Learning music

Take it away scheme: interest-free finance when buying a musical instrument

Lanched in 2007, the 'Take it away' scheme works with music retailers to provide interest-free finance for the purchase of musical instruments and equipment, helping to ensure that more people can access instruments and learn to play. As of August 2017, the scheme has been expanded to cover all age groups and to include digital musical equipment and musical accessories like cases.

An introduction to: Handbell ringing

After looking at Barbershop, Wind Bands, Samba and Brass Bands, we are now focusing on Handbell ringing. How are they played? Why do they create such close-knit groups?

An introduction to: Samba

After looking at Barbershop, Wind Bands and Brass Bands, we are now focusing on Samba. What makes this music from Brazil so exciting and popular? How do you successfully navigate amongst the dozens of music styles? And how do you get involved? 

An introduction to: Brass Bands

Following on from our look at barbershop singing and wind bands, in this article we take a look at the ins and outs of brass banding in the UK. What is a brass band and where did they come from? What is it like to be part of a brass band today? And how can you get involved?

An introduction to: Wind bands

Following our look at Barbershop, we're moving on to Wind Bands. What's included in the 'wind' bit? Why has the repertoire grown so much in the last century? And what do they offer musicians that orchestral music often doesn't?

Dealing with performance anxiety - from BAPAM

Performance anxiety or ‘stage fright’ is a feeling of fear accompanied by increased bodily arousal which can affect a performer when they are practising on their own, rehearsing with others, before and/or during a performance – in fact any time.This resource from The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) offers some useful advice on recognising and managing performance anxiety.

Fit to play: exercises for instrumentalists - from BAPAM

All skilled physical activity, including music, should be preceded by a warm-up. This resource from The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) offers some useful exercises to help instrumentalists prepapre physically.

Fit to sing: vocal exercises - from BAPAM

All skilled physical activity, including music, should be preceded by a warm-up. This resource from The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) offers some useful vocal exercises to help you prepapre physically.

Warm-up exercises for musicians - from BAPAM

All skilled physical activity, including music, should be preceded by a warm-up. This resource from The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) offers some useful exercises to help you prepapre physically each time you play.

Basic techniques in improvisation: Session 5 - Harmonising melody

In October 2016, we ran the Festival of Making Music - a weekend of music-making workshops in Scotland aimed at exploring shared concepts of rhythm, melody and harmony using simple tunes as a basis for improvisation.

Following the success of the workshops (conducted by award-winning educator Professor Richard Michaels BEM), we have created a video series to allow everyone to benefit from his top tips on improvisation.

This session demonstrates how to re-harmonise a melody using the II-V-I sequence.