Category Archives: Education

ROGER MOISAN SAYS, “MAKE IT LOOK EASY”

EPISODE SPONSOR

mp logo 13 mar

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST

podcasts-app-tile      stitcher_square_logo

roger moisanRoger Moisan is famous for having turned down a Pink Floyd gig. He’s the founder of Freedom for Musicians, an online platform for musicians and artists to maximize the potential to monetize their musical skills.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

THREE KEY TAKEAWAYS

  1. The perils of “youthful arrogance.”
  2. There’s nothing more important to your performing career than your integrity.
  3. For every failure, there’s a moment of redemption.

ROGER’S WORST MOMENT AS A PERFORMER

“It was wrapped up in youthful arrogance. I had an audition in front of the brass musicians of the London Symphony for a scholarship sponsored by the LSO. I knew I had practiced it enough, although my teacher said differently. I had never rehearsed it with a pianist. AS it went from bad to worse, I was clamming up, my palms were becoming sweaty and I was looking right into the eyes of Maurice Murphy, one of my heroes on the trumpet.

“As we got to the slow section, Maurice walked up to me and said, ‘I think we’ll stop here.’ I had serious issues with performance anxiety after that for several months.”

QUOTABLE QUOTES

  • “I’ve had more fun sharing the story as to why I didn’t play with Pink Floyd than the gig would have been.”
  • “Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. The moment you think you’re prepared, start preparing.”

THE HOT SEAT

Q: It’s 5 minutes before you go on stage for an important performance… What are you doing?

A: Checking, checking, checking. My music, my trumpet, my valves, myself. I also visualize the performance beginning to end, and it’s perfect.

Q: What’s the best performance-related advice you’ve ever received?

A:  Concentrate on the sound. If the sound is horrible, no one wants to hear you. Make it look easy.

Q: Can you share one tip for our listeners to help deal with stage fright? (Physical, mental, etc.)

A: Prepare, prepare, prepare. And when you think you’ve prepared, start preparing. The moment you think you’ve got it put together is when you’re most prone to make mistakes.

Q: What’s a non-musical activity that contributes to your success as a musician?

A: Sport. Playing and watching. The discipline required to play sports can teach a lot to musicians.

Q: Imagine you’re on stage. It’s the end of the performance and the audience is on its feet, applauding. They don’t want any more and they don’t want any less. Everything is perfect. What have you just done?

A: I’m at Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms. I’m playing the Arutunian trumpet concerto in front of 3,000 people. It’s gone stunningly well. All those people that were in that terrible audition years ago are looking at me, saying, “Well done, Roger.”

You can now study online one-to-one with Roger Moisan

The Fantastic Flutewise at Abbotsholme 2017

Young flute players always enjoy our courses at this beautiful venue. Book Flutewise today!

Flutewise
Flutewise
Flutewise at Abbotsholme is a fantastic residential flute course for young players from the age of 8 to 18, from approximately Grade 1 to diploma level.  Abbotsholme is a beautiful venue in the heart of the countryside on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border near Alton Towers.
Flutewise
Fantastic Flute Fun with Flutewise at Abbotsholme
The course runs from Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 July and it is possible to come for the whole course or one or two nights only.
Discounts available for bookings before 30 June.
Full details can be found on our website.
Flutewise
Beautiful Abbotsholme
The Flutewise Trust is a registered charity and has the highest possible child safe-guarding policies. We have been running course since 1988. During the course, which is staffed by extremely experienced flute teaches and professional players, we cover a wide range of playing, music making and performance as well as social activities. Everything is carefully planned with the individual in mind. Parents can rest assured that their young flute player will have a rewarding time in a safe, friendly and stimulating environment.
Flutewise
The Flutewise Team

The Valve-less Scale Exercise For Trumpet

The valve-less scale exercise.  

This is an advanced exercise for trumpet players to help develop embouchure strength, pitch surety and control.

  1. Play a strong low F to establish pitch.
  2. Remove the tuning slide and play the same note. Hold the instrument lightly and finger as if playing normally.
  3. Slowly, play up the F major scale trying to pitch and centre each note. This will be very difficult to start with especially the first 3 notes after the F. The G, A and Bb are outside the natural harmonics on the leadpipe.
  4. As the notes begin to sound more easily, play the F major scale up and down slowly. (Always finger the notes as if playing normally)
  5. Finally, replace the tuning slide and play the F major scale again slowly without the valves.

This exercise can be extended into other keys and also into playing melodies. I like to play ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ after the scale exercise.

Caution! This exercise is extremely tiring and should only be performed after a good warm up and rest for 5 minutes before continuing practising.

Never play this exercise in the ear shot of a fixer! They won’t understand and will think you can’t play.

Study online with Roger Moisan

Introducing Sync Music Bot for Slack — Better Work Every Day with Music

At Slush 2016 in Helsinki we  announced Sync Music Bot for Slack. This first of a kind chatbot delivers daily sets of music to help you work, relax and exercise. You can install it at syncmusicbot.com.

The daily music sets are personalised to you and are based on a combination of millions of crowd-sourced health playlists and acoustic analysis. Over time, as more data becomes available from wearable sensors, the bot will learn from your physiology.

Over 100 slack teams globally have been testing the chatbot over the last month and we’re grateful for all of the feedback and suggestions we’ve received. As a result, the bot includes a lot of delightful details, like social features baked right into Slack, for easy sharing and reactions to music. Read more about the design of Sync Music Bot here.

We all know the feeling when a day starts well, when we are proactive and productive. Music plays an important role in motivation and focus. Today, we want to share Sync Music Bot with Slack teams all around the world who love music. This is the next step on our quest to unlock the personalized health effects of music.

PS: We love Slack!

Budding Music Journalists Wanted

Music Journalists Wanted

Do you have a great music story you want to share with the world?

Guest bloggers
Share your story with the world at FFM

Maybe you want to flex your journalistic muscles and get something off your chest?

Guest bloggers
Shout your message loud at FFM

At Freedom For Musicians, we are always looking for guest bloggers and contributors who would like to post on our website.

You will be fully acknowledged and can include your bio, links, vids, pics etc.

Get writing now and let the world see your words

Guest bloggers
Get your story out of your head and onto the web with FFM

To take part, simply send your stuff to:

rogermoisan@yahoo.co.uk

For more about FFM, click here

Introducing Rumix: The Great Musical Education Game




Rumix

Rumix-Established in 1996, LM Productions specialises in the development of social and family games which serve to enhance musical skills and help non – musicians participate in a music making process.

The owner and director of LM Productions, Maxim Levy is a veteran music educator, harnessing his knowledge and experience to the task of producing meaningful and FUN games for music students and their families and friends.

The first game, Rumix, a music card game for the whole family, has been on the market for about 3 years. Before that, earlier versions of music card games were developed and extensively tried in various settings. It is only after careful review of the results that the current version of Rumix was released.


Available Now At Amazon





LARRY MEREGILLANO SAYS “THINK BEFORE YOU STINK”




This article is from the brilliant ‘Secrets of the Musical Mind’  where you can hear the full pod cast and many more great interviews with musicians around the world. Freedom for Musicians would like to thank the team for sharing this article.

By James Newcomb

Larry Meregillano is a Bach artist/clinician. He started his professional career playing in big bands in San Diego

in the early 1970’s. In 1976, he was hired to play in Tom Ranier’s Show band at Disneyland.

A year later, Mr. Meregillano joined the gospel group Truth and soon after went on to perform and tour with The Bill Gaither Trio. While traveling and recording with The Bill Gaither Trio, he also recorded with Sandi Patti, David T, Clydsdale, Ron Huff, Don Marsh and many others.

In 1980, Larry returned to California and became the lead trumpet player
for the world-famous Disneyland Band. In the late 1980’s, Larry was hired to play in the PTL Television Orchestra with Jim and Tammy Faye Baker. From there he joined Princess Cruise lines as Musical Director.

After many years, Mr. Meregillano moved to Orlando, Florida, where he performed with many bands at Walt Disney World, MGM Studios, Epcot Center, Universal Studios and Pleasure Island. He has also been the Musical Director and performer for many cruise lines including the world-famous Queen Elizabeth 2.

Larry has toured with the Temptations and The Four Tops, and has been a sideman for Rosemary Clooney, Joe Williams, Jack Jones, Bob Hope, Celia Cruz, Frankie Avalon and many, many others. Mr. Meregillano has recorded with many artists including Hubert Laws, Latoya Jackson, and Rick Dees.

Mr. Meregillano can often be seen playing with The Tom Kubis GWC Big Band and is a busy freelance musician playing recording dates, theater and stage shows in the Los Angeles area and around the country.

_______________________________________________




JN: This podcast is about the psychology of peak musical performance. And in order to talk about performing at our best, sometimes we need to talk about times when we weren’t at our best. So can you tell us a story of a time when you expected to play well but it didn’t work out as you thought it would? And then how you dealt with it.

LM: When I was 19 years old, I was a featured soloist in my father’s church. I had decided to change my mouthpiece just a couple of days before. So there’s always a learning curve when playing a new mouthpiece, and when I got up to play the solo, I couldn’t make it halfway through. There were a few hundred people there. My lips just collapsed.

So how did I deal with it? For all the hours and hours of practice I had put in to that point, I felt as though my trumpet had let me down, that I had let myself down. So I slammed my trumpet down in the case, marched out of the church and walked the 5 miles home. I was so upset (laughing). Today, I deal with things like that a little differently. But that was progbably the worst moment of my young career. I was so humiliated and so let down.

The problem with the trumpet is no matter how good a musician we are, if the physical elelments are not happening, we simply can’t get the music out of our bodies. No matter how much we study, how much we know the style, intonation, how music should flow. If we don’t have the chops to produce the tone, we are nothing. That’s why trumpet players are notorious for calling themselves slaves to the instrument. WE always have to practice every day, certain rudimental aspects of playing. Otherwise we could very easily make a fool of ourselves, no matter how high up the ladder we might be.

JN: What was the difference between your old and new mouthpiece in that story?

LM: I think I was playing a Bill Chase Jet Tone. Remember this was the 1970’s. Bill Chase was all the rage and I wanted to sound just like him. So ultimately, I just didn’t have enough time to make the adjustment physically in that particular case.

JN: Not everyone listening to this is a trumpet player, so not everyone knows that the slightest chance in any part of the mouthpiece can make a tremendous difference in how it feels to the player. It usually takes a little while for your body to get used to a new mouthpiece. So looking back at that experience, aside from the obvious of playing a new mouthpiece before you were used to it, what could you have done differently in that situation?

LM: The way I handle it today when I’m not 100%. The fact of the matter is the audience had no idea I was struggling. I should have been more gracious, put my horn down, smiled and got on with my day. That’s the way to handle it. As long as you’re doing your very best at any given time, you’ve done your best to prepare, you’ve done everything you can do to make a good performance, there’s no reason to feel bad about missing a few notes. I probably remember it worse than it really was.

So how I handled it then as a new pro player was a lot differently than today. Today I would just laugh it off. But then I internalized it. I got mad, I stomped 5 miles home.




JN: Perhaps there was some slight ego issues you had to work through.

LM: I don’t know if it was ego or if I was just so disappointed in myself. I had tried so hard, practiced several hours a day. But today, you realize that your worst is still at a level that’s acceptable. You just relax and roll with it. Collect your check and go. You split a note, you might miss an entrance. The best advice in such a situation is when you’re not feeling well and not up to par, hide what you can’t do. Let them think you can do it. You don’t have to show them if it’s not written.

Sometimes we’re just too hard on ourselves and we want to sound like Maynard Ferguson when all we’ve got is Herb Alpert. No disrespect to Herb Alpert, but I want to sound like Maynard!

JN: What’s the highest profile gig you’ve ever done?

LM: It’s hard to pick one out, but since this podcast is on the topic of performance anxiety and such, let’s go back to 1980. At the time, I was working at Disneyland and I was chosen to be the lead trumpet player of the Disney show that performed there for their 25th Anniversary. We took the show to New York City with part of the United Nations delegates. I got so nervous. Here I am sitting with the top guys on Broadway, all these high profile figures at a black tie event in at Lincoln Center. I’m 23 years old.

My mouth was getting dry, so I drank a bunch of iced tea before the show. Fortunately for me, the show didn’t last that long. I nailed it, but I don’t think I’ve ever had to go to the bathroom worse than I did during that gig. It was rather painful (laughing)

After the show, one of the top Broadway players came up to me back stage and said, “Larry, come move to New York. I’ll put you to work right away.” I’m just a kid, 23 years old. Scared to death of the Big Apple. I often wonder how my career would have ended up had I taken him up on his offer. But I was working quite often at Disney and I really didn’t need another job.

Another high profile gig was for the opening of Pocahantas, again in New York City. They had several acts on, and I was up there with a rock and roll band from Disney World. And there were 450,000 people there at this live concert. I’m having fun, no dry mouth, no issues at all. I just had a great time. I play a jazz solo, and I’m having fun until I look over my left hand shoulder and who’s watching me play but Wayne Bergeron? He’s just staring at me.

Wayne was lead trumpeter with the Disneyland band, this is early in his career, so that didn’t bother me too much. But then I looked over my right shoulder, and there stood Arturo Sandoval. He’s staring at me too. I suddenly started shaking in my boots.

So the huge crowd didn’t bother me, but those two people did. Interesting how that goes.

JN: What do you think the difference between this time when you’re playing in front of 450,000 people with no problems, and playing at your dad’s church where you fell apart in front of 300 people?

LM: I was 19 years old when I fell apart. By the time the first gig I mentioned came, I was 23. I had grown a lot, had a lot more experience. And at the second gig, I was in my 40’s. So as you grow as a pro musician, you just learn to adapt this mindset that you’re as comfortable as you are in your own living room. Doesn’t matter who you’re playing for.

In the 80’s, I was one of the trumpet players in the TV series, “PTL Show” with Jim and Tammy Baker. Every day, I’d have to remind myself that at the end of my microphone were as many as 68 million people listening on a live cast. There’s no taking back a clam. So it’s okay to have a little bit of edge, a little bit of stage fright. It’s motivation to heklp you concentrate on what you’re doing. So we’d get comfortable, laughing with each other and all of a sudden the producer is saying, “5,4,3,…” And you’d better play that note correctly.




JN: It’s just a matter of making those nerves work for you rather than against you.

LM: Absolutely. A little bit of nerves is good for you. You’re on edge, you’re concentrating, ready to go. The worst thing you can do is be in a situation like that and be lethargic. That does happen to us as professionals. Day after day, it can get lackadaisical, you’re not concentrating.

JN: ­­­Larry, you are now on the Hot Seat. Do you think you can stand the heat? 

LM: I think so.

JN: It’s 5 minutes before you go on stage for an important performance… What are you doing?

LM: It depends on what I’m doing, whether it’s a Broadway show or an entertainer I don’t know. I’m looking at the book. What will I play, what are the key changes, how should I pace myself? I’ll do an instrument inventory, mutes, oils, right mouthpiece, etc. Most important is the mental preparation. You can rehearse the show in just a few minutes by flipping through the book. Make sure it’s in order. Every aspect of musical performance I’ll review prior to playing.

JN: What’s the best performance-related advice you’ve ever received?

LM: Think before you stink.

JN: Can you share one tip for our listeners to help deal with stage fright? (Physical, mental, etc.)

LM: I struggled with this for a long time. What I’ve learned is just relax. Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness. When you’re prepared, you have confidence you’re not going to clam up, that your chops are up to par, that you’ll play what you need to play. If I haven’t practiced before a performance, I’ll be nervous because I’m not 100% sure how it’s going to go. But when my guns are loaded and ready to go, I have confidence to know it’s okay. I can do this.

JN: Imagine you’re on stage. It’s the end of the performance and the audience is on its feet, applauding. They don’t want any more and they don’t want any less. Everything is perfect. What have you just done? Give details: Venue, repertoire, band mates, etc. Get Creative!!!

LM: One of the most poignant memories I have in my career was a Latin weekend at Disneyland and Celia Cruz was there. I was doing a trumpet battle with a friend of mine at this show. We went back and forth, Celia is calling for us to keep going. We kept answering each other and we ended up on a double high D together. And spontaneously, the entire crowd stood up on their feet, yelled and cheered. That was one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had. That was a special moment, and I’ve had many that are similar to that.

JN: Larry Meregillano can be found on the web at trumpetlegacy.com. Larry, thank you for being on the podcast, and for bringing us one step closer to understanding the Secrets of the Musical Mind!

LM: Thank you for having me. It’s been a real honor!





Share your story here and find out more about FFM

JAZZ LESSONS WITH GIANTS with David Liebman, Bob Mintzer, and Bob Sheppard




Let three of the world’s most gifted jazz musicians show you the Jazz techniques, concepts, and exercises that will take your playing to new heights – guaranteed.

jlwg_workbook_coverThroughout jazz history, the greatest players were the ones who got to spend time in the company of the greats who came before them. In this one-of-a-kind program, three modern day jazz giants share their secrets- the precise secrets that made them into the world-renowned masters that they are.

Over the course of your Jazz Lessons with Giants journey, your teachers will give you the tools to make massive improvements in the areas of creating compelling melodies, super-charging your ears, using advanced harmony to get that hip, “post-Coltrane” sound, using articulation and phrasing to come up with your own style – and that’s just for starters.

Armed with results-producing information and powerful motivation, you can save yourself years of struggle and quickly make massive improvements while having fun – right now! You don’t have to wait until you’ve spent 10 years practicing 4 hours a day. Applying clearly laid out “insider” information, you can learn to set the bandstand on fire while you experience that elusive feeling of musical magic you crave – much sooner than you might think.

Doron Ornstein
Doron Ornstein




Promote your product with FFM

The History of the Trumpet: Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis

The History of The Trumpet (DVD trailer)

Biography

Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz.

By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Wynton has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

The Early Years

Wynton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 18, 1961, to Ellis and Dolores Marsalis, the second of six sons. At an early age he exhibited a superior aptitude for music and a desire to participate in American culture. At age eight Wynton performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band led by legendary banjoist Danny Barker, and at 14 he performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic. During high school Wynton performed with the New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet, New Orleans Community Concert Band, New Orleans Youth Orchestra, New Orleans Symphony, various jazz bands and with the popular local funk band, the Creators.

At age 17 Wynton became the youngest musician ever to be admitted to Tanglewood’s Berkshire Music Center. Despite his youth, he was awarded the school’s prestigious Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. Wynton moved to New York City to attend Juilliard in 1979. When he began to pick up gigs around town, the grapevine began to buzz. In 1980 Wynton seized the opportunity to join the Jazz Messengers to study under master drummer and bandleader Art Blakey. It was from Blakey that Wynton acquired his concept for bandleading and for bringing intensity to each and every performance. In the years to follow Wynton performed with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, John Lewis, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and countless other jazz legends.

Wynton assembled his own band in 1981 and hit the road, performing over 120 concerts every year for 15 consecutive years. With the power of his superior musicianship, the infectious sound of his swinging bands and an exhaustive series of performances and music workshops, Marsalis rekindled widespread interest in jazz throughout the world. Wynton embraced the jazz lineage to garner recognition for the older generation of overlooked jazz musicians and prompted the re-issue of jazz catalog by record companies worldwide. He also inspired a renaissance that attracted a new generation of fine young talent to jazz.
A look at the more distinguished jazz musicians of today reveals numerous students of Marsalis’ workshops: James Carter, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Harry Connick Jr., Nicholas Payton, Eric Reed and Eric Lewis, to name a few.

Wynton Marsalis
The maestro

 

Check out more from FFM

Why Children In Cuba Get The Best Musical Education In The World





All the studies suggest that music education for kids — which includes learning at least one instrument — has dozens of benefits. Neuroscientists say it improves linguistic function, math abilities, listening and communication skills, and other brain development niceties. These kids are also better behaved and are less likely to skip school. At least until they discover punk rock.

Cuban Music

Flickr / Dogpong

Most students in the U.S. don’t spend a lot of time in the practice room. In fact, American schools require no more than 45 minutes of music education a week, and most of that is just fumbling with plastic recorders. If you look 90 miles south, you’ll find a country that treats their music department the way Texas treats youth football. Yes, Cuba lacks an open Internet, free press, economic prosperity, freedom to travel, and has suffered under 60 years of despotism, but when it comes to music education, they kind of crush it.





Cuban kids get a whopping 8 hours of free music education a week. That’s 3,600 hours over 12 years. (Malcolm Gladwell would be impressed.) Cubans also spend 10 percent of their taxes on education, while America spends 4. You might say that’s comparing apples to Communist oranges, but it’s hard to argue arts enrichment for children is a waste of taxpayer money. In America, parents who want their kids to get this kind of music education have to search for local magnet schools that focus on it or pay for lessons on their own. That can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 a year — or 1 ticket to Hamilton.

The Cuban music curriculum is centered around group lessons, but one-on-one instruction is regular and required. History, theory, and televised lessons are also part of the plan. And, if they’re a virtuoso pupil, students get to go to a specialized free music academy. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the Cuban system offers students potential employment in a difficult job market, the chance to visit other countries without defecting — and a least a little bit of fun.

There’s one more side benefit to music; it brings people together. Black Cubans and women, 2 groups of people who experience the same kind of prejudice and inequality as they do in the U.S., have found pride and acceptance within the system. These state-educated musicians have also become some of Cuba’s most effective ambassadors to their northern neighbors. That’s why they’re not called the Buena Vista Antisocial Club.

This isn’t to suggest you’re about to move to Havana for the schools. All it says is that Cuba has taken advantage of one of its few natural resources — a strong and unique musical culture — and turned it into a powerful educational, social, and even diplomatic engine. Apparently, band practice is a better extracurricular than model UN.