Singing better songs helps everybody win: when everybody sings for joy.
If you've read my manifesto "Everybody Wins When Everybody Sings" you'll note that my goal is to sing better songs. I believe that teachers of music, in particular, have a duty to find, develop, and use better songs, whether they are teachers of singing, general music, or other types of music. Better songs are context … Continue reading Why Teachers of Music Must Sing Better Songs
I believe we must sing better songs, because everybody wins when everybody sings. Great songs combine lyric and melody in a potent, memorable package. Sung together with others, they have the potential to create an unforgettable experience for all involved. Singing together creates bonds, cements memory, and encodes meaning. Putting words and music to voice … Continue reading Why We Must Sing Better Songs: A Manifesto, Part I
As a teacher I manage life, family, and work with an array of books, tools, and apps. Here are is an almost exhaustive work-in-progress list of the resources I use for work and life. I list work tools first, then life tools. Clearly, some overlap - especially those involving life planning, goal setting and productivity. … Continue reading Books On My Shelf, Tools In My Box, and Apps In The Cloud
I've been composing and improvising songs for years, but it's only recently I've started notating them. Here's one that is a great body part song, if you can find rhyming words to match.
Along with help from my students, I wrote the following song just for fun. Without realising it at first, I actually included some musical concepts in the words. I'm sure you'll spot them! where-have-you-beenDownload
Starting this week, I'll be uploading a new piece every week until the end of June. It's my song a week challenge, something I've committed to in order to stretch my self - and, hopefully, serve the need for better songs. This week's piece is quite personal, in that I have never shared this with … Continue reading A Simple Choral Warmup – In Nomine Jesu
There's a Zimbabwean proverb that states "If you can speak, you can sing." And strangely enough, my singing teacher said as much just this week: "Singing is speaking." In other words, I truly believe we all can sing - just some of us have had more and/or better experiences than others. As a professional music … Continue reading Singing Better Songs is Transformational
Thank you to all the readers and followers of this blog. I've appreciated your comments, likes, and conversations. Note, there are some changes ahead: I will be posting to the blog weekly, not every weekday. I will focus on blogging about learning and education, music and song, with three key foci: my students, their parents, … Continue reading Learning through Song
If the karaoke machine serves you a sad, sombre song, maybe it's time for a change. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I love J.S. Bach's quote on music, musicians, and life. "To write great music, the musician must make his life a great song. … Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, … Continue reading Sing Better Songs
This week has been different than usual. I'm away from home on work, taking students to perform overseas. So today, rather than share my regular top tips, wins, and preview, I wanted to share a little more about why I started this blog. As I write this I'm not sure I can give my full … Continue reading Full Cup Friday?
I started this blog with the aim of clarifying my thinking, acting on my desire to publish, contributing to significant conversations, and building up a body of work for future use. More recently, I've been challenged to create value for people, my audience, my readers. If you're reading this, that's you. As I work out … Continue reading A Change is Coming – I’ve Got the Call. What About You?
"I am a good musician,I practice repetition.I listen, sing, compose, and play,Getting better, everyday." I composed this little ditty a few months ago. All my students - at least, those above the age of 7 - know this by heart. There are several gems of importance here. I get better through practice.What kind? Using repetition. … Continue reading The Four Dimensions of Musical Learning and Beyond
I've been thinking. What is the focus of this blog? Is it holistic high performance? Yes. I'm keen to pursue that. But in what arena? I haven't written much, yet, on my actual day-to-day work. That's kind of intentional. However, if I'm to be authentic, I need to bring more of my story and my … Continue reading Finding My Voice
We've lost our sense of time and space in these all-too sedentary times. We slouch on the couch or hunch over our phones checking the bunch of things our friends ate for lunch. Get moving! Do starjumps, if nothing else. On my really bad days of no exercise, even a set of pushups or starjumps … Continue reading The Best Way to Get Started on Monday? Move.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Fill up here with your weekly dose of winning tips while you preview next week on Hybrid Consonance. Hybrid Consonance is the collection of practices, habits, mindsets, and more, that contribute to Holistic High Performance: productivity, focus, and intelligence. As an educator, musician, and writer, I am here to … Continue reading Full Cup Friday #4: Top Tips and Weekly (P)review
Rare and valuable skills are necessary for you to grow into the work you love. Read on to find out how, with the lessons I'm learning from the author of "Digital Minimalism" - Cal Newport. Today on Think It Through Thursday, I continue my exploration of Cal Newport's 2012 release, "So Good They Can't Ignore … Continue reading Go Dare – Grow Rare: On the Quest for Work You Love according to Cal Newport – Part 2
September 2001. Australian airline, Ansett, had just gone bust. Our flights to Osaka, Japan had to be repurchased to go through South Korea. And then it happened. ... I knew I wanted to study music. And I promised myself "I would do anything with music. But - I will never, ever, be a teacher!"
A really short post today - I want to give a shout out to two new friends, Aaron Walker and Jeff Goins. They sent me their books - autographed - and I am so grateful to them for their voices of encouragement, challenge, and success. Aaronand Jeff are the top two drivers behind this blog, … Continue reading Top Artists – Thank You!