Born, raised and trained in Stockholm, Marie hails from one of the biggest musical cities in the world. Her musical journey started with the clarinet at 8 years old, and when she turned 11 she majored in the voice. Marie received her training from the Kulturama School of Music in Stockholm, and embarked on an illustrious teaching and performing career. She has guided numerous talents as a primary and secondary school music educator in Stockholm, and has been appointed music director for several choirs. Marie has now moved to Singapore and has a gained a following at jazz clubs in the Lion city, earning her the moniker “Songbird of jazz, soul and R&B”.
What is deliberate practice? Defined as a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic, deliberate practice differs from average practice in that it requires focused attention, and is conducted with the specific aim to improve performance. Practice of such a nature, as opposed to mindless practicing, can help musicians at all levels to improve by leaps and bounds. Here are a few ways to keep things in check!
Since the invention of the radio, chances are you probably heard the “4 Chords” more frequently than you would have expected. The “4 Chords” is a series of chords played after one another to form a chord progression which is then looped repeatedly to form the ‘backbone’ of a song. A very popular example of the “4 Chords” would be the I-V-vi-IV progression. The roman numerals correspond to specific scale degrees depending on key that is currently being played. Let’s consider C Major for now. The resulting chords would be C maj - G maj - A min - F maj (maj=major, min=minor).
Whilst watching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, a sense of nostalgia washed over as the familiar jingle of Hedwig’s Theme transported the entire cinema back into Harry Potter universe. John Williams’ iconic tune, which is featured in all of the franchise’s films, always transports its listener back into the world of magic. The recurring soundscape is so familiar that audiences are promised an adventure every time they hear it.
The first time I realised I had perfect pitch was during a routine piano lesson, during which my teacher was going through aural training with me in preparation for my ABRSM exam. When I was able to reproduce a verbatim repetition of a short melody she’d played earlier, she looked at me with wide-eyed merriment. As a young child who barely understood much about music back then, I was confused by her reaction - I’d thought that this ability was one that everyone possessed.
Music takes its listener on a journey with every note, changing a listener’s response at every junction, through the highs and then to the lows. Ever wondered how composers and arrangers achieve this? And how music endings let you feel at peace after a joy ride through the past few minutes? One of the tools composers commonly employ is the use of dominant chords. Dominant chords are used in every piece of music, as it is an effective way to signal a cadence or a change in mood.
On the back of its popular holiday programmes, D-Flat Studios will be launching a Jazz For Kids programme, introducing the world of jazz to participants 9 to 14 years old. The 3 week programme will give students the opportunity to engage in structured jazz improvisation, learning the rudiments of jazz chords and scales.
An age ago, you may find piano teachers advocating the purchase of a grand or upright piano, commonly referred to as acoustic pianos, discouraging students from practising on a keyboard. Reasons may range from acoustic pianos being more ‘realistic’ and superior sounding. Since then, with the rapid advancements in music technology and sound production, modern keyboards sing a different song altogether. With high definition sampling, reconstruction of the fingerboard, advancement in the development of motion and trigger sensors, these critical advancements added much nuances to the modern keyboard. With these massive upgrades being available in the market, one might ask, how much better is the acoustic piano? Does the price justify its value? Is getting an acoustic piano still the instrument of choice for private practice? Well, in addition to our previous blog entry, here is some additional information to help you in your learning journey.
"This is challenging! I played this passage everyday last week, but I am still not getting it! How do I practice this?"
Practice and rehearsals are critical to anyone picking up any instrument or sport. Some skills are harder than others, and require a more thoughtful and dedicated approach. Here are a few suggestions which may help you maximise your practice sessions!
It has long been said that learning to play the piano, violin, trumpet or trombone - engaging in music lessons, has always been associated with better cognitive skills and improved brain power. Many would agree that it is a great skill to have, and in one way or another improves one's perspectives and senses. What does the science say? We list some known studies and uncover other observable benefits of music!
In our teacher profile this week, we want to get to know more about our talented and fun-loving piano teacher, Dickson Goh. Dickson brings much laughter to the classroom, and our young talents have been learning much from his energetic classes since April 2018. When asked about what they love most about his classes, students have said that he is funny and colourful, bringing music to life through his patience and passion.
Purchasing a piano is an important decision. It brings so much joy to the family, bringing music to the household, creating a lifetime of musical enjoyment. There is a vast variety to choose from - acoustic or digital, upright or grand, black or white - choosing a suitable piano may seem like a tough choice. D-Flat Studios is here to provide some quick tips before you make that decision
At D-Flat Studios Singapore we have many adults picking up piano for the first time. Our teachers are always excited to introduce the piano to fresh and mature minds, and are also encouraged by the great number of adults coming back to the piano after shutting their lids on those ivories for decades. Everyone who has come back to the piano enjoy the mental challenge of learning or re-learning the instrument. And some of them have been moved to tears when they are back making music!