This week we have an exciting and varied collection of resources for you. An interview with Jeffrey Agrell the inventor of over 500 music improvisation games, the first tutorial in our new series on rhythm and an in-depth guide to spelling intervals. Also join the discussion over whether a music degree is really necessary and discover three strategies to motivate your daily music practice.

Today is the first of April, also known as April Fools’ Day! I hope you have been enjoying some practical jokes today. If you are a music teacher don’t miss Fun Music Company’s article April Fools Day Jokes for Music Teachers. It is not too late to have some April fools fun with your students!

And for a soundtrack to get you through the day check out A Fool’s Playlist: Songs to Get You Through April Fools’ Day. Lastly one of my favourite April Fools videos for Star Wars fans:

Before we get started with this week’s resources, we’d like to thank AppPicker for including our Chordelia: Seventh Heaven app in their list of the best music theory apps for iPhone! And another big thank you to practiceapps, the iOS musicianship website, for this great review of our SingTrue app.

Let’s dive in…

Game Your Way to Impressive Improvising

Game-Your-Way-to-Impressive-Improvising-Interview-800Improvisation should be fun, right? So what better way to learn to learn this fun musical skill than with games! Jeffrey Agrell is a musician and music educator with a special interest in improvisation. He has written numerous books and articles on improvisation and created over 500 musical improv games. We interviewed Jeffrey this week and found out the benefits of approaching improvisation as a game and some tips on how you can get started improvising today.

If you’re looking for even more suggestions for improvisation games, take a look at this list from Open Your Mouth And Sing and our previous interview about the card-and-dice improv game Tonic.

Think You Need a Music Degree?

If you already got your music degree as a pre-teen prodigy you can probably skip this section. For the rest of you ambitious musicians…

dont-need-music-degreeHave you ever felt held back in pursuing your musical ambitions because you feel like you would need a music degree to achieve them? Well there is no need to feel held back any longer. On the Musical U blog this week they talk about five things people think you need a music degree for, and why you don’t. If you have ever been told that you’ll never “make it” without a degree, read this blog post to find out why that simply isn’t true.

Spell Intervals… Fast

learn-to-spell-intervals-fast-800Learning how to “spell” intervals means knowing when you hear a major third in C major that translates to a “C” and a “E” on your instrument. Without this skill it is difficult to be able to play by ear or improvise with ease. However learning all the intervals in all the different keys can seem like a daunting and boring task. That’s why this week we simplified the process with this guide to how to learn how to spell intervals fast.

Interval-Spelling-Cheat-SheetTo complement the above guide we have a cheat sheet. Well, seven mini cheat sheets really! Including tables of interval spellings, shortcuts to quickly working them out and more! Don’t forget to share the Interval Spelling Cheat Sheet with your music-loving friends and teachers.

If you’re just getting started with spelling intervals then take a look at this interactive tutorial from or the video below from before getting stuck in with the guide above.

Rhythm Bootcamp

Part 1 Induction smThis week saw the start of a new series of tutorials to help you develop tight rhythm. Whether you are in a band and worried that you have no rhythm or an instrumentalist who has ever rushed a solo or lost time, Rhythm Bootcamp is for you. Get started with this week’s induction and find out the importance of everyday ear training – plus what to expect in the rest of the series.

Speaking of rhythm, if you enjoyed our recent 6/8 time signature tutorial give this great time signature quiz a try!

Boost your Daily Music Motivation

three-ways-boost-daily-music-motivationBeing motivated to practice music everyday is a struggle for most musicians. We all know that the best way to make progress musically is to do daily practice, but it can be hard to maintain that daily habit. That is why we are excited to share Musical U’s blog post outlining three strategies that can help enliven your practice regimen and get you back into the daily habit. Read on to find out three ways to boost your daily music motivation.

If you decide to try out the “Seinfeld approach” mentioned there, you can use the handy website to keep track. But you should also keep in mind when not to streak

If you are looking for an accountability partner, one of the other tricks mentioned, check out Musical U: a friendly, supportive community designed to help you become the musician you have always dreamed of being.

See, we weren’t fooling about having some handy new resources for you this week! Now you should be well on your way to some tight rhythms, fun times improvising and new motivation for spelling intervals and more. Here’s to your musical success in the week ahead!