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Sight Singing / Sight Reading 2 Video Tutorials Now Available

We are pleased to announce the release of the next set of videos in our Sight Singing course. The first course has been well received and this new course builds sight singing skills at the next level. Besides being useful to solo singers and to members of choirs, it is helpful to any musician wanting to hear what is written on the page. Step by step, the course investigates rhythm and pitch as separate issues, including in depth work on intervals, before putting all the skills together.

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Writing For Woodwind Video Tutorials Now Available

Following the earlier release of our films on the subject of orchestrating for Strings, we are pleased to announce the release of the next set of videos in our Orchestration series. This time the focus is on the Woodwind section, including helpful demonstrations of the many different playing techniques as well as how to adapt a simple piano score to a fully orchestrated piece. To download the Woodwind course click on the link below.

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Sacred Music Of JS Bach Video Tutorials Now Available

We are pleased to announce the release of the next of our filmed courses. This is a documentary course that covers the fascinating story of the life and times of JS Bach, focusing on Bach's Sacred Music. 

These films offer a comprehensive study of the topic, without using technical language, so it will be of appeal to music scholars and to those who have a general interest in exploring the topic.

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10,000 Subscribers on YouTube

We are very pleased to see we have now surpassed 10,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel! Thank you for your continued support! We have some very exciting things planned for the future so be sure to subscribe and be kept up to date with the latest information.

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Harmonic Analysis Video Tutorials Now Available

We are very pleased to announce the release of a new set of films, which focus on a detailed analysis of Beethoven's moved loved "Pathetique" Piano Sonata. These films will be of interest to those who are learning to play the piece or who are studying it, to those who may be writing programme notes for performance or for Diploma/ Degree exams, to those who want to build skills in harmonic analysis, and to those who love the piece and wish to extend their appreciation of it. 

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Grade 4 Piano Scales & Arpeggios Video Tutorials Now Available

We are pleased to announce the release of the next of our filmed tutorial packages on Piano scale playing. This latest set of films offers detailed guidance on every aspect of the scale and arpeggio requirements for Grade 4. The packages for Grades 1-3 have been well received so we hope that this new release will be equally helpful. The courses embrace how to find notes and key signatures for each requirement, along with many tips that make these easier to play and to remember. Each item is explained and demonstrated, hands separately and hands together, with ample opportunity to learn by playing along with the filmed examples.

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Virtual Accompanist Service

For Choirs and Ensembles
Some choirs find themselves without an accompanist for rehearsals or performances. We can produce recordings for rehearsal and performance purposes, along with the facility for members to practise at home, with everyone learning from the same accompaniment.

For Instrumentalists and Solo Singers
Some instrumentalists like to rehearse their own line with a recorded piano part, with the option to play it at actual or reduced speeds. This is particularly useful to those preparing for exams, auditions, or other performances. 

Music Matters is happy to record and produce high quality piano accompaniments as required, with files delivered either via download or on CD. All performed with a careful degree of musicality and professionally mixed and mastered to suit your venues acoustics.

Prices depend on the size and difficulty of the project. Please get in touch with us to make an enquiry. 

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Writing for Strings Video Tutorials Now Available

We are pleased to announce the release of our long-awaited set of video tutorials on the subject of Orchestration. 

In this first part, of what will be a series of Orchestration films, the focus is on the String family, the basis of the orchestra. Following individual films introducing the Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, and Harp, there follows an explanation and demonstration of the many different ways of writing for Strings. There is also a film that explores how to transcribe a passage written for piano for String Orchestra. 

Over the coming months there will follow a set of films concerning writing for Wind instruments, and this will be succeeded by another focused on writing for Brass instruments. Films relating to Percussion will complete this extensive study. 

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Mozart's "Requiem" Choral Weekend

Come and join us for the next choral weekend at Wortley Hall on June 17th/18th, 2017. Wortley Hall is a gorgeous location on the edge of the Pennines, all the rooms have en suite facilities, and the 26 acres of grounds are a delight. 

There are only 29 rooms available and a good proportion of those have already been booked on a first come, first served basis. When those 29 rooms have been booked, there will be opportunity to attend as a non-resident. We will be singing Mozart's "Requiem". 

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Grade 3 Piano Scales & Arpeggios Video Tutorails Now Available

For some time, pianists have been asking us for help with scale playing and in recent months we have released packages of films showing 'all you need to know' to prepare the grade 1 and the grade 2 requirements. Today we are releasing our brand new package for grade 3 piano. By taking a phone, tablet or laptop to the piano, students can now work through every individual requirement for the grade, with all notes and fingering explained with film of the keyboard indicating every move.

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Grade 2 Piano Scales, Arpeggios & Broken Chords Video Tutorails Now Available

For some time, pianists have been asking us for help with scale playing and last month we released a package of films showing 'all you need to know' to prepare the grade 1 requirements. Today we are releasing our brand new package for grade 2 piano. By taking a phone, tablet or laptop to the piano, students can now work through every individual requirement for the grade, with all notes and fingering explained with film of the keyboard indicating every move. 

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Oh no - not the scales...

"Oh no - not the scales..."

This is quite often the reaction of students who would much rather play pieces than learn scales. While it's an understandable reaction maybe we don't spend enough time explaining why we need scales and arpeggios in our lives. So why should we bother with them? Here are 4 reasons - and there are plenty more. 

  1. They give us a sense of key for the pieces we want to play. If we can negotiate a scale and an arpeggio in G major it will make pieces in that key much more readily accessible. 
  2. All music is moving by step or it is leaping. Scales are about perfecting steps: arpeggios are about securing leaps. 
  3. Scales and arpeggios encourage us to play with even rhythm and with even tone.
  4. Help improve dexterity and refine playing technique.

So living with scales and arpeggios helps us to deliver both technically and expressively in pieces. At Music Matters we are now rolling out sets of films to assist with the learning of scales and arpeggios. Watch this space...!

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Bach Chorale Harmonisations Live Stream

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Bach Chorale Harmonisations Live Stream

Join Gareth live where we will be looking at how to harmonise a Chorale in the style of JS Bach and giving you the opportunity to chat and ask any questions you may have.

This will be of particular interest to music students studying at University, College or at advanced levels in school but will also appeal to anyone who is interested in how harmony works and how to find chords that fit with a melodic line. It will also be of great relevance to anyone studying for grades 6-8 theory. Anyone else who is intrigued is most welcome to tune in!

● Live 16th Feb - 19:30 GMT (14:30 UTC / 11:30 PST / 20:30 CET)

Now finished. Missed the stream? Watch the video here on YouTube.

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Bach Chorale Video Tutorials Now Available

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new package of videos that explore harmonising melodies in greater detail, through the avenue of the Bach Chorale. This should combine fruitfully with the Composition package we launched recently and will be of particular interest to music students studying at University, College or at advanced levels in school but will also appeal to anyone who is interested in how harmony works and how to find chords that fit with a melodic line. It will also be of great relevance to anyone studying for grades 6-8 theory.

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Composition Video Tutorials Now Available

We are excited to announce the release of a new online course for composers. This is in response to the many enquiries we have received asking for such a resource from those taking school and University courses involving composition and from those who would like to acquire or develop their compositional technique. The course covers melody writing, how to work with chords, setting words to music, dealing with texture, structure, how to write a song, and a host of other issues.

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Effective Development of Essential Aural Awareness

When entering for music exams most candidates put in a good effort with the preparation of their pieces. After all, playing pieces is the fun part. Pieces are also worth more marks than the supporting tests so investment of time and effort on the pieces is a good tactic. 

When it comes to the Aural Tests, candidates are often less assured and often say things like "I don't like singing", "My teacher doesn't play the piano so we haven't done these", "There isn't enough time in lessons to fit these in", "I'm not sure what I have to do". Yet those Aural Test marks can make the difference between passing or failing, or can make the difference between one category of outcome and another. 

At Music Matters, we have been working on a solution to all this. Videos can be downloaded that teach you all you need to know and give you plenty of practice on various different exercises, suitable for candidates preparing for exams. Have a look at Aural Test Tutorials to see how we can assist you. 

In the meantime here are 7 top practical tips that will boost your vocal confidence and remember, if you still don't want to sing, you can always whistle or hum.

  • Place your feet slightly apart, with one foot slightly in front of the other
  • Stand up straight and try to grow a centimetre in height
  • Lift your rib cage. If you're not sure how to do this put your hands on your head and push your elbows back - your rib cage is now lifted
  • Take a deep breath
  • Try to keep your throat relaxed
  • Hear notes in your head before you pitch them
  • Whatever you sing, sing with confidence

Good luck!

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The Fully Rounded Musician

I have recently returned from a presentation tour in Hong Kong, Singapore and China where, as in the UK, thousands of candidates present themselves for music exams each year. 

The best players on both sides of the world achieve a remarkable standard. Sometimes in the UK we hear imaginative playing that is not always supported by disciplined technical preparation; sometimes in the Far East we hear remarkably well disciplined technical work that lacks musical imagination. The best players from all around the world play with both assured technique and with expressive insight. They are also usually the performers who have integrated their musical skills i.e. scales/ arpeggios, sight reading, aural work, grasp of theory, musicianship skills, understanding of style & musical context etc all inform their playing. 

At Music Matters we are working hard to build a solid bank of teaching films that provide all the support needed to equip the fully integrated musician. Take a look at our video tutorials to see the range of courses on offer to assist in that ambition. 

Good luck with all your music making. 

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Sight Singing / Sight Reading Video Tutorials Now Available

This month we are very pleased to announce the launch of our Sight Singing / Sight Reading course. This is a step by step course on film that deals with how to read rhythm, then how to read pitch. The two skills are then combined and viewers will be sight singing / sight reading in no time at all! The course is obviously useful for singers, for those who sing in choirs, and for those who need to acquire sight singing skills in order to access music exam aural tests.

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