Category Archives: Music at home

WEEK Eight

The Challenges for after half-term and following week are very different from what you’ve had before.

They’re for ALL PLAYERS and SINGERS – have a go and enjoy yourself!

Parts:

They’re PERCUSSION CHALLENGES, specially written for us by Andres, SDMC’s Percussion Teacher. Here’s our suggestion how you might start:

  • Everyone listen to the first clip below. Andres demonstrates various rhythms on a range of kitchen utensils (voice 1, voice 2, etc)
  • Choose one line; practise the rhythmic phrase; then play along with the video clip.
  • Try some of the suggestions at the end of video.
  • Record what you’ve done and send it to us for your £1.
Clip One
Cooks Waltz – Audio Track

We’d like as many as possible to have a go at Cook’s Waltz.

Start by watching the short video which Andres has made for us.

Now here are 10 Steps to getting the best video of your performance.

  1. Pick your part (voice).
  2. Select your ‘instrument’ (from whatever you have in the kitchen).
  3. Get used to how it makes a sound.  Does it make different sounds if hit in a different way or place? Does it need to be shaken in a certain way?
  4. Watch the video demonstrations and play along getting used to your part. Do this as many times as you need. Practice Makes Perfect.
  5. Find a place to do your recording. (Make sure it is not noisy; make sure there is nothing that shouldn’t be there: yesterday’s clothes, little brother etc)
  6. If you can, get someone to record you using a phone camera playing along to the backing track or video.
  7. If you are on your own set your phone to selfie mode, then do a practice run and then record as above.
  8. For best results play along to the backing track or video using another device with headphones on.
  9. If you make a mistake, don’t stop keep going: it is a live video.
  10. Pick your best recording and get your parents to email or WhatsApp Helen.  Then sit back and wait for the full performance to be sent out with you on it!

Remember you will have earned a £1 for being part of this fun project.  For more of a challenge try recording a different part and send it (maximum of five per person!).

WEEK Seven

This week we have just ONE Challenge for you. Everyone could achieve it – will you?

We’ve chosen it because it’s the one main thing which will make you a better player.

  • Think back to last Monday, and make a note of how much time you spent playing your instrument. (Include noting the days when you didn’t play). Be honest!
  • Starting today, and then each day until next Sunday:
  • Make a note of how much time you spend playing your instrument, but this time, try to double the amount of time: this is the Challenge.

(It may be of interest for you to know that in the last three days I’ve heard of one person who is managing to play just once a week, and another who is playing every day for 1 hour or more. You’ll no doubt be somewhere in the middle – but if you do increase the amount of playing time, you’ll obviously become a better player. Send us a recording of your playing next weekend, and Helen will bank £1 for you as usual).

WEEK Six

This week it’s your job to challenge Matt!

Club & Junior Band Members:

  • Write down a list of five animals, each with a different number of syllables (e.g. duck, kangaroo, etc)
  • ‘Play’ each animal carefully, choosing a different note for each syllable. If you can, place the correct emphasis on each syllable (e.g. elephant, hippopotamus, etc)
  • Record these, making sure you say before each one: ‘Animal 1’ then play it.
  • Send us these, and Matt will try to guess each animal.
  • You can email separately the answers to Helen if you wish.
  • Although we won’t expect you to give Matt £1 if he guesses them correctly, we’ll definitely make sure you receive £1 for your entry.

Intermediate and Senior Wind Band Members:

  • You can do a similar Challenge to the one above.
  • But for you, write a list of 6 countries, each with a different number of syllables
  • ‘Play’ each country carefully, choosing a different note for each syllable, but when using two or more notes, make sure the notes are from a minor key.
  • Also, make sure you place the correct emphasis on each syllable (e.g. England)
  • Record these, making sure you say before each one: ‘1st Country/ 2nd Country etc’ then play it.
  • Send us these, and Matt will try to guess each country.
  • You can email separately the answers to Helen if you wish.
  • Although we won’t expect you to give Matt £1 if he guesses them correctly, we’ll definitely make sure you receive £1 for your entry.

Good luck!

WEEK Five

Music Challenges

Week 5 – Music Challenges

Your challenges this week are very similar to those of last week because we want you to improve even further the work we hope you’ve been doing.

Look again at the following list in the left column, and decide if the sentence you chose last week still describes you. Once you’ve made your decision, over the next few days complete the challenges which are alongside it.


Which sentence describes you?
Challenges
1. I haven’t played my instrument since last
term
OR
I’ve only played my instrument two or
three times since Easter
  • Get out your instrument and make sure it’s working properly. (Have
    you sorted out your music yet?)

  • Do a few of your favourite warm-ups.

  • Aim to play for 10-15 minutes three times this week.

  • By the end of the week, play your favourite piece as best you can and
    record it. If you send it to us you’ll be able to ‘bank £1’.

2. I try to play my instrument two or three
times each week.
  • As last week, try to improve two scales which you find difficult.
    (Have you sorted out your music yet?)

  • Aim to increase the amount of playing you do to four times a week.

  • By the end of the week, record the two scales you’ve been working at
    and record them. If you send it to us you’ll be able to ‘bank
    £1’

3. I play my instrument nearly every day
  • As last week, try to improve three scales and three arpeggios which you
    often find difficult. Have you sorted out your music yet?)

  • At the beginning of the week, record the scales and arpeggios (so that
    you can compare this recording with the improvement you’ll make at
    the end of the week).

  • Improve one section of your current pieces.

  • By the end of the week, record the three scales and arpeggios you’ve
    been working at and record them. If you send it to us you’ll be
    able to ‘bank £1’.

   
And for everyone: Go back to last week’s challenge page and complete one more Music Sudoku if you can.

Don’t forget: Each Thursday at 8pm, you can play Somewhere over the rainbow or something else for the NHS.

We’ve had even more video clips from players of all ages this last weekend: well done!

Lastly, don’t forget, if you’re not having an instrumental lesson at the moment, you could have an OCCASIONAL lesson to help you. Just email Helen (coordsdmc@hotmail.co.uk) or Matt (matt@mattpope.org) who can arrange it for you.


Remember, in order to encourage all our SDMC players and singers (of whatever level), we will award you £1 each time you send in a very short video clip of your playing or singing. Since this is not likely to be for a few weeks, you have the opportunity of increasing your pocket money as well as improving your playing. There will be an additional bonus for players who do this every week.

5

WEEK Four

Music Challenges

Week 4 – Music Challenges

This week you need to look down the following list in the left column, and decide which sentence best describes you. (Be honest!).

Once you’ve made your decision, over the next few days complete the challenges which are alongside it.


Which sentence describes you?
Challenges
1. I haven’t played my instrument since last
term
OR
I’ve only played my instrument two or
three times since Easter
  • – Get out your instrument and make sure it’s working properly. Sort out your music.
  • Do a few of your favourite warm-ups.
  • Aim to play for 10-15 minutes three times this week.
  • By the end of the week, play your favourite piece as bestyou can and record it. If you send it to us you’ll be able to ‘bank £1’.
2. I try to play my instrument two or three
times each week.
  • This week, try to improve two scales which you find difficult. Sort out your music.
  • Aim to increase the amount of playing you do to four times a week.
  • By the end of the week, record the two scales you’ve been working at and record them. If you send it to us you’ll be able to ‘bank £1’.
3. I play my instrument nearly every day
  • This week, try to improve three scales and three arpeggios which you often find difficult. Sort out your music.
  • At the beginning of the week, record the scales and arpeggios (so that you can compare this recording with the improvement you’ll make at the end of the week).
  • Improve one section of your current pieces.
  • By the end of the week, record the three scales and arpeggios you’ve been working at and record them. If you send it to us you’ll be able to ‘bank £1’.
   
And for everyone: Go back to last week’s Challenge page and complete another Music Sudoku if you can.
Don’t forget: Each Thursday at 8pm, you can play Somewhere over the rainbow for the NHS. This weekend we’ve been really pleased to receive so many video clips from players of all ages: well done!

Lastly, if you’re not having an instrumental lesson at the moment, you could have an OCCASIONAL lesson to help you. Just email Helen (coordsdmc@hotmail.co.uk) or Matt (matt@mattpope.org) who can arrange it for you.

 

Remember, in order to encourage all our SDMC players and singers (of whatever level), we will award you £1 each time you send in a very short video clip of your playing or singing. Since this is not likely to be for a few weeks, you have the opportunity of increasing your pocket money as well as improving your playing. There will be an additional bonus for players who do this every week.

WEEK Three

Some Music Challenges

Week 3 – Some Music Challenges

Well done to all those who have started to send us short video clips of your playing. We’re really enjoying hearing them! You’ve also started to build up some additional pocket money (Helen is keeping a strict record so that you’ll have the money when music centre resumes).

Remember, in order to encourage all our SDMC players and singers (of whatever level), we will award you £1 each time you send in a very short video clip of your playing or singing. Since this is not likely to be for a few weeks, you have the opportunity of increasing your pocket money as well as improving your playing. There will be an additional bonus for players who do this every week.

This week, you’ll need to scroll down or click onto the link where indicated.

Challenge 1

Music Sudoku There are three different levels with this game. Everyone should be able to tackle the Beginner level puzzle, and we think many will be able to do the one at Intermediate Level. The top Challenge is to do the Hard Level!

Challenge 2

Playing for the NHS Attached are various arrangements of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Most players in the Junior Band and all players in the IWB and SWB will be able to find a version which you can play.

  • Go to this link: https://janesalmon.info/2020/04/07/nhsrainbow/
  • Scroll down to Brass in Bb (treble clef)
  • Most of you should be able to play the version in C major (including woodwind players)
  • You can of course look for a version which you find easier.

The Challenge is to practise this and to play it outside on Thursday at 8pm.

Challenge 3

For members of Junior Band: Play along with either (or both) of the following pieces which you’ve been practising last term in music centre:

Highlights from Jungle Book – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfOZrZqjEKk

Nearer to my God –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=VBpcYgK2bGs&feature=emb_logo

For members of Intermediate and Senior Wind Bands

Selection from Wicked (1st Part)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=17&v=rKOkJqUWnPM&feature=emb_logo

For everyone (including CLUB BAND!): Send any piece or a short extract (no longer than 30 seconds or so) to Helen (coordsdmc@hotmail.co.uk) and she will forward it to one of the music team who will be in touch with some helpful comments on your playing.

In addition, you will ‘bank’ £1. Remember, each week you send us a clip of your playing, you are credited with £1. You can receive the total amount in your name when music centre resumes.

WEEK Two

Some Music Challenges

In order to encourage all our SDMC players (of whatever level), we will award you £1 each time you send in a very short video clip of Challenge 3. The money will be credited to your name and you’ll be able to receive the money when music centre resumes. Since this is not likely to be for a few weeks, you have the opportunity of increasing your pocket money as well as improving your playing. There will be an additional bonus for players who do this every week.

Challenge 1

Learning or improving a new scale.

If you haven’t got a tutor book with scales, you can find which scales you should be learning at your level by going to the ABRSM website. Look for exam syllabus for your instrument and the scales will be listed.

You can google the correct notes for any scale, and you’ll need to set up a metronome on your phone.

  • Write out your chosen scale on a stave with the correct clef and key signature.
  • Set the metronome to crotchet beat = 60
  • Learn the first three notes, then the first five notes, then all the notes, each time playing two steady beats on each note.
  • After a couple of days, try to play the scale from memory (both up and down)
  • Increase the speed.

Challenge 2

Similar to last week, choose one of your current pieces and find four bars or a phrase which you always seem to find quite difficult. Now follow these few steps and see how much you improve!

  • Slowly and carefully, make sure you understand the rhythm (say it and clap it)
  • Check that you know the fingering for each of the notes
  • Slowly play the first two bars; then play these bars five times
  • Now do the same with bars three & four.
  • Play the whole section slowly and carefully five times
  • Now try and increase the speed a little bit at a time
  • Now play the whole section as well as you can.

Challenge 3

Select a short piece from your current music (or a new piece). Rehearse this thoroughly.

Sunday 19th April

Perform this piece by video to a grandparent or relative who might not have much social contact.

Send the piece (or a short extract) to Helen (coordsdmc@hotmail.co.uk) and she will forward it to one of the music team who will be in touch with some helpful comments on your playing.

In addition, you will ‘bank’ £1. Remember, each week you send us a clip of your playing, you are credited with £1. You can receive the total amount in your name when music centre resumes.

WEEK One

Some Music Challenges

Day 1

Choose any scale (or the first five notes of a scale). Play these notes in the following ways, ascending (up) and descending (down)

  • 3 steady beats on each note
  • Start very quietly and gradually get louder until the highest note (2 beats on each note)
  • Now start loudly and gradually get quieter until the highest note (3 beats on each note)
  • Increase the Challenge playing all the above on a different scale (and for the more-experienced players, in a minor key).

Day 2

Choose one of your current pieces and find four bars or a phrase which you always seem to find quite difficult.

  • Slowly and carefully, make sure you understand the rhythm (say it and clap it)
  • Check that you know the fingering for each of the notes
  • Slowly play the first two bars; then play these bars five times
  • Now do the same with bars three & four.
  • Play the whole section slowly and carefully five times
  • Now try and increase the speed a little bit at a time
  • Now play the whole section as well as you can.

Day 3

Select a short piece from your current music (or a new piece) for a performance by video.
Rehearse this thoroughly.

Easter Day

Perform this piece by video to a grandparent or relative who might not have much social contact.

(If you can, send us a clip of this to Helen Smith our Centre co-ordinator (My SDMC Easter Clip) – coordsdmc@hotmail.co.uk)

On-Line Lesson Tuition

Message to all SDMC Players

I know that a number of families are now enquiring about on-line lessons during the time that school and music centre is closed.

It’s really important that you continue to make progress on your instrument, and ideally – if you use this time well – that you make considerable improvement. This is perfectly possible for every single player in our music centre, but it does depend on your being determined to set aside time to play your instrument, ideally most days; you’ve certainly lots of time to spare at the moment!

The following is a list of our tutors in music centre who are very willing to give you on-line lessons, either regularly or occasionally, if you’re not able to access lessons from your usual teacher. They can also support you with your theory work.

Contact details are:

Matt Pope (Brass): matt@mattpope.org

Samantha Pope: (Brass & Theory) samantha.pope@sky.com

Peter Glenville: (Clarinet & Theory) petergclarinet@googlemail.com

Clair Mott: (Flute, Saxophone & Theory) clair_bear12@hotmail.com

Nick Parrans-Smith (Brass) nick@parrans-smith.com

Becca Pope: (Brass + some woodwind) becca@beccapope.co.uk

I would encourage you now to think about how you’re going to use this time to become a better player. Use the enormous skills which are available from our teachers. They will be pleased to hear from you, and having on-line lessons will give you something to focus on during this enforced time at home.

Finally, at any time, please let me know if you need any further help.

Stay safe, and look after each other.

Philip King, (Head of Centre)