We invite you to join us, where we enjoy playing the ukulele together, in a small gathering that will be lots of fun, and good music! It’s always a great idea to play the uke! So grab you uke and come and join in on the good times in Shine’s first ukulele event in Barcelona.
Saturday, 27 de mayo The Music Room (c/ Perla, nº 22) from 19.30h
Download our PDF of 10 songs to practice beforehand, or just as a resource for fun! You can play the ukulele anywhere! It´s easy and portable!
João Silva, an accomplished musician, shares his notable knowledge and experience with students of The Shine School of Music, where he teaches the violin. On Saturday the 22nd of April he will be presenting his new work on the violin in a small concert held at The Music Room for a limited audience.
We invite all Students and friends of Shine Music School to come and join us for a drink and the concert, but hurry, we only have 30 places! 🙂 You can purchase a ticket at Shine Music School in Gracia or at The Music Room. Contact us to find out more!
We look forward to seeing you there!
c/ La Perla 22
22 April 2017
Born in Ponte de Lima, Portugal (1991), and growing up in an amateur musicians family he started having contact with music when he was very young. At the age of 12 he began studying classical violin at the Professional Music School of Viana do Castelo, Portugal, where he completed his degree in classical violin. At the age of 19 he began studying violin at the Hot Jazz Club of Portugal and two years later studied in ESMUC, Barcelona. In Barcelona, he now leads and takes part in different bands such as, “João Silva & Mariano Camarasa” (Jazz), Basarab (Balkan) and DuCaña (Traditional Music of Brazil). All of them featured in several festivals and different countries such as Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Ukraine and Switzerland.
We sat down one afternoon with one of our Barcelona music teachers, Leandro Avalle, to get acquainted with his instrument of choice- the piano. Both performing and giving private piano lessons in Barcelona for a number of years, the accomplished Avalle was the perfect choice to introduce us to one of the most popular musical instruments for study today.
Relaxing in Estudio Shine amid a mish- mash of guitars, keyboards, the odd accordion and stacks of music notes Leandro told us how he began his piano career. Cutting his teeth on piano keys from an early age, Leandro watched his sisters learn the instrument. He insisted that he receive piano lessons too and was playing at age seven and performing in competitions by age 9. He dabbled in other instruments as well, like the guitar and chello but, “They were not the piano, so…” he ultimately returned to his first love and hasn’t looked back since.
Leandro believes that students should begin to study piano at a young age. Indeed one of his students at the Shine school of Music in Barcelona is only 3 years old. “I think it’s very important for the intelligence, even if most of them will not end up as pianists… It gives you tools to develop your brain, like math or language. I think it’s very important for kids to learn piano.” He explains that children’s motor skills are developed through the use of both hands on the instrument. Leandro has noted a marked difference in his students ability to concentrate as they learn to play and read music notes. “It’s amazing!”
Students at Estudio Shine are encouraged by their teachers to enjoy their instruments while learning and Leandro points out that this nurturing develops their talents even further. “Never get frustrated!” Learning will always be a part of enjoying music and studying an instrument, he continues. “You have to have this mind, where you will always learn.”
This mindful awareness allows for discovering new music and Leandro applies this to his own art. Taking a note from one of his teachers in Argentina, “she’s 85 years old and she keeps learning everyday. She goes to concerts and courses, her brain is amazing and I think that most musicians get to this moment in their life, and yet they still grow. So that’s what’s unique about music I think.”
Avalle advocates a curious mind. Although trained as a classical pianist in Argentina, when he arrived in Barcelona, he found that music continued to give him new experiences, and allowed him to connect with people in ways he did not expect. “I’m Argentinian and although I never played Tango, suddenly I was playing Tango!” In Barcelona, he now performs as part of a tango group. “You can learn like a kid! You will never finish learning!” He smiles.
True to his word Leandro is now discovering contemporary piano music and continues to expand his knowledge and love for music. He plays in a classical duo with a violinist from Chile performing all over Europe. Leandro reflects on performing as a soloist and as a group. “With a classical performance, you have to prepare a lot of pieces and you play once. The moment is unique!” As a group it’s very different, it’s fun, he gestures, playing the same numbers each concert. Traveling biannually to Argentina to play piano, Leandro is also kept busy with his Tango group as they tour, playing up to 20 concerts together at a time. All this while still giving piano classes in Barcelona.
We asked him if he thought the piano was still popular as an instrument. Responding with a grin, he affirms, “It’s a complete instrument. It’s easy and gentle to learn initially.” He goes on to explain that piano has a large range and can be played expressively, from soft to passionate, “so people enjoy listening to the piano in concerts.” Interestingly he tells us that in Barcelona people enjoy understanding the music and the story behind the pieces. He has learned to converse with his audience, drawing their attention to certain parts or explaining different melodies and meanings. This gives people a better grasp of the music he explains, and although he was surprised by this style of concert initially he now really enjoys sharing his knowledge and the history of the piano with his audiences, taking his music teaching out of the classroom.
Teaching piano at Shine Music School in Barcelona for a number of years, Avalle points out, “I think it’s the first instrument that you should learn.” From a technical point of view, if students learn to read piano sheet music, both the treble clef and bass clef gives you a bigger understanding of music. He continues to explain that from this point, students can read any music notation written for other instruments. Studying piano gives a fundamental understanding of music.
“Secondly it develops your sense of harmony and melody at the same time. This is quite unique to the piano. It’s a harmonic and melodic instrument and the repertoire of the piano is extensive.” Piano is a visual representation of music. Learning piano, the keys and notes, show how music is structured, making understanding music easy. The greatest composers, Avalle extrapolates, have been writing music for the piano for centuries. The methods these composers used and history is expressed through the music. Studying the piano affords you a wider, more complete musical base upon which to build. “You develop more accurate methods of study, ” Leandro explains. With the skills gained from learning the piano, it’s far easier to move onto another instrument and to be a successful musician.
You can watch Leandro perform as part of his duo and tango group, by keeping up to date with his piano concerts in Barcelona on the Estudio Shine Facebook page. You can also study piano with Leandro at the Shine School of music. The school has a number of piano courses from intensive piano course to piano courses for beginners. Contact Leandro at the Shine Music School and apply his thoughtful comments on learning and playing the piano to your own study and enjoyment of this classical instrument. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to be invited to one of his private piano concerts in Barcelona! The Shine School of Music rents pianos and offers piano summer courses. You can study in Spanish or English and we have a range of styles available from contemporary jazz piano to classical piano. The school also offers piano lessons over Skype. Thank you to Leandro Avalle for his time and to Rachel Huffman for conducting this interview.
As the school year winds down in Spain, and the temperatures in Barcelona rise, everyone prepares for the summer vacation. Music exams are furiously studied for and students practice for the annual music concert which takes place at the end of the year. It’s an exciting occasion and one that the Estudio Shine family look forward to each year. Students invite friends and family to come and enjoy all the musical pieces and the day is filled with a fun musical energy. Each year some of our teachers perform too, in an anticipated finale!
This year the school will be holding it’s concert once again in the wonderful bar of the Lluire Theatre in Gracia. Those that would like to, join in for an informal lunch between the two sections of the concert, the beginners and the advanced students who perform in the afternoon.
We will be opening the concert doors this Saturday the 18th of June, and invite you all to come to the bar, enjoy a drink or coffee while you listen to some wonderful music, performed by talented students, both young and old! We have performances on the piano, guitar, ukulele, accordion, saxophone, clarinet, and more! It’s sure to be a great musical event in Barcelona!
Where can you find an open mic in Barcelona? Matt Kaplan scours Barcelona for the best places to find an underground jam session and explains why it’s a rare and often impromptu phenomenon in the Catalan Capital.
Spain has an unbelievably rich culture of music and with it, comes a deep appreciation for its affect. From flamenco tablaos, to classical guitar concerts in the Palau de la Música Catalana, or even jazz combos in the Harlem Jazz Club, the streets are filled with music around every corner. With that being the case, why is so hard to find venues to play live music as an amateur musician? These events usually happen on a weekly or monthly basis in a bar or café and are called open mic nights (micros abiertos) or live jam sessions.
The reason for the difficulty in finding a suitable location is due to the strict noise pollution laws and regulations in Barcelona. Another factor has to do with the amount of space a venue has to offer. As most people from Barcelona would know, space is a precious commodity and for bars and cafés, there are many safety regulations involved. According to Azucena Milcó, project manager at Sound Diplomacy, the legislation that permits live music was considering smaller music in the same light as the more famous clubs. Here we have a problem. It gives the venues extra taxes, occupancy limitations, and restrictions that are not relative; that is to say for example that a smaller venue would have to pay for the same amount of soundproofing that a larger club would. Even with some monetary grants from the city council, these types of restrictions have pushed a lot of very popular “underground” venues out of the live music industry.
The good news is that with all of this in mind, I have been able to find a handful of venues that still offer you the opportunity to get out for a night to show off your developing talent. Two that I would recommend are the open mics at Alfa Bar or Freedonia. If you are interested in any of these options, I have placed the information below. Alfa Bar requires that you sign up ahead of time and both events are free to participate. Keep in mind that if you attend, these events are sometimes not just for music! It is very common for open mics to be open to all types of artistry including poetry and spoken word, comedy, and more. Enjoy these opportunities to get out there and play!
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 and more through our Online Classes.