire in government to scrap the current modular system perhaps with it the temptation of teaching a student how to fit as many marks into composition. Perhaps then the focus will be on injecting ingenuity and creativity with guidance from a less result driven teacher.</p> Tue, 22 May 2012 16:14:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/musings-on-teaching-composition Paying your dues... <p>Learning an instrument is much like any sport, language or new piece of flashy technology. You must go traverse the plethora of highs and lows in order to become proficient. Much like an athlete performs routine conditioning exercises we as musicians must also drill techniques such as scales, pattern exercises and long tones.</p> <p>Albeit not the most fun activity, the repetition, of the sometimes mundane, is where the real improvement lays: Pay your dues.</p> <p>I remember a stage in my learning where I hit the inevitable brick wall. Much like a marathon runner during the 17th mile, I just couldn鈥檛 play this one particular phrase of music! I remember feeling incredibly deflated upon hearing the disappointment in my teachers voice when I inevitably fluffed the same phrase once again during my lesson. For weeks, I spent day after day using any method I knew in order to gain the longed for accuracy and most importantly, consistency. I practiced the phrase: forwards, backwards, in different rhythms, slowly, quickly, from memory, upside down, said prayers, shed a tear and undoubtedly threw the occasional strop. Eventually, I nailed it and managed to play it flawlessly during a Diploma examination at the age of 16. I鈥檇 paid my dues.</p> <p>Last week a student of mine looked aghast at me when I demonstrated that phrase to her in order to give her a sample of the piece. 鈥滻鈥檒l never be able to play that.鈥?she said, I bet you can all guess what I said in response to her.</p> <p>For all of you who are curious as to what the piece was here it is:</p> <p>Your goals are only a pathway ahead of you, take a step at a time towards them, don鈥檛 give in 鈥?pay your dues.</p> Thu, 17 May 2012 16:10:00 +0000 http://www.jhs-jp.com/blog/posts/paying-your-dues 99re6在线视频精品免费_97人妻起碰免费公开视频_777米奇影院狠狠色