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Alpha Scales!

During my career as an instrumental music teacher I have noticed that the majority of pupils just do not get on well with scales. They struggle to see the logic and predictability of them and become de-motivated to practise when progress is minimal. Over the last two years I have been trying out various ways of helping my pupils learn their scales in preparation for ABRSM & TCL exams. The ‘text-based’ approach has proved popular and effective with pupils, as well as parents, who often struggle to help their children practise scales at home if they have little or

no musical knowledge themselves. This method can be used for whole class music teaching and has also been helpful to dyslexic pupils.

AlphaScales promotes the use of the musical alphabet (the first 7 letters of the normal alphabet) as a never-ending linear line. This provides structure and helps take out the mystery of ‘what note comes next?’ Sharps, flats & naturals (collectively know as accidentals) are then added to the musical alphabet line. Having ascended the scale, pupils are encouraged to travel back down the alphabet line the same way they came up. In the case of melodic minor scales, different accidentals are placed underneath the alphabet line on the way down. Pupils are also encouraged to practise their scales by saying the note names out loud, while doing the corresponding fingering on their instrument.

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The Experience of Work Experience!

Hi – I’m a pupil at Holmfirth High School and all this week I’ve been doing work experience at Modal Music. Here’s what I got up to:

Mon 19/03: My first day doing work experience with @ModalMusic! We started by talking about the process of creating music for a library music company. We looked at a brief which was asking for Euro-House music. I then looked at some music on YouTube that was similar to what the company was looking for; analysed it to see what the main components of Euro-House were, so I could use them in my music. We purchased a few extra sounds from Producer Loops and then got stuck into creating our track. We did a 30 second full version; a 30 sec underscore version and then a longer version for a different project that Modal Music is involved in called ‘SpellZebub’. You can hear the longer version here: 

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Tues 20/03: Today we put the finishing touches to yesterday’s Euro-House track and then we mixed and exported it. I also learnt how to make proper coffee and had a conducting lesson! @ModalMusic 

Wed 21/03: This morning I spent a few hours composing my own little jingle (from a written brief) in Sibelius, and then @ModalMusic listened to it; edited a few bits and then exported it as a midi file, so we could import it into Cubase.

Thurs 22/03: Today we finished and mixed yesterday’s jingle! You can listen to it here: 

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I also did some research on how to boost sales with internet marketing, and helped @ModalMusic create an order form and invoice for schools in Excel.

Fri 23/03: Today’s my last day @ModalMusic We’ve done some tidying up of the studio and I’ve typed up my blog for the week. Now we’re going to celebrate my great week at Modal Music by going out to lunch!! 🙂