By Brendan Lai-Tong
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:
- A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, a flautist, a flutist, or, less commonly, a fluter.
- There are many different sizes of flutes within the flute family: piccolo, alto, tenor, bass and contrabass flute.
- Standard concert flute is Continue reading ’10 Interesting Facts About Flute’
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
Improve Your 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’
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’
By Jenny Silva
We’re sure that everyone with children knows how challenging it is to motivate a child to practice. Every day there are activities that are vying for your child’s attention. Consistent and smart practice is essential to growing as a musician. The sooner your child can start to develop a regular practice regimen, the more apt they will be to succeed in their musical endeavors. Here are 10 tips to help motivate your child to practice:
1) Make practicing part of the routine – same time every day. Ideally, it should be before the fun stuff – TV time or computer games. Play with what time of day works best for you. My kids are morning kids, and so morning practice works well for us.
2) Set realistic expectations for Continue reading ’10 Tips to Motivate Your Child to Practice’
By Charles Moehnke
It could be argued that all facts about the bassoon are little-known facts. That being said, most of them would also be pretty boring so I thought I’d focus on “facts” instead. The quotation marks mean we can have some fun while we learn!
The bassoon is not an oboe.
You’d be amazed by how many times I’ve been asked, “You play the oboe, right?” The oboe and the bassoon are both in the double reed family and we do sit near each other in the orchestra, but they are, in fact, different instruments! All musicians who are already aware of the subtle differences between Continue reading ’10 little-known bassoon “facts”’
By Brendan Lai-Tong
There are few instruments more familiar to the public than the trumpet. Influential artists such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Maurice Andre and Phillip Smith helped bring the trumpet into the public spotlight. The trumpet is a versatile instrument that is present in a wide variety of musical genres such as classical, jazz, rock and more. As a result, there is an extensive amount of Continue reading ‘Top 10 Little Known Facts About The Trumpet’
By Brendan Lai-Tong
There are few activities more rewarding than learning to play the piano. While it is an amazingly complex instrument that takes years to master, it can also be fun for players of all levels. One of the greatest aspects about the piano is that it is immediately approachable and very versatile.
This is due in Continue reading ‘Top 10 Little Known Facts About The Piano’