Music surrounds us. From the minute we are conscious of sound, music filters into our brains. The rhythmic sounds of a heart beat or voices, a lullaby to send us to sleep. Birdsong, a street side orchestra, and as we get older we find bands and singers that we enjoy, and perhaps even begin to play music ourselves!
It seems to be an unspoken rule that parents should expose their children to music at some point during their childhood. Studies have shown that “Music Awareness” lessons where sound, notes, and pitch are introduced to toddlers or babies helps them develop a fundamental love and ability for music as well as language development skills and a head start in life.
Not everyone has a positive experience however, when they first attempt learning an instrument. So often people account tales of how they were cut from choir class or how their music lessons were boring or how having to practice every day became a chore.
To make learning music a positive experience, it’s vitally important to both introduce music from a young age and also find the right teacher. You don’t have to join a class, as children can easily be exposed to notes and sounds at home. Classes with an experienced child music teacher however, can be beneficial, it is a fun and interesting activity for parents and children to do together as well as giving both the skills and tools to play with music at home. The older you are, however, the better it is to find the right music teacher for your specific needs.
So what should you look for in a music class or music teacher? Here are some thoughts for parents, students and teachers on what makes a good music lesson.
Staying Positive about Music
To share a love of music with a child or student, you have to be positive about the music yourself. Teachers may have taught the same class many times before, and often classes can become rote. A teacher who can impart the basic steps with enthusiasm will infect their student with music happiness. Planning lessons prior to the class helps too. A prepared teacher can give a better lesson. Parents can also help by staying positive about learning music. If practicing music becomes a chore, try to find other ways to reward children for practicing or involving it in games or other kinds of interactive play. Make a music video…
Teach students their favourite music
There is no wrong or right music! The best way to get the most out of a student is to teach them their favourite musical genre. That might be pop or rock, or metal, maybe even trap! But each of these genres has something that can be used to teach. A sequence of notes, a rhythm, a lesson can be found in every song. Students who are learning about the music they are already interested in will be more likely to practice, and, as they say, practice makes perfect. Students will progress faster and become more proficient, making learning harder things that much easier for both teacher and learner!
Engage with Students
Music lessons should be dynamic. Music is not something you can just memorise. It’s an artistic and creative expression. Lessons should cover all these aspects. Learn a little, have fun a little, laugh and play, the music will follow. Don’t just follow the book, make the lessons work for both the student and the teacher. These days both teachers and students have a huge range of media they can use to add to lessons. From videos to production programs. Great teachers show personal investment in their students as musicians and as people, and encourage their student’s progress rather than expecting it. A talented music teacher understands each student’s individual needs and can help to set accomplishable goals to work toward at a pace that suits them based on their abilities.
A music teacher can spot a guitar student sitting in the wrong posture a mile away. It’s this eye for detail that make a skilled teacher important for the music student. To guide them in the fundamentals, sets a student up for life. Students with a great basic understanding of the underlying elements that make up the study of music will be able to switch or add instruments later on much more efficiently and easily. Sitting correctly helps the student produce the notes and tones without excess strain, and having a teacher reinforce key training techniques makes learning the music more efficient and easier.
Understanding the role of basic music theory concepts makes it easier for a student to play and experiment with sound later on.
Once a music student, always a student
An excellent music teacher is also a musician. Someone who not only shares their music knowledge but also creates and enjoys music for themselves. It’s not easy to understand a student’s needs unless you were once learning too. Effective instructors continue to learn as they teach. From their peers or in their own musical careers and these new lessons can be shared with their students. A love for music does not diminish, it evolves.
Find your Match
To find the right teacher for you or your child, know your goals! What do you want to learn, what kind of instrument or style. What kind of teaching or learning environment do you enjoy? If you know the answers to these questions, you can provide this info to your chosen music schools and they should be able to match you with the right teacher. Learning music takes time, but it also takes time to build a relationship with your teacher. Make sure you are learning in a positive environment.
“A good teacher is the one who is empathetic, has patience, positive attitude, and knows how to push you when required. They should also reward you when you achieve a certain level. All in all, they should make the learning fun and interesting.”
At Shine Music School we strive to match our teachers to each individual student, allowing for the most positive music educational environment. We have teachers who are professional musicians in a wide variety of musical genres, with years of experience sharing fundamental musical knowledge with their students.
We have teachers who are specialists in teaching very young students, as well as teachers with Music Therapy knowledge who understand how music can benefit students in all aspects of their lives.
If you imagined a postcard of Spain it would no doubt incorporate a flamenco scene. Passionate musicians playing their Spanish guitars while dancers stamp and sing! The music style is synonymous with the country.
The rumbas, bulerias, alegrias, soleas, and the acompañamiento (accompaniment) of the singers and dancers, hands rhythmically clapping, voices calling out, really set the stage for the romantic notion of Spain. When we listen to flamenco, its modulations and melismas, we are transported to old Arabian Spain with Islamic monochord songs. To the caves of Sacromonte opposite the imposing Alhambra…
Flamenco music is wrapped up in the history of Spain. Tracing its origin back to “Morisco” (Spanish Moors) roots in the southern regions, where Flamenco was born, it was consolidated as a musical genre in the 18th century in Andalusia. Its creation is also attributed to the gypsies and rapidly spread throughout the country by the nomadic Romani people. Originally arriving in Spain from India they travelled all over Europe. It is undoubtable that despite the mixture of different cultural and musical influences, flamenco comes from the people themselves as it documents their struggles and joys.
Flamenco has wound itself up in Spanish politics, and its popularity has gone through many ups and downs. It has been used as a tool to foster a Spanish identity as well in opposition to the government in protest songs.
Flamenco has since become popular all over the world, especially the United States and Japan. In 2010 UNESCO declared flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The Toque, the Singing and the Dance are the main forms that flamenco uses to express itself.
Flamenco music is divided into songs or Palos. These are the various styles, and are classified by criteria such as rhythmic pattern, chord progression and geographic origin amongst others.
There are over 50 different palos! Some forms are danced while others are not. Some are performed only by men and others are reserved for women. The musical style of Flamenco, however, is still alive and well and so these traditional distinctions are breaking down, just as new ones emerge. The Farruca, for example, once a male dance, is now often performed by women too.
Because Flamenco has become an such icon of Spanish culture, it stands to reason that it has become romanticised and while many tourists expect beautiful dresses and foot stomping passion, not all Flamenco is performed on a stage with perfectly co-ordinated pieces. Flamenco is in the sound and stories expressed by the performers, a fierce glare here, a mournful tear there. It is an acquired taste.
Barcelona is considered one of the great capitals of flamenco. We have listed several places here that we recommend you visit.
Where to see Flamenco in Barcelona:
This place is one of the most important flamenco venues in Barcelona. In the heart of Ciutat Vella, next to the Liceu Theater, 23 Robadors, offers beautiful authentic flamenco shows. Expect sweat and tears, they open the floor to the crowd after shows for those that wish to jam into the small hours. On Tuesdays and Sundays the flamenco party starts at midnight. On Saturdays the group 23 Flamenco gives a unique and intimate show from 9:30 p.m. Make sure to check their current news on their facebook page.
The cost of the entrance is 3 EUR.
Performance times may differ due to Corona Virus but they are currently open.
The Flamenco Shows of the Tablao Cordobés
The Tablao Cordobés has managed to preserve the authenticity of flamenco and offers high quality shows with talented and internationally renowned artists. Andalusian in style, the tablao Cordobés is not very large, which allows you to appreciate the expression of the artists: pain, anger, love, jealousy … It is a great advantage to be so close to the artists in such an intimate setting. The performers transmit energy and passion through all the pores of the skin!
Respect and silence are the order of the day: you cannot eat or take photos (except for the last 10 minutes) during the show, to avoid distracting the artists in their improvisational moments. Each representation is unique.
The Show costs around € 45 and includes a drink. You can also opt for a show that includes dinner, which costs about € 79. Dinner is served before the performance and includes food based on typical Spanish dishes. Shows are performed every day at Las Ramblas 35, Raval (Liceu metro)
NOTE: Shows are currently only available from October 2020.
See flamenco at the Palau de la Música
The Palau de la Música is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Designed by the great architect Domènech i Montaner, the Palau is one of the jewels of Catalan Modernism.
Luckily this place is still a sumptuous performance hall today. The program is very varied and flamenco shows are often scheduled. You can undoubtably enjoy a performance of exceptional standard!
Currently the Gran Gala Flamenco, a work directed by Juan Gómez has been cancelled due to Covid 19, but keep an eye on the program and wait to see when future Flamenco shows will be scheduled. This show performed by a dozen flamenco artists of the new Catalan generation combines music and dance with rhythm and passion in an environment that makes your heart skip a beat. For the exceptional setting, Flamenco shows (or any show) at the Palau de la Música should not be missed!
The Palacio del Flamenco, with its enormous capacity for 380 people, located in an old theater in the center of Barcelona was transformed in 2006 into a space dedicated to the art of Flamenco.
They offer 3 shows every day! So you will surely be able to book a seat! From 6.30pm to 11.30pm.
The shows are professional with a focus on dancing and singing. Perhaps not as authentic as the smaller more intimate performances in smaller venues. Due to its size it’s a great way to experience the postcard of Spain, which some may prefer. And if you have limited time in Barcelona, this might be exactly what you require! If you are looking for a show where you are close enough to feel the heat and see the sweat on the musicians and performers, this may not be the place for you.
Tickets go for around € 35 (show and drink), € 15 for children between 2 and 12 years old
Find them at c/Balmes, 139; metro: Provença
NOTE: The Palacio del Flamenco is temporarily closed due to Covid 19
Flamenco with LosTarantos
The oldest Flamenco tablao in Barcelona, their venue hidden in a corner of Placa Reial in the center of Barcelona is a great place to enjoy a drink and watch a Flamenco show. They say their stage has welcomed some of the most important flamenco figures of the last century and “it continues to feature authentic flamenco spectacles based on improvisation, programming both big names in the flamenco world and up and coming artists from the local and national scenes.” Currently closed, we hope they reopen soon!
If you are interested in studying Flamenco guitar, you can take an online course with us or in our studios in Barcelona! Our fantastic teachers are experts at explaining the fundamentals and soon you can jam with the pros at 23 Robadors!
Music is an important part of the human experience. Be it through song and dance, listening to music in a cafe or at home, going to a concert with your friends, or jamming with your band. People connect through music. Sound and rhythm are learned from early childhood, in fact babies start to hear and feel sound in the womb. Music helps us to develop and learn language as toddlers. It is part of our daily life, through movies, radio, and other places. You can sit on a terraza and buskers may pass you, playing on their instruments or singing. Music is such an integral part of being human.
As a parent you probably want to encourage a love of music, or as an individual maybe it is a hobby you would like to take up. Music can be an interesting career, with many aspects. From music production to teaching and performing. As a music school we understand the benefits of studying music and creating an environment where we can enjoy learning.
But studying music can also be daunting for a beginner, and without expert advice, it can be expensive and at worst, not a positive experience! With so many health benefits, from improving your cognitive abilities to actually being a physical workout and a stress reliever, studying music or learning an instrument should not be scary.
One vital aspect is your instrument! At Shine we offer fantastic rental instruments from our instrument rental department.
Imagine that your child wishes to start playing a musical instrument, or it’s been your dream to take a guitar class, but you just don’t know where to start. Perhaps you are spending a semester in Spain and don’t want to stop playing music, but shipping or flying with your instrument is not an option. Whatever situation you find yourself in, playing an instrument can be an expensive and often confusing endeavour as any professional musician will tell you.
This makes so much sense!
Test & Try
Hiring a musical instrument instead of buying one is an option that just adds up for multitude reasons. Not only can you try and test out a variety of instruments, but you also don’t have to make a huge investment in an instrument without some musical knowledge and know-how.
Grow with your Instrument
This is especially relevant when looking into instruments for children. More often than not, the instrument has to grow with your child. This can mean buying numerous instruments as your child requires a bigger size. A disaster if your kids decide they don’t want to play anymore, and also extra work if you have to keep buying and selling instruments.
Unfortunately as you will quickly discover, cheap instruments are difficult to play, tricky to tune, often sound bad, and in the end a cheap instrument regularly results in the player getting frustrated and not wanting to play. What a lost opportunity for musical discovery!
All your questions answered!
Long-term instrument rental is an affordable and flexible way to play an instrument. Hiring a digital piano or cello to play at home makes practice easy and practical. If you happen to move, you don’t have to lug a heavy or expensive instrument with you! You find that your musical experience will improve when you don’t have to worry about your instrument. If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch with us or head directly over to our website, where you can hire your instrument online through a few easy steps!
We have a wide array of instruments from quality brands, from beginner instruments to advanced instruments.
Connecting through music is an important part of the human experience. From the first moments that our ears develop in the womb, we are exposed to sounds. Heartbeats, breathing, and the sound of our mothers voice.
Music has been scientifically proven to benefit us in many ways, studying music develops a multitude of skills as well as actually “working out” our brains, making our synapses fire faster, and helping us to make faster connections. Humans use sound, music, and dance to communicate, and they are vital to developing our emotional abilities. Music is used in therapy, in expression, in connection. And you don’t have to be able to play and instrument or be able to sing to enjoy music, an to share it with others!
As a parent, we find ourselves responsible for encouraging development and facilitating experiences where our children can discover music. Starting early is fantastic but you can include musical activities from any age. Better late than never, just remember it’s all about positive reinforcement. If you are excited about music, your child will naturally develop a love for it too!
Musical Activities to do with Kids
Singingmay not be the easiest for everyone, and not everyone sings well. But singing is proven to be a huge health benefit, and singalongs soften any off-key voice! Take off the pressure! Make a fun and easy kids music playlist and choose a time of day to have a sing-a-long. Bath time is great, or perhaps if you travel by car, you can have a go-to car playlist. Another great way to include music in your day, is a nap time play list. Focus on softer, quieter music, you may even find that certain songs start putting your kids to sleep no matter where they are and can be a huge help in soothing kids if they are not feeling well, or are out of their comfort zone (in a holiday hotel, or needing a nap after a strenuous day)
Play musical games, or set up musical games for them to play with friends. Musical games are perfect for developing rhythm and listening skills. They are also great for getting moving and using up all that boundless energy that kids have. Make up your own games or add music to existing ones.
Have a dance party! This is a great way to expose your kids to different musical genres! You may be surprised by what kind of music they like! Try to include a range or make different playlists for different dance parties. Then for 20 mins or so, pick the smaller kids up and dance with them on your hips, or hold hands or just dance around the house or garden together!
Make Instruments or play on toy instruments. Bang pots and pans, plastic bowls or cups. Make shakers from rice and beans, try create a water xylophone. Play with sound and music. Facilitate an environment where the kids can create their own songs. If they are into videos, you can always incorporate the idea of making a music video. This activity can include other materials, drawing and painting, writing music, thinking about how the music video will look, and filming the whole thing. If the kids are older, it can be a fun idea to add in editing the video. Your kids will be making Tiktok or youtube videos before long anyway!
Take small babies and toddlers to a music sensory group. They will be exposed to different sounds and musical experiences. Repetition, like clapping is great for memory and helps with language development. You can then repeat these games and activities at home and incorporate music into your life. Make up songs for doing chores like tidying up or brushing teeth. It turns these otherwise boring activities into a fun game and can involve other learning like counting or movement!
Watch musical movies. Kids love tv, there’s no doubt! So pick out some movies with great songs that you can sing together, or series about music and bands. If they are older perhaps make movie playlists, have a family movie night, and watch a movie about their favourite band or singer, or even a movie with a great soundtrack! Disney has a whole host of musical movies for all ages.
Get out there! Experience music outside of the home! Take your kids out to the theatre to see a musical, expose them to music festivals or concerts from a young age. You can always buy sound softening headphones for the littlest kids, or choose more family oriented concerts. Not only will they be seeing how great music is in the context of the wider world, but going to a weekend concert is a great event for the whole family.
Music is known as the universal language. No matter where it comes from, everyone is capable of perceiving the feelings it evokes. Knowing for sure when our ancestors first developed music is still a matter of debate. What we do know is that the history of musical instruments goes back to the beginning of human culture.
Can you imagine then what could have been the first musical instrument created by man?
Although there is no exact date for the creation of the first musical instrument, archaeological finds suggest that there was music from primitive times and that percussion and wind instruments were the first to appear.
The voice was probably the origin of the man’s musical expression through the songs together with the accompaniment of hands and feet following a rhythm, such as a horn to signal success in hunting, or a drum in a religious ceremony. We know that the oldest known drum dates back 30,000 years when man used the stretched skin of animals to create sound.
From archaeological sites in Europe, bamboo flutes, whistles, brawlers and tubes made of short bones have been found that produced sound when blown through them.
The discovery in the cave of Hohle Fels, Germany, of a flute carved from vulture bones more than 35,000 years old, could be the oldest musical instrument created by man. It also demonstrates the presence in Europe of sociable and creative humans, who preceded the Neanderthals.
Some consensus among the scientific community suggests that the first flutes date from about 37,000 years ago. However, most historians believe that it is impossible to determine the specific time of the invention of musical instruments, since many of the first musical instruments were made from animal skins, bones, wood, and other non-durable materials.
Over time, in each society new musical instruments were created and they were adapted to different areas of life. Here are some examples:
The Jewish shofar, a wind instrument made from a hollow animal horn, is still played on Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and must be heard by the congregation.
Since the ancient Chinese empire, the instruments were identified with the cardinal points, with the seasons and with natural phenomena. The use of the bamboo flute or dizi in traditional Chinese music became very popular.
In medieval Europe, trumpets, long associated with military operations, had a ceremonial role in the establishment of European kings and nobles and were in fact considered a sign of nobility.
The harp is known to have been used from early times in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and India and was imported to China after the end of the 4th century AD.
In Greece, the standard plucked instrument was the lyre, known in its fully developed form as kithara (or sitara in India). Years later, the Arabs added a neck to the well-known kithara, and baptized the instrument as an alud (lute in Spain), which would later become a vihuela with the arrival of Romans and Arabs to Spanish lands. first musical compositions for guitar.
Drum ensembles reached extraordinary sophistication in Africa, and the small, hand-beaten drum is of great musical importance in West Asia and India. The native cultures of the Americas have always made extensive use of drums, as well as other beaten and shaken instruments.
Bowed instruments came to characterize Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. By the 16th century, the European violin was already distinguished in two ways: the viola (leg violin) and the violin (arm violin). The violin or violin was the smallest of the family, the tenor was simply called viola, while the bass became known as violoncello (diminutive of violone).
Of all the oldest instruments, the organ showed the most remarkable development from the High Middle Ages to the 17th century. Created in ancient Greece in the 3rd century b.C, this instrument evolved from small portable designs for smaller churches to increase in size and carry overlapping keyboards, placing them in boxes like the way we know today.
The clarinet or “small trumpet” emerged in the late 17th century and, like the oboe, gave rise to a family that extended to a double bass clarinet in the 19th century and later to a sub-bass. Clarinets have been in the orchestra since approximately 1780.
In 1845, the Belgian instrumentalist and luthier Antoine-Joseph Sax, built a family of valve instruments called saxhorns, using the cornet as the basis for his invention. Sax invented the saxophone, a single reed instrument like the clarinet but with a conical tube.
By all historical accounts, the Rickenbacker Frying Pan (named for its resemblance to a banjo with a frying pan) was the first electric guitar invented in America by the German immigrant Adolph Rickenbacher during the 1920s. The problem for guitarists in those years was the volume, since the acoustic guitar could not be heard well when used in large bands and orchestras with singers. Years later, the development of the concept of electricity and radio technology facilitated the creation of the instrument we know today.
In the 60s different styles of music were created, as many artists began to experiment with the use of synthesizers. One of the first to appear was BUCHLA in 1963, by composer Morton Subotnick. Elements of piano and percussion were combined with electronic sounds, thus abandoning the traditional music of always.
It’s clear that humans and music have a deep and long connection that goes back through the centuries. Music is here to stay, and as people continue to play and invent, new and wonderful instruments continue to emerge.
If you are interested in music and learning an instrument, browse our menu and see what sort of sound interests you. Visit our teachers pages and get to know them too! You may be the next inventor of a new age of music!
Wikipedia, BBC Mundo, LiveScience, EuropaPress, Britannica, Lacarne Magazine