Inventi ensemble concert – Peter and the wolf

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Join us at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre for Inventi Ensemble’s unforgettable arrangement of Prokofiev’s famous “Peter & The Wolf” with an Aussie twist! This performance features Jo Angus (master of ceremonies), Melissa Doecke (flute), Ben Opie (oboe), Aviva Endean (clarinet), Matthew Angus (bassoon), Paul Zabrowarny (cello).

Tickets include morning tea: $15 at the door, $12 pre-paid.  Book online or at the door

0435 495 493

16 September 1030am.


How music lessons benefit your brain – It’ll blow your mind!

Music on the brain

When you pick up a musical instrument to practise, are you aware of what is really going on? Most people don’t realise, but the act of practising or performing on a musical instrument sets off fireworks in your brain!

Practising a musical instrument is a unique process that activates almost all the areas of the brain at once. Most activities we involve ourselves in, whether it be simply talking, playing sport or even studying math, tend to activate one or two areas of the brain, but music stimulates it all. This is because of several reasons that have to do with the various component activities that are involved in music lessons and music performance.

Firstly, reading music in itself is a complex process, and like reading any language it challenges the brain to process information. Secondly, when you add the physical aspect of using your hands in the very specific movements that are required to play an instrument, that activates yet more parts of the brain. Thirdly, your mind itself, aside from these first two activities, must also deal with the element of time. This is the unique part of music which sets it apart from most other fields of study. The brain has to process all the information required by the first two components, and then execute the movements within a precise time flow, or tempo. It is very different from trying to complete another given task within a set time frame, because the exact speed at which you have to complete that task is not specified – you just have to finish within a given time period. For example, in a maths test, you are working as fast as you can to get through all the equations and finish the test, but you don’t have to worry about working through them at an exact speed. But with music, you have to perform and execute the melodies, chords and other requisite mental processes at a very specific speed, or tempo. As the music becomes more complex, and/or the tempo increases, the difficulty level increases. Watch this video for an amazing TedTalks video on the subject.

Finding practice time

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Father time where do you go? Why does the passing of the time seem to go quicker the busier we get? For Melbourne Trumpet players finding extra time in your daily routine to get practice in becomes a practice in time management. For our Melbourne trumpet students we often go through your practice diary and recommend amendments to make sure your progress is significant. One easy solution to finding extra practice time is simply to put down the TV remote and pick up your instrument. I do know the draw the television has and how relaxing it can be however the feeling of getting in some constructive practice is rewarding and relaxing. If you are lucky enough to have your meals prepared for you by a partner or parent rather than hovering around the kitchen like a nuisance I recommend taking those precious minutes and getting into your instrument practice. The key thing to take away here is that even a short 10min practice session can greatly improve your playing especially if it is focused practice. Remember practice doesn’t make perfect, Perfect practice makes perfect! Get in touch with us now at Music in mind to start your Melbourne in home Trumpet lessons.

The story

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The Story:

Most lyrics have a narrative. Some are obscurely hidden in poetry and others tell it simply. When I was receiving vocal lessons in Melbourne as a teenager I was often told to tell a story when singing. This idea took a long time to sink in but the more I performed the more I noticed that the songs that evoked strong feelings in me made me sing them better. One such song is “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. It is a sad tale of family woes and dreams of a better life. When performing this I really try and evoke the story with all its sadness and despair. I find that my voice accentuates tones in words that deliver a stronger performance. In a way I’m lying through my teeth- I’ve never needed a fast car to fly away but humans are empathetic and by thinking about the storyline I can evoke the emotions. In your singing lessons try reading through the lyrics first, visualize the story and tell it as if it was your own. Get in touch with us at Music in Mind to start your first Melbourne singing lesson.

The high seas and your trumpet

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This weeks blog for Melbourne Trumpet students is going to look at a subject close to my heart and life- Cruise ship gigs. After completing my bachelor of music I was interested in travelling with my instrument and getting paid to play all over the world, I’m sure it’s a dream shared by many aspiring musicians. I auditioned for a cruiseline and to my joy was accepted to join their showband. Firstly, the greatest thing about working on a cruiseline as a musician is it is your main job to be a musician. There aren’t any of the usual headaches and distractions you find on land such as traffic, jobs, bills etc.. Your paid well to simply play your instrument and perform in a great band. Your sight reading skills improve dramatically from performing every day and your musical diversity increases as you play a wide range of styles. You also get to meet and play with other terrific musicians from all over the world. I was switched on to many different music from talking and sharing with these professional musicans, some styles I had never even heard of! The Cruiseship industry is booming right now so job opportunities have never been so prolific. You generally play 6 nights a week so you can only imagine how good your playing will be at the end of a contract. For anyone who is looking to see more of the world and get paid to play your instrument than take a look into Cruiseships, unless you get sea sick! Get in touch with us today to get started with a great Melbourne trumpet teacher.

the right pick

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Today’s blog I would like to get into the plectrum. There are so many different shapes, sizes and materials used in plectrums that choosing the right one can be overwhelming. I spent over a year honing in on what pick worked best for me and now that I’ve chosen it I feel my playing is much more consistent. As a Melbourne guitar teacher I see students struggling with their tone and I feel the pick has a significant effect. I usually recommend a medium to hard pick as the soft ones are really only good for strumming and strumming is only one portion of guitar playing. I find with a hard pick I can diversify through licks, strums and solos without changing picks halfway through. A firm pick means your accuracy will improve as your string strike will be more definitive. A great practice technique I teach my guitar students is to try angling a pick to get a “feathery” sound when strumming. This slight angle on the pick means you are using a broader edge of the pick and get a rounder sound off the strings. Don’t just grab the nearest pick to you for practicing your guitar. Experiment with what pick best serves you and your playing. To find out more about picking techniques get in contact with us for your first Melbourne guitar lesson!