Developing Your Music Skills
Many students often ask how they can improve their musical skills. Here are some suggestions:
Dedicate yourself to one instrument (or more!) and get into the habit of doing daily practice. If you find it hard to get into a good habit with this, ask a family member to help remind you and/or sit with you to help you get started. Join at least one ensemble to share your instrument success (and woes!) with others and to have fun learning pieces together.
Listen to as much music as possible, in many different styles. You might wish to base your listening on our composer of the week or start off with some classical favourites. This Youtube clip is a playlist of classical pieces starting with Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata.
Try also listening to the classical music of today: who are the leading composers today and what are their works? Check out the likes of Sir George Benjamin, Unsuk Chin, Oliver Knussen, Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Thomas Ades – see what pieces they’ve written recently and listen to brand new classical music!
Also, check out some famous jazz & blues artists too, getting to know all the big jazz standards. Go back in time to find out the origins of some of the more contemporary styles. How did rock music, dance and reggae styles originate and develop?
Improve your theory and aural skills. You can get help with this at any of our theory classes or our advanced musicianship class (see our co-curricular page for more details). KS3 pupils are working their way through specially created theory sheets for homework and pupils are always welcome to complete more than their allocation! Visit show my homework for the PDFs.
Useful theory and aural websites:
– http://www.learnatune.co.uk/music-theory-games.html (some fun theory games)
Finally, and possibly most valuably, JOIN A CHOIR. There is nothing that comes close to the amount you will learn from singing with others. You will learn to sight-sing (look at notes on the page and know what it sounds like), understand different kinds of harmonies and ways to harmonise, develop your understanding of pitching and intervals, and be able to hear many different musical parts all happening at once. And of course you will develop skills on the instrument we all have – our voice – and have plenty of fun too!