Monthly Archives: October 2018

Learn to Play ‘Endure’ by Ivan Castro

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Some pieces for the piano (and other instruments) sound more complex than what they are – once the technique behind them has been polished and the piece has been memorized well, they sound beautiful and more demanding than what they actually are.

An example of such a piece for the piano is ‘Endure’ by Ivan Castro. If you listen to it in the links below, you will see what I mean. Note patterns for the left hand are very repetitive and the right hand does a lot of scale and arpeggio patterns that sound fancy but are fairly straight-forward to learn.

Have a go and enjoy this beautiful piece!

Great tutorial by PeterPlutax:

Excellent version of the piece:

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Great Youtube Channels for Piano Tutorials

Luckily nowadays we all have easy access to internet and so learning to play a musical instrument is made even easier given the great help and guidance that we can find on various websites!

When learning to play a piece of music, it is always good to listen to the piece regularly so as not to learn it the wrong way. This is where various youtube channels come in handy – and they are also handy if there is a piece or a song that you would like to learn and don’t have the sheet music for it.

Here is our top four most used youtube channels that we regularly check and follow for inspiration and guidance:

1. Peter Plutax – great mix of easy-ti-intermediate level piano tutorials with covers of current pop songs added regularly;

2. The Theorist – excellent site for piano tutorials on more advanced players with classics and more recent pop songs being added regularly;

3. ABRSM – this is the official site for the ABRSM examination centre and includes tutorials and clips on various aspects of their music exams; if you are getting ready for a grade exams, be sure to check this site out;

4. Trinity College London – this is the official site for the Trinity College of Music if you are following their exam system; lots of helpful clips and guidance to be found here to get you ready for your exam in style.

Sibelius – perhaps the most well-known composer from Finland

Over the past few weeks, we have been learning about different classical music composers in our music theory classes. Sometimes we can be so focussed on playing the music that we forget about the forces behind the creation of such wonderful pieces!

This past week we learnt about Sibelius, perhaps the all time greatest Finn in the realm of classical music. Having been born in Finland and spending the first 18 years of my life there, it feels appropriate to share some knowledge of this great composer – in particular since Finland has always been considered to be a relatively small country in the back burner even if many brilliant things came from there such as Nokia and Kimi Raikkonen, not to forget the amazing education system that always tops any leader boards on education outcomes!

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Jean Sibelius, born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957), was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country’s greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia.

The core of his oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies which, like his other major works, are regularly performed and recorded in his home country and internationally. His other best-known compositions are Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto, the choral symphony Kullervo, and The Swan of Tuonela (from the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by nature, Nordic mythology, and the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, over a hundred songs for voice and piano, incidental music for numerous plays, the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower), chamber music, piano music, Masonic ritual music, and 21 publications of choral music.

Sibelius composed prolifically until the mid-1920s, but after completing his Seventh Symphony (1924), the incidental music for The Tempest (1926) and the tone poem Tapiola (1926), he stopped producing major works in his last thirty years, a stunning and perplexing decline commonly referred to as “The Silence of Järvenpää”, the location of his home. Although he is reputed to have stopped composing, he attempted to continue writing, including abortive efforts on an eighth symphony. In later life, he wrote Masonic music and re-edited some earlier works while retaining an active but not always favourable interest in new developments in music.

The Finnish 100 mark note featured his image until 2002, when the euro was adopted.Since 2011, Finland has celebrated a Flag Day on 8 December, the composer’s birthday, also known as the “Day of Finnish Music”.In 2015, the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth, a number of special concerts and events were held, especially in the city of Helsinki.