Posts filed under Music

Fall Semester Music Lessons

It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve made a blog post. The last two months have been quite busy between Linux certification study (have focused on LPI Linux essentials as a starting point) and working on continuing music education. I’ll be renewing my Georgia educator certificate next year, and to meet renewal requirements, I took a course on arranging via VanderCook’s MECA courses. Ken Snoeck was the instructor, and he did a fine job.

On to the subject at hand: music lessons. If you would like to receive private instruction in saxophone performance and / or music theory, make sure you fill out the form on the contact page. Starting this semester (August), I’m offering something different: Video chat lessons. I understand it can be difficult to schedule around transportation — in particular if you’re a young student and cannot drive yourself; thus, using Zoom conferencing, I’m going to offer both saxophone and music theory lessons remotely. There is no different in cost between in-person and remote lessons— just the flexibility afforded by having both options. I’ll be updating the Music Services page with more details over the course of this week — in particular some tutorials for using the Zoom conferencing client.

Here’s to another great academic year of music education!

Posted on August 10, 2019 and filed under Music.

Being Excited about Music Theory

It’s always a struggle for band directors to include music theory in their day-to-day curriculum, but it’s important to include it when you can. One suggestion I have is to try to keep what you teach about theory as relevant to the music your students are playing as possible. This is obviously easier said than done, for your average middle school band student simply won’t know enough to do a full harmonic analysis of their LGPE pieces, but you can still explain how the scales you’re working on are used in said music. It also possible to get into differences between major and minor triads as they are used in the literature you choose. For my private saxophone students, I make a point to try to use proper terminology when possible. When teaching major scales, I start introducing terms such as tonic and dominant, and stay consistent with their use.

I had some theory knowledge going into undergrad, and I absolutely fell in love with my freshman and sophomore music theory classes. I was learning the vocabulary and techniques to explain and recreate music that I had loved for years prior. I try to use this passion and excitement to hook students into theory by explaining that music theory “gives you the tools to explain why the things you think sound cool sound cool.” Below is a little video where I explain this. Feel free to share it with your students if you think it might help motivate them to be excited about their study of music theory.

Posted on April 17, 2019 and filed under Music.