Rip It Up And… Don’t Start Again: How Music Is A Universal Noise.

I’ve not written a blog for a while now, so I figured I’d knock off a quick one about a couple of my favourite musical bugbears that I hear people bandying about willy-nilly… And here they are: 1. “Music that I don’t like is just a noise”. and 2. “Music is a universal language”. Arggggh!

Weighing Up The Scales: Does Your Left-Hand Know What The Right-Hand Is Doing?

So, a while back, I was teaching a bit of compositional theory (as you do) and I asked the students a seemingly outrageous question: “What is the purpose of the harmonic minor scale? Why is there a raised 7th in there?” Blank looks. But I was not deterred and thought I’d push them even further…Continue reading “Weighing Up The Scales: Does Your Left-Hand Know What The Right-Hand Is Doing?”

Follow Your Leaders? Revisionist Jazz @ The Lincoln Centre

A couple of years back, while on holiday in NYC with the fam, I went to see the Willie Jones III Quintet in The Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at the Lincoln Centre. The Dave Holland Trio (w/ Kevin Eubanks) were at the Village Vanguard downtown on the same evening but they don’t let kids in,Continue reading “Follow Your Leaders? Revisionist Jazz @ The Lincoln Centre”

The ‘Musical Ear’: What Is It? And Do We Need To Test It?

You’ll know from my other blogs on music education that I’m of the opinion that a lot of what is being examined in our young musicians (and mature ones, taking the dreaded graded exam journey) is outdated and irrelevant. The system has remained much the same for over 80 years, and shows no signs ofContinue reading “The ‘Musical Ear’: What Is It? And Do We Need To Test It?”

Music Appreciation: A Dying Art Or A Missed Opportunity…?

Over the past year, or so, I’ve been thinking about how we educate our young people in music. People that know me will no doubt be aware of my views on some aspects of music education that I consider negligible in worth (ie. scales and aural tests in ABRSM exams, the Kodaly method and otherContinue reading “Music Appreciation: A Dying Art Or A Missed Opportunity…?”