Monthly Archives: January 2014

Children and Musical Practice

When children practise music, they usually play straight through a piece without stopping to correct mistakes. Correction attempts, if any, are usually superficial and ineffectual. As children become metacognitive, they learn to identify errors and engage in the deliberate practice

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Posted in Music Education

How was it that Mozart was so brilliant so young?

Perhaps the most exceptional child prodigy in any domain ever, was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Most people – including music educators – assume that the reason for Mozart’s musicality was mostly to do with genetics. They say ‘he was born musical’.

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Was John Coltrane the Greatest Practiser Ever?

Like Charlie Parker, Coltrane was a ‘mega’ practiser. John Coltrane took up the alto horn in 1939 and become known as one of—if not the most—prolific practisers ever. Coltrane had an insatiable appetite for musical development, and some stories have

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How Did Charlie Parker Attribute His Musical Success?

When Paul Desmond interviewed alto saxophonist Charlie Parker in 1954, he asked him how he acquired his “fantastic technique.” Parker responded, “I cannot see that there’s anything fantastic about my progress at all, Paul. I put quite a bit of

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The Pathway To Musical Expertise

 “Genius! For thirty-seven years I have practised fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius.” – Pablo de Sarasate How long does it take to become an expert? Daniel Levitin says “The emerging picture is that ten thousand

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What is Your Musical Potential?

I love this quote from Beethoven: “Prince, what you are you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been thousands of princes and will be thousands more, but there is only

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Posted in Music Education, Pianists

Welcome to my blog!

Hi, and welcome to my blog. This is my first post. My name is Michael Griffin and amongst other things I’m a music educator. Through this blog, I hope to engage with other music learners and teachers and share ideas

Posted in Music Education