Unearthing Baroque Gems with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

Are you a Baroque music enthusiast seeking to diversify your classical music collection? Allow the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra to take you on a captivating journey through time. Under the artistic direction of Paul Dyer, this exceptional ensemble is celebrated for their period instrument performances, earning them a prominent place in Australia’s classical music scene. Established in 1989, the orchestra pays homage to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with their namesake and has since released 17 albums showcasing renowned soloists, such as counter-tenor Andreas Scholl, among others. The orchestra also frequently graces the airwaves of ABC Classic FM.

I recently indulged in their two-CD set of Handel’s Concerto Grosso, and it was nothing short of mesmerising. Contrasting the classical era’s solo concerto, a concerto grosso incorporates a group of soloists alongside the orchestra. This album is an auditory delight, providing a supremely soothing listening experience. What sets the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra apart is the seamless blending of soloists with the orchestra; discerning the difference becomes nearly impossible. As anticipated, the repertoire spans an array of styles, from melodious to fugal compositions, making this album an essential addition for string music aficionados.

To delve deeper into the world of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, visit their website at www.brandenburg.com and embark on a Baroque adventure you won’t soon forget.

The Hidden Orchestra: A Day Tuned to the Frequency of Perfect Pitch

Picture this: An ordinary day, brimming with mundane activities, transformed into a symphonic masterpiece through the ears of someone blessed (or cursed) with perfect pitch. From dawn to dusk, let’s unravel the layers of melodies hidden within our daily routines and explore the fascinating world of the perfect pitch with a dash of wry humour.

8 am: A gentle chime caresses the air as the Apple Watch comes to life. Sleepy footsteps tread a rhythmic path down the hallway while a canine collar jingles merrily in sync—the back door chimes in, its E-flat squeak a testament to its well-worn hinges. The stage is set for a day brimming with life’s obscure tunes.

The morning unfolds a symphony of sounds accompanying every action. Breakfast crescendos with the clatter of spoons, the percolation of coffee, and the satisfying toast crunch. Work hums along to the steady clicks of a keyboard and the whirring of a computer’s cooling fan.

Lunchtime brings its own culinary interlude, with the sizzle of a frying pan and the bubbling of boiling water as an irresistible overture. An afternoon walk reveals nature’s own soundtrack, featuring rustling leaves and a chorus of bird calls.

Evening falls, and the kitchen becomes a bustling stage, alive with the chop of a knife and the simmering of sauces. Leisure activities add melodies, from the sitcom’s laugh track to the soothing whispers of a book’s pages turning. Finally, the day draws to a close, and the comforting hush of nighttime embraces the listener, lulling them into a peaceful slumber.

For those with perfect pitch, the symphony of everyday life is even more intricate. This rare ability to identify or recreate musical notes without reference allows them to experience the world in high-definition audio. Tuning instruments becomes a breeze, and transcribing music is as effortless as reading words on a page. Complex harmonies reveal themselves like secret messages, enriching the listener’s experience.

But there’s a flip side to this auditory superpower, one that brings with it a certain sense of irony. Imagine being plagued by a constant influx of information as every sound becomes a cacophony of notes, chords, and key changes. The simple pleasure of enjoying music becomes a minefield of analysis, and dissonance grates on the senses like nails on a chalkboard.

Those blessed with perfect pitch may also be at odds with non-standard tunings or microtonal music. Their finely tuned ears perceive these variations as “incorrect,” Adapting can prove challenging. It’s akin to seeing the world in a different colour spectrum, where others might find beauty in unexpected hues.

So, is perfect pitch a gift or a curse? It’s all a matter of perspective. While this extraordinary ability brings its share of challenges, it also offers unparalleled insight into the harmonious world surrounding us. As we embrace the symphony of everyday life, let’s celebrate the hidden melodies that connect us all and remember that the beauty of music is not just in the notes themselves but in the joy they bring to our hearts.

The Timeless Allure of Early Music: A Journey of Discovery 

Fast forward a few years, and a high school music teacher helps nurture this growing passion. Understanding the student’s unique needs, this dedicated teacher shares various musical styles and provides immersive experiences, from jazz vibrations felt through the floor to Bach’s harpsichord suites played at extraordinary volumes. It’s a testament to the lasting impact a teacher can have on a young life.

During this time, the student begins learning the flute, and a new teacher introduces them to the world of early music on period instruments. From the authentic sound of Bach’s Orchestral Suites to the Baroque flute’s distinct tone, the student’s love for early music flourishes. Their curiosity is further ignited by an interview with Reinhard Goebel, leading to an extensive collection of early music CDs.

Late-night research sessions reveal more fascinating insights into the world of Baroque music and its authentic performance practices. Discovering www.baroquemusic.org opens the door to a treasure trove of knowledge and rekindles their passion for early music from the 1200s to the 1800s.

The allure of early music is potent, and its influence is profound. If you’re willing to explore, delve into the vast repertoire available, and let yourself be swept away by the beauty of early music, you might just discover a love you never knew existed.

Feeling the Music: The Differences Between Braille Music and Print Music 

As a music teacher, working with visually impaired students can be a unique and rewarding experience. To better understand and support these students, it’s essential to recognize the differences between braille and printed music scores. By delving into the nuances of braille music notation, teachers can develop more effective teaching strategies for their visually impaired students.

Braille Music Reading Limitations
The most significant difference between braille and printed music is that braille readers can only process small sections at a time, unlike sighted musicians who can easily scan an entire score. This constraint can make finding specific parts of a piece more time-consuming. However, braille music includes bar numbers to facilitate referencing sections, as well as repeat signs and da capo markings, just like printed scores.

Memorization and Rote Teaching
Given the limited scope of braille music reading, visually impaired pianists must memorize their pieces. This challenging task demands learning every note, fingering, and articulation. While time-saving techniques can be employed, it is often more efficient for teachers to focus on what students have already learned or teach additional sections by rote. This method takes advantage of the students’ exceptional auditory skills, making learning a more enjoyable experience.

Octave Markings in Braille Music
In braille music, there are no clef symbols like the treble or bass clefs found in printed scores. Instead, octave markings are used to indicate pitch. Familiarity with these markings is crucial for teachers to effectively communicate with their visually impaired students.

Hand-crossings and Complex Compositions
When transcribing piano music into braille, it is common to assume that notes below middle C are played with the left hand, while those above middle C are played with the right hand. This assumption can make hand-crossings difficult for blind musicians to interpret. Teachers may need to assist students in determining which hand plays specific notes, especially in complex late Romantic and 20th-century compositions.

Key Signatures in Braille Music
Another notable distinction is that braille music lacks the order of sharps and flats displayed at the beginning of a printed score. Braille music only indicates the number of sharps or flats in a key, so visually impaired musicians must learn the circle of fifths early on out of necessity. Teachers should be prepared to reinforce this knowledge throughout their lessons.

By understanding the key differences between braille and printed music, teachers can develop more effective strategies for instructing visually impaired students. This knowledge enables educators to create a supportive and engaging learning environment, empowering students to explore their musical talents and achieve their full potential.

Enhancing Music Education Accessibility: The Benefits of Online Learning 

The advantages of online lessons are numerous, and one of the most obvious is the ability to connect with students regardless of their location. No longer do students have to worry about travel time or transport, and they can take lessons in the comfort of their own home, in their own environment, and on their own piano. This can be especially beneficial for disabled students who may have difficulty accessing traditional lessons, as they can learn in a comfortable and supportive setting.

Of course, teaching piano online does require some adjustments. For instance, teachers cannot play duets or accompany students in real-time, as this would cause audio feedback and disruptions. This actually turns out to be a positive, however, as it forces teachers to listen more attentively and provide more specific feedback to their students. Likewise, students must also be active listeners and follow instructions carefully. Providing detailed and clear guidance is key, and teachers often use bar numbers, specific instructions, and notes to ensure that students understand what is expected of them. Additionally, technology such as Dropbox can be used to exchange notes and recordings, allowing students to practice more effectively between lessons.

Overall, teaching piano online offers numerous benefits for both students and teachers. The flexibility and accessibility of online lessons mean that anyone with a love for music can access high-quality instruction and achieve their musical goals. As technology continues to evolve and improve, it is likely that online music education will become an even more popular option for musicians around the world.
Teaching online has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it offers numerous benefits over traditional face-to-face lessons. One major advantage is the flexibility it offers to both students and teachers. With online lessons, students can learn anywhere and at any time that suits them. This is particularly beneficial for those with busy schedules, as they can fit in lstudies around work, school, or other commitments. Additionally, students who live in remote areas or have mobility issues can still access high-quality tuition without the need to travel.

As the demand for online tuition has grown, technology has also improved, making it easier to deliver high-quality lessons remotely. Platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime allow for real-time video and audio communication, as well as screen sharing, which is essential for music tuition. Teachers can also use specialised software to share the sheet music and other learning materials, making it easy for students to access everything they need from their homes.

Teaching online does come with some unique challenges, however. For example, teachers must be skilled at delivering instruction through a digital medium, which can be very different from teaching face-to-face. Teachers must also be able to adapt their teaching style to suit each student, as they may have different learning styles or preferences. Additionally, it can be more challenging to establish a rapport with students when teaching remotely, as there may be less opportunity for small talk or casual conversation.

Despite these challenges, many music teachers have found that teaching online can be extremely rewarding. By offering online lessons, they can reach a wider audience of students and share their knowledge and passion for music with people worldwide. Additionally, online teaching can be a great way to supplement a teacher’s income, allowing them to take on more students without needing a physical studio space. Overall, it seems that online teaching is here to stay and will continue to grow and evolve as technology advances.

How to Avoid the Top 5 Common Mistakes in Music Practice and Have a Blast

Are you tired of practicing your instrument without seeing results? Do you feel like you’re going nowhere fast, like you’re practicing in circles? Fear not, my friend! I’ve got the five biggest mistakes that you might be making while practicing. Avoiding these mistakes will make your practice time shorter, more effective, and most importantly, funnier. Yes, that’s right, funny. Who said practicing had to be a tedious, boring chore?

Mistake number one: Mindless practice. Let me paint you a picture: you’re playing some Bach, and you make a mistake in one bar. You play the same bar over and over again, hoping it’ll get better, but instead, the more you play it, the worse it becomes. It’s like a train wreck that you just can’t look away from. It’s time to put the brakes on, my friend! First, ask yourself why you made the mistake in the first place. Was it a wrong note? Did you miss some detail in the music? Are you tensing up? Once you figure out the root cause, you can fix it. Slow down, play that bar slowly, and don’t move on to the next note until you’re sure of what it is. Or try some relaxation exercises to get rid of that tension. Playing the same section over and over again is not the way to go. It’s like trying to dig your way out of a hole with a spoon. It’s going to take forever, and you’re going to end up more frustrated than when you started.

Mistake number two: It’s not a race. This is a common mistake many of my students make. They play a passage too fast, missing vital details. Slow down, tiger! Your aim in practice should not be to play at tempo all the time. Take it easy, play slower, and make sure you have the rhythms and dynamics correct. Play as slow as possible once a day. This will help your brain remember all the information. By doing this, you’ll find yourself playing almost at speed during the lesson. Think of it as going from a snail’s pace to a cheetah’s. You’re going to get there, just don’t rush it.
Mistake number 3: You aren’t aware of the sound you’re making
What’s the point of playing music if it doesn’t sound good, right? But sometimes we get so caught up in playing the right notes that we forget about how they actually sound. Come on, people! Let’s make beautiful music together!

To fix this mistake, try doing some simple techniques like scales or breathing exercises. Not only will they help you focus on the sound you’re making, but they’ll also help you develop your technique. And let’s not forget about hearing the next bar in your head before you start playing. It’s like a mental warm-up, but for your ears.

Mistake Number 4: Practicing too long.

Listen, I get it. You want to be the next Mozart or Beethoven. But practicing for too long can actually do more harm than good. Your hands can cramp up and your brain can turn to mush. And let’s not even talk about the risk of getting lost in a practice-induced haze.

To avoid this mistake, take a break every 45 minutes or so. Get up, stretch, grab a drink, and maybe even go outside for some fresh air. And if you’re feeling really wild, do something unrelated to music. Your brain and your fingers will thank you. Plus, taking breaks can actually help you improve your playing. So go ahead and take that well-deserved nap, my friends.

Mistake Number 5: Practicing while under the weather.

Ah, yes. The age-old mistake of trying to practice through the sniffles. Let me tell you, folks, it’s never a good idea. Sure, you might think you’re being hardcore by pushing through the pain, but in reality, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.

Instead of forcing yourself to practice while you’re sick, take a day or two off to rest and recuperate. Your brain needs time to process the music anyway, so why not let it do so without the added stress of being under the weather? And who knows, maybe that time off will help you play better in the long run. So go ahead and take that sick day, my friends. You deserve it.
And there you have it, folks. Five common mistakes to avoid while practicing. Remember, effective practice is all about quality over quantity. So take your time, focus on the music, and most importantly, have fun! Happy practicing!

Mute Marvels: Transforming Your Piano Skills with the Silent Method

In a previous post, I delved into the concept of mental practice, where one imagines and mentally rehearses a piece of music. This method proves particularly useful when you’re under the weather, as I was when I first explored the idea. With a bout of flu rendering me bedridden, I couldn’t physically practice, but I could still engage in mental exercises. This post expands on that notion.

Introducing the Silent Piano Approach:
Imagine playing a digital piano with the sound muted, using a makeshift cardboard piano, or even pressing the keys without actually depressing them. Surprisingly, these techniques can significantly enhance your memory and musical skills. As someone who frequently uses this method, I can attest to its effectiveness. Initially, I stumbled and made errors due to the lack of auditory feedback. However, playing without sound compels you to think before striking each note, becoming more conscious of finger placement, patterns, and muscle memory. It may take time to see the fruits of your labor, but the payoff is well worth it.

Getting Started with the Silent Piano Method:
To ease into this technique, I recommend beginning with familiar pieces. This way, you can better gauge the benefits of the silent approach. Select a small section and play it without depressing the keys or with your keyboard’s sound off. Observe how it feels, the notes you’re playing, and keep at it until your fingers move with ease. Repeat this process with other sections and pieces.

Have you given this technique a whirl? If so, share the benefits you’ve experienced.

Three unusual ways to use a piano

Most people think a piano is for playing lovely music. Classical or pop or jazz flows from the keys. But did you know that there are other things that a piano can do? Read on to find out three unusual uses of the piano…

1: Percussive sounds

A pfno is both a string and percussive instrument. But did you know that you can create more percussive sounds by putting objects between the strings? Composers such. John Cage did this and the technique is called “prepared piano” It cant be done with an upright piano, as all the objects will fall to the bottom of the piano. A grand piano is best for this. People have put every thing from wire to screws between the strings. It makes for great variety of sound while playing. The strings can also be plucked and your imagineation can can run riot.

echo chamber

By removing the front panel of the piano, and opening the lid, a echo chamber can be created. And can sing and speak and your voice will be echoed back to you. It can be a lot of fun while singing a song, as you can have a bit of a natural reverb effect.

The Piano Can play Itself

This last one is just a bit of fun. Press down the left pedal and keep it down. Then pump the sustain pedal up and down rapidaly. This will cause the piano to start playing hc. It plays random notes, and you never know what you might get. The more you do this, the louder the sound gets. Have fun as you do this… I know my students love to try it.

How Music analysis helps #anxiety

Do you suffer from anxiety? It can really cause you to feel stressed and out of whack? I want to share an experience I had recently that I hope helps you as much as it helps me.

The Experience

Recently, I started to feel really anxious about certain events in my life. The last few months have been difficult and my anxiety seemed to be increasing. I found myself feeling anxious mostly at night. I would wake up feeling panicked, anxious and stressed. My breathing was out of whack, and I had to find ways of dealing with it. It could last most of the night, and even during the day sometimes.

what has helped

There are two things that have helped me with my anxiety levels. It may not stop it completely, but it does help control the feelings and the panic. Music, and a related subject, numbers help′ It slows the feeling of anxiety, and uses the logical part of the brain.


In order for the music to help with my anxiety, it has to meet certain requirements. It must be polyphonic, or have a slow melodic line; The more complex the better. The polyphonic nature of composers such as Victoria and Bach means I can focus on the inner parts; Not just the melodic line. There’s lots of notes and other things to focus on. Also noticing how the parts fit together, how the distant changes to consonant Helps. The schspensions resolving, the ebb and flow of the music. The slow movements can express the feelings of the foul with the slow melody.


Numbers are very much related to music. I will write out numbers for a chord progression. For example i, Iv v and i. Then I will write the notes of the chords, and then put them together. By the time I have done this for the key I decide and then the relative key to it, I start to feel a bit sleepy.

I hope this has helped some of you. I know it helped me.

To Old To Learn Piano – 9 reasons why you’re not!

You might be wondering: Am I to old or piano lessons?

Let’s face it: as you get older it becomes harder to remember things. Your joints don’t work as well and aren’t as flexible.

Life gets in the road and practicing becomes difficult. You may even feel that since you missed that vital window as a child, that it is to late to learn now.
Even growing up, teachers told you that you don’t have a musical bone in your body.
Sounds like the odds are stacked against you right?

It gets better: you are never too old to learn piano.
Want to know the best part?
With some simple online tools, a change in mindset and determination on your part, it is possible for you to learn to play piano!
Your dream of playing that piece you always wanted to learn can finally become reality!
Today, I am going to show you just how fun learning piano can be!

Now: I’m going to share the 9 coolest reasons why you are not too old to learn the piano.

You are More Motivated

as an adult, you  are more  motivated than children usually are.   

Here’s the thing: as an adult, you really want to learn how to play the piano. You aren’t forced to learn. Motivation is high. Lessons will be fun because you want to learn.
Here’s the kicker: because you have the motivation and desire, you will succeed at playing the music you love.

You know what your goals are

Again: You have an advantage all those children who have taken to lessons week in, week out. Unlike children, you have a goal. A piece you always wanted to learn is within reach.
The desire to learn the songs you love is now possible.
All you need to do is sit down and work out what you want to achieve from lessons.
Is it a song you wish to learn? A technique you always wanted to learn. Perhaps you love a particular style of music.
Whatever it is: grab on to it and write them down.

Now: you are on your way to learning piano!

Learning Piano is fun

As a child, learning can become boring. But now you are an adult, learning will be fun!
Lessons aren’t just about sitting at a piano, playing boring music and technique any more. Now: there is an abundance of software, apps and even online lessons out there!
This makes the process of learning much more injoyable.
With so many resources now available, learning can be fun!
So: when looking for a teacher or online lessons, make sure they use a variety of resources and approaches.

Learning Piano Stimulates the Brain

Yes: you read right. Music stimulates the brain. It uses both sides of the brain which is fantastic for maintaining mental health and activity.
Learning piano is stimulating, makes you think and allows the brain to get a good work out.

Unlike children, you are a fluent reader

Remember back to when you started reading? It was hard work remembering all those words and could be frustrating.
As an adult, you are able to read and understand the materials given to you. No struggling with the words on the page. Even reading music will be easy: you understand the logical up and down movement of music notation and you will pick it up fairly easily.

Even if you Don’t Think so: Every One is Musical

You are wondering: is every one musical?
Is there hope for me as someone who doesn’t have a musical bone in their body?
Every one is musical even if you don’t think you are.
Don’t listen to all those people who say that you are to old to learn piano because you are not musical.
Music is built in to every one. Every time you walk, you are doing a rhythm. Your heart beats, creating rhythm also. Your voice is a musical instrument.
Now: take hold of this fact and don’t let it stop you for learning piano.

Find a teacher online, or some software and start learning today.
Online Lessons and Software Makes Piano Accessible

Gone are the days when you have to find a teacher in your area.
Now lessons can be conducted online. It can take many forms from video lessons, or skype lessons.
There are many books and piano software out there also. Learning piano is more accessible than ever before.
Now: take the plunge and start learning with some online lessons or software. You won’t regret it!
Learning Piano Relieves Stress

Let’s face it: Life is no picnic. It is stressful at times. The busyness of life become overwhelming.
Learning an instrument such as piano can really help with your stress levels. It gives you something to focus on apart from your every day life. You can sit down and play some music, and be transformed in to another world. Music can cut through all the stresses of life and enable you to forget just for a moment the stresses of life.
You have a more Logicaly Appoeach to Learning


You have a far more logical approach to learning than a child does. You will be able to practice far more effectively.
You take more logical view of the piano. You will be able to understand the why behind certain techniques. You can understand things such as the structure of the music better.

Now: Take the above reasons and start your piano journey.
Remember: you are not to old to learn the piano. Grab some online lessons now and start inviting the riches of music.