welcome to term 4

Picture 4

Hi Guys,

I would like to welcome you to last three weeks of the Solo Music Performance course!

Over the coming weeks you we be preparing for solo performance recitals and conducting practise exams.

If you would like to run through your repertoire over the coming days please let me know I will give you the opportunity  to perform your recital program to an audience.

If there are any aspects of the theory, aural or analysis that require further clarification please come and see me in one of your spare periods and we will work through your areas of concern.

You have all worked hard over the past year and I wish you all the best in the coming weeks.

I would also like to remind you that my door (and email account) is always open so please do come and see me with any issues that you may have.

best wishes

Mr Cowall

Paul Kelly Dumb Things notes

Paul Kelly

Dumb Things – Paul Kelly

Though Dumb Things may owe some of its inspiration to The Clash’s London’s Calling it owes just as much to Elvis Presley’s interpretation of the Garcia and Saunders penned Mystery Train. Ultimately, Dumb Things is a train song. It was written for his 1987 album ‘Under the Sun’ which also includes the classic ‘To Your Door’ a song of lost love and anticipation, and the political ‘Bicentennial’ focussing on deaths of Aborigines in custody.

Although The Clash are often seen as a punk band, they were really part of the New Wave movement in Britain first, and America later. Sex Pistols manager, Malcolm McClaren supposedly used the term ‘New Wave’ as an alternative to punk, but it grew into a very different musical style. The music of The Clash is too complex to be punk and it contains many elements of ska, which was also, in England, a hybrid of rockabilly, reggae and punk. These influences can all be heard in Dumb Things.

Despite his prolific output, Paul Kelly says he finds it hard to write songs, sometimes describing himself as ‘lazy’. Some songwriters enjoy writing alone and find collaboration difficult. Kelly often gets his impetus from listening to others and working with others, and so just as his lyrics can often flower in their own individual way from a line spawned from, for example, Greek mythology – ‘I melted wax to fix my wings’ or the sentiments of a Raymond Carver story, such as his song ‘Everything’s Turning to White’, so too, his music draws inspiration from myriad sources. He will often take a bass line or a chord progression, or even a melodic riff and see where it leads him. For example the chord progression at the beginning of his fantastic song ‘How to Make Gravy’ is very much the same as the opening chords of Thunderclap Newman’s ‘Something in the Air’, but Kelly takes the song into completely different territory both lyrically and musically. The harmonica playing in ‘From Little Things, Big Things Grow’ is pure Dylan, as is the whole style of the song.

Kelly is equally at home bringing together a group of musicians and building a song with them. He will often bring lyrics and a melody. But one only has to look at the investment of the overall team in the meaning that comes from the combination of lyrics and music in Dumb Things and many of Kelly’s songs, to realise how important inspiration and collaboration are to him. He pays artistic homage to those who have trodden the path before him (Shakespeare is a favourite) and to the contemporaries who share his working life. He has worked with just about everyone in the Australian music industry.

Kelly says that most of his songs are not autobiographical, that he creates characters who sometimes permeate more than one of his songs and writes about, or for, these characters. However, one would have to say that Dumb Things could be autobiographical, not only in the sentiments expressed, but it the delivery which is invested with Kelly’s ironic and self-deprecating sense of humour ‘I thought that I just had to sing. I’ve done all the dumb things.’

TASK: Go to http://drop.io/tnvpvd6

Complete an analysis template comparing two versions of Dumb Things by Paul Kelly and email the completed work to n.cowall@braemar.vic.edu.au



Impressionism is a movement in art, championed by Monet, Renoir and others, where the emphasis was on atmosphere, mood and suggestion rather than direct representation of objects, people or scenes. Lines and colours were blurred, brushstrokes were clearly visible and much attention was paid to light and its changing nature. The movement, which got its name from a Monet painting entitled ‘Impression: Sunrise’ became popular in France in the 1870s. Some twenty to thirty years later the early published works of Claude Debussy were likened to this artistic style and the ‘impressionist’ label was first applied to music, though Debussy himself disliked the term.

claude monet

Like in art, music deemed to be ‘impressionist’ was concerned with evoking atmospheres and concentrated on achieving this through blending ‘colours’ in both instrumentation and harmony. Impressionist orchestral music often used big orchestras, but rarely fortissimo dynamics; impressionist harmony and texture were rich, with triads expanded with added sixths and sevenths and traditional harmonic progressions ignored in favour of chains of parallel chords.

Debussy ‘s orchestral piece Prélude à l’Après-midi d’un faune – based on an evocative poem by Mallarmé, dating from 1894, is often regarded as the first impressionist work. The listening guide below picks out some of the important points in the work.

Characteristics of impressionism include:

  • Chains of parallel chords such as sevenths
  • Use of whole-tone scalespentatonic scales and modes
  • Rejection of traditional harmonic and tonal progressions
  • Complex musical forms
  • Rich palette of orchestral colours; unusual instrumental combinations
  • Rich textures
  • Chords which provide as much colour as they do functional harmony
  • Influences from foreign (i.e. non-French!) cultures
  • Unprepared, abrupt modulations
  • Atmospheric, dream-like pieces with evocative and descriptive titles

Other works of Debussy’s which could be seen as impressionist include his two books of Piano Préludes and Images. Another composer (also French) who wrote a number of works which were described as ‘impressionist’, was Ravel, whose Miroirs for piano are a good example. Both Debussy and Ravel were influenced by the earlier French composer Chabrier, whose España, among other works, paved the way for works in a Spanish style by both men.

What to listen for
Debussy: Prélude à l’Après-midi d’un faune

Debussy described this 1894 piece as ‘a general impression’ of a poem by his friend, the French poet Mallarmé, in which the faun (a mythological creature) stands beside a lake on a hot afternoon and sees nymphs across the water – he is not sure whether they are really there or he is dreaming.

The most notable feature of this piece is the orchestration. Debussy aims for transparent textures in which different timbres are never obscured. He focuses particularly on woodwind and makes much use of the harp. He achieves balance by presenting melodies in different orchestral ‘colours’, and in turn creating a variety of textures.

The Prélude opens with a solo flute playing the principal theme of the work. Each time the theme recurs, it is heard in a different transformation – sometimes a different pitch, sometimes extended or compacted, sometimes with different rhythms. The interval that the melody covers is a tritone ( augmented fourth) between C harp and G, which clouds any sense of diatonic tonality due to its chromaticism. The work seems unpredictable, but still has a unified structure.

The opening three or so minutes consist of four presentations of the theme – each time transformed. The first contains a bar of silence after the theme ends (00:34), the second uses a full-bodied orchestral sonority (00:59), and the third and fourth are rhythmic variations, ending with a cadence in B major (3:09) – the only point of tonal punctuation until the end of the work.

The thematic material is then ‘developed’ in a fragmentary manner that was to become a feature of Debussy’s later works. The whole-tone scale is used at 3:29 (deriving from the tritone in the opening theme), followed by a theme on the oboe (3:50) which is also derived from the opening. Another ‘new’ theme, on the woodwind at 5:10 (repeated by strings at 5:52) is underpinned by the bass notes D flat falling to G – another tritone.

Later in the work, the principal theme returns in augmentation with the tritone softened to a perfect fourth (7:11). This happens twice, interrupted each time by a scherzo-like passage. After the second of these, we return to the material of the opening – again without the tritone, and a perfect cadence at 9:44 coloured by descending harp chromatics.

Préludes (Book 1) for piano

Traditionally, a prelude is a short piece with few contrasts, perhaps maintaining a similar texture throughout (such as in many of Chopin’s) or even similar figurations (such as in Bach’s). Debussy’s Préludes, though shorter than most of his other works, show a similar approach. Each prelude reveals one or two aspects of Debussy’s style.

Danseuses de Delphes – a resumé of his harmonic and melodic processes; pentatonic melodies and parallel chords (chords which move in similar motion)

Voiles – almost entirely based on the whole-tone scale

Le Vent dans le pleine – like a toccata, starting with a pentatonic idea and with a whole-tone central section

Les Collines d’Anacapri – a sort of tarantella

Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest – a virtuosic piece which reminds one of Liszt. The themes are very fragmented, and largely based on pentatonic and whole-tone scales

La Fille aux cheveux de lin – a simple, lyrical piece, like Debussy’s very early piano pieces

La Sérénade interrompue – one of Debussy’s many Spanish-influenced pieces

La Cathedral engloutie – an unusual narrative piece about the sunken cathedral of Ys, off the coast of Brittany, which rises from time to time. You can hear bells and organ pedals within the piano writing.

Minstrels – a light-hearted, raggy piece like the ‘Golliwogs Cakewalk’, which seems to poke fun at Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde in the middle section, by mimicking the opening phrase and then inserting a musical ‘snigger’!

Debussy placed the title of each prelude at the end of the piece, as a warning against taking any extra-musical suggestion too seriously.

Twentieth Century Music Revision using the Naxos Library

The music of the twentieth century is the most difficult to summarise stylistically, since the end of the Romantic era saw musical style head off in a number of different directions. Accordingly, this post will summarise the most important styles of the century, and further posts will look at individual styles in more detail.


The turn of the century saw music very much up a stylistic cul-de-sac in the eyes of many composers. The Romantic harmonic style had become extremely chromatic, with the boundaries of tonality pushed as far as they would go without music actually becoming non-tonal. Many composers of the twentieth century continued to compose extremely successfully in styles which could be described as tonal. Notable examples are Mahler, who made an important contribution to the orchestral song cycle and the symphony (e.g. the first movement of his Symphony No. 9) ,Puccini, who was Verdi’s successor in Italian opera (e.g. Turandot ), Rachmaninov (e.g. Piano Concerto No. 2), Richard Strauss and, to an extent, Shostakovich (e.g. Symphony No. 10).

Mention should also be made of composers whose style cannot be easily pigeonholed since they had a style (or a variety of styles) all of their own: the influential English composer Britten (who made particularly important contributions to opera such as his masterpiece Peter Grimes) and the Russian composer Stravinsky are examples. Part of Stravinsky’s twentieth-century masterpiece Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) is discussed below.

While some composers were happy to look to the past for their stylistic influences, many rejected the past as irrelevant to what they wanted to do. The twentieth century was the age of the ‘-ism’, and subsequent pages deal with major stylistic movements of the time –impressionism , serialism , Neo Classicism and minimalism to name but a few. It was also the age of fusion – the mix of two or more styles often brought about by the improved travel or communication of the time – so that composers were, for example, influenced by jazz or world music. The slow movement of Ravel’s Violin Sonata and Stravinsky’s Ragtime are examples of music influenced by jazz. Copland’s Rodeo and Billy the Kid (both ballets) used folk tunes from native Americans. Other composers have been influenced by Indonesian gamelan and bhangra music.

Historically it is easy to find a multitude of reasons for this mix of styles. Technology advanced in the twentieth century faster than ever before in a number of ways. Transportation evolved from the invention of the car and the first flights at the beginning of the century to space exploration in the 1960s and high-speed air travel. The dissemination of music became global as the century progressed, first in the form of gramophone records and the radio, then television, and, by the end of the century, instant global access to most music via the Internet and satellite television. Communication also advanced from early telephones to instant global communication. This ‘shrinking’ world allowed composers to be heard by millions more people than had ever been possible before.

The globalisation of our planet in the twentieth century also had darker implications; two world wars and the development of nuclear weaponry made the world perhaps a more dangerous, volatile place than it had ever been before. Many societies experienced dictatorship, revolution and genocide. However the power of the human spirit frequently rose above oppression, and artists found that they had much to offer to help strengthen their listeners’ resolve in dark times.

Music in the twentieth century became a far greater part of popular culture and society than it had been before, and for the first time ‘popular’ forms of music, which had always existed, overtook ‘art’ music. The rise of jazz, countryrock and pop music in the twentieth century was very much a result of the advances in technology and the rise of capitalism, and these forms of music became big business in first-world countries around the globe.

By the end of the century, ‘classical’ music (as art music has become known) was viewed in society more as part of our heritage than part of our contemporary culture, and ‘classical’ composers of the twenty-first century now struggle to keep apace with the commercial music industry. The ‘gap’ between art music and commercial music was made wider still in the 1950s and 1960s by experimentation and complexity in the music of some composers, to the extent that some would term it ‘inaccessible’. However, more recently, the music of the minimalists and ‘tonal’ composers such as Gorecki and Tavener, have helped to bring classical music back to a more mainstream audience.

While western music has become the main ‘musical language’ the world over, better communication has allowed the music of hitherto lesser-known cultures to become part of the mainstream. Consequently, music from a variety of cultures has become familiar to western ears in recent times and has frequently been combined with western styles.

What to listen for

The Rite of Spring (The Augurs of Spring)

Diaghilev, whose Ballets Russes had so far commissioned three ballets from Stravinsky (this, completed in 1913, was the third), called The Rite of Spring the twentieth century’s Ninth Symphony’, in an allusion to Beethoven’s masterpiece of nearly one hundred years before. The spontaneity, bitonality, unconventional rhythms and irregular balance of The Rite of Spring has established it as one of the artistic landmarks of its time.

The Rite of Spring is divided into two major sections, called ‘The Adoration of the Earth’ (track 1) and ‘The Sacrifice’ (track 2). Stravinsky himself said: ‘I saw in my imagination a solemn pagan rite; sage elders, seated in a circle, watched a young girl dance herself to death. They were sacrificing her to propitiate the God of spring.’

The primitivism this scenario suggests is clearly portrayed in the music, where rhythms of great intensity betray the instinctive nature of the dancing. At the first performance of the ballet there was a commotion which has been well documented, but which was probably caused more by the choreography of Nijinsky than by the music, since a subsequent concert performance of the score was well received.

General points about The Rite of Spring:

The work does not appear to have any one theme running through it. Instead, it is built around a large number of continuously oscillating fragments of folk-like melodies, woven together and often juxtaposed. Each section has its own melodic ideas, and very rarely do these ideas appear outside their own sections.

The harmony of this work is all tonally centred and often uses bitonality. There is much chromaticism and thick, chordal clashes.

This is very much the driving force of the work, and the most memorable aspect of it. Rhythmically displaced accents and ostinati are frequent, and the work has a rhythmic vitality and primitive savagery about it, with the whole orchestra often used in a percussive way. In some sections, such as the introduction, however, rhythmic detail and pulse is lost in the seamless polyphonic flow of melodies. When homophonic textures do appear they are very exciting.

Again, Stravinsky is innovatory in his use of the huge orchestra, creating at one moment intense volume and at another, intricate textures. Unusual instruments like the alto flute, bass trumpet and piccolo clarinet feature prominently, and the percussion section plays a big part. Stravinsky’s string writing is inspired, using harmonicscol legno and other percussive instructions and great amounts of divided playing in the strings. Many themes are shared by instruments, and again in his combinations of instruments Stravinsky is innovatory.

We will look in more detail at ‘The Augurs of Spring’a section which occurs just after the introduction at 3:37.

After the almost chaotic polyphonic weaving of themes in the introduction, this is a wonderfully rhythmic and homophonic section, mainly in 2/4 time, with much use made of bitonality and syncopation. Just before the section starts, at 03:14, there is an ostinato on pizzicato strings which uses the interval of a fourth and creates tension.

Suddenly, the string section clatter in (3:37) with a bitonal chord (a very famous one!), accentuated in unexpected places by eight horns. The ostinato briefly returns at 03:46 along with dovetailing bitonal bassoons. Then, at 3:56, a chromatic theme enters, split between trumpet, oboe and pizzicato violins. A second (and very tonal) theme, on bassoons and contra-bassoon, is interspersed with the repeating bitonal string chords at 4:24 and builds up with use of trombones. After a dramatic pause (4:55), the ostinato returns, now decorated, at 05:04.

A lyrical, folk-like melody comes in on French horn (5:21) over the continuation of this ostinato and further trills. A flute answers the horn. There is more sharing of melody between oboe and trumpet, and layers begin to build up with the two themes superimposed (5:51).

At this point the tension begins to increase and the off-beat rhythm returns. The ostinato, now upside down, can still be heard (6:13) and syncopated chords played by the entire brass section punctuate three times before the next section begins at 06:57.

Top 10 tips to make a good prezi


The following information was taken from : http://thewikiman.org/blog/?p=866

Ten Top Tips

  1. Create your structure first, fill in the details afterwards. Think of your presentation like a building – you need to create the foundations and the structure first, and you need to know the outline before you start building. Think about what your top-down canvas view will be like before you start – this is what people will see before your presentation begins (either in person or embedded online), so it is important for it to look striking and draw the viewer in, and for it to function in support of your subject matter. Don’t try and design it as you go along, like Ellen Paige in Inception
  2. Make your sections bigger than you think you need to. Just trust me on this. You won’t believe how often you think you’ve made something massive, but ending up having to cram loads and loads of other stuff into the same space, and wishing you’d make it bigger in the first place. Remember, the Prezi canvas is to all intents and purposes unlimited in size – everything looks the same size when zoomed in on to fill the screen anyway. So don’t be afraid to make your title absolutely enormous if you’re fitting the structure of the presentation into the same width, as with Example Two, below. The first time I created that title it was about a fifth the size of what it ended up being.
  3. Choose your colour scheme well, and choose it early. Unlike almost all other software we’re used to using, Prezi does not allow an infinite range of possibilities in terms of fonts and colours. This is either a blessing or a curse depending on how creative you are. But as there are only a handful of options, there’s really no excuse for not choosing the one which best embodies the feel of what you are trying to say. The way the visuals work is, you use the same building blocks to create the presentation (so the shapes, the frames, the arrows, the text) and then change their style / colour scheme en masse. You can’t have, say, pink titles and black body text on a blue background, because that ‘theme’ doesn’t exist.  So, choose from what they have – if it’s a serious presentation, don’t use the jaunty font one. Similarly if what you’re doing is quite colloquial, that weird sort of Soviet-chic theme probably isn’t for you. Or maybe it is! But do think about it properly.The reason I’ve said do this early is, different ‘title’ or ‘body’ texts are different sizes on the different themes. So for example if you have your titles nested inside circular shapes, like in Example Three below, then changing the theme after you’ve carefully arranged these into the circles will probably ruin it, by making the text stick out over the boundaries of the circles, or be too small. Decide on what you’re doing early on, and stick with it.
  4. Position your materials sympathetically to avoid motion-sickness. There’s no point in using Prezi if you’re just going to stick a load of paragraphs of text on the canvas at random, then plot a path between them. You may as well use PowerPoint as you’re not exploiting the platform at all, and it’ll probably leave the viewer slightly queasy.If you arrange your materials sympathetically, it’s better for everyone. So try and move progressively and consistently between items – from A to B to C, in a horizontal row or vertically or even in a circle, rather than from A – Y – D all over the place, wildly oscillating around the canvas. It’s nice that Prezi will tilt to read everything as though it’s horizontal – it’s fun to have a diagonal line of text and then a horizontal one, so that it zooms excitingly between them. But try and limit the number of these you have in a presentation – changes of direction should be a neat special effect to punctuate your presentation, not the norm.There is a reason people get motion-sick on trains / trams far less than they do in cars, and it’s to do with consistency of motion and the effect this has on the inner ear. Gradually accelerating train = fine, even if you’re facing backwards; lurchy stop-starty car on a country lane = sick inducing even if you’re in the front. So be consistent in your movements on your Prezi, and choose the path of least deviation as far as possible.
  5. Reign in your ambition! Most Prezis suffer from the giddy excitement that comes from exploring a new medium. Oooh look, I can do this! And OMG, THIS! But consider if you really need to have that bit where the whole thing turns upside down and then on its side – if it serves as some kind of visual metaphor then great, but if it doesn’t then keep things on an even keel.To return to the building analogy, let’s take a kitchen as an example. Most people’s kitchens are a compromise between the gadgets they’ve always wanted and the gadgets they can afford – so,  like 99% of humans in the Western World, I have a cafe-style toasted sandwich maker hidden away in a cupboard somewhere (FTW). I would also love an ice-maker, a massive espresso-machine, maybe a nice stereo in there, probably not a TV but an ice-cream maker, maybe a soda-stream, a lovely bread maker, plus my wife has her eye on one of those massive pink SMEG fridges – but we can’t afford any of those things. If we won the lottery and I actually went out and bought all of those, and put them in our little kitchen, it would be terrible! It would look rubbish, be over crowded, I’d never use half of them, they’d lose their specialness and value among so many other gadgets, and ultimately the actual Kitchen itself would cease to function in the way I needed it to.That’s what Prezi is like. :) Just because you have the freedom to do lots of bonkers stuff, doesn’t mean you should – or that it’ll make the presentation better.
  6. …but still employ at least one extreme change of scale… Epic scale changes are ace. Prezi can go REALLY big and REALLY small, so it’s a nice thing to zoom in on something people won’t have guessed is there from the top-down view at the start. In Example Three, below, check out the zooming in on the dot of the eye to show my logo and my web address (thus getting across essential information without changing the top-down look of the Prezi), and in Example Two, look out for the angry, ill looking twitter bird that comes in the Examples of Failure section. W00t! It completely dwarfs the rest of the presentation, and is then itself dwarfed by some text (and this is a visual metaphor – I’m saying that the fact that twitter goes mad about library misconceptions but none of this anger is heard or understood outside the realm of the library, dwarfs much of our excellent efforts towards defending the profession). When Laura and I presented our echo-chamber ideas using this Prezi, we actually had to pause for a while and wait for the laughter at the blood-shot and drooling bird to subside…
  7. Achieve uniformity of style but using ‘duplicate’ then ‘edit’. Because of the way in which you can move the mouse to make items bigger or smaller, it’s actually quite hard to get two different sections of text or shapes to be the same size – it’s not like PowerPoint when you can pick a font size and stick to it. But in a lot of cases it does look better if your headings are the same size, so are you main body of text sections, etc. The easiest way to ensure uniformity is to get the first example of something to the size you want it, then ‘duplicate’ it – this will produce a second example exactly the same size, which you can then edit to say whatever you want. Then duplicate and edit that, and so on and so on.
  8. Use PDFs, not JPEGs – and remember every image will fill the screen. Prezi does not like Gifs or JPEGs – it prefers PDFs for whatever reason. Every single image on all the Prezi’s I’ve made has been a PDF because it looks so, so much crisper. This is a faff, but worthwhile – either use Photoshop if you have it to save images as PDFs, or use Zamzar online file conversion – it’s free.A lot of people complain that Prezi makes images look grainy or low-res (and indeed it does, with JPEGs, hence the use of PDFs) but there is a reason for this. Prezi is a zooming presentation platform; it literally zooms in and fills the screen with whatever you click on or tell it to look at. So if you’ve got a little 10px by 10px picture, it’s going to be shown far, far bigger than is ideal when Prezi zooms right in on it – hence it’ll look grainy. When, for example, taking a screen grab you want to feature as an image, don’t crop the screen-grab down to the bare-minimum – try and leave enough of an image so Prezi doesn’t have to focus in too close.This is hard to explain, do you get what I mean by this? Basically, anything smaller than what fills your screen in its original context, may look a bit shonky on Prezi when it is enlarged to fill your screen in a Prezi context – just like if you zoom in on any picture and start to see the pixels, or just shove your face really close to a newspaper. This issue is exacerbated when your presentation fills a big-screen at a conference venue. So, no tiny pics, okay?
  9. Specifics: Moving a bunch of stuff at once with the Shift key, creating proper hyperlinks by duplicating, using frames, and embedding youtube vids. Often you can spend ages assembling a little cluster of materials, only to find they need to be moved – and if you select one you can move it, but then you have to go back and move all the rest, and this is annoying and takes ages. I did this for months, then Laura pointed out that if I’d read the manual I’d’ve known you just have to press and hold then Shift key on your keyboard, then use the mouse to draw a box round the group of items you want to move collectively. This saves ages of time.For reasons I don’t understand, hyperlinks don’t appear most times you type a URL into Prezi.  It just remains as www.whatever.com rather than www.don’tactuallyclickthis.com. However, if you ‘duplicate’ the relevant section, the new version will have hyperlinked URLs. I don’t know why this is, but it’s an acceptable work-around for an annoying problem – just delete the original, and move the duplicate into the right position.Using frames well is important to a decent Prezi. As the name suggests, Frames just frame a section of the Prezi to be zoomed in on and fill the screen – they can be visible frames, or invisible. Invisible is often better. If you have a picture, some title text and some body text in a cluster, if you just click on one of them when plotting the ‘path’ of the Prezi it’ll zoom right in on that at the expense of the others. If you frame all three objects together, it’ll zoom in on the framed trio collectively.Finally, embedding videos – you can embed a few formats of video by uploading them as files, but much easier is to just add a youtube URL as free text. This will automatically embed the video, and you can press play on them when the Prezi path ‘arrives’ at that bit.
  10. Make sure you are the dog, and Prezi is the tail… Should be self-explanatory this one – always make sure Prezi is working for you, not the other way around. You chose Prezi because it serves a function for you – if it doesn’t serve that function in practice, or using it drives you mad with frustration, then ditch it! Don’t let the tail wag the dog – pick materials that suit this presentation platform, but don’t let the medium dictate to you what you’re doing.

In addition to all that, I’d add: if you keep a blog, link back from the Prezi to a post which gives a bit more information, and bit of context. Prezis make people want to know more.

Beethoven Prezi


Watch the two youtube clips below:

Create a Prezi presentation and describe how instruments are used to create contrast in each interpretation of the first movement from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

In your presentation you must make reference to at least two of the following elements.

• dynamics

• articulation

• tone colour

Make clear the elements to which you are referring.

Also include an explanation of how a symphony during the Classical Period differs to a work from the Salsa genre. Also include some information pertaining to the history and instrumentation.

Please leave a comment on this post with a link to your prezi presentation

Practice Diary

sibelius' diary

If pre-performance nerves are continuing to show, it may help to focus on mental preparation as well as practising your pieces. Pre-performance nerves are extremely common, even among professional performers. Most of us will have experienced a dry mouth, sweaty hands, the shakes or even butterflies in the stomach – none of which are obviously helpful as a musician. If controlled effectively, however, these feelings and sense of alertness can actually help to give a performance the edge.

Over the coming months I would like you to establish a daily practice diary leading up to your performance in Jackson Hall on THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd 2010

The diary will be featured as daily posts on your blog and be split up into short term goals.

Goals: Every three weeks you will set goals.

  • What would you just love to be able to do in 3 weeks time that you can’t do now?
  • Can you achieve this and how?
  • List some goals for the next 3 weeks, and plan a strategy to help you to achieve these goals.

Each time you practice list the following:

  • warm up: scales, exercises etc
  • repertiore (name of piece and sections covered (e.g. bar 1-50) etc
  • date, length of practice and time. eg Tuesday 22 June, 10 am- 11:30am (1.5 hrs)

Self Evaluation:

  • Rate your success each practice session in the following areas:
  • Self Motivation: Low / Medium / High
  • Effort: Low / Medium / High


  • Write a short sentence or two on things that worked, things that didn’t, what I learned from this days practice-  i.e what you have achieved