YES I CAN!
Registered Charity in England & Wales
LEARN MUSIC BY EAR . . . . the detail . . . .
FACE-TO-FACE LESSONS -
A THING OF THE PAST FOR YEARS TO COME
Very sadly, Covid-19 has decimated face-to-face instrument tuition for sighted and blind and visually impaired children and adults. Many children learnt at school, some had private tuition and along with adults of any age who were keen to learn an instrument for fun in community settings, our popular lessons have naturally stopped in their tracks.
Even before Covid-19, woodwind and brass tutors have always been at risk of catching colds and infections from their pupils by the nature of the proximity required in checking embouchure formation (lips on or around the mouthpiece) in the early weeks/months of learning and being accidentally sneezed or dribbled on during the process. In those days, a cold or chest infection for teachers were the potential outcomes, but these days, serious infection or death is the reality.
PRACTICING AT HOME
To enable practice at home, sighted musicians can of course buy music online to suit their level of ability, but for blind and visually impaired musicians that is no use, so to help and make the practicing and learning new pieces of music possible, we have developed Learn Music by Ear for all woodwind, brass and non-fretted stringed instruments. It is unique and desperately needed if we are going to keep blind and visually impaired young and not-so-young adult musicians motived to continue to enjoy playing, benefiting personally, mentally and musically.
There are sad stories on music blogs about how sighted musicians have just given-up playing because of various lockdowns and that is with the ability to buy music and read it. We are firmly focused on helping as many blind and visually impaired musicians continue with their music in lockdown and beyond with our inspiring method of learning to play new pieces of their choice.
A BACKGROUND TO BRAILLE MUSIC
AND ITS DIFFICULTIES
Louis Braille invented music notation for blind and visually impaired people and it has helped many musicians worldwide, despite it being in different formats in varying countries. It is incredibly cumbersome; one note is contained in roughly a half-inch square box of six embossed dots, so you can imagine how long bars with quavers and semiquavers in are.
A single sheet of normal printed music could well be an inch thick of paper in Braille music and can be off-putting for some blind and visually impaired musicians, so given these difficult Covid-19 times, a quantum leap to an inspirational way learning of new pieces of music is our top priority to help these disadvantaged musicians continue to practice and perform and not give-up.
LEARNING MUSIC BY EAR – AUDIO NOTE DESCRIPTIONS
With modern day technology comes an ease of learning new pieces of music and this is so with our Learning Music by Ear Audio Note Descriptions in mp3 format. There is an Introduction to the piece and then Audio Note Descriptions for each piece, where we say individual note names and length bar-by-bar, varying between two and four bars at a time, depending on how many notes there are per bar and based on the musician’s level of ability.
Building each short phrase at a time and committing to memory enables the player to master each piece of music and progress far quicker than using Braille music.
THE BACKING TRACKS
Each Learn by Ear Music Audio Note Description has an associated Band/Orchestral/Piano Backing Track, also in mp3 format, enabling musicians to download this and the Audio Note Description online and learn the music along with the Backing Track, benefiting hugely from practicing new pieces and progressing musically.
We generate the Backing Tracks in MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) with synthesized instrument sounds using Apple Pro Logic X and generate two versions of the Backing Track; one at the Normal Tempo and the other at a Slower Tempo to make learning the piece of music so much easier.
We all practice to perform so the joy in completing a piece and then being able to play it with a Backing Track at home and to the wider family and friends via social media is unquestionably personally and socially rewarding and importantly uplifting in these difficult times.
LEVELS OF MUSIC - EASY * INTERMEDIATE * ADVANCED
We use many different genres of well-known current and classical pieces of music, from Pop to Jazz, Classical to Rock, Gospel to Film Themes and have divided these into three levels of performance; Easy, Intermediate and Advanced. In 2021 we're aiming to produce 72 Audio Note Description Recordings and their associated Backing Track recordings in each of the three levels for our Learn Music by Ear facility; 24 per level. More and more will be added over the years.
Learn Music by Ear Audio Note Description recordings and the associated Backing Track recordings will be available for 25 different instruments. In the Woodwind family Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone, Bb Clarinet, Alto Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Flute and Piccolo.
In the Brass family, Trumpet, Cornet, Flugel Horn, French Horn, Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone and Eb, Bb, & C Tubas. For Stringed instruments, Violin, Viola and 'cello.
To enable the musicians to play in concert, we'll organise regular Zoom-style online concerts so the musicians can join ensembles and play the various pieces they have learnt together with the Backing Tracks they all know. Concerts will be graded into Easy, Intermediate and Advanced to enable musicians of any age and ability to join “The Band” that is right for them and be a part of music making, with soloists taking
None of this is rocket science but someone needs to make it work for blind and visually impaired people worldwide and with your help, our YES I CAN! Charity will make it happen.
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