The Playground

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blues

Having the ‘Blues’ Never Felt So Good – Piano Tutorial

From their earliest lessons, Simply Music students know how fun and easy it is to get into real, authentic-sounding blues piano pieces.They also learn that there are lots of ways to vary and develop their first blues projects with cool extra touches. Actually, if you…

Teaching Chords & Accompaniment – A Video from Neil Moore

Chords are one of the most fundamental building blocks of all music and, taught in a particular way, they are incredibly simple to learn on piano. It’s amazing how much is opened up by an easily-developed grasp of chords. Neil describes here, for both students…

Songwriting

A Study in Songwriting – Pt 6: Mark S. Meritt

Mark S. Meritt continues our series on songwriting, discussing some guiding principles and idea-generating approaches he uses. Legendary musical theatre composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim noted some fundamental principles that guide his work, the primary one being Content Dictates Form. He also said that his…

Simple

Simple Things Done Well – Pt2

Previously, I talked about the benefit of making the most of simple activities and valuing the journey as much as the goal. But how? As a Simply Music student, your teacher will be regularly on your case about keeping your Playlist alive. Of course, you…

Earbuds

Make Your Buds Blossom

Although music is generally considered a social activity, I also treasure the personal experience of private listening. One of my favourite times to listen is when I’m out walking. Music always takse me to another emotional place, even while strolling my familiar neighbourhood. It’s only…

Make Practice Perfect

Can you think of any activity in your life that you were perfect at the very first time you did it? Here are a few things that that applies to for me: Contactless credit card payments Using velcro Wearing shoes (especially if secured with velcro)…

The Relationship Conversation for Parents

  Simply Music Founder and Executive Director Neil Moore has devoted decades to the possibility of music as a lifelong companion. He has spoken to countless parents who share this vision but are still echoing outdated mindsets that don’t encourage that wonderful relationship with musical…

Recording Yourself, Part Three – How To Record Yourself

Credit: http://www.intuneaudio.ca/ In the last two articles, we talked about the benefits of recording yourself and what to listen for when reviewing your recorded efforts. In this installment, we’ll discuss some practicalities of making recordings. Even if you’re simply making a cheap and cheerful recording…

Pride of Place – Songs We Share for National Celebrations

Credit: college.usatoday.com We hope all our Teachers and Students in the United States are enjoying 4th of July celebrations. But why not spread the national pride further afield? We enlisted the help of the wonderful Elizabeth Gaikwad to create some simple accompaniment versions, using the key…

Recording Yourself, Part Two – What to Listen For

Credit: http://sepeusz.blogspot.com.au/   In the first instalment of this series, we talked about the value and benefits of recording yourself.  It’s amazing what you’ll notice about your playing when you listen back to it without the distraction of having to actually play.  But there can…