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As promised we will be hosting our second online concert this year! 2020 has been one for the record books and we invite you back again to enjoy a repeat of our successful first ever online concert!

On the 19th of December we will be streaming a collection of work from many of our students live. Students from both our Barcelona and South Africa music schools will be coming together with our online students to perform in an extended music festival. The show will begin at 16.00h CET and is expected to go on for 3 or 4 hours! So sit back, relax, and tune in to an evening filled with music!

Music was born to be shared; to touch the hearts of the people who play and enjoy it. When we listen to a piece of music, we probably don’t think about how important the collaborative effort made by each different musician is, but focus on the how the music comes together. Playing in a group, and creating music together, is another very enjoyable form of social interaction.

The combination of several musicians or instrumentalists, who form a musical group is commonly referred to as a “combo, ensemble or musical ensemble or band”. Regardless of the style played, any combo could include vocals, drums, guitar, and bass. Often other instruments come into the mix too, and often certain instrument combos are used to play certain musical styles.

At Shine, the members of a band learn to create a relaxed musical environment with each other in which everyone contributes something. The main objective of a combo, we would say then, is to learn to play in a group, recognising the other instruments that are played in addition to your own, and always having fun. It is very important to know the role of each member of the group. Over time the musicians will create and consolidate a repertoire of themes in various musical styles.

Whether you are beginning to understand the instrument you are studying or if you have a little more musical experience, participating in a combo will always help enhance your skills, apply the acquired knowledge such as technique, reading music, musical memory and improvisation, and learn to work in a team.

Shine School of Music has vast experience in teaching various musical instruments to people of all ages and musical levels. The group classes, and especially the Combos, are coordinated by our teacher David Marroquín, who throughout his musical career has collaborated in various international orchestras. Today he offers us an exclusive interview about his musical origins and tells us about the peculiarities of studying in a combo.

David studied classical bass in Mexico, and later completed his specialisation in Jazz at the Conservatorio del Liceo de Barcelona. If you want to know more details about one of our most talented teachers, keep reading below:

What was the first thing that got you interested in music?

At home when I was little, together with my brothers and cousins ​​at family gatherings on Sundays we played “shows”. We would take rackets or baseball bats like guitars and put together a drum set with boxes and stuffed animals. The children “played” and the cousins ​​danced to the rhythm of the hits of the time.

Who inspired you to make music? Any famous musician you admire?

My parents. My mother played the piano. And my father played guitar and sang. When I was about 7 years old together with my older brother we were part of the children’s choir of the church. A few years later I showed interest in drums and my parents were able to sign me up for classes. At the age of 13 I discovered bass and… “I saw the light” hehe.

Musicians I admire… J.S. Bach among the classics.

If we’re talking about bassists… James Jamerson, the bassist for Motown Records.

Where does your passion for bass come from? And with whom did you study this instrument?

At school together with some friends we formed a band of which I was the drummer. We had no bass player. There was another friend who also played drums and I thought I could switch to bass “for the good of the band.” At first I didn’t like it at all, it seemed like a “simple and boring” instrument. But before long I fell in love with the instrument.

I studied electric bass with Carlos González, Azael Escobedo, Alejandro Reynoso, and Hernán González. Great musicians from my hometown (Monterrey, Mexico). And classic double bass with Boyko Nonov.

In Barcelona I studied with Jordi Ruiz and master classes with Garry Willis.

What is the musical style that you enjoy the most?

For Listening … various styles.
For Playing … what I enjoy the most is funk, soul, contemporary gospel, and Latin jazz.

What do you think is the great advantage of creating group music?

Well, it’s usually more fun. It’s a different form of social interaction. New friendships can be created. It’s motivating.

Where can we enjoy good presentations of small bands or jazz combos in Barcelona (and in Spain)?

Places like the Jamboree, Milano Jazz Club, Big Bang, Robardors, Marula Café, Soda Bar, Sinestesia, Harlem.

How would you define the Combos courses that are created at the Shine School of Music?

For most of the students who join the combo it is the first time that they play in a group and it is normal for them to feel insecure. First, the student has to be relaxed, without pressure, without fear of making mistakes. You try to create this atmosphere. Choose music that is to everyone’s taste, and not too complicated. This will depend on the level of the members of course. The goal in the end is to have fun. In English the word “play” is used to describe both playing a game and playing an instrument. When I play an instrument, I like to think that I am really going to play and have fun.

How important is learning to play in a group for anyone who plays an instrument?

Playing in a group reinforces learning. It is motivating. It helps build your confidence as well as confidence as a group. It is where you can “get out” what you have been practicing and trying to internalise alone, and then free yourself and enjoy playing. Try new things. Learn to listen and respect the other members of the group.

What positive experiences does the Combo class generate, taking into account that the students have not been playing together for a long time?

Teamwork and sense of accomplishment. A song is chosen. Students generally go to their instrument class (if that is the case) and teachers help them learn their part. Then for the next kind of combo, the song or piece begins to be assembled. The support and help of the instrument teachers make the ensemble easier.

Any advice or tips for those who want to enter the world of music, and be part of a Combo?

To be part of a combo, to play and have fun, it is first necessary to invest time in learning an instrument to the level that allows you to start playing with more people. Have a little patience and avoid frustrations. Enjoy the learning process. When you play with your first band you will see that it has been worth it.

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Here more information about David Marroquín and the music courses he gives at Shine, visit his profile page.

Go ahead and sign up for your favorite instrument classes or a group class here:

Our Music School Director and guitar teacher, Milos Sajin has been featured on the new website Pronto Pro. Check out the website here, and his interview.

Pronto Pro is a portal for finding professionals in Spain. If you require a teacher, service or even a technician, you can browse their listings, check reviews and find the right person for the job you require. If you are a professional you can also sign up to have a profile on the website, and offer your services. It’s a resource for finding what you need in your local area, and can be very useful in an emergency, especially if you are looking for a plumber, or handyman.

The website features professionals in many areas from photographers to nutritionists and by filling in a few prompts, you can find what you are looking for. If you live in Barcelona or anywhere else in Spain, check it out.

https://www.prontopro.es/

As the festive season approaches, lights are lit across the world, and December revolves around many different celebrations that span various cultures. From Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa to New Year celebrations in Japan called Omisoka. Different cultures celebrate these holidays with various traditions, in America Santa Claus comes slipping down the chimney to deliver gifts, while in Iceland, there is not only one Father Christmas but thirteen, named the Yule Lads, each one is celebrated over thirteen nights. Here in Barcelona, Catalans celebrate the coming of the Tres Reis (three kings), and on the 24th of December, Christmas eve, a traditional meal known as escudella de galets is served as a starter. It is a soup containing big, snail-shaped pasta shells, and made from a special meat broth. The meat is removed from the broth and served separately as the main course. The family will take the opportunity to present one another with small gifts, usually giving the children instruments which they use to serenade their relatives with Christmas carols.

Music plays an important role during December and the winter season, and Christmas Carols can be heard in winter markets and shopping centers across the world. Much of the music played has pagan roots, or were originally songs sung in pubs or popular folksongs. This resulted in many odd or hilarious lyrics which have slowly changed over the years.

“Hark the herald angles sing”, used to to be “Hark how all the welkin rings” and was created to fit Mendelssohn’s “Gutenberg’s Cantata” which was actually written to celebrate the printing press and had nothing at all to do with Christmas.

Here is the original, can you catch the similarities?

Carols were first sung in Europe hundreds of years ago, but these were not Christmas Carols we are familiar with today. They were originally sung to celebrate the Winter Solstice as people danced round stone circles. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, taking place around 22nd December. The word Carol actually means dance or a song of praise and joy! Carols used to be written and sung during all four seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived. (source)

As we move through history, the practice of singing in praise or joy continued but evolved, songs became more associated with religious celebrations, and minstrels would take the songs from place to place, singing them for various people, retelling the nativity story in song. Singing Carols outside peoples doors around Christmas time slowly appeared and the idea of the Carol Service at church on Christmas eve was popularised when many would gather by candlelight to sing hymns together.

A traditional Catalan song for the coming of the kings, light your lantern and sing along!
El Burrito Sabanero was written by  Hugo Blanco for the 1972 Christmas season in Venezuela.
The English song tells the story of the Three Kings.
Kelly Clarkson sings the classic Silent Night

It is interesting how music is so evocative of certain times of the year, and Christmas time is perhaps the one that stands out for most people. Everyone has their favourite christmas song, and many famous musicians have released Christmas Albums where they sing theirs. If you enjoy Christmas Carols, you can find a list of the 30 top Traditional Christmas Carols here.

Our favourite music for the winter Christmas season however, has got to be Oscar Peterson’s Jazz Album An Oscar Peterson Christmas. This is perfect for any winter evening, and will certainly get you in that festive spirit.

Shine Music School online will now be featuring a schedule of Masterclasses. If you are a musician who would like to perfect a certain technique or learn a new style in a focused and information rich session, our ninety minute classes are packed with useful pro tips as well as instruction and demonstrations.

Each class is live with the teacher, so students can interact by asking questions or with comments and queries. These unique workshops have limited capacity and are not pre-recorded. As a student you will be getting really practical tools that you can apply to your musical studies. Our classes are educational and entertaining. Our teachers are top-notch musicians, with professional experience in the industry as well as a love for music, the master classes will profile their favourite musical styles and no doubt you will catch their enthusiasm!

Keep an eye on our schedule and sign up for your favourite class. If you are curious and want to be kept up to date on when new classes are going live, you can sign up for a notification via email.