This week we tap into the world of video game music with a fascinating interview with the founder of Video Game Music Academy, Dan Hulsman. We also have some tips for finding more time for music and accelerating your ear training results, exercises to help you find the tonic, an article on learning to write music notation, and a listening guide to the latest emerging genres.

Before we begin, get into the video game spirit with this great video from of the top 10 video game theme covers:

Video Game Music

Creating video game musicAre you an 80s kid who associates “video game music” with the simple 8-bit sounds of Atari games? Or a current gamer listening to movie-style video game soundtracks? Either way you’d probably agree that video game music is central to an enjoyable gaming experience.

So how is this unique genre of music created? This week we were excited to interview Dan Hulsman the founder of VGM Academy, the leading online resource for aspiring video game music (VGM) composers. Read his interview to find out what makes video game music distinctive and what it takes to become a VGM composer.

Video game music today now has an impassioned following. The Journal of Music discusses the rise of video game music as a genre in and of itself. Wondering just how far video game music has come and how it’s changed over the years? Take a look at this great video from Extra Credits:

If you have dreams of composing music for video games, here’s your big opportunity! Noteflight is pleased to announce the 2016 “Video Game Scoring Contest” with some great prizes!

10 Ways to Practice Music in Your Daily Life

10WaystoPractiseMUIt can be hard to find time for music practice amongst all the commitments of our daily lives, but we all know that regular practice is the only way to improve musically.

The team over at Musical U have collected together 10 ways to Practice Music in Your Daily Life. Find out how to divide your practice into small manageable chunks that can be done wherever you are!

Adults and children both benefit from adding music to activities. Creative Soul Music offers 11 ways to keep music a fun part of your everyday lives together.

Summer is right around the corner! What if your child doesn’t want to practice during the summer months? Fortunately Joy Tunes has some tips to help keep your little maestro practicing during daily summer life.

Accelerate Your Ear Training

7 ways to accelarate your ear training-800It can be difficult at times to stay motivated in your music practice and ear training is no exception. Ear training is actually one of the easiest musical skills to practice regularly and if you use the tips in 7 Ways to Accelerate Your Ear Training you’ll get maximum results from your efforts, every practice session.

Whatever musical skill you’re practising, there are ways to accelerate your learning with the good use of managing your practice time. Didge Project has great advice for all musicians on efficient use of practice time and Matt Helm has some great insights in his series “Learn Music Faster”.

Finding the Tonic

Finding the tonic in major keys-800An important skill to acquire as part of your ear training is to identify the tonic in a piece of music you are listening to. The tonic is likened to the home of a key, if you know where your home is you can find your way to all the other notes much more easily.

Learning to recognise the tonic will help you play by ear, transcribe and generally enrich your musical experience. Check out our tutorial, Finding the Tonic in Major Keys, and get started today!

For more on this subject head over to Theta Music Trainer and read about the importance of finding the tonic and how it will help you to learn to play by ear.

Musicality Means… Writing Notation!

Musicality means writing notationIf you haven’t been classically trained, learning to read music notation can seem like an intimidating task, but the advantages and musical freedom it allows makes it a skill worth spending time learning. Find out more about music notation, why it is important and how you can learn it in Musicality Means… Writing Notation!

Looking for some music notation software but overwhelmed by choice? Tim Topham lists the best music notation software for a variety of devices. Or maybe you prefer the old school method of writing notation with a pencil? Composer Adam Scott Neal shows you how to do it in style in this video tutorial:

Open Your Ears to Emerging Genres

Open your ears to emerging genres-800Listening to new music from alternative genres can provide fresh inspiration for your own musical creations. The digital age in music has resulted in new genres surfacing every few months, as well as mixing of genres that your wouldn’t have believed could be blended.

Join us for an amazing aural journey and listen to five tracks from new emerging genres.

If you want to stay ahead on trend in contemporary music, Maniac Music will introduce you to 6 new genres of music to look for this year.

After all that you might be feeling confused by the emergence of so many new music genres all at once. So was Glenn McDonald, so he attempted to use algorithms to generate a scatter plot of 1447(!) genres based on Spotify:


Now that you have opened your ears to emerging genres and video game music, I hope that you are feeling some new music creativity and motivation to expand your musicality this week. To stay up to date on our latest free resources don’t forget to Like the Musical U and Easy Ear Training Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.