Thursday 10 May 2012


Today's Year 9 music lesson was fun.  They are being taught about irregular time signatures, and first the teacher played recordings of Take Five and Mars from Holst's Planet Suite, both being in 5/4 time, of course.  Then she wanted them to learn to play Dave Brubeck's Unsquare Dance
Two to each keyboard, she gave each pair a sheet of music and let them work out the base* line, then the chords (clapping in the recording) and when they'd mastered those, the melody.  Only a couple of them managed to play the base* line with the melody, it was quite tricky for them.  They did enjoy it though and I helped several with the notes and the rhythm.  There are some quite exuberant lads in that class, which I always enjoy (don't you find the rascals are much more fun?) and they worked hard and really concentrated and were pleased to play to the rest of the class at the end and be applauded.

I've been out to dinner tonight with a group of friends - it's a small dining club, women only, that I started going to to keep my mother company, the best part of 20 years ago.  I was the youngest there then and I still am.  The founder, who is now 94 and no longer a member, comes along once in a while and tonight she was telling us all about her new iPad.  She's never had a computer before, is enjoying getting to grips with it and her first emailing lesson is tomorrow.  She's very excited.  I think it's brilliant and certainly proves that you're never too old to try something new.

*Bass.  Ahem.  Sorry.  


Christopher said...

Good stuff, great fun to take part in. A far cry from when music lessons involved endless singing of The Ash Grove and Camptown Races, etc., or even - as I discovered one teaching practice - the 'teacher', generally the most comic of all the staff, doling out sixpences to any pupil who could identify the composer of the piece he was playing.

Erm...bass line?

Roses said...

When I bought my iPad, it occurred to me that I wanted it simply because it's shiny and that once I got used to it's shininess it would gather dust.

Not so.

I hope your friend gets many happy hours enjoying her shiny thing.

I love dinner parties, good company and good food is a happy marriage indeed.

Z said...

Next lesson, they'll be trying their hand at composition in 5/4 or 7/4 time.

Bass. Whoops. Indeed. I'd have noticed it myself today and hastily corrected it, hoping that no one would have noticed. Now I'll have to put an acknowledgement that, at 11 pm, I can't spell. Thank you, Chris.

I hope so too, Roses. I think that older people manage so well with an iPad because they don't need a mouse - although of course, one has to be reasonably dextrous to type on the smaller keypad.

Blue Witch said...

Gosh, music lessons weren't like that in my day. History of music, and clapping rhythms in Miss Brown's classroom, where she sat and petted her pussy while dictating to us about Chopin etc. Yes, really, she brought her tortoiseshell cat to school every day. It either sat on the piano if it was sunny, or in her lap if not. I hated music lessons.

PixieMum said...

As one who learnt to touch type to the sounds of the William Tell overture and to carriage return may I suggest that If the iPad is at the right angle it is easy to type. Well that is what I have found, along with the joys of the machine attempting to guess the word I am typing.

The difficulty is with the minor, little used keys and symbols, even that is outweighed by the benefit of no Snopake, the battles with correcting carbon copies and the evil smell of pink correcting fluid when typing stencils for the Roneo duplicator.

Z said...

Oh blimey, and singing rounds. Alousoddingette, for example. And Kitty of Coleraine (sp?) which wasn't a round, to be fair. As beautiful Kitty one morning was tripping with a pitcher of milk to the fair of Coleraine - that's one I'm never going to forget, however many decades pass.

I find the iPad easy to type on, although I do make more mistakes than a larger keyboard.

Tim said...

Dum, doo, dum, clap clap. And ooh bap-pa-da boom-boom. Raggy waltz?

Z said...

Sing Kitty of Coleraine in 7/4 time, perhaps?