Archive for the 'Top 10 Tips & Facts' Category



10 Interesting Facts About the Violin

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Sheet Music Plus Violin

Here are some interesting facts about the violin that you may not have known:

  1. The modern violin has been around for roughly 500 years. It was said to have been designed in the 1500’s by Andrea Amati.
  2. Playing the violin burns approximately 170 calories per hour. Forget about your workout and start practicing harder!
  3. Violins are typically comprised Continue reading ’10 Interesting Facts About the Violin’

10 Facts About Franz Joseph Haydn

By Zachariah Friesen

474px-Joseph_Haydn

1. Franz Joseph Haydn was an Austrian born composer who spent his life as a court musician somewhat secluded from the rest of the musical world, but nonetheless was one of the most celebrated composers of his time and is equally revered today.

2. That other Haydn, Michael Haydn also a prolific composer, was indeed related to Franz Joseph Haydn. They were brothers.

3. Haydn was famous for his pranks. While Continue reading ’10 Facts About Franz Joseph Haydn’

10 Facts about the Oboe

By Zachariah Friesen

Oboe

Oboe

Fact 1: What’s an oboeOboe is a double reed instrument. A double reed consists of two flattened blades of bamboo that produce sound through the vibrations of one blade against the other.

Fact 2: A reed? A double reed!? Yes, actually serious oboe Continue reading ’10 Facts about the Oboe’

Tips for Teaching Rhythmic Fundamentals to Music Students

By Carolyn Walter

I can scarcely think of anything more fundamental to musicianship than rhythm. With few exceptions, I find that a solid rhythmic foundation is truly the root of a good performance.  A piece played with otherwise flawless accuracy sounds sloppy or even falls completely apart without proper rhythmic control; never mind if the notes were pitch perfect, the dynamics were  masterful and the ornamentation was authentic. I feel this is true regardless of ensemble size, style or instrumentation.  A choir/orchestra with 100+ members needs to hold together with precision, as does a small ensemble with just a handful.  Even an unaccompanied soloist playing in a very free, rubato style must have a strong sense of pulse to deliver her musical message most effectively.

Like so many things in music, the basics of solid time and rhythmic notation and accurate interpretation can be explained in a few hours . . and perfected over the course of one’s entire life.   While the elementary process of counting correctly can be summarized in just a couple of pages in a basic theory or method book like the following:

Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory Standard of Excellence Edly's Music Theory for Practical People

I find that Continue reading ‘Tips for Teaching Rhythmic Fundamentals to Music Students’

10 Facts about Mahler

By Zachariah Friesen

Mahler

As a young aspiring trombone player, exploring the world of Gustav Mahler, I listened to his 5th Symphony at least 20 times before I understood any of it. One night, after returning from an audition in Los Angeles, I listened to his 5th Symphony on repeat all the way back to San Francisco. At about 2am, and the 3rd repeat of the symphony I was finally able to wrap my head around it. The next hour listening to that symphony was truly one of the most enjoyable moments of my life. Here are some things that I’ve learned about Mahler that you may not have known: Continue reading ’10 Facts about Mahler’

Artist Interview – Donn Bradley (Audition Tips for Singers)

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Donn Bradley

Donn Bradley

As many of you already know, the audition process for obtaining singing roles in opera, musicals and other shows can be quite challenging. Just like singing, auditioning is a skill, and it can take a few tries to get a grasp of how the process works.

Today we will be sharing singing and audition advice from Lyric Baritone and Character Tenor – Donn Bradley. Donn is a native of Santa Cruz, CA, and current resident of wherever the work is, USA. Donn is a versatile singer, with solid technique in Opera, Musical Theater, and several popular styles.

He has performed five major roles with Townsend Opera, and narrated five major works for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra including Façade by William Walton, and performed as Bass soloist for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with VITA Academy in Sacramento (2008).

Previous major Opera/Operetta roles include: Ko-Ko in The Mikado (2012), Major General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance (2011), Njegus in The Merry Widow (2010), Monostatos in The Magic Flute (2009), Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore (2009), Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus (2001), Papageno in The Magic Flute (1998), The Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance (1998), and Louis in The Wandering Scholar (1997).

Hi Donn, thanks for taking the time to interview with us.

What inspired you to start a career in music?

I have been able to sing my whole life, though my Continue reading ‘Artist Interview – Donn Bradley (Audition Tips for Singers)’

10 Tuba Facts

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Since its introduction into symphony orchestras in the mid-19th century, the tuba has gone largely unheralded as a vital member of the brass section. Its large collection of brass tubes creates a deep rich tone.

Tuba

Although it is the anchor of the orchestra’s brass section, most people know little about the instrument. Once you get to know a few facts about the history and use of the tuba you’ll find a new appreciation for the instrument, or at least you’ll be able to recite enough rare tuba facts to amaze a captive audience.

  1. The Tuba was invented by Willhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz in September 12, 1835.
  2. Tuba is a Latin word meaning trumpet or horn. Continue reading ’10 Tuba Facts’

10 Interesting Facts About Flute

By Brendan Lai-Tong 

Flute

When many people think of flutes, they think of  a transverse flute, which is typically used in bands and orchestras. The flute has been a part of history for thousands of years and has evolved over that time into the instrument that is often seen today. Here are ten facts you may not have known about the flute:

  1. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, a flautist, a flutist, or, less commonly, a fluter.
  2. There are many different sizes of flutes within the flute family: piccolo, alto, tenor, bass and contrabass flute.
  3. Standard concert flute is Continue reading ’10 Interesting Facts About Flute’

10 Tips for Improving Sight Reading

By Stephie Stewart

How many times have you seen someone sit down and play music you know they’ve never seen before and play it beautifully? Doesn’t it make you wish you could do that too? Well, the good news is that you can, but it might take a little bit of work. The truth is, most people aren’t naturally great sight-readers. They work at it and they practice it. Sight-reading is more often a learned skill than a natural talent.

“All right,” you say, “so how do I learn to sight read?” A good place to start, would be to start working out of sight-reading method books such as the Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests series, Improve Your Sight-Reading! Series, and Creative Jazz Sight Reading.

Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests

Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests

Improve Your Sight-Reading!

Improve Your Sight-Reading!

Creative Jazz Sight Reading

Creative Jazz Sight Reading

That being said, method books aren’t always for everyone, especially if you aren’t starting at the very beginning of the process. Here are a few tips for anyone who wants to improve their sight-reading, regardless of playing level or experience.

1. Just do it!

As cliché as it might sound, the best thing you can do to improve your sight-reading is to practice sight-reading. Make it part of your regular practice schedule. Find some music that is a few levels below your current level, and just play through it. (Big anthologies are great for sight-reading – there’s a ton of music of varying levels in a single book.) Don’t worry about making it perfect – just concentrate on getting through it. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of working out the hard parts. Do start out a little under tempo if playing up to tempo seems too daunting. As you get more comfortable, slowly increase the level of difficulty of the music and the tempo.

2. Look before you leap

Before you actually begin to play, take a minute to look at what’s coming at you. Look at Continue reading ’10 Tips for Improving Sight Reading’

10 Interesting Facts About Trombone

By Zachariah Friesen

Here are 10 interesting facts about trombone that you may not have known. Allow me to indulge you:

1. The trombone is derived from an instrument called a sackbut.

Yes, you read that correctly, sackbut. The name sackbut is derived from the Middle French words saquer and bouter literally means “pull, push”. This is a very fitting name for the instrument since it was the first instrument to have a movable slide. This is unique to the instrument. The sackbut was mainly used in sacred and court music settings during the 1600s. Interestingly, the trombone has changed very little since its precursor, the sackbut. Many other instruments have been improved with major revisions to their original design. Apparently, trombone was the closest to perfection!

2. The trombone is said to be the “Voice of God”.

Some say that Beethoven and other composers described the Continue reading ’10 Interesting Facts About Trombone’


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Thought-provoking articles by musicians for musicians, music lovers or those that want to learn more about it!

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