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A Better Way to Learn Music

I come to this topic from the point of view of both a consumer and provider of music lessons. I am a consumer in the sense that I had the good fortune in my student days to be taught by some of the most respected musicians in their fields. A provider in that I have now been a teacher of musical instruments for over 35 years and have taught thousands of pupils in that time.

As a student I was grateful for the fact that I was able to tap-in to such unique and valuable expertise and guidance. I always found it frustrating though, between one lesson and the next, that there would be no one on hand to offer help when I needed it the most.

As a teacher I quickly became aware of that exact same problem, but in reverse.

For any pupil who decides to learn to play an instrument the format tends to be fairly standard: one lesson per week for an agreed length of time. This lesson length would be perhaps most commonly in the region of half an hour or an hour. Believe it or not, when I was teaching in schools it wasn’t uncommon for lessons only to last for 15 minutes, and even at that your lesson would be shared with other students! Such are the limitations of budgets in public education. You would only expect a substantial increase in direct contact time with your teacher if you were fortunate and talented enough to be studying at the highest level at a conservatoire.

Even during this contact time it’s possible, as in all ‘face to face at that moment’ teaching for things to be mis-heard, mis-interpreted, or simply not fully understood. That is valuable lesson time wasted for both student and teacher alike.

This is all nothing new. It has been thus for as long as mankind has sought to make music. Even as far back as the late 1980′s I was experimenting with producing courses of music instrumental lessons on video tape with a view to students being able to refer to them between lessons with their teacher. In fact, I was even exploring the possibility of the student and teacher never even having to meet face to face in order to make lessons more accessible to more students – remember those budget constraints? The problem was, at that time the technology was in its infancy and the results were at best cumbersome.

Yet now, in the 21st century with the advent of the Internet there are better and more efficient ways to learn any aspect of music, whether it’s the instrument of your choice, or simply how to read music. The combination of improved sound recording technology together with quality video recording means that lessons can now be recorded and made available to anyone at the click of a mouse. What’s more these lessons can be produced by the best in their field – anyone can now have that access to the best teaching that I was fortunate enough to receive, but without having to attend a conservatoire.

In comparison with the cost of face-to-face lessons with such illustrious teachers the digital option also provides a much more affordable way of learning from the best, with digital courses costing a fraction of their face-to-face equivalents.

The problems of having to keep pace with a demanding expert teacher have also been eliminated. Video courses mean that a student can go at their own pace. If a point is missed or an exercise is misunderstood it is a simple matter to rewind and go over it again and again if needs be. In a live, face-to-face lesson, the words, the imparting of knowledge is there but for a moment and then it is gone. In a video lesson it’s there for perpetuity, to be re-visited on a whim.

We all have talent to a greater or lesser degree. For the talented, learning to play in the midst of others presents no problem. For the less talented it can equally be an embarrassing nightmare until your skills begin to develop. With video tuition, all of those problems are removed. Not only can you learn at your own pace, but you can also do it in the privacy of your own home.

So, what can you learn in this way? Well, in the field of music the possibilities are endless. There are courses available in all the popular instruments. When it comes to the guitar for example, as well as the basics you can choose to learn in whatever style takes your fancy, rock, classical, folk, rhythm & blues, jazz, country.

Not only instruments are covered. There are courses available to teach you recording and studio techniques, how to be a successful DJ, even down to the best way to get yourself known in the business and how to land that elusive contract.

As I say, the possibilities are endless. It’s just a case of choose your interest and then go out and have yourself some serious fun!

Printable Trumpet Scores, Find Downloadable Trumpet Sheet Music Online

I guess you have some trumpet books around with sheet music scores that you have bought. You can also find many printable trumpet sheets on the Internet both free and for money. Let me show you how to find these trumpet sheets and what formats you can expect to find online!

Downloadable sheet music formats

When you search for free trumpet scores online it is useful to know in which formats the music scores are presented. This will help you as you try to use relevant search terms and also for knowing if you can open the files on your computer. In some cases you will probably have down download and install software in order to open and read the sheet music scores. I will just mention a few of the formats used. One quality format is the PDF format that many sites use for their trumpet sheets. You will need Acrobat Reader or some other PDF software to open these files. You can find scores in graphic formats like Gif-files with lower quality and other formats that requires that you download and install an application. If you would like to search for PDF files you can include this word in a phrase like “pdf sheet music” and other variations.

Trumpet sheet music videos

You can also find instructional trumpet videos on YouTube and other video sites with learn to play trumpet clips and also trumpet scores that you can play along with or that gives you a link to a site where you can download the music if you like it. These trumpet lessons will help you learn to play trumpet and improve your skills and the links associated with the videos will often lead you to sites with educational trumpet scores for beginners.

Buy trumpet scores online

Of course you will find an nearly unlimited amount of quality trumpet sheets online if you are prepared to pay for it. If you search for “trumpet books”, “sheet music store” and “buy trumpet scores” you will find sites that have books that can be physically shipped or downloaded in digital form. Copyright protected music should not be found for free on the Internet and I guess you and I would feel better if we support the artists by buying this kind of music.

Build a trumpet sheet music library

Of course it will take some time to find the best sites with free trumpet scores due to the fact that a site can be optimized well for the search engines even if it doesn’t provide much quality information. You will have to browse through many search result pages to find the best sites. But, as soon as you find a good site with free trumpet scores you can bookmark it and soon you will have your own personal library of free sheet music for trumpet.

Sports Highlight Videos: The 10 Rules of the Game

An athletic scholarship can be a golden ticket to a college education. And a sports highlight or recruiting video showcasing your sporting prowess can make a differences to your chances for that scholarship. But not all sports highlight reels are created equal. So here are some tips to ensure that your game tape goes to the top of the pile.

Most coaches agree that a student athlete wishing to succeed at the next level will need a recruiting video – or “sports highlight reel”. A sports highlight video can be the crown to a successful high school career and the launching pad for college or college transfer.

But there is a world of difference between a must-watch reel that says “class” – and something with Sharpie scrawl that sits on coaches’ desks unplayed. Keep in mind that people with high standards – like successful athletes – tend to have high standards in all they do. So, if you are an ambitious student athlete, here are the 10 must-do rules for your sports highlight video.

1. Keep it short

Busy coaches don’t have time to wade through endless hours of sports footage hoping to spot that magic moment. So keep the video short. Three to five minutes should be plenty.

2. Put your best plays first

Don’t rely on a coach watching through to the end (sorry). Start with your best play so they keep watching. If you have a killer spike play or a touchdown pass or reception (or a final buzzer 3-pointer) – start with that. You want to knock their socks off right out of the gate.

3. Don’t waste time

When making the sports highlight DVD, make sure the actual video track of your plays starts immediately (this is called “first play” in the biz). Don’t start with a menu. After the clips end, or when the coach presses the “menu” button, have the sports highlight video then go to a menu screen (and see #8 below).

When selecting and editing down your video clips, keep them tight – don’t follow the play long after it has ended. It is not out of place to show you celebrating one of your plays with the team – shows you care about the result and are a team player. Just don’t overdo it.

4. Highlight yourself

The video clips are going to be short – around 10 seconds or so each for a total of around 20 – which doesn’t leave much time to read numbers on a players’ back. You will have to highlight yourself – use an arrow or a circle or – best of all – a traveling spotlight effect.

5. Give specifics

Use text and captions to show your number, the game, the date, the opposition and the score. You can best do that with a brief chapter screen if you are using a number of plays from the same game. If the game is in a clutch situation, you can indicate that.

6. Avoid video tricks

Don’t use jazzy filter effects to enhance the video. But, if the footage is dark or badly off-color (often is – shot by volunteers) then you will want to do a little color correction and you may need to adjust the white and black levels. Slow motion is OK if it helps to understand a play and it is used very sparingly.

7. Don’t ruin it with bad sound

Choose your sound track carefully. If there is good crowd noise, keep it in and leave it at that. Music – some appropriate background track – is not hugely important. But if you decide to go that way, don’t include anything that might be offensive. And, certainly don’t use music that is copyright. Coaches look at the whole player and you don’t want to start things off on the wrong footing by showing that you pirate music (besides, if you post the video to the web – illegal music could get it taken down).

8. Include a whole game or period as a menu option

If a coach is interested, they may want to see a whole game or a whole period. If you have some material that would qualify, then you can create a separate track for that game and make it a menu item on your DVD. The coach plays the disk, likes what they see, the end of he DVD defaults to a menu screen, and you have a whole game or period they can click on. Or two. (A regular DVD can hold about 90 minutes of material at full quality.)

9. Post to the Web

Posting to the web is free and easy, so why not? You can easily send the link around by email or text and some coaches will prefer that to a DVD. Be careful about the privacy of third parties though – especially minors.