Keeping track of your technical progress

Students often bring a number of books to lessons… unless they leave them at home, and that happens too! But what if you have a really creative way of helping your student (and yourself!) keep track of their technical progress?

Andrea, from Teach Piano Today, has come up with a relatively painless way to help you and your piano students do this and is also offering free printables. These suit RCM exams but you could adapt them to suit your exam syllabus requirements fairly easily. There are also some “blanks” for you to fill in yourself. Check out what Andrea has to say here and pick up the free printables here 🙂C major scale

Need to improve your sight reading?

Sight reading is one of those things that is an indispensable skill for musicians. If you want to be part of an orchestra, chamber group, vocal group or any kind of group of musicians, the ability to sight read makes the experience so much more enjoyable, less stressful and fun.

Today I discovered a website which gives you the opportunity to practise! The free version concentrates on rhythm, and you can sign up for a free one month trial with memory added to your rhythm. You can create your own rhythm by choosing the meter (duple, triple, compound, odd such as 5/8, 7/8 etc), number of bars (measures) and degree of difficulty (between 1 and 5). The rhythm is then played back to you while you clap along. The settings for playback include the ability to change the instrument (eg piano, clarinet, flute, guitar, drums, violin etc), the tempo, and format.

Below is a screen shot (click to see full size). Check the website out here!

practicesightreading.com screenshot

Music and maths: a good combination

Johann Sebastian Bach (aged 61) on a portrait ...
Image via Wikipedia

Music and maths are often associated. People who are good at maths tend to also be good at music. Why is this? It’s quite simple really: music involves patterns, often mathematical ones. This video demonstrates how the famous German composer Johann Sebastian Bach does this, using the musical techniques of repetition, sequence, inversion and retrograde.

Find out about how transformation geometry relates to music here.