Music has been around in all different cultures for ten of thousands of years, which seems to suggest that music is somehow hardwired into all humans. Recently scientists at MIT have proved that this is in fact the case: they discovered that we have specific nerve cells in our brain dedicated to music! This week we have some great articles to exercise those neurons. Read on to find out more about apps for songwriters, writing vocal rhythms, piano and saxophone improvisation, baroque music and being a music major.

Don’t forget that Musical U’s January special offer will end this Sunday 31st January. Click here to find out more about getting your free “Your Musical Plan” guide as part of your Musical U membership.

Creating Songs with Mobile Apps

Creating Songs with Mobile Apps nrThere are thousands of music apps available now with a wide range of functionalities that can assist us in our musical practice. With such a huge choice available it can be difficult to find what is most suited our particular needs. This week we welcomed Ashley Elsdon from leading music apps website to hear what apps he recommends for songwriters. From basic audio recorders to “digital audio workstations” there is an app to help you with every stage of the songwriting process.

Songwriters secrets-rocking vocal rhythms smSpeaking of songwriting, the eighth tutorial in our songwriter’s secrets series explains how to write good rhythms for the vocal parts of a song. Three different methods (following natural speech patterns, imposing a lyric on a rhythm and the hybrid version) are explained with exercises and examples to help you write your own vocal rhythms.

Thinking about being a Music major?

5 surprising drawback to a music degree smFollowing last week’s blogpost 5 Reasons Taking a Music Degree Rocks, Jenny Green has written about the surprising drawbacks of taking a Music degree. Essential reading for anyone considering being a music major, with great advice from Jenny about choosing the right university music course for you.

Piano Improvisation

How to improvise on piano smThe piano is one of the most versatile, but also most challenging instruments to play, meaning that for many pianists improvisation seems like something best left to the professionals. However, there is no reason that pianists of all levels shouldn’t be able to improvise and enjoy this freedom of musical expression. Our new guide How to Improvise on Piano goes through 5 stages of learning this skill, so whatever level pianist or improviser you are there are some helpful exercises and tips to further your improvisation skills.

How to improvise jazz on saxophone in 5 stepsIf you are interested in improvising on other instruments be sure to check out our other resources on improvisation, including our latest quick reference guide on improvising jazz on saxophone in 5 easy steps.

Feeling Baroque Music

introduction-baroque-era smListening to and learning about different musical genres can help us widen our appreciation of music and influence our performances and compositions. This week the Musical U blog looks at Baroque music and discusses what is special about this style of classical music and how it was the beginning of “feelings in music”.

I hope that you have found something to get your music nerve cells excited! If you are looking for more resources and a supportive community to help you achieve your musical goals check out how Musical U membership could be just what you need. For the month of January all members will receive a free “Your Musical Plan for 2016” guide to help you set and plan effective musical goals this year.

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