Blender: Open Source Programs

The changing circumstances of the past year led me to make some changes to my own skill set. I had never done anything in terms of using my creative energy to produce videos. I had relied on others to do so for Globe Educational Services with varying degrees of success. When I see students working so hard on music, I wonder what I can do in terms of adding some new ways of helping students with their creativity becoming part of the larger canvas of society. I decided to learn how to use Blender, which is an open source program used for animation and video editing, in response to the needs of students. Moving forward, I will be featuring student performances on this website with videos produced by Globe Educational Services. It does not seem likely that there will be any in-person performances this year so having students be able to work toward recording and having a video for their ongoing efforts might be a distant second but for now it will suffice.

Blender has made making music more fun for students.

IN SEARCH OF THE UNKNOWN GUITARIST

Being a professional English language and literature educator who has worked on nearly every continent dovetailed nicely with my being a professional musician and classical guitarist so I decided to write a number scripts for videos regarding a search for unknown guitarists who change the world, which is how I spent my days off abroad most of the time for a couple decades. The journey begins!

More Performance Anxiety Considerations

As mentioned previously, students identified performance anxiety as a trouble spot in regard to their learning how to play guitar. The video embedded below was made to help students understand some aspects of during-the-performance anxiety. If you have any questions or comments, please direct them to Globe Educational Services so we can help you be the guitarist everybody listens to.

Performance Anxiety Experienced By Music Students

Students have mentioned performance anxiety as a trouble spot even while preparing for daily practice. The video embedded below was made to help students understand some aspects of pre-performance anxiety. If you have any questions or comments, please direct them to Globe Educational Services so we can help you be the guitarist everybody listens to.

How To Learn To Play Guitar Well — Performance Anxiety Considerations

John Williams, Classical Guitarist, Interview

Aspiring musicians often have many questions that are answered, but the answers are soon forgotten due to the cognitive load of learning new skills that are in need of becoming part of procedural memory. John Williams, classical guitarist, discusses his early years of studying guitar. The “thirty-minute practice time” resonates with me and my early years of learning an instrument. It is crucial to learn to practice in a manner that allows an aspiring musician to move forward.

Any discussion of guitar seems a bit empty without discussing its role in popular music. Much else is discussed in this part of the interview, but what catches my attention is listening to John Williams discern how classical guitar, its European tradition to be more specific, differs from guitar traditions in other parts of the world.

Dance is critical to understand how to play music from many countries and different time periods. In a future post, I will cite some sources for people interested in the fascinating connections between dance and music. For now, I hope that John Williams discussing the connections will pique your interest in the subject enough to consider learning some new dances!

Helping aspiring guitarists to learn to practice at a microscopically slow pace while watching their movements in order to become comfortable before playing fast is something that needs to be emphasized over and over or else progress becomes much slower as pieces of music become more difficult. John Williams also discusses the metronome, which some aspiring guitarists view as an enemy. It really isn’t!

Family Day 2020

As Monday will be quite busy, I want to wish everybody a wonderful Family Day (2020 version) in advance. It certainly is pleasant to have a holiday in February. Although it is the shortest month of the year, it can, at times, feel rather long when the cold really sets in. The magic guitar of Sabicas will, I trust, make a difference this month as well.

The Latin Fusion Trio

My interest in instrumental music began long ago, but it is rooted in a classical music education encouraged by teachers at the music school I attended from a young age. Regardless of my roots, I have lived long enough to to discover that there are some amazing musicians playing instrumental music in Canada. I am not sure whether this group still performs or whether it is creating another CD at this time. Wherever the group is, it is still exceptionally talented. I hope that you enjoy this group’s music as much as I do. It is very difficult to find their recorded output so I hope this live version of “Oh The Fusion” will be as enjoyable for you as it is for me.

When To Start Learning A Musical Instrument?

As in language acquisition, there are many commonly held beliefs about when it is best to start to learn a musical instrument. Examine your own beliefs and see whether they are your own or “folk wisdom” passed along from other people that has stayed in your memory. I can still hear the voice of a music teacher from long ago lamenting that I had not started on my instrument much earlier in life. I started to learn a musical instrument when I was seven years old.

I suppose that had I not witnessed the joy of so many adults learning a musical instrument I could have come to that same conclusion that music teacher from long ago did that there is an optimal age to begin learning a musical instrument. There might be such an age for X or Y individual, were it possible to make copies of people and find out which age and situation promoted the greatest amount of learning. However, it is much more amazing to forsake cloning and simply witness the cognitive capabilities of adult learners who decide to study a musical instrument. Also, the motivation that teenagers bring to music education is most instructive. Skateboarding and music or volleyball and music or hockey and music instead of it being demanded of teenagers to choose between interests as though they are always competing. I was told to choose between such interests as a teenager. I never chose. I did as much as I could. Did it alienate coaches? Yes, it did, and I am pleased that my parents supported those decisions of mine.

There are so many activities to pursue, but I trust that if you have read this far you might still be interested in music. If age is used as a reason not to pursue music, I hope that you reconsider that reasoning. Much in life can be lost through aging, but music stays with us for a long time. There is so much fun to be had playing music. Perhaps guitar is not your instrument. That’s great. Find another one and have at it! If I know anybody who can help, I will certainly do my utmost to help you find somebody to teach you music.