Skip to main content

Why and How to Learn Theory, with Matthew Scott Phillips and Jeremy Burns





Matthew and Jeremy from Music Student 101 stopped by The Musicality Podcast to talk about the big mindset shift you need to make learning music theory fun and successful.
http://musicalitypodcast.com/34

Today on the Musicality Podcast, we have two guests joining us on the show: Matthew Scott Phillips and Jeremy Burns, who together host the Music Student 101 podcast, a terrific show that dives deep into music theory in a way that makes it easy to understand, as well as covering other topics like music careers, different instruments, and tips for bands.

Matthew and Jeremy are based in Birmingham, Alabama, and although they studied some of the same courses at university together, their musical lives have taken them in quite different directions. Matthew is the award-winning composer of over 70 instrumental and vocal works in a wide range of musical styles, and is now a professor of music at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Jeremy runs Area 47 Sound, where he has recorded sound for commercials, documentary, film, national news, and prime time television. He’s also a bassist, performing live with three bands.

We’re regular listeners of the Music Student 101 podcast and often recommend it to people who ask us how they can brush up on their music theory – so we were really delighted when they agreed to come on our podcast and share their own experiences and insights.

In this episode we talk about:
- How music theory and ear training have played a part in two quite different music careers – one into academia and composing, the other into performance and live sound recording
- The big mindset shift you need to make learning music theory fun and successful
- The core skill that underlies having a good ear, and bridges the gap between musical ear training and audio ear training
And we ask them the very blunt question: “Is there a point to doing a music degree?”

If you’ve ever questioned the usefulness of music theory or a music degree – or wondered if they’re things you’re missing out on, this conversation with Matthew and Jeremy is going to provide you with some real wisdom and insight.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top 10 Mistakes When Writing for Percussion

10. Indicating the wrong mallets for an instrument.
Brass mallets on vibes? Try a hammer on a violin!



9. Writing the glockenspiel part as heard.
You shouldn't have to climb a ladder of leger lines to read a glock part. Keep it in the staff.

8. When in doubt, adding more suspended cymbal.
This is a huge mistake made by arrangers. Yep, cymbals add automatic intensity to a piece, but so can a bass drum roll, a rousing hand drum part, exciting mallet licks, or a hundred other combinations. Well-written percussion parts stand out in the band and church repertoire.



7. Better means more complicated, right?
This is my main mistake. A percussion part can be simple enough for a middle school, but it is the ability to use the different tone colors of the percussion palette properly that indicates a maturity in writing, not that impossible part for the timpanist that has them playing timpani, gong, crash cymbals, and triangle in the span of two beats.

6. Never trust Band-in-a-Box to write the timpan…

Music Industry Insider: 50 Ways to Make Money as a Musician

50 Ways to Make Money as a MusicianWant to have a musical career but not sure how to make money as a musician in today's market? Well, first you need to redefine your goals as a musician and realize that like any job, being a musician involves a lot of work, perseverance, and talent. And in today's Digital Age, you need to be able to combine your skills to help you make a living as a musician. You will probably need to select at least a dozen forms of income and micro-incomes in order to make a full time living as a musician or choose a primary steady gig and add on other projects (what most musicians have done for centuries). 

Each method of making money has a $, $$, $$$ or S for work that will make you a little pocket money ($), possibly significant money - hundreds to thousands ($$), at least part time or possible full time work ($$$), or is steady work (S). Notice that none of these options involve making millions of dollars so you can drive around in a diamond-crusted limo…

Experimental Film - World Order #2 - Sabrina Pena Young

Experimental indie film World Order #2 originally created for the Turkey Cinema for Peace. A mix of images with the cinematic soundtrack of Sabrina Pena Young. (2003). The short film was filmed in an afternoon at my parent's home, with most special effects in-camera (ex. the "world' is really scrambled eggs with blue food coloring). Shot through glass decorative bulbs from my parent's patio. Student work.

Screening History

DVD Compilation Release of Cinema for Peace 2003 Istanbul, Turkey, 2006

Cinema for Peace (Turkey), 2003

IEEE and Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) conference, 2003


Related articlesNEW DIRECTORS CUT Animated Science Fiction Dystopian Opera LIBERTARIA - Director's Cut - S...NEW BIZARRO ELECTRONICA ALBUM: Renegade PC: The Lost Archives of Sabrina Pena YoungTurner's FilmStruck will stream art house moviesStudio71 Signs German Digital Superstar Flula BorgDenver Film Society and Denver Arts & Venues Announce 2016 Film on the Rocks ScheduleD…