All posts in online classes

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!

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.

2020 has been a difficult year for many, so now is the perfect time to think of a thoughtful gift for the musicians in your life. As we move into the season of gifts and giving, start planning ahead. November also hosts the ever popular “Black Friday” on the 27th of the month, and it is a perfect opportunity to grab some great online offers for your family and friends. Or why not think of supporting some small local businesses with unusual gifts like a music class, hand made local guitar or artwork. Also remember there are plenty of places where you can buy sustainable gifts, like second hand instruments or equipment. Just make sure check the reviews or test the instrument. Without further ado, here are 20 ideas for fun festive season gifts…

Don’t forget to check out your local music stores, or second hand shops. Online, places like Gumtree or Facebook Market place often have listings for second hand instruments. Support your local teachers too. Many have valuable skills to share, and don’t forget that the internet allows you to have lessons in particular styles with specialised teachers from all over the world.