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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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!





Teaching Rock Songs can get Students Rockin!

21 09 2011

I read an interesting article about a “new” idea on how teaching rock to young people is a wonderful way for them to get interested in learning music. I am not sure how “new” this idea is but it does make sense. I started using Rock Band software on a PlayStation with my grade 6 students a few years ago and it got them all playing their favorite songs on drums, guitar, keyboard, and singing as well.

We use to teach common folk songs to get kids interested. Why don’t we update the situation to include current material rather than the same songs as when our parents were kids. Makes sense that their would be more interest if the songs were more current.

You can read the article called “Rock is not the Enemy” and make your own call, Rock Is Not the Enemy By DAVID BORNSTEIN





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.





YouTube Symphony Audtions 2011

13 10 2010


If you know of any musicians that would like to audition for the 2nd anual YouTube Symphony get them to sign up at the YouTube online site.
Go here to check out the YouTube Symphony Auditions Online
Submissions close November 28, 2010.





Stoking a Music Fan’s Fancy With Apps That Rock

21 05 2010


Many musicians have been waiting to get their hands on an iPAD to see what it can do. I think most artists will want one anyway just because…. just because! There are some very interesting music apps on the market already that will run on the iPAD but …. Read this interesting article in the New York Times online by BOB TEDESCHI on some of the applications available for ipad and iphone.

The ipad and iphone have brought a whole new element to the creation of music. Non musicians can now compose music using some of the new computer assisted music programs. It is a fun way to enjoy music on a new level. No, you will not create orchestrations like Beethoven of Frank Zappa but it is still a way to stimulate and use your creative juices. Especially for young composers getting their feet and ears wet.





Intua Beatmaker – The mobile music creation studio for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

19 04 2010

There are some pretty cool music apps out there for Apple products. Intua Beatmaker is a new generation of mobile instruments and music creation software. Inspired by hardware beatboxes, loop samplers and software sequencers, it combines them to turn the iPod or iPad into a unique, inspirational software instrument.

Using BeatMaker creative tools, you can compose, record, arrange, and tweak live your ideas into a complete song, ready to be shared ….. Go Here for the Rest