Shine Music School has a host of impressive and talented teachers. Many of whom are working on new music. Our teachers are often recording albums or performing, and continue to practice and learn everyday. They bring these talents and expertise into the classroom and each of their students can benefit from their knowledge.
Check out some of their new work!
Gian Carlo Scevola is one of our brilliant guitar teachers. He has been teaching with Shine since its humble beginnings in Barcelona, almost 10 years ago! Visit his profile to learn more about him, or sign up for lessons with Gian Carlo. Gian Carlo recently made it to the final of the International Music Competition of Cambra d ‘ Andorra, Amics Cambra Romànica with the Trío Desconcierto. Here is some of his new music with his Scevola Ensemble:
A new album by the accomplished César Munera titled Wood Mirror is out now. Cesar teaches guitar, specialising in fingerstyle guitar, classical guitar and flamenco guitar at Shine. Follow him on Instagram and enjoy frequent videos of his playing or contact us for a lesson. You can purchase his album on amazon or listen on Spotify.
Sebastian Pan, another of our superb guitar teaches plays in collaboration with Antonio Monasterio Ensemble in the video below. Sebastian frequently shares great videos performing on his really cool travel sized electric guitar on his Instagram. He teaches electric guitar at Shine. Contact us if you would like to do some lessons with Sebastian.
Katarina Ruvidic is a piano teacher with more than six years of experience, teaching all ages and levels, from beginners to advanced students. In her classes she presents various musical styles to keep even the smallest music students interested. Katarina provides the foundation for learning with individualised lesson plans. In addition, Katarina is a music therapist with two years of experience in developing music therapy knowledge with diverse patients.
What was the first thing that got you interested in music?
Since I can remember, I always listened to music at home. I loved to sing and dance while I was discovering different musical styles that my parents introduced me too.
Who inspired you to make music?
In kindergarten, we had music classes, and I was always impressed with the teacher when she was playing the piano. When I got home, I used to “play” the radiator, while imagining that it was a piano, singing, and giving music lessons to my parents. Then when I was six years old I would dance while listening to my cousin play the piano, imagining that the movements I was creating an energy that was connecting with the music.
Where and how did you win your biggest prize?
My biggest prize was the laureate (overall winner) In the “Nikolai Rubinstein” contest in Paris, also in the international pianist contest “Davorin Jenko” in Serbia. But my favorite is from 2009, when I won a special award for the best sonata performance by F.J. Haydn at the “International Pianist Competition” in Serbia, where I was also the overall winner of the contest.
How would you describe your lessons?
I always adapt the musical classes and styles with respect to the person I am with working with. Carl Maria von Weber said “Music is the true universal language”, so it is a powerful tool that allows us to transmit and exchange energy, emotions, moods. It opens a new door for us, a new space where we are creating an atmosphere that allows us to feel free and in contact with the inner world of oneself.
Of your concerts, which one have you enjoyed the most and why?
The truth is that I always enjoy the moments when I give the concert, and each one is special for me. But I remember that in one of my first concerts that I gave at the Academy Serbia de Ciencias e Arte, I felt very happy before giving the concert, because it was the first time all my family and friends were able to come.
What famous musicians do you admire?
It is a difficult question, because I admire each one. It’s not easy being a musician, it never has been. Musicians always had difficult times, their art was often not accepted. Dating back to the Mozart era, or in the Stravinsky era when he performed his ballet and concert orchestral “The Ritual of Spring”. People find it hard to accept new, innovative things, which makes sense too, because when we’re used to certain types, everything that’s new challenges our limits, we need time to get out of the bubble and digest it. So I admire each musician and his music, because being a musician is a creative risk, equally a vocation that should have no limits.
When did you find out that you wanted to be a music teacher?
When my sister turned two, I wanted to teach her to play the piano. From that moment, the desire was born, and I always thought that one day all the knowledge and the experience I have, all the tricks and wisdom received from the best masters, I want to share with my future students.
What advice do you have for piano lovers who are starting to study the instrument?
Everyone deserves to have the opportunity to learn to play any instrument, regardless of age and abilities. I always believe that when desire is what guides us, everything can be learned. The learning process is very nice, although sometimes it can be frustrating. You have to be persistent, believe and enjoy the process.
How do you think the internet has impacted on music teaching?
Lately I have been seeing the ads “How to learn to play piano in x days”. So I wonder, why did I go to school and learn to play the piano for 15 years, when could I do it in x days? Apart from this, I think the internet is offering us many good and significant things, especially now with the current situation, where the the internet makes it easier for us to continue giving classes online.
Do you think music can be good for people’s health?
“Music is the most direct art, it enters through the ear and goes to the heart.” Magdalena Martinez Music is one of the main engines of feelings and reactions, due to the brain activity that it creates in people. Music reduces stress, and gives a feeling of tranquility that allows you to acquire the necessary comfort to be able to carry out various activities. It is proven that music has a direct influence on emotions and people’s moods. Plus it boosts learning, increases concentration, and much more.
Can you explain Music Therapy a little?
If we are talking about music therapy, it is very important to distinguish it from music lessons, where you study an instrument. Music in this case, is used as a tool for therapy depending on the health diagnosis of the client or in specific areas for rehabilitation. The therapeutic objectives and methods are then organised according to the needs of the person receiving music therapy. Any activity with music becomes much more bearable and enjoyable.
Does music help improve the health and mood of people? Why?
Yes, music helps improve health and mood, this is scientifically proven. First, music releases dopamine, which stimulates the subcortical brain circuit in charge of generating responses on an emotional level. One more benefit is that music reduces stress, because it produces a series of chemicals in the brain that help achieve total relaxation and relieve tension, thus promoting calmer breathing and a feeling of well-being. When one is listening to some song that moves you, instantly you begin to sing, dance, laugh, and likewise, your mood (and motivation) are lifted in a very simple and natural way.
The study of music is well known to have multiple benefits for the individual, not only in the realm of learning an instrument. For individuals with physical or mental disabilities or those looking to deal with stress, anxiety or improve their motor skills, music therapy can offer considerable advantages.
Science has long proven the value of both playing and listening to music. Playing an instrument improves concentration, develops the brain and helps with a slew of other important social skills. Studying music can improve cognition and enhance learning and memory. The part of the brain that deals with language and reason also deals with music, activating this part of the brain by playing an instrument helps to develop these skills.
Humans have long had a relationship with music, and studies have shown the importance of introducing music to young children. It stands to reason then that music and music therapy sessions can aid a wide range of ailments.
“Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation, providing emotional support for individuals and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.”
(American Music Therapy Association, 2020.)
Music is a powerful tool. In Music Therapy, music can be used as a way to build connections, both socially and cognitively. Music Therapists are able to guide their clients in their musical exploration, encouraging them, as well as identifying techniques that can help them improve or work on specific areas. Through sound and play, they are exposed to a variety of challenges which equip them for the future. Music Therapy can give an individual important tools with which to navigate their normal life.
Treatments include creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.
For example, singing can strengthen the immune system and research has shown that producing certain sounds can help specific aspects of your health. Singing improves your mood by releasing endorphins. Studies have demonstrated that singing can decrease cortisol levels, which are responsible for stress. Singers often experience increased relaxation. Singing, listening to music and playing musical instruments all combat anxiety & depression.
Singing also aids metabolism, boosts alertness and can be an excellent form of exercise, especially for those who are physically disabled or can no longer move as well, like the elderly. It helps to increase aerobic capacity and stamina and improves posture. Posture techniques used in both singing and playing an instrument help build strong muscles and a good posture relieves back and neck strain. Easing muscle tension is something that can significantly benefit people with physical handicaps, or motor skill issues.
Exposure to Music Therapy techniques not only develops imagination and intellectual curiosity but the rhythms of music also aid those with physical issues by helping them time their movements to the beat of the music. According to papers published on Neuroplasticity, “Playing a musical instrument demands the coordination of hand movements with integrated auditory, visual, and tactile feedback, in a process that recruits multiple brain regions. These multiple demands during instrument playing, together with the entertaining character of music, have led to the development and investigation of music-supported therapies, especially for rehabilitation with motor disorders.”
The same concept can be applied to speech and language development. Because verbal difficulties often tend to create communication barriers, leading to low self-esteem, any therapy that can help an individual with their vocal issues is important. Repetitive speech, such as the chorus of a song, can improve one’s ability to participate in a conversation. Singing together with the music, helps to develop control of the vocal muscles. Cognitively, music can be used as a tool to help recall conversation just as you would remember song lyrics. This can be vitally important for those suffering memory handicaps, like dementia or Alzheimers. Not only can listening to their favourite song greatly reduce stress and agitation, but also offers a way for them to connect emotionally with loved ones.
Music when used in therapeutic instances offers a vast array of benefits. Shine Music School in Barcelona is now offering Music Therapy sessions. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.
Cuba the largest island nestled in the Caribbean sea, guards a fascinating history. From Spanish Colonisation in the 15th Century, to American occupation and then independence. It got caught in the middle of the cold war under communist Fidel Castro, and is responsible for a string of humanitarian accomplishments. Geographically at a crossroads, many people have found their way to Cuba, and the island has certainly carved a name for itself in history. Its uniqueness is often expressed through music and dance.
With influences spanning from West Africa to Europe, notably, of course, Spain, Cuban music genres are often considered one of the richest and most influential regional musics of the world.
Music often tells a tale, and Cuba reflects it’s people’s histories and cultures. Home to people of different ethnic, religious and national backgrounds, Cubans generally do not equate their ethnicity with nationality but with citizenship and their allegiance to Cuba. This melting pot of a nation has resulted in a fantastic amalgamation of musical styles and composition.
“For instance, the son cubano merges an adapted Spanish guitar (tres), melody, harmony, and lyrical traditions with Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms.”
Since the 19th century Cuban music has been hugely popular and influential throughout the world. Since the introduction of recording technology, Cuban music has contributed to the development of a wide variety of genres and musical styles around the globe, most notably in Latin America, the Caribbean, West Africa and Europe. Examples include rhumba, Afro-Cuban jazz, salsa, soukous, many West African re-adaptations of Afro-Cuban music (Orchestra Baobab, Africando), Spanish fusion genres (notably with flamenco), and a wide variety of genres in Latin America.
Let’s check some of them out
PEASANT MUSIC (MÚSICA CAMPESINA) perhaps some of the oldest popular musical styles from Cuba include punto guajiro, zapateo, criolla.
A variety of musical styles in Cuba can be grouped for their AFRICAN HERITAGE. Clave, Cuban carnival, Tumba Francesca all call on their African heritage, often combining religious rituals with songs and dance.
Tumba francesa combines musical traditions of West African, Bantu, French and Spanish origin. Cuban ethnomusicologists agree that the word “tumba” derives from the Bantu and Mandinka words for drum. In Cuba, the word tumba is used to denote the drums, the ensembles and the performance itself in tumba francesa.
Tumbas francesas are directed by a mistress of ceremonies called the mayora de plaza. Performances generally begin with improvised solo singing in a mixture of Spanish and French patois termed kreyol cubano or patuá cubano by the lead vocalist. Following this, the catá (a wooden cylindrical idiophone struck with two sticks) is played, and the lead singer alternates call and response singing with a group of female vocalists (tumberas).After the catá establishes the beat, the three tumbas are played. source
Originating in Europe, CONTRADANZA, where it was known as the “country dance” in the late 18th Century was adapted in Cuba. Mixing African musical styles with European, “this creolization is an early example of the influence of the African traditions in the Caribbean. Most of the musicians were black or mulatto (even early in the 19th century there were many freed slaves and mixed race persons living in Cuban towns)” source
The HABANERA developed out of contradanza in the early 19th century. Setting it apart is the fact that it was sung, as well as played and danced. Written in 2/4 meter, the Habanera is characterized by an expressive and languid melodious development and its characteristic rhythm called “Habanera Rhythm.” Versions of habanera-type compositions have appeared in the music of Ravel, Bizet, Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Fauré, Albeniz. The rhythm is similar to that of the tango, and some believe the habanera is the musical father of the tango.
The GUARACHA uses rapid tempo and comic or picaresque lyrics, and was most often sung in brothels. The genre became an integral part of bufo comic theatre in the mid-19th century.The guaracha survives today in the repertoires of some trova musicians, conjuntos and Cuban-style big bands.
RUMBA is a secular genre of Cuban music involving dance, percussion, and song. It originated in the northern regions of Cuba, mainly in urban Havana and Matanzas, during the late 19th century. It is based on African music and dance traditions, namely Abakuá and yuka, as well as the Spanish-based coros de clave. source
The origin of the Cuban SON can be traced to the rural rumbas. It gained worldwide popularity during the 1930s. Son combines the structure and traits of the Spanish canción(song) with Afro-Cuban stylistic and percussion elements as does much of the music from Cuba. However, the Cuban Son is one of the most influential and widespread forms of Latin American music today: its derivatives and fusions, especially salsa, have spread across the world. source Its most characteristic instruments are the Cuban instrument known as the tres, and the well-known double-headed bongó. Also typical are the claves, the Spanish guitar, the double bass (replacing the early botija or marímbula), early on the cornet or trumpet and finally the piano. This fusion of instruments is typical of the musical genre.
After the Spanish-American war, a variety of musical genres emerged as musicians from Cuba traveled to America and back. AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ, MAMBO, CHA CHA CHÁ all became popular.
Cuban music hit the US after World War II, Mario Bauza and the Machito orchestra on the Cuban side and Dizzy Gillespie on the American side were prime motivators. Chano Pozo, a Cuban jazz percussionist, was also important, for he introduced jazz musicians like Dizzy to basic Cuban rhythms. The mambo first entered the United States around 1950, taking it by storm, however it had been developing in Cuba and Mexico City for some time. Cuban jazz has continued to be a significant influence.
Cuban music has continued to diversify through the 1950s, the revolutionary 60s and 70s, and Cubans have been singing and dancing to a variety of genres such as FILIN and NUEVA TROVA. Cuban influenced Salsa music emerged in New York and recently the TIMBA, which differs from their salsa counterparts, in that timba emphasises the bass drum, which is not used in salsa bands. Lately CUBATÓN which evolved from dancehall and has been influenced by American hip hop, Latin American, and Caribbean music has taken precedence with the younger generation. Vocals include rapping and singing, typically in Spanish.
2020 has been an unprecedented year, and probably not for reasons we had expected. Human beings are masters of adaptation however, and 2020’s pandemic has produced quite a few interesting responses. The virtual world has taken off, from gaming, to meetings, online schools and more! Last but not least are virtual concerts! As the northern hemisphere heads into winter, and covid numbers slowly start to increase again, and we navigate our new normal, why not take a break, take off the pressure, stay at home, or invite your bubble buddies over and enjoy a virtual concert.
Virtual live streams from your favourite musicians and bands are currently becoming the “new normal” and it’s kinda fantastic! How amazing to join other fans online for an intimate concert with your favourite band from ANYWHERE in the world! You no longer have to wait for the band or artist to visit your city! You can experience something unique from where ever you are! OK, we know it’s not exactly the same, but it’s still a really cool way to support the musicians, and also to be part of something really interesting! Musicians are also releasing plenty of never before seen footage and recorded concerts. So get your computer out! Enjoy some great music!
The Royal Albert Hall streamed plenty of fantastic concerts like the one below from Gary Crosby and Tomorrow’s Warrior’s CHARLIE PARKER CENTENARY CELEBRATION. Gary Crosby is a British jazz double bassist, composer, music arranger, and educator. He was a founder member of the celebrated group the Jazz Warriors in the 1980s and has worked with many top international artists. You can watch a whole host of other concerts that they live streamed, and sign up to their newsletter to be notified when they release new ones.
The Boiler Room, famous for live streaming their DJ sets from clubs across the world, have a Streaming from Isolation broadcast on their website, where they have been hosting live streams from DJs at home. You can view the archive on their website and request special limited edition invitations to their upcoming live events. An accepted invite allows you to join a private zoom call to view the artists live stream. Here is an example of their videos of Dixon, a Berlin-based artist, best known as a house and technoDJ and producer, as well founder of record label Innervisions.
Carnegie Hall presents a series of live concerts. You can watch shows with musicians such as Joshua David Bell, an American violinist and conductor. Bell reunites with his frequent trio partners—pianist Jeremy Denk and cellist Steven Isserlis—for an afternoon of music and conversation. Watch the broadcast here.
The Shine School of Music offers music training with qualified and experienced teachers. The school provides quality music education for students of all ages and all levels. Now, students all over the world are learning music with the Shine School of Music. Participate in guitar classes, piano classes, bass classes, ukulele classes, and more through our Online Classes.
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