Leonardo’s Da Vinci’s Viola Organista

21 11 2013

What a cool instrument.  The viola organista.  Leonardo Da Vinci had many talents and was given a large dose of creativity.  One of his inventions was just created for the first time.  A new instrument called a “viola organista” that is a cross between a piano, a violin, and listen for yourself.  Interesting article  from “the Age Entertainment” Nov. 18, 2013  Read more.

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Learning How to Play Guitar by Playing a Game

22 03 2013

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String Wars is a game that can be played using a real guitar

“The most enjoyable and effective way to learn guitar!”

So many of us are gamers and love music as well.  Stringwars is a great way to do both at the same time.  I can see it being a tremendous boost for getting students to practice.  When we are having fun learning it doesn’t seem like practice.  I unfortunately do not play guitar myself but I am going to get my students to try it out and see what they think.  You can even record your performance for assessment.  Great fun!  Learn to play guitar and enjoy music.  Try out String Wars





Learning Math Multiplication on a Djembe Drum?

7 11 2012

Here is something if you teach MYP Music and need something for a joint unit with another department.  Most teachers have discovered that there are many close links between music and other subjects.  Here is one new method for teaching student their multiplication times tables.

If anyone out there has tried it out please let me know.





Cool New MIDI Instrument – Percussa Audio Blocks

28 05 2012

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Audio Blocks is one of the coolest new instruments I have seen.  These look like so much fun.  Audio Blocks by Percussa are a new MIDI instrument that you can input your own samples to create completely original and new compositions of your own.

I wish they were a bit cheaper to buy.  A set of four blocks runs around $600 US.  A little steep.

Here is some info from their site.

Improvisor is a MIDI sequencer application which plays back multiple step sequences with up to 64 steps in length.

Each sequence is entered using velocity and semitone patterns, relative to a root note.

Semitone patterns can be played back using different velocity patterns or the other way around.

Semitone patterns can follow each other, which means they will add to each other’s relative semitone steps.

By drawing your own semitone and velocity patterns, and making patterns follow each other, you can create completely new melodies, which you didn’t imagine before!





Why All Leaders Should Take Conducting Lessons

22 11 2011

I came across this interesting list while learning more about conducting on the site developed by Michael Hyatt on leadership skills.  Give it a read. It made my heart sing!  🙂  The original article is found here. Give it a good read and see if you agree.

8 Things Leaders Can Learn from Symphony Conductors

Saturday night, Gail and I went to the Nashville Symphony with our daughter, Mary, and her husband, Chris. Mary had bought tickets for Gail’s birthday. It was a magnificent evening.

The orchestra was conducted by the renowned Hugh Wolff. He and the orchestra performed Beethovan’s Concerto No. 4 in G major for Piano and Orchestra. Horacio Guitiérrez played the piano. After the intermission, the orchestra performed Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Op. 45.

We are privileged to have seats on the second row. I was less than 20 feet from Hugh Wolff. I was fascinated just watching him lead the orchestra. Toward the end of the evening, it occurred to me that conducting and leading have a lot in common:

  1. The conductor starts with a great score. Conductors have a plan. They start with a musical score and a clear idea of how it should sound. Only then do they attempt to recreate in real time their musical “vision.”
  2. The conductor recruits the very best players. Great conductors attract great players. Mediocre conductors attract mediocre players. The very best players want to work for the very best conductors. Like attracts like.
Question: How do these items relate to leadership? What else can we learn from conductors?




Elementary Games for Education

18 10 2011


Slime Kids is an interesting library and gaming site for Elementary students and their teachers. It is a great way for young readers to find their next epic read or just something quick and interesting. Check out Slime Kids





Educational Games for Music

22 04 2011

If you are looking for a fun year end music lesson try introducing your students to a wonderful music training site called “Theta Music Trainer“. My kids loved the interactive music games. This group of games includes some of the most useful music interactive games I have seen. Train your ear to tune an instrument, hear rhythms, recorgnize chords and intervals. Many other games have been offered on these topics but I find these particularly useful. It would be great if there was a way students could send their progress to their teacher.

You can also read a press release on it HERE on PRWeb

I will be following up shortly with some feedback from my Middle and High School music students.