All posts tagged: singing

Why I Discourage Perfect Pitch

I’ll never forget the look that I shared with a friend of mine after one of our first University music tests. It wasn’t even a high stakes situation. It was simply a pre-assessment to determine what class we should join for our aural studies. As you learn really quickly in a music degree, it’s not about where you start, it’s about how hard you work to get where you want to go. So even though the test wasn’t easy, we all left free in the knowledge that it didn’t determine any of our final grades. We all went to get the obligatory midday coffee, and one student just couldn’t resist it. He had to have his moment of glory. “I know he didn’t ask for it, but on that final transcription, I included that it was in A Major, just to show that I knew it.” Now, to give context, many of the rest of us had struggled on the final task. It was 5 bars of piano music, with no key signature, time signature …

Why singing?

I have been a piano teacher since I was 15 years old. Safe to say that my first students had to deal with my teething problems. But thankfully when I graduated school and moved, they graduated me, and got the variety we all need for a good music education. One of the regrets I have from that time is that I did not sing with my first students. Instead, I taught the way I had been taught, by playing scales, exercises and pieces. Now, more than a piano teacher, I consider myself a music teacher. Whenever you have a student, you are teaching the whole child. They might end up specialising in the instrument they happen to be studying, they might switch musical specialties, or they might pursue an entirely different career. So the question that needs to be asked is: what skills do you want to leave them with? That brings us around to singing. Apart from the fact that aural skills are part of every music examination, they are also an indispensable musical …