If you have had a chance to explore the Music Matters website you will be aware of the many exciting options open to you. The purpose of this blog is to help navigate a way through which courses might be most useful to you and how you might most effectively navigate from one course to another.
If you click on any course you will find a detailed description of the content and you will be able to see a list of content for each video. This will help you decide on which is the course that best fits your needs.
In terms of progression this blog will suggest possible routes from various starting points. Where courses are graded 1-8 this indicates progression from grade 1 at entry level up to grade 8 at the most advanced point on the scale. For each grade of the Theory and Aural Test courses for example, knowledge for one grade assumes that the knowledge gained in the previous grade is in place, building in pyramid fashion. You can start at any point but be aware that any holes in knowledge from an earlier grade will impair understanding and progress at a higher grade. This is why our bundle courses are especially popular, offering you significant discounts for the opportunity to work through the grade levels systematically building your understanding. The grade levels do not relate to school grade levels but rather to levels of ability in music. They are therefore not age related but each course has been designed to be grasped by the widest possible age range.
Theory and Aural
The Music Theory and Aural Test courses relate to the grade requirements for ABRSM but cover a great deal of the ground demanded by the other music exam boards across the world. These courses deliver all the teaching you need for these exams. At the same time, you don’t have to be working for an exam because these courses lead you through a logical and progressive path of study that will enlighten the journey for any musician.
When you’ve completed the Theory courses, the courses that most logically flow forwards are the Writing Counterpoint course, the Bach Chorale course, the Aural Dictation course, the Keyboard Harmony course. Any of these courses can be undertaken without full knowledge of the Grade 8 Theory material but a reasonable level of harmonic understanding is assumed.
Now let’s turn to a completely free course! Yes, Play Piano 1 can be downloaded completely free of charge! It’s our gift to you. Why do we offer you this gift? Because it’s a starting point for any beginner pianist and a great way to set out on an exciting musical journey that will change your life. It’s also a helpful course for anyone undergoing any of our other courses because, even if you’re not a pianist or keyboard player, it really enhances understanding if you can relate your musical studies to the keyboard. We have a keyboard that lights up the notes being played during our other courses so some basic keyboard knowledge will help you to gain the advantage of that resource. Play Piano 2 is available for all who want to progress to the next stage.
The Sight Singing courses are designed for three different groups of people. One group comprises singers who need to improve their Sight Singing skills for exams, auditions, College entry etc. Another group comprises singers who sing in choirs and who want to get much better at reading music accurately. A number of choirs have offered these courses to their members and have reported stunning results. The third group for whom these courses have value are musicians who are not really singers but who want to improve their Sight Singing for that component of Aural Tests in exams or those who want to get better at being able to hear a line in their heads just by looking at it, which in turn enhances confidence with Sight Reading.
Turning now to Sight Reading, one of our flagship courses is the Piano Diploma Sight Reading course, designed to cover the requirements of the many Diploma syllabi worldwide. Sight Reading is often the greatest challenge for Diploma candidates. There are plenty of exercises on the market but very little in terms of a progressive course that breaks down the components and guides candidates through the techniques required to build fluent and accurate Sight Reading skills. Such is the purpose of this course.
Composition and Orchestration
Lots of musicians are keen to compose their own music. The Music Composition course lays out the essential techniques and can be applied at many levels of Compositional ability. Having completed this course, composers can enhance their technique by following the Advanced Music Theory course, the Writing Counterpoint course, the Bach Chorale course, and/or the Aural Dictation course.
Composers and arrangers will also be interested in our Orchestration courses, which go into detail about how to write effectively for each instrument as well as how to combine instruments in scoring.
Composers, performers, and those who appreciate music will find our analysis courses of value. One course provides a detailed journey through a Bach Prelude and Fugue; another travels through Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata for piano in detail, highlighting the compositional techniques and thinking behind the works, and providing stimulus for interpretation.
Finally, most practical musicians struggle with practice. How much time should you spend working on your instrument each day/ each week? How do you make that time effective? What are the ideal ingredients of your practice time? What are the most effective learning techniques? As a parent (musical or non-musical) how do you most effectively supervise or inspire the practice of your youngsters? Our Effective Practice course answers these questions and many more going into the practical details comprehensively.
Maestros and One-to-one Lessons
Additionally, you might consider joining Music Matters Maestros, which offers many perks, including discounts on courses and the opportunity to attend our monthly livestreams. And if at any point you would value a one-to-one online lesson you can click here to arrange it.
In short, there’s something for everyone!
And the purpose that sits behind all of this? To empower the all-round musician.