Barcelona, with its captivating blend of rich historical lineage and a vibrant contemporary scene, has long been a global hub for artists, including musicians who see inspiration in every corner of the spirited Catalonian capital. The city not only hosts several world-renowned music festivals and events but is also home to a plethora of institutions that nurture emerging talent in the domain of music. Let’s delve into the melodious world of Barcelona and explore its top music schools while understanding the essence that makes this city a favorable destination for music education.
Barcelona has always been a fertile ground for musical talents. Renowned musicians like the soprano Montserrat Caballé, cellist Pablo Casals, and the contemporary opera singer José Carreras are some notable figures who have been linked to the city’s musical legacy. Furthermore, numerous artists emerging from its music schools have carved out successful careers, embarking on global tours and producing chart-topping albums.
Barcelona’s music schools are lauded for their innovative teaching methodologies which seamlessly blend traditional theories with modern practices. Tailored courses, specialized workshops, and exposure to a myriad of musical genres ensure a holistic educational experience for the students.
Barcelona pulsates with a diverse and rich cultural tapestry, offering students an immersive experience that goes beyond classrooms and rehearsal halls. From flamenco shows and jazz nights to classical concerts, students soak in varied musical expressions, which further enrich their learning and creative processes.
Many music schools in Barcelona are recognized on international platforms, enabling students to participate in global events, competitions, and workshops. This international exposure not only amplifies their learning but also broadens their perspectives, weaving them into the global musical community.
Being a hotspot for music festivals, concerts, and events, Barcelona offers students ample opportunities to network with renowned musicians, producers, and other industry professionals. These interactions could pave the way for collaborations, learning experiences, and even career opportunities.
Choosing Barcelona as the city to embark on a musical journey connotes stepping into a world where history, culture, and contemporary vibes harmonize to create a melody that resonates with passion, learning, and endless possibilities. The city not only provides a robust foundation through its exemplary institutions but also orchestrates experiences, memories, and connections that echo throughout a musician’s journey, propelling them toward a future that is as harmonious and vibrant as Barcelona itself.
Check out some of these top music school in Barcelona.
1. L’Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC):
Nestled in the heart of Barcelona, ESMUC is a beacon for students wishing to immerse themselves in profound musical education. The school offers a wide array of programs spanning from classical and contemporary music to jazz and traditional music. ESMUC boasts an illustrious faculty, comprehensive courses, and state-of-the-art facilities that collectively pave the way for aspiring musicians.
2. Taller de Músics:
Known for nurturing some of the finest talents in the realm of Jazz and Flamenco, Taller de Músics has established itself as a pivotal institution for musical education in Barcelona. Their distinctive approach towards music education, combining theoretical knowledge with practical skills, has propelled numerous musicians towards global stages.
3. Conservatori del Liceu:
With a heritage that traces back to the mid-19th century, Conservatori del Liceu has been a sanctuary for musicians seeking classical training. Through its illustrious journey, the institution has fostered numerous musicians who have graced international platforms with their phenomenal talent.
Each of these schools offers a serious and respected musical curriculum. However there are plenty of musicians who have studied there that often offer private classes and once off workshops for those who do not want to attend years of formal studies. Learning from these musicians gives you the chance to learn what they have learned, and their insights are useful for aspiring students. Many of the teachers at Shine Music School have attended the schools mentioned above, and bring this knowledge to their classes.
So follow in the footsteps of some these musicians, and take a chance on studying music in Barcelona!
Genre: Flamenco, Pop, Reggaeton
Noteworthy: Rosalia has successfully fused traditional flamenco with modern pop and urban genres, gaining international recognition. Her album “El mal querer” was highly acclaimed and brought her significant attention worldwide.
Genre: Reggae, Latin, Alternative Rock
Noteworthy: Although born in Paris, Manu Chao spent a considerable part of his career in Barcelona. His music, which often blends various genres, is popular in many countries and often charts well in Europe.
Genre: Indie Pop, Pop Rock
Noteworthy: This Catalan band, singing in Catalan, has been a significant name in the local music scene. While they might not be chart-toppers globally, they have a strong following and have produced several successful albums in Catalonia and Spain.
Genre: Reggae, Rock, World Music
Noteworthy: Txarango, singing in Catalan and occasionally in other languages, creates music with a vibrant and international sound, combining reggae, rock, and various world music influences. They are quite popular in the Catalan-speaking world.
You too can make a substantial impact with your music if you apply dedication to your craft! In a nutshell, whether you are an aspiring classical violinist, a budding jazz saxophonist, or an emerging pop vocalist, Barcelona’s music schools, infused with the city’s enchanting musical and cultural milieu, provide a fertile ground where your musical seeds can sprout, grow, and blossom into a resounding career. So, let the melodious breezes of Barcelona carry you towards your symphonic dreams and set your pace in the rhythm of unbound success.
The study of music is well known to have multiple benefits for the individual, not only in the realm of learning an instrument. For individuals with physical or mental disabilities or those looking to deal with stress, anxiety or improve their motor skills, music therapy can offer considerable advantages.
Science has long proven the value of both playing and listening to music. Playing an instrument improves concentration, develops the brain and helps with a slew of other important social skills. Studying music can improve cognition and enhance learning and memory. The part of the brain that deals with language and reason also deals with music, activating this part of the brain by playing an instrument helps to develop these skills.
Humans have long had a relationship with music, and studies have shown the importance of introducing music to young children. It stands to reason then that music and music therapy sessions can aid a wide range of ailments.
“Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation, providing emotional support for individuals and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.”
(American Music Therapy Association, 2020.)
Music is a powerful tool. In Music Therapy, music can be used as a way to build connections, both socially and cognitively. Music Therapists are able to guide their clients in their musical exploration, encouraging them, as well as identifying techniques that can help them improve or work on specific areas. Through sound and play, they are exposed to a variety of challenges which equip them for the future. Music Therapy can give an individual important tools with which to navigate their normal life.
Treatments include creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.
For example, singing can strengthen the immune system and research has shown that producing certain sounds can help specific aspects of your health. Singing improves your mood by releasing endorphins. Studies have demonstrated that singing can decrease cortisol levels, which are responsible for stress. Singers often experience increased relaxation. Singing, listening to music and playing musical instruments all combat anxiety & depression.
Singing also aids metabolism, boosts alertness and can be an excellent form of exercise, especially for those who are physically disabled or can no longer move as well, like the elderly. It helps to increase aerobic capacity and stamina and improves posture. Posture techniques used in both singing and playing an instrument help build strong muscles and a good posture relieves back and neck strain. Easing muscle tension is something that can significantly benefit people with physical handicaps, or motor skill issues.
Exposure to Music Therapy techniques not only develops imagination and intellectual curiosity but the rhythms of music also aid those with physical issues by helping them time their movements to the beat of the music. According to papers published on Neuroplasticity, “Playing a musical instrument demands the coordination of hand movements with integrated auditory, visual, and tactile feedback, in a process that recruits multiple brain regions. These multiple demands during instrument playing, together with the entertaining character of music, have led to the development and investigation of music-supported therapies, especially for rehabilitation with motor disorders.”
The same concept can be applied to speech and language development. Because verbal difficulties often tend to create communication barriers, leading to low self-esteem, any therapy that can help an individual with their vocal issues is important. Repetitive speech, such as the chorus of a song, can improve one’s ability to participate in a conversation. Singing together with the music, helps to develop control of the vocal muscles. Cognitively, music can be used as a tool to help recall conversation just as you would remember song lyrics. This can be vitally important for those suffering memory handicaps, like dementia or Alzheimers. Not only can listening to their favourite song greatly reduce stress and agitation, but also offers a way for them to connect emotionally with loved ones.
Music when used in therapeutic instances offers a vast array of benefits. Shine Music School in Barcelona is now offering Music Therapy sessions. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.
The end of the year is the perfect time to think of a thoughtful gift for the musicians in your life. As we move into the season of gifts and giving, start planning ahead. November also hosts the ever popular “Black Friday” on the 27th of the month, and it is a perfect opportunity to grab some great online offers for your family and friends. Or why not think of supporting some small local businesses with unusual gifts like a music class, hand made local guitar or artwork. Also remember there are plenty of places where you can buy sustainable gifts, like second hand instruments or equipment. Just make sure check the reviews or test the instrument. Without further ado, here are 20 ideas for fun festive season gifts…
Oblique Strategies is a card stack for musicians created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. Each card has a word or phrase to kickstart the creative process. Amazing for songwriters or generating ideas and breaking through creative blocks (Only in English)
Km0 Spanish Guitars – Germanos Camps produce fantastic Spanish and Flamenco Guitars in Girona. We sell them at Shine in Barcelona
Guitaleles are great little travel companions. A six stringed travel sized guitar that sounds like a ukulele but is played like a guitar with the Capo in the 5th space. It’s versatile and portable. This may be the perfect gift for those who love to play guitar and travel! You can buy one directly from us!
Don’t forget to check out your local music stores, or second hand shops. Online, places like Gumtree or Facebook Market place often have listings for second hand instruments. Support your local teachers too. Many have valuable skills to share, and don’t forget that the internet allows you to have lessons in particular styles with specialised teachers from all over the world.
Music is a fantastic hobby, and playing an instrument can be a great source of entertainment and joy. But times are tough and every budding musician can use a freebie every now and then! Even if you are taking lessons and have invested in a great instrument, having free extra musical resources in your pocket is recommended and useful!
We have put together a list of freebies for you to browse. From free software for editing music, to free tabs and backing tracks.
FREE GUITAR TABS
Ultimate Guitar has about a bazillion guitar tabs that you can browse by genre or difficulty. They have an easy search bar, so finding the tab you are looking for is not at all complicated. Guitar Tabs has tabs listed alphabetically, and you can even submit your own. Acoustic Guitar Tabs has a great archive of free tabs as well as free lessons, so you can learn how to read the tabs too!
FREE BACKING TRACKS
If you are struggling to play your music at home, perhaps a backing track will help. Not only does it help you with improvisation and timing but also fills in all the other instruments! Many websites provide free downloadable tracks so that you can practice anywhere, both online and off. Guitar backing tracks has loads of tracks created specifically for guitarists. Backing Tracks has almost 100 000 tracks that you can download! Karaoke Version has a number of free backing tracks that come with variations, for example instrumental versions, or ones that include backup vocals. You can browse and find the tracks you like, and download them. Each track includes useful info such as Tempo and Key. And if you cannot find what you are looking for here, Youtube has loads of free backing tracks available online too.
FREE MUSIC EDITING SOFTWARE
Audacity, while it might look a little complicated, can be mastered through some trial and error. It has been providing one of the best free music editing tools for over 20 years. If you can get past the intimidating look of the program, and figure out how to use the plugins, you can master the art of music editing for free! TIP: Watch some tutorials online! Ocenaudio is far simpler to use, and may be a better place to start if you are just beginning to set up your home studio! This software also lets you listen to the changes you make to your audio files as you make them. Wavepad has some very useful features, like editing audio tracks in a batch (ie more than one at a time!) which can save you a lot of time! It has plenty of handy features like noise removal, compression and reverb as well as audio scrubbing! And if you need more free editing tools, check out this list which also includes a free lesson on getting started on music editing!
FREE ONLINE MUSIC LESSONS & COURSES
You can find plenty of free lessons online for every instrument. Most of them are introductory, but a free tutorial can really help if you are a bit stuck! MakingMusicFun has some free lessons for kids in everything from Recorders to Guitar and Trumpet! Alison offers full courses in music and music theory, all it requires is a sign up, which you can do easily with your email address. Learn how to write your first song for free with this online course from Future Learn! Study how to play the Jazz piano with The Jazz Pianist’s free courses! Udemy is well known to provide great lessons! If you are a serious musician and want to make a business out of your music or band, why not try the free Band as Business, Musician as Entrepreneur course.
FREE DOWNLOADABLE MUSIC
Perhaps you need some music for your video or school project. If you don’t have time to make your own, there are plenty of places where you can legally download free music without any copyright issues. The Free Music Archive is a wonderful resource full of all kinds of different music that you can use free of charge! Jamendo also offers music for free. Soundcloud is not only a fantastic place to listen and discover music for free, but many artists allow you to use their music under the creative commons usage rights. Youtube now also offers free music to use in making a video, logging in grants you access to loads of royalty free soundbites and background music.
As the festive season approaches, lights are lit across the world, and December revolves around many different celebrations that span various cultures. From Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa to New Year celebrations in Japan called Omisoka. Different cultures celebrate these holidays with various traditions, in America Santa Claus comes slipping down the chimney to deliver gifts, while in Iceland, there is not only one Father Christmas but thirteen, named the Yule Lads, each one is celebrated over thirteen nights. Here in Barcelona, Catalans celebrate the coming of the Tres Reis (three kings), and on the 24th of December, Christmas eve, a traditional meal known as escudella de galets is served as a starter. It is a soup containing big, snail-shaped pasta shells, and made from a special meat broth. The meat is removed from the broth and served separately as the main course. The family will take the opportunity to present one another with small gifts, usually giving the children instruments which they use to serenade their relatives with Christmas carols.
Music plays an important role during December and the winter season, and Christmas Carols can be heard in winter markets and shopping centers across the world. Much of the music played has pagan roots, or were originally songs sung in pubs or popular folksongs. This resulted in many odd or hilarious lyrics which have slowly changed over the years.
“Hark the herald angles sing”, used to to be “Hark how all the welkin rings” and was created to fit Mendelssohn’s “Gutenberg’s Cantata” which was actually written to celebrate the printing press and had nothing at all to do with Christmas.
Here is the original, can you catch the similarities?
Carols were first sung in Europe hundreds of years ago, but these were not Christmas Carols we are familiar with today. They were originally sung to celebrate the Winter Solstice as people danced round stone circles. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, taking place around 22nd December. The word Carol actually means dance or a song of praise and joy! Carols used to be written and sung during all four seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived. (source)
As we move through history, the practice of singing in praise or joy continued but evolved, songs became more associated with religious celebrations, and minstrels would take the songs from place to place, singing them for various people, retelling the nativity story in song. Singing Carols outside peoples doors around Christmas time slowly appeared and the idea of the Carol Service at church on Christmas eve was popularised when many would gather by candlelight to sing hymns together.
It is interesting how music is so evocative of certain times of the year, and Christmas time is perhaps the one that stands out for most people. Everyone has their favourite christmas song, and many famous musicians have released Christmas Albums where they sing theirs. If you enjoy Christmas Carols, you can find a list of the 30 top Traditional Christmas Carols here.
Our favourite music for the winter Christmas season however, has got to be Oscar Peterson’s Jazz Album AnOscar Peterson Christmas. This is perfect for any winter evening, and will certainly get you in that festive spirit.