Friday Favourites

Take a friday pause

Plenty of musical goodness for you this week, including responses to the BBC Young Musician of the Year final, and some rather appearance-ist reviews from Glyndbourne. And that’s without all the usual blog posts for teachers and learners alike.

Posts on learning

Slaying-the-dragon (Practicing the Piano) – “Piano playing can never be an exact science. We will not always be able to say with absolute precision or certainty how we arrived at a particular result in our playing. We may think we know, but in the end it will be a variety of different – and possibly even contradictory – means that bring about a result.”

What makes a ‘good’ singer? – it’s all about context (Christ Rowbury) – “Given that everyone can sing, what might it mean when someone says one singer is ‘better’ than another? What makes a ‘good’ singer any way?”

Does Perfectionism Get a Bad Rap? The Right (and Wrong) Way to Be a Perfectionist (Bulletproof Musician) –  “Well, the good news is that we may not have to throw out all of perfectionism quite yet. Perfectionism is not as black and white as we may have thought.”

Masterchef: redefining “amateur” (Cross-Eyed Pianist) – “Things which are described as “amateurish” are usually badly done or poorly put together. Not so these finalists in Masterchef: their dishes showed imagination, creativity, highly-developed technical skills and, above all, love for what they were doing.”

Posts on teaching

The Value of Singing at Piano Lessons.html (Heidi’s Piano Notes) – “Singing is such a powerful tool to accelerate learning and reinforce musical concepts in piano lessons, and yet I don’t recall any of my teachers singing at piano lessons, and I’m pretty sure they never asked me to do it.”

Learning Research Turns Music Teaching on It’s Head (Music Teacher’s Helper) – “A ten-year study of learning, just published 6 weeks ago, has come up with some surprising conclusions.   One is that drilling a passage of music over and over is not the way to master it.  For some students and teachers, this will come as a shocker!”

Teaching Adults Piano: Ten Tips (Diane Hidy) – “Jambalaya!” says James. “I absolutely LOVE Jambalaya! Can you teach me how to make it?” “Absolutely!” says the chef. “I’ll teach you to make Jambalaya. But first you need to learn how to cook my famous Lima Bean and Okra Soufflé.”

Posts about other things

Young Musician competition – let’s start with a level playing field (Guardian Music Blog) – “I have a dream, people; a musical utopia in which recorder players and percussionists aren’t discriminated against just because Mozart and Beethoven didn’t write concertos for their instruments; … a level playing field of musical opportunity in which it’s not just lip service that’s paid to the idea that all instruments are created equal, but something borne out in the decisions juries make in musical competitions”

BBC Young Musician 2014 (Melanie Spanswick) – Whilst I’ve always been a fan of the BBC Young Musician Competition (formerly Young Musician of the Year), I hadn’t previously had the opportunity to attend any of it. So when invited to the 2014 final, I took the plunge.”

Are opera singers now to be judged on their looks not their voice? (Guardian Music Blog) –  “How, then, have we arrived at a point where opera is no longer about singing but about the physiques and looks of the singers, specifically the female singers?”

Music in the News

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