It Don’t Mean A Thing

In all of American popular music, there has been two distinct "feels;" straight feel and swing feel. The swing feel became popular in the 1930s and 1040s with the big bands of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, the Dorseys and others. Until then, jazz styles including dixieland and ragtime, had a straight feel to them. In … Continue reading It Don’t Mean A Thing

Teaching About Music The Way We Teach Music

For the most part, music rehearsals have three parts that extend over a period of weeks. The first part is learning how the music is supposed  to go, the second part is learning to perform the music correctly, correcting errors where they occur and trying to avoid errors during trials, and the third part is performing it correctly repeatedly … Continue reading Teaching About Music The Way We Teach Music

Syncopation, Meter, and Beat: You Really Can’t Separate Them

Syncopation is an interesting subject for music teachers in many countries around the world. On the one hand, right from childhood, people hear syncopated rhythms in folk and popular music styles everyday. The sound of syncopation, and the frequently used rhythm patterns that constitute syncopated rhythms are familiar, and most can quickly learn to correctly … Continue reading Syncopation, Meter, and Beat: You Really Can’t Separate Them

The Variety of Musical Dissonance

Dissonance is one of those musical elements I love to teach. This is because I love dissonance in music. For me, it is what makes music expressive, passionate, driving, exciting, powerful, and fun. Like anything else, too much dissonance is not good, but used in a balanced and skillful way; it turns very ordinary music … Continue reading The Variety of Musical Dissonance