Summerhall Easter classes

March 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

Hi all

Spaces filling up on the Easter classes at Summerhall, 11-1150 on 9th and 16th April, unlike other Happy Ears classes these are not drop in. You will need to book by email, phone or text if you want to come along.

Happy Ears summerhall Easter

I like toast

March 13, 2015 § Leave a comment

Heres a song I wrote celebrating the wonders of toast. Now, by popular demand, accompanied by a video. Particular thanks go to the 2 G choir who offered their considerable vocal talents to the project 🙂

Paper free guitar tuition!

March 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

Its been something I have been working on for a while, the idea of teaching without the use of paper print outs and numerous books. The way around this is E mailed documents containing chords and music and online tuition videos to support the class work, of course ensuring that all resources are not plagiarised or copywrite protected. The aim is to write original material and for learners to engage in this creative process along the way. We will mix in our own versions of classic and well-known popular tunes. Study at home can then take place on a tablet or laptop without the need of paper or a music stand (at least for the most part).

I felt I needed to be more environmentally responsible and limit my paper consumption and generation.

Though many pupils will not be thinking of exams when they first pick up a guitar, indeed I wouldn’t even mention exams until a learner has a good grasp of the basics and the intention of   studying in greater depth.

Trinity produce a succinct guitar exam book with a selection of tunes specifically for exams grade 1-8, for classical guitar and for plectrum guitar respectively.  For Trinity It is acceptable to use legally downloaded pieces and read the music from a tablet, lap top or reader, however you have to provide a paper copy of the piece for the examiner to read along as you play. You are also permitted to play from memory but again need to provide a copy for the examiner (the same is the case for ABRSM). It would be feasible to play from memory and have your examiner read from your device. Though I don’t expect many people to be able to do this!

ABRSM classical guitar syllabus grade 1-8 requires you to source all the pieces in separate books theres no permission for the use of laptops, readers or tablets. You are not allowed to use photocopies unless to avoid an awkward page turn and only with permission in advance.

With ABRSM you would likely have to attend an exam with three separate books. Which makes this a more expensive and marginally less environmentally sound than trinity.

I am in the process of building a paper free Happy Ears guitar and ukulele syllabus for beginners which will lead towards and support the Trinity syllabus, as this board (as well as ABRSM) contribute UCAS points if eventually applying for higher education in the field of music (Grade 6-8).

The focus for all beginners should be to have fun. To learn at your own pace and to lay the foundations for an environmentally conscious life of creative music making.

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