The Hardest Instruments To Learn & Why

Mastering an instrument is an incredibly rewarding experience—but some musical instruments are easier to play than others. Perhaps you’ve been practicing for a while, and you’re looking for a greater challenge. Why not step outside of your comfort zone and pick up a new instrument? There’s no shortage of new things to learn in the world; don’t sell yourself short! Almost anyone can learn to play the instruments listed below, even though they’re more challenging than most.  (more…)

10 Best Musical Instruments For Beginners

The journey of learning music can be intimidating – how do you begin when there are so many options to choose from? When you start to play an instrument, you want a beginner-friendly one. To ease this process, we’ve put together a list of the instruments that are best-suited for new players:

 

  • Piano. Nearly every song has the piano in it, which allows beginners to find music they will enjoy playing. This instrument is easy to pick up but challenging to master. If you can’t afford a grand piano, don’t worry! You can use a keyboard instead. 

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Academy of Music Celebrates 30 Years With Online Expansion To Satisfy Increased Demand For Classes

MANITOBA, Canada – The Academy of Music, one of the leading music lesson providers in Manitoba, Canada, is pleased to announce that they are celebrating their 30th anniversary. Formed in Winnipeg in 1990, the company has continued to grow and flourish over the years, and in the process, has taught thousands of people how to play musical instruments.

The passion and dedication of the owners of the company remain undiminished. In response to increased demand for their services, the Academy of Music is now launching an online music lesson service. This new method of teaching, while exciting and forward-thinking, will provide the tutors with some interesting challenges. Every team member is committed to the process and looking forward to seeing where this expansion takes them. (more…)

Where Does Your Taste In Music Come From?

music-tasteHave you ever wondered why people have different tastes in music? Some prefer slower, quieter music, yet some love their music fast and loud. Is it random? Are some of us predestined to like certain chord progressions over others? Does our DNA dictate our preferences between complex rhythms over simplicity? Are we born with a certain musical connection, pushing us towards certain styles of music? (more…)

Top 10 Love Songs

What do you think of on Valentine’s Day? Your significant other? Cinnamon hearts? Roses that suddenly cost a lot more compared to any other time of the year? At Academy of Music, we’d like to take this opportunity to remember some of the greatest love songs ever written. It was impossible for us to mention all of them, and we could only scrape the surface, but here are our Top 10 Love Songs, to commemorate Valentine’s Day! (more…)

What is The Best Age To Start Music Lessons?

The age-old question of when to start music lessons is a good one!

History is full of child prodigies in the world of music, from Beethoven to Stevie Wonder. Whether in school or church, almost everyone knows of someone in their own family, or another, that has a tremendous gift for a musical instrument. This often allows parents to feel pressured to enroll their child into music lessons at a young age. Could this young exposure to music be one of the secrets to success? There are studies that have shown this to definitely be a helping factor! (more…)

Where to See Live Music in Winnipeg

Live Music WinnipegHappy New Year! Not only is it a new year, but it’s also a new decade! They say hindsight is 20/20, but we need to keep looking forward 🙂

New Year’s resolutions are made every year, and one that we can really get behind is wanting to get out and see more live music. Winnipeg winters are newsworthy around the world, but they are also a great time to get out and be entertained in one of most musical cities in the world.

Here are the top 10 places in Winnipeg to see live music (in no particular order):

1) King’s Head Pub
Located at 120 King Street, in the heart of the Exchange District, the building was constructed in 1896 and in August of 1987, the Kings Head Pub first opened its doors to Winnipeg as the first pub in the city.
Every weekend, The King’s Head hosts a variety of bands, playing both original and cover songs. It’s also right across the street from The Cube in The Exchange District, which during the warmer months always has something entertaining going on. A pint, a patio, and entertainment oh my!
You can visit their website here

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Benefits of Private In-Home and Online Music Lessons

Academy of Music offers both in-home and online music lessons, in order to serve our students better. If you’re located in the Winnipeg, Manitoba area, our music instructors can come directly to you for in-home music lessons, and our online Skype music lessons work perfectly for anyone in the world!

In-home lesson benefits:

  • More accountability: When a student takes music lessons in a class setting, they have the ability to “hide” which allows them to get away with not performing their best, and to also put less effort into practicing since they might feel the other students will help musically carry them. With in-home lessons, it’s just you and the teacher – either you practiced or you didn’t, and if you’re not trying your best, it will be noticeable and there is no one else to blame. This type of engagement helps to build strong discipline and work ethic, which every adult knows are necessary skills to have in life.
  • One-on-one lesson format: If a student is in a class setting, and they have trouble grasping a concept, it’s easy for the class to keep moving forward before the student truly understands. With a private teacher, the student can get the attention they deserve, and the teaching style can be molded to the student’s learning ability and speed, which helps foster growth and confidence.
  • Learn what interests them: In a class setting, the teacher has to teach based on a pre-defined curriculum. Everyone will usually learn the same piece of music, whether or not they find it interesting. With private in-home music lessons, the student has the opportunity to learn songs that appeal to their musical tastes, which helps keep them motivated and the lessons fun!
  • Lessons to fit learning style: Every person, from children to adults, learns in a different way. Some people learn best from listening, some are more visual based, and some are hands-on. In a class setting, not all of these different learning styles can be met, which is the unfortunate truth. With in-home lessons, the instructor can tailor the teaching style to fit the needs of the student in how they learn, effectively helping them grasp the musical concepts faster, which achieves the greatest success in the shortest amount of time.
  • Not slowed down by the rest of the class: If a child is naturally gifted, they tend to get bored and frustrated with the speed of the class. When taking private one-on-one lessons, they can progress as fast as need be, keeping the pace in line with their abilities.

More accountability, individualized one-on-one instruction and attention, greater motivation, and the best opportunity for success – private in-home music lessons are hands down the best choice for your child’s musical education!

Online music lesson benefits:

As the internet has progressed over the last decade, online music lessons have become an excellent alternative to in-person lessons. Our instructors can only travel so far to do in-home lessons, but using the magic of Skype, you can have tailored face-to-face musical instruction from the comfort of your home, anywhere in the world!

  • Convenience: All you need is a computer with an internet connection and your instrument, and you’re
    good to go! All you need to do is arrange a time with your instructor that suits both of you, log into your
    Skype account (which is super easy), and start your lesson. With online music lessons, you don’t need to
    travel anywhere, you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas – it’s all about you and what works
    best.
  • Freedom to choose your teacher: When you sign up for online music lessons, you get the right teacher
    for the job – the one that specializes in exactly what you want to learn. Your teacher will plan your
    lessons around your goals and skill level, so that each Skype lesson will be an activity to look forward to
    each and every time.
  • Online resources: The internet is full of musical resources that can help outside of the lesson as well.
    Your teacher can help you find what you need, like tutorials that can help you work on specific skills for
    your instrument, or more information about the history of music and your instrument. The sky is the
    limit!
  • Cost effective: Online music lessons also help you save money. Chances are you already own a computer
    that has internet, plus online music teachers don’t have travel costs associated with in-home music
    lessons. In addition, the instrument doesn’t have to leave the house, and you don’t have to travel
    anywhere to buy expensive learning materials.
    What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers Win – FINALLY!

Winnipeg Blue Bombers FieldWinnipeg, Manitoba is home to many a sports fan, and it’s been a lot of years coming, but Winnipeg finally saw their beloved Blue Bombers play for the CFL Grey Cup. This year’s 107th Grey Cup took place in Calgary, Alberta between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, which a number of Manitoba fans made the trek to go see live in person.
Lucky them!
It was exciting and a lot of fun watching Winnipeg defeat Hamilton, 33–12. This was the Blue Bombers’ first Grey Cup victory since 1990, ending one of the longest championship droughts in CFL history.
Aside from the football action, another great highlight of the Grey Cup are the pre-game and half-time shows. This year, we got to enjoy The Beaches, and none other than the great Keith Urban. Keith Urban was definitely a safe bet in making sure the masses would enjoy some amazing music, but it was also fantastic to see relative newcomers The Beaches, which no doubt added some young flare to the event.
The Beaches are a Canadian alternative rock band from Toronto, Ontario consisting of Jordan Miller (lead vocals, bass), Kylie Miller (guitar), Leandra Earl (guitar, keyboards), and Eliza Enman-McDaniel (drums, percussion). Incredibly talented, the girls started learning how to play music just after completing preschool. Taking music lessons at an early age no doubt contributed to laying the ground work to becoming skilled musicians by the time they wanted to start a band! The beaches appeared as the on-field pre-game entertainment before the kick-off, performing two of their most popular releases, the first of which was the song ‘Fascination’.
Speaking of which, they definitely were fascinating! A little online digging and I was able to find out that The Beaches will be playing in Winnipeg on Feb 15, 2020 at The Garrick. I’m sure this will be a really cool show!
Keith Urban played the halftime show, and as always, he delivered the goods! The last time Mr. Urban played in Winnipeg was Wednesday, September 19th, 2018, while he was touring his album “Graffiti U”. If you love his music, he’s even got some music lesson books on Amazon. Guitar lessons at Academy of Music could easily incorporate some of these songs, which helps to keep music lessons fun and engaging!
A lot of musicians, even world-famous ones, come from humble beginnings. As mentioned above, all of the members of The Beaches started taking music lessons at a young age, and even the great Keith Urban was only 6 years old when he started taking guitar lessons. Legend has it that there was a local guitar teacher that wanted to hang up a flyer in his dad’s convenience store, and his dad agreed on one condition – if he would give young Keith free guitar lessons in exchange for the advertisement. Not surprisingly, even at such a young age, his son exhibited natural talent on the guitar, and went on to win several talent shows while still attending elementary school.
This goes to show that music lessons can start at any age! Whether you’re a young child, in school, an adult or in retirement and have always wanted to learn a certain instrument, you can be rest assured that the Academy of Music has the best options for you, and will make sure you get the best learning experience possible.

Mysteries and Solfège

The greatest mysteries in life are often the things that we take for granted. As a child, you learn about colour; you learn which colours are which at first, a simple game of identification. As you grow older, you learn that you can mix colours together to make different colours. As you get older still, you learn that the property of colour is derived from reflected light. Later still, you might begin to wonder whether or not others see what you call “purple” as purple in the same way that you do; colour as a gateway to questioning subjective experience in and of itself.

You might have had a similar trajectory when learning music. You start with your “Do-Re-Mis”, very much in the vein of The Sound of Music. Later, you might realize that very few people actually use Do-Re-Mi as a system to define notes (no one I know has ever used “Do Sharp”). You might then realize that “Do” can either be “C Natural” (Fixed Do) or the start of a scale (Movable Do). You might realize later still that Western scales aren’t the be all and end all of music, and that a staggering number of microtones exist between the naturals and sharps.

The system of Do-Re-Mi is known as a solfège. Solfège is, simply put, a teaching method where syllables are attached to notes to make them easier to remember. You could, ostensibly, develop a chromatic solfège that includes 12 notes, Do-sharps and all, but going past this into microtones seems to obviate the point of the solfège in the first place (easy memorization). The problems that we see with interpreting the infinite space of microtones, however, doesn’t prevent us from trying the same thing with rhythm.

Rhythmic solfège, then, is the “Do-Re-Mi” of rhythm, and like Do-Re-Mi, you’ve probably heard it before. When you count quarter notes “1, 2, 3, 4”, you’re using rhythmic solfège; assigning memorable syllables to a rhythm. In a similar vein, you can count eighth notes as “1 and 2 and 3 and 4”, and triplets as “1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4”.  Let’s say you need a chord to be played on the 3rd note of the first triplet; you can say “The chord comes in at 1 a” to make it easier to remember.

Of course, we can get a little bit more wild with our rhythmic solfège than just counting; after all, this is a tool we want to use to count almost any rhythm imaginable – and not just to count it, but to really feel it, too. You can, for example, use rhythmic solfège to help you count in difficult time signatures. Let’s say you have 4/4 time; you could count it by saying “Brandon Brandon”. There are two syllables in Brandon, so saying it two times gives you 4 syllables, matching with your four quarter notes. Let’s say you throw a Winnipeg into the mix: “Brandon Winnipeg”; now you’re counting in 5/4 times! “Brandon Brandon Winnipeg” gives you 7/4, and so on. This type of rhythmic solfege is particularly useful for keeping time during odd time signatures.

The solfège I just used, as you might have guessed, was one I came up with on the spot. That’s what I want you to get from this post – it’s not about a specific system, but about modes of thinking. You don’t have to know the most used solfèges to feel rhythms; you can create your own in order to wrap your head around a piece you’re trying to play. Use what you already know to learn something new.

Solving all of life’s great mysteries is impossible, but making sense of them by delving in – with a keen, curious mind, a willingness to learn and grow, and a bit of creative flair – that’s something we can all get behind. You might start by diving into our violin lessons; they’re taught at home, in order to give you the feeling of security that’s needed to delve head first into the unknown. From there, you might learn a lot about the hidden rhythms and notes that surround us at all times. You might learn to hear things a bit more musically. You might make your own solfège. You might uncover things you never knew about yourself. You never know.