Monday, February 23, 2009

For next week.

I understand that some students are eagerly awaiting the Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz, so I am providing an advance copy here. You can also download this composition from this site.

Please pay particular attention when you get to bar 3.

Notice to students

It has come to my attention that some of you are slackening off in your practice, although it is only early in the term.

Because of this, I am assigning you a daily warm up exercise, in preparation for the wonderful Faerie's Aire and Death Waltz which we shall tackle later in the term.

You may download a larger copy of the daily warm up, if necessary from this site.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Radiohead - Just

I love this clip. Very creative. I don't know much about Radiohead, so don't take me as a mad Radiohead fan. Just mad.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Somebody likes Emanuel Bach, I trow, judging by the number of pieces in the new AMEB Piano Series 16. I'm looking forward to getting to know his music better, and enjoy these quotes from the Series 16 Fifth Grade Handbook:
A musician cannot move others unless he too is moved. He has to feel in himself all the feelings he hopes to arouse in his hearers, for it is the showing of his own emotion which calls up a similar emotion in the listener. [from Bach's own Essay on The True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments]

Was he a good example of this, you ask? Dr Charles Burney, music historian, described his playing at a party one night, like this:
He played till near eleven o'clock at night. During this time he grew so animated and possessed that he not only played, but looked like one inspired. His eyes were fixed, his underlip fell, and drops of effervescence distilled from his countenance.

Mozart said this about C P E Bach:
He is the parent, and we the children. Without him nothing would have been possible.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Finding Paul Kinny

The reason I found out about Paul Kinny, my classmate from the 70s making these interesting guitars is that my colleague at Mitchell Conservatorium, Rob Shannon, told me that Paul taught him at Grenfell High School, and that he had found him to be very inspiring and encouraging.

I have happy memories of Grenfell, where I was twice involved in HSC Practical Music examining. The school has had a long proud history of great music teaching, and I was pleased to find that Paul had been there, paving the way before I got there in the 90s to see others continuing the work.

Grenfell is a very small town and the high school only has about 300 students. But a high proportion of the students have chosen to study elective Music, despite all the other choices available today. I think this points to a sensible attitude to music in the town and to quality teaching in the school.

I later learnt that one of the examiners for my own son's HSC at the Conservatorium High school in Sydney was one of those Grenfell teachers. I wonder what he made of Justin's piano pieces, which included opening up the piano and playing the strings as well as the keys?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Paul's stereo guitar

If you are quick, you can see my former classmate [we're talking early 70s here, REAL early 70s] demonstrating his stereo guitar on the ABC TV program, The New Inventors. Paul Kinny is a pretty clever cookie, as you will read.

I'd love to be able to hear it live! Wonder if I'll ever get the chance?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Aural and Sight Reading

If you need help in teaching students how to use their ears and eyes when they play or sing, you will find Samantha Coates new books How to Blitz Aural and How to Blitz Sight-reading may be just what you are looking for.

The Aural book even has a couple of my suggestions in it.