Showing posts from 2010


Parents, remember to tune those guitars when Santa brings them for Christmas!Here's a link to the online guitar tuner where you match the sound of a plucked string to the plucked strings of your own guitar!

Harmonica: Playing Cross Harp

Hey guys, Josh S. brought in a harmonica this afternoon, and he played a song with me on guitar. Sounded great—way to go Josh!

Harmonica is one of the cheaper instruments, and it's completely portable. There are lots of you who already have one sitting around somewhere. Alpha music sells harmonicas, and you can expect to pay about $20-35 for one. Consider the Hohner brand if you want a great harmonica to learn. I started on a Hohner Big River Harp (harmonicas are also called harps), and now I play the Hohner Special 20 - the same main harp that John Popper of the group Blues Traveller plays. I also understand that Seydel makes great harps and Alpha carries a full stock of those as well. The Session model of Seydel costs about $29 for a really great harmonica.

The first thing you'll notice when you play a harmonica is that you get sound when you exhale and when you inhale. Lots of people want to treat the harmonica like a standard wind instrument where everything is blown into …

Acoustic arrangement: "Firework"

I like this arrangement of Katy Perry's "Firework" by Tyler Ward and Alex Goot. Both Tyler and Alex are musicians and producers in business for themselves. Their job is to take a song idea that an artist sends them and turn it into a full blown recording. Here's how they arranged "Firework"

An arrangement (in music) is an adaptation of a composition for other instruments or voices or for another style of performance.

Acoustic: Instruments that do not need electricity to produce sound

Cover: A song played by a musician that was originally created and performed by another artist


You put peas in porridge!!!???

Here's a taste of Mr Burnsworth's class singing Peas Porridge today after learning the rhyme for the first time. I look forward to turning this into a drumming piece next week!

FYI: the original word for peas was "pease" meaning the same thing in the rhyme.

Instrument: Cajón

This is the first post of a new "Instrument" series!

The cajón is a percussion instrument that you've seen me play in class. Here's an example of how it's played and how it sounds…

Often called the "drumset in a box," the cajón is becoming more popular in mainstream music.

Click HERE for the Wikipedia page about this awesome instrument.

Here is where you can go to purchase a cajon locally.
This is the one that I bought a few years ago.

"Jambo" means Hello

Here's a recording, done through the Promethean board, of the 5th grade chorus learning a new vocal warm-up called "Jambo." Way to go guys and gals!

CAlling ALL 5th Gradeeeeerrrrsss!!!

Hey guys and gals, it's getting to be that time of year to start planning what your middle school schedule will look like. Malibu has had a great several years where the number of 5th grade students involved in music has been a very large percentage. My goal for this year is to send AS MANY STUDENTS AS POSSIBLE to the Band/Chorus/Orchestra programs in your middle schools.

I started playing saxophone in the 6th grade and continued through a performance degree in college and grad school. Without a doubt, it was the best experience to be with a group of different people, very diverse, with a common goal of performing well and learning music at a higher level. I have toured with numerous broadway productions, played with The Temptations and the O-Jays, along with the symphony and numerous other wonderful groups. The experiences would not have been possible without early exposure to music in middle school!

THERE IS NO EXPLORATORY CLASS that will give you the same quality experience tha…

McFerrin Vocal Lesson — How to practice using your voice!

"By The Sea," one of my favorite Bobby McFerrin recordings

One of my personal faves, and a hard one to find...

Introducing Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin has been a vocal genius from the time his career started numerous decades ago. He remains one of my favorite vocal performers. What can you tell about how he uses his chest/head, heavy/light voices?

Wavin' Flag (Celebration Mix) from Fifa World Cup 2010

i've beeN...FRAMED!!!!

International virtuoso percussionist and frame drummer, Glen Velez, is right here, right now! Click on the link below to hear and see Mr. Velez play some of the worlds oldest types of percussion instruments. He's been an inspiration to me for a long time, and is largely responsible for the amount and type of drumming I do in class.

Check him out HERE, and find this link under the links tab from now on.

Links, Oh do I love thee...

Hey guys, this video is all about using the links tab at the top of the blog. I hope to make it a much longer list. Make sure to check out what's there already!

Be a Music Supporter!!!

Matisyahu "One Day"

The BEAT GRID tool

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