X-Mas Play List

X-Mas Play List

Here are a few of my all time favourite Christmas tunes: Let’s start with a song you’ll recognize–“Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” by The Temptations. This version is pretty funky, so you’d better get your groovin’ boots on! Next up, Christina Aguilera’s, “This Christmas”. I really appreciate the band and horn arrangements; it’s a good, solid pop song. … Continue reading

Cantonese Opera

Cantonese Opera

Cantonese Opera is a traditional Chinese art form, involving music, singing, martial arts, acrobatics, and acting. Most of the plots are based on Chinese history and myths, highlighting virtues like loyalty, love, patriotism, and faithfulness. Cantonese Opera taught morals and helped convey messages to its audiences; the government used theatre to promote the idea, “be loyal to the emperor and love the kingdom”. Thus, the government examined … Continue reading

Erhu, Pipa, and Gu Zheng, Oh My!

Erhu, Pipa, and Gu Zheng, Oh My!

The Erhu is a two-stringed, bowed instrument, and can be traced back more than a thousand years ago. Also known as a spike fiddle, Chinese two-stringed fiddle, or a Chinese Violin, the Erhu consists of a long vertical stick-like neck, with two large tuning pegs, and  a small resonator body (sound box) at the bottom which is covered with python (snake) skin. … Continue reading

China Bound!

China Bound!

OK, these kids are actually Korean and not Chinese, but they were just so darn cute I couldn’t resist posting their video! AND I really enjoyed listening to this song while I was packing for my trip; it reminded me of Tetris music, and packing luggage can be similar to a game of Tetris don’t you … Continue reading

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick

The mysterious ticking noise at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is not actually a pipe bomb–It’s the sound of a musical device that helps musicians keep a steady beat. *BONUS STICKER* At your next lesson, tell me what this musical device is called. COMMENT: What is your favourite Harry Potter book or movie?

Sneaky Sountracks

Sneaky Sountracks

Have you ever watched a TV show or movie with the sound on mute? You lose the dialogue between characters, but did you also notice that you lose the soundtrack (the music in the background) which is key to adding ambiance (a certain tone or feeling) to the scene? To show you how important music is … Continue reading

Hand Dancing

Hand Dancing

Watch a story unfold with no words or melody–just rhythm! Then, get groovin’ with a fun tune that is sure to get your hands dancing 🙂 COMMENT: What are some special things that your hands do besides play the piano? Do they knit scarves? Catch baseballs? Hold onto the monkey bars real tight? *BONUS STICKER* … Continue reading

Barbershop

Barbershop

Barbershop vocal harmony is a style of a cappella characterized by four-part chords for each melody note. Each of the four parts has its own role: 1. Lead sings the melody 2. Tenor harmonizes above the melody 3. Bass sings the lowest harmonizing notes 4. Baritone completes the chord, below the lead Why is this style of music called, “Barbershop”? In the late 19th century, barbershops … Continue reading

Boston

Boston

Hi Everyone, I’m away this week visiting Boston, Massachusetts. Looking forward to hearing some well practiced scales and songs next week 🙂 COMMENT: If you were commissioned (hired/paid to) write a song about Vancouver, what would the title, and first 2 lines of your song be?

1 2

1 2

Whenever I teach time signatures, students always ask, “How many different time signatures are there?” and, “Are there songs that count to 5? 6? 7? 8? 9? 10?” My answer to the first question: Many-many-many different time signatures exist–a composer can create any time signature that suits their song. My answer to the second question: … Continue reading