It’s the start of a new school year here in Spain, and at the Shine School of Music in Barcelona we are offering a fresh new group courses in music! After a long summer, now’s your chance for a new beginning! If you ever wanted to start singing or playing an instrument, don’t let “later” becomes “never”, start your musical journey now!
Group lessons are beneficial in that they provide a chance to those who may find shelling out for the private music lessons a bit of an economic burden. Besides being a great way to learn music in a fun environment, group lessons are also a super way to make new friends, all the while learning a new skill!
Shine Music School is running group lessons in the following:
All of these lessons are 4 hours a month, in 4 one hour classes, 1 class each week. You can check out our schedule for the time slots. Each of the lessons is facilitated by a professional music teacher. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact the school to find out more!
Besides these fixed group lessons, the Shine Music School also provides the option to arrange your own private group lessons. So if you and bunch of your friends or family would like to get together to learn an instrument or to sing, we can provide a flexible schedule, a talented teacher and great prices!
Let your musical journey begin!
If you don´t have your own instrument, not to worry, we can provide one for your first lesson and we also sell and rent both guitars and ukuleles!
The Alexander Technique has helped thousands of musicians and singers perform with less stress allowing them to perform with ease and fluidity. This approach to movement greatly reduces this risk of pain and injury. The physical demands on musicians due to complex movements of muscular tension result in pain, stiffness and injuries. 76% of all musicians have medical problems that effect their ability to play, due to misuse in the body and RSI (repetitive strain injury). By helping musicians improve the quality of the physical actions involved in playing an instrument or singing, the Alexander Technique also helps improve the quality of the music itself. A violinist’s stiff shoulders and arms will get in the way of a pleasing sound; a singer’s tight neck or jaw will cause the voice to become less resonant.Once the musician can get out of their own way by freeing undue muscular tension their performance is a more organic and fluid experience.
The Alexander Technique is a re-education of the body that investigates a new concept of moving by recognizing one’s habit of movement and redirecting those energies into a a more holistic approach using one’s own mechanism (the body) as a whole as opposed to parts resulting in an ease of movement.
Over the years, a number of prominent musicians have publicly endorsed the Alexander Technique: Yehudi Menuhin, Paul McCartney, Sting, Julian Bream, James Galway and the conductor Sir Adrian Boult, to name but a few.
The Technique is taught at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York, The Royal College of Music in London, The Boston Conservatory of Music, The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and at many other schools of music, universities and colleges.
João Silva has arranged, and performed both the violin and keyboard for this beautiful and haunting new musical piece called The Glass Man as part of his Still Life work. He collaborated with Margherita Abita on Vocals/Lyrics, Claudio Marrero on Saxophone, Eva Monroy, Violeta Veinte on violin, Francisco Palazón on Viola and Anna Llorens on Cello. The music video was Recorded and Mixed by Still Life music. With Mastering by Pau Andreu and Camera by Mar Gabarre.
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)
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.
Shine Music School is offering a fun new music course for children.
For children between the ages of 3 and 5 are taught about music, through touch, sound and thought, all in a safe, creative environment focused on hands-on learning through play. Each group class is an hour long and hosted in our new location in Gracia. Mums and Dads are welcome to come along too. Our first Trimester begins this October and completes in December.
Contact the school to find out more and sign up your littlest to learn all about music. Read our interview here with Piano teacher Leandro to find out why learning music from a young age can be so important!
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.
Even if you’ve never picked up an instrument before, getting started on the ukulele is fun, easy and, if you want, inexpensive. Once you’re acquainted, don’t think you have to stick to playing typical uke songs, though.
What Makes a Good Ukulele Song?
There’s no rulebook that says only certain songs can be played on a ukulele. In general, what makes a good ukulele song is a distinct and consistent rhythm maintained throughout the song. That being said, anything can sound good on the uke – it’s how you play it that counts.
This brings us to the first song we suggest for beginning ukulele players.
#1 SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW/WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole’s beautiful melody brings out the joyfulness in the ukulele. Movies like Meet Joe Black, 50 First Dates and Finding Forrester, and popular TV shows like Scrubs and So You Think You Can Dance have helped draw attention to this song in the past. Today, it’s a must-know for ukulele players.
#2 I’M YOURS
This mellow favourite by Jason Mraz has just 4 chords—C, G, Am and F. Get familiar with this chord progression early on in your ukulele endeavour because you will use it to play tons of songs in the future.
Shine School of Music teachers Gaspar Muller (ukulele) and Sebastian Pan (acoustic guitar, vocals) play a mash-up of our top 2 songs.
#3 HEY SOUL SISTER
This Train single is another example of how pop music has been drawing attention to the ukulele over the past few years.
#4 STAND BY ME
Ben E. King changed the world with “Stand By Me”, which the Library of Congress inducted into the National Recording Registry in early 2015. It has a very distinct rhythm, and to make the song recognisable you really need to imitate that as closely as you can.
Remember when learning a new song, take it one step at a time. Break down a song by chords, strum and vocals. Don’t try to do everything at once.
If you want to get a bit more creative with your uke, the second part of our list has some songs you might not have thought to play.
#5 NO WOMAN NO CRY
Bob Marley & The Wailers’ reggae song is a super easy solo for the uke that will prompt a favourable reaction from any audience.
#6 HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN
The Animals’ take on “House of the Rising Sun” was arguably the first folk-rock tune, as if they took the ancient ditty from some obscure folk-inspired corner of the United States and connected it to a live wire.
Written by Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy, this song has all the metaphors and pop culture references to partner with the latest ukulele fashion.
“Something” was written by George Harrison and released on the Beatles’ 1969 album Abbey Road. The song drew high praise from the other band members, with Lennon declaring it the best song on Abbey Road and McCartney considering it the best song Harrison had ever written.
#9 SPEAK SOFTLY, LOVE
The main theme music for The Godfather, with its intensity and distinction, is not your average ukulele song. Playing it will certainly set you apart from the crowd and earn you some street cred, if nothing else.
#10 IS THIS LOVE
When Bob Marley & the Wailers’ roots reggae album Kaya came out in 1978, several reviewers said they had gone soft. But the songs on the album simply reflect how Marley was feeling at the time, which was great, and the summery, carefree feel specific to “Is This Love” works well with the uke’s similar sound.
“Amélie” is the soundtrack to the 2001 French film Amélie, set in Paris, about a young woman aspiring to help and improve the lives of those around her. Just like you, as a ukulele player, can add merriment to the lives of those listening around you.
#12 YOU ALWAYS HURT THE ONES YOU LOVE
Even the heartthrob Ryan Gosling, whose smouldering gaze and perfect torso have recently inspired a plethora of playful memes on social media sites, has taken up the ukulele. In Blue Valentine (2010), Gosling gives an impromptu performance of “You Always Hurt the Ones You Love”, while his onscreen counterpart Michelle Williams dances. This lovely old tune is very well suited for the uke.
The most important thing is to start playing. Now! So pick one of our cool ukulele song suggestions or find one of your own, and serenade us.
For information on what type of ukulele best suits you and your style, as well as where to buy a uke in Barcelona, click here.
For a number of months, the Shine school of Music in Barcelona at Estudio Shine has been offering students the opportunity to play as part of a group. These musical combos have been headed up by our teacher Gian Carlo Scevola, an accomplished musician with many years of experience playing in bands and combos. Gian Carlos’ band The Kennficks performs regularly in Barcelona, and Gian Carlo has been instrumental in offering his guidance and support to students who wish to create their own bands.
Performing together, especially with a variety of instruments, imparts a valuable learning experience to the student. Not only are the group combos fun, but the music created has added dimension, allowing students to work together on different instruments and learn from each other.
Gian Carlo has worked with our other teachers to provide a dynamic platform in which our students can benefit greatly from a shared experience of music.
Most recently the school showcased a number of performances by the various combos at Estudio Shine at the annual school concert. Students sang and played a variety of musical pieces with very successful results. Guitar, piano, saxophone, and clarinet captivated the audience and we hope to continue creating more groups with interested students.
Please contact the school or Gian Carlo, if you are interested in performing in part of one of Estudio Shine’s combo groups.
Check back to our Youtube later, as we keep posting videos from the concert.