I started doing these critiques to solve the practical problems of grading my classes in a meaningful way, and of keeping my early morning sections from staring silently at me with blank expressions. But I’ve noticed that the students take suggestions from the critiques seriously, in a way that they don’t always take the rest of the class. Some kids might blow off assignments and fail to retain technical information from one week to the next, but then they’ll reference a comment about how they should have longer sections in their tracks, months after hearing it.
Considering booking your own tour? This collection of articles will help provide you with the advice and resources you need to start booking better shows, get great audience turn out, and help you use your gigs to sell merch and music and build your fanbase. For more help, check out Soundfly’s free course, Touring on a Shoestring.
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Ethan Hein is a Doctoral Fellow in Music Education at New York University. He teaches music technology, production and education at NYU and Montclair State University. With the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, Ethan has taken a leadership role in the creation of new technologies for learning and expression, most notably the Groove Pizza. He is the instructor of the free Soundfly course series called Theory for Producers. He maintains a widely-followed and influential blog, and has written for various publications, including Slate, Quartz, and NewMusicBox.
I’m not surprised that creative feedback makes a difference; it’s the kind of feedback I wished I got from my own music teachers, not to mention my peers.
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Most commonly seen in classical music, the “Verse-Refrain” is one of the simplest song structures. It consists of verses followed by a short refrain that sums the song’s message up quickly and easily (functioning somewhat like a chorus). The Beatles wrote many successful verse refrain songs throughout their career. Though the verse-refrain has almost completely disappeared from modern music, it is still an effective tool for certain songs. And as it is important to always keep in mind, history has a tendency to repeat itself!
When I first discovered there was such a thing as “Music For Dogs,” I was kind of shocked I hadn’t come across it sooner. I mean, there is now music and playlists to accompany everything, so of course there’d be one for our favorite four-legged fur-balls (sorry cat lovers). Well, Mr. Puppy was in for a treat because over the next week I’d go on to try an array of made-for-dogs style playlists.
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