In this first episode of the new Musicality Podcast, Musical U founder Christopher Sutton introduces the show and shares what you can expect. Learn how we define “Musicality” and how this podcast can help you to gain a natural freedom and confidence in music.
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Hello, and welcome to the very first episode of The Musicality Podcast!
My name’s Christopher Sutton and I’m the founder and Director of Musical U: A website where we help passionate musicians to develop their inner musicality so that they can feel free, confident and creative in music.
Before we begin the full episodes of the show I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce myself and the podcast, so you know what’s coming up.
I am a 33-year old Londoner with a wife and young daughter, and I’ve been a lifelong music lover and amateur musician. For the first 15 years or so of learning music I felt like a bit of a fraud though – because although I was practicing hard and getting good at playing instruments, I’d see musicians who could play by ear, improvise, create their own music on the fly and be confident sitting in with other musicians at a jam session or gig – and those things just all seemed way beyond me. I felt like they must have some natural talent that I didn’t.
And so I persevered with learning music but really felt limited, frustrated, and a bit disappointed in myself, however hard I worked.
Eventually, around 2008 I discovered this thing called “Ear Training”. And a whole world opened up to me – because I finally saw that all those skills which had seemed magical – were actually learnable! It took time and effort to develop them for myself, but I gradually realised that the amazing musicians I’d admired weren’t necessarily gifted or talented – they’d just learned to do these wonderful, creative, empowering skills which for so many years I hadn’t even known you could learn!
So although I’m not a born businessman and hadn’t really planned to do it, I started a company in 2009 to help other people learn these incredible skills and tap into their inner “natural” musician.
That company is Musical U, and we’ve sinced helped millions of musicians to develop these inner skills of musicality. I don’t say that to brag – just to hopefully inspire you that you too can become more musical – and hopefully that’s why you’re listening to this podcast right now :)
This podcast is going to be all about musicality.
That’s a word which doesn’t have a single precise definition. At Musical U we define it like this:
Musicality is a set of “inner skills” which let you freely and confidently express yourself in music.
And we have a whole set of skills that we think are part of musicality. We’ll be covering these all in more detail in future episodes, but to give you a taste, we’re talking about things like:
- Playing by ear
- Singing in tune
- Jamming with other musicians
- Having good rhythm
- Writing music
- Writing notation
- Improvising a solo
- Talking intelligently about music
- Understanding Music Theory
- Clapping in time
- Knowing your instrument inside and out
- Tuning your instrument by ear
- Reading notation
- Sight-reading music
- Playing from a lead sheet
- Performing live
- and Playing multiple instruments
I’m sure as I listed those out there were a few where you thought “Oh cool, I can do that” – and probably several others where you thought “Wow, definitely can’t do that – but I’d love to be able to!”
If so, you are in the right place.
This podcast is going to be a mix of interviews and teaching. I’m going to be talking with some of the most inspiring and innovative music educators and musicians, and asking them about how they developed their own musicality – as well as asking for their top tips and techniques to help you improve. We’ll also be doing teaching episodes where I’ll share some of the insights and explanations which have helped members of Musical U to develop their own musicality.
My goal is that this podcast is going to be super useful for you just by itself. But I should definitely mention that we also have a membership program at Musical U which provides world-leading in-depth musicality training and an unparalleled level of personal support and guidance. So if you find yourself enjoying the podcast please do consider joining Musical U.
Now one thing to mention is that some of the podcast episodes are going to be long. I know we all like short bite-sized learning these days – but when you hear some of the people I’m going to be talking with, you’ll see that it would have been a crime to cut them short!
So if you think an hour-long podcast episode is just way too long, I’d encourage you to think about listening to it in two or three parts. That’s one of the great things about podcasts, you’re free to fit it into your free time in whatever way you like! And I’ll be providing a recap at the end of each episode to remind you of all the most important points.
So that’s what the Musicality Podcast is all about. We’ve been preparing episodes in advance so I already know we have some amazing stuff lined up and I’m seriously excited to finally share it with you!
Okay, so the last three things to mention are:
- Number One: How to subscribe: if you want to be sure to get every episode of the podcast as it comes out please subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts from.
- Number Two: How to get even more. If you visit musicalitypodcast.com, that’s where we’ll have the shownotes for each episode including links to any resources mentioned, so that you can follow up on anything that caught your attention. And if you want even more, you can sign up for Podcast Insiders where we’ll be sharing extra bonus material and behind-the-scenes exclusives.
- And Number Three: How to support the show. If you enjoy The Musicality Podcast please take a moment to rate and review it in your podcast store. We’ll have instructions at musicalitypodcast.com to make this easy for you, and I would so appreciate it – it helps more people to discover the show. And as I said before, this podcast is brought to you by Musical U, and it’s members of Musical U that provide the funds we need to record and produce this podcast. So if you want to support the show and develop your own musicality, please consider becoming a member of Musical U. We’d love to have you join us!
So that’s it for this first ever episode. We’re launching with several episodes on day one so that means you can immediately dive in to our first interview. Just remember to subscribe so you don’t miss out.
Thanks for listening and giving our new show a try. I truly appreciate it, and I’ll see you on the next episode of the Musicality Podcast!