Great Apps to Spice Up your Practice Session

Great Apps to Spice Up your Practice Session

The rapid advancement of technology has not only made e-learning an extremely viable platform for education, but also popularized digital play as a mode of learning. Phone apps and games have burgeoned over the years as developers continuously race to construct the best apps and games to teach each and every subject.

According to Statista, there are 2.8 million apps available on Google Play and 2.2 million apps available on the Apple App Store as of March 2017. As the teachers and students here at D-Flat Studios prepare for the imminent ABRSM practical exams, we’ve found a couple of apps that have been greatly effective in spicing up a practice session!

Writing a #Konposition

Writing a #Konposition

Have you heard of the KonMari method? Pioneered by Japanese tidying expert Marie Kondo, the KonMari method is a Japanese system of simplifying and organizing one’s home by discarding physical items that do not bring joy into one’s life. Kondo proposes a simple criteria on deciding which items to get rid of and which to keep - whether or not the item “sparks joy”. Intrigued by what became one of the biggest trends that ushered in the new year, I decided to create a new composition using the KonMari method, using only musical elements that sparked joy within me.

Meet our Teachers - Our Songbird & Vocal Instructor, Marie Hagen

Meet our Teachers - Our Songbird & Vocal Instructor, Marie Hagen

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”.

Deliberate Practice in Music

Deliberate Practice in Music

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!

The “4 Chords”. Simple yet effective.

The “4 Chords”. Simple yet effective.

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).

At the Movies - It's Not The Same Without Music

At the Movies - It's Not The Same Without Music

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.

Perfect Pitch - Bane or Boon?

Perfect Pitch - Bane or Boon?

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. 

Harmony Discussion #1: Dominant Chords - How do they work??

Harmony Discussion #1: Dominant Chords - How do they work??

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.

Pianos & Keyboards - What’s the Difference?

Pianos & Keyboards - What’s the Difference?

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.

The Wonderful Benefits of Music Lessons

The Wonderful Benefits of Music Lessons

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! 

Meet our Teachers - Jazz Maestro, Dickson Goh!

Meet our Teachers - Jazz Maestro, Dickson Goh!

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.