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.
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.
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.
Globe Educational Services now has a YouTube channel. We look forward to your comments on current content and your suggestions for future content.
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!
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.
There is so much written about flamenco that it is difficult to know where to start to discuss things of interest to musicians. However, most musicians are interested in harmony, to risk stating the obvious, so I put this in the resources section in case you have twenty minutes to spare and a lifetime to enjoy flamenco. There are subtitles in English, which is great in case you want to note anything for future reference.
Who can navigate websites well? Not me! I struggle to find things online, I reckon, because I am easily distracted by work that needs to be done. This past week I needed a few things so asked a friend where I should have a look online to find the things I needed. He laughed and told me that I knew the very website I needed to visit to find what I needed. Well, he was right. There are plenty of places to get one or maybe two of the accessories that I needed so I did not understand why he was so right immediately. After I was unsuccessful in trying to order online, I sent a message. Within a reasonable amount of time my mobile phone rang. I answered, ordered what I needed, and even had a brief discussion about the next classical guitar I will probably purchase, which is no small matter. Accessories such as guitar armor, which uses static cling to protect a guitar, a padded sleeve to help protect forearm nerves, and a guitar support cushion to protect one’s body from improper posture make me realize that a great service is very difficult to provide. I feel lucky to live somewhere that makes it possible to do so much with a minimum of effort. It allows me to have much more time for students and their needs.
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.
A student of mine once asked me who I would like to play electric guitar like if I could chose one person. I had a hard time choosing somebody as I usually think about classical guitarists and fingerstyle guitarists. As tempted as I was to say “Oh, Tal Farlow, of course,” I actually answered with the name, “Joe Pass,” in hope that I would make a point of promoting fingerstyle playing. I may or may not have been successful in promoting fingerstyle playing. However that answer sounded then I really do not know. Now, I must admit that I might answer the question differently at this point in my life. The tone that Tal Farlow gets from an electric guitar is more and more on my mind these days as I see electric guitars becoming less popular than they once were, though sales of acoustic guitars remain steady. I really hope that more people take an interest in instrumental music. And, maybe just maybe, somebody will take an interest in Tal Farlow.