Connecting with New York’s Brooklyn Music Factory

We had the pleasure of connecting with some friends of ours in New York, so let’s show you what it’s like to attend music lessons at the Big Apple’s Brooklyn Music Factory (BMF).
The BMF is run by passionate jazz piano teacher Nate Shaw:
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We asked him what his opinion to music success: ‘ The key to music success is to have fun, make the learning fun, keep attending lessons and 12 years later you will be able to enjoy music so much, you’ll want to play it everyday !’
The music lessons are held in a warehouse style building in the Brooklyn suburb of Park Slope, so there’s a mini-stage in the main waiting area for some mini concerts. Nate loves to hold mini concerts for the students and also hosts pizza parties for anybody keen on having their birthday party at the music school.
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The BMF specialises in piano, vocals, drums, songwriting and guitar. Drum kits are both the acoustic and the electronic setup. Students receive weekly homework and are expected to practice four days a week!
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The BMF is also a major fan of iMac computers! Great for printing out music and working on song writing.
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And there you have it everybody, an Australian first tour of a New York music school. It’s great to know that music is enjoyed all over the world, so keep practicing everybody!

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Returning to Shine

Before  I started to type out today’s post, I thought it would be nice to check out some of the latest entries to get some “inspiration” on what to write about. To my surprise this blog hasn’t been updated since last December! For those that I have had to the pleasure to meet last year, you may still remember me as the girl at the front desk on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, or “the girl who is replacing Jane while she enjoys her amazing European holiday”!. I haven’t actually been back this year, so stepping foot into Shine this afternoon, brought back so many lovely memories. I’m not sure how many of you I’ve told, but apart from working at Shine, I also split my time studying at uni and working at my ‘other’ retail job (some of you may have spotted me there whilst on your shopping spree’s!). Yes, it may be simple to bring out shoes for customers to try on, ask them what size jumper they’re looking for, what colour bag their daughter likes, or is it their ‘cheque, savings or credit’ account that they would like to use to put their payment through, but the warmth and enthusiasm shared by the people at Shine is incomparable to that at any of my retail shifts. So despite the longer hours I spend here, time seems to literally fly when you’re engaged in processing information and details on the computer, making phone calls and most importantly, having conversations with students to see how they’re going at school, what year they’re in now and what they have planned for the weekend; parents to see how work and life are treating them; and even the teachers/staff to see which students are improving impressively and how life outside of Shine is. So hopefully the chance to meet all of you lies in the near future!

Serena

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Counting down! + Christmas tunes

Hi everyone😀

So we’re already in the month of December. 2012 has flown by, and now we’re counting down till the end of the year. Anyone have any exciting plans?

I personally shall be off on a holiday to Thailand! I’ve never been before so I’m very excited.
Our woodwind teacher Wayne always goes on and on about Thailand, so it’ll be nice to see how much it lives up to its fame!

As we see Christmas looming near, thanks to all those Christmas decorations and trees up in shopping centres, I’ve decided to introduce you to some of my favourite Christmas tunes. Listening to Christmas music always puts me in a cheery mood🙂

The Christmas Song

I’m not exactly sure who the original singer is, there have been many artists that have covered the song.
It paints a really nice picture of Christmas, not really an Australian one unfortunately, but it’s got a nice, soothing Christmas feel. It’s also not like your normal annoying carol so that’s a bonus.

My Grown Up Christmas List

This song has very inspirational and uplifting lyrics that really give hope. Not your usual lyrics about Santa, turkeys and gifts.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

This is my all time favourite Christmas song/carol. It just catches the essence of Christmas for me about having loved ones close and being able to  share a merry little Christmas with them.

I hope you enjoyed the songs!
Happy counting down to Christmas🙂

 

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Shine Charity Concert 2012

Every December marks the special occasion of our annual Shine Charity Concert in which all students and teachers have prepared for months. This year, a bit of a change occurred and our Concert was held in November instead. This meant out went the hot, sticky weather and in came the cool Spring breeze. Apart from the wonderful weather that was on our side, the day went very smoothly as well. All students performed outstanding pieces, many their first-time experiences. And most importantly our raffle tickets sold well many thanks to our generous parents, teachers, staff and of course students. A very memorable moment would be when a young student came up to me (I was in charge of raffle tickets on the day) and asked to purchase a raffle. After enquiring for the cost, he handed a zip-lock bag with a lot of spare change in it to me. I assumed this was his pocket-money that he saved up to generously donate for such a good cause. The raffle prizes were superb consisting of Cronulla Sharks backpacks (I won one of those too!), signed football posters, art and craft kits and several gift and dinner vouchers. All in all, it was fantastic day enjoyed by families, friends, students and staff. 

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I was preparing an (overdue) envelope to send during my shift and I wasn’t sure whether there was a rule to suggest you had to stick a stamp underneath one another. So I thought it was best to confirm with a parent that was waiting. She kindly replied that it shouldn’t be too much of a problem which ever way it went. That moment triggered me to realize that it had been such a long time since I’ve sent a letter! So this led into a conversation to how the days of sending cards and letters were long gone. Many people may disagree but I feel emails and text messages are actually not one of the best advances of technology. I’m not sure if everyone reading has actually received a letter or card in the past but let me tell you, the anticipation of finding an envelope addressed to you in the mail box and tearing it open is a feeling that merely clicking/tapping open an email or text message cannot replace. So I suggest everyone should whip out that pen and paper and start writing something to your dear ones, especially with Christmas just around the corner, I’m sure it’ll be a great surprise!

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by | October 20, 2012 · 5:42 pm

Mistakes to avoid when learning music!

A guide for parents to produce great music results

Music is lots of fun to pursue but the most important formula to good improvement and excellent results is lots of practice.  Here’s how to maximise the practice time from your child.

  1. Do pick a time of the day after school that is practice time so that they develop a good routine just like brushing their team. Eg.5:30pm every day is practice time.
  2. Do not allow your child to ‘choose’ when to practice or practice after they play ipad.
  3. Do aim for at least 10 minutes of focused practice a day.
  4. Do not allow your child any day’s off practicing! Not even one! If they are sick they can make up for it.  That goes for school holidays as well!
  5. Do refer to the teacher’s notes on what to practice, do all the homework, both new pieces and old pieces.
  6. Do not have any distractions like TV, ipad, iphone, computer, toys, other children nearby.
  7. Do go to the toilet, have a small snack and a glass of water before practicing, not between practicing.
  8. Do not be a ‘nice’ parent.  Be a good parent!
  9. Do call 96879978 or email practice@shinemusic.com.au for help.
  10. Do not ever give up, just keep at it and improvement will come!

Good practice is the key to musical success!  Have fun!

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Success in the music industry = good looks?

My mum is an avid watcher of X-Factor Australia which is why I have also ended up following it.

One new thing they seemed to have introduced this year were ‘boy bands’, trying to make Australia’s own One Direction. However, in the process of doing so it seems that LOOKS play a big part for choosing and eliminating contestants. Sure there are some pretty amazing singers but some people I feel only progressed on the show thanks to their physical self; the ‘star package’ as they would say.

   

Strangely enough it seems that talent or passion alone is not enough to make it in the music industry – you need to be a ‘sellable’ product. Looks, charm, anything that will get screaming young girls to buy things with the singer’s faces printed on it. I’m not trying to bash on certain artists, but more of a sad reflection that music alone is not enough in the music industry.

Nevertheless, luckily the good talent always does seep in!🙂

What are your thoughts on success in the industry?

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