Musician On The Net – Information and tips

Information and advice for passionate musicians

I’m still rolling along. 

It’s been a while, but I’m still rolling along with music wise. Still don’t have many students, but still hoping that will change. I’d like a few at least until I start looking for work at the local music schools. But even though I have not been teaching, I’ve done plenty and thought I’d tell you all about it. 
First of all, my diploma prep is going well. I have to sit my grade 6 ABRSM theory, which means ordering materials from the UK. I had to go through the RNIB and get the order numbers for all the workbooks etc I will need to be prepared. Then I had to contact the export department, who then had me call them with my payment details. So at 10 pm on a Friday night, I placed that call and now have to wait 8 weeks or so for materials. 
Step two was talking to a few blind teachers out there to find out the process of getting the exam transcribed and then my answered also. The exam will be brailled for me and I have a scribe on the day. It has been many years since I have used one. I well remember the slow, frustrating at times process of trying to convey my written work to a scribe. I used a short of shorthand to convey the music. 
An example would be c crotch, d min, 2 c  crotch. I would use accidentals before the note such as sharp f crotch, same with octave markings. All my scribe I told about octave markings as used in braille music to make things a little easier.  Octaves are numbered 1 to 7, 1 being the very bottom of the piano, 7 near the top of the keyboard. But there are rules we braille music people have to always keep in mind. I won’t tell you all of them here, as it is quite hard to put in writing. But if a note is a third or less apart, no octave mark is needed, but if a greater interval is used, we may or may not have to mark the octave of that note. Some people say we should use one at the start of every bar, but I don’t think they do that any more. 

Anyway, getting back to my diploma prep. I also downloaded the music I need to learn, and am now in the process of filling in my application for my theory. Which is proving a frustrating process as it’s a PDF form.  I also have several books on order, which comes to several hundred pages which I will need to scan. That will take a few hours to do once I get them, but it makes the material accessible.  

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