Learning to play a musical instrument

Are you feeling stuck in a rut and looking for a new hobby to shake things up? Have you ever considered learning to play the mandolin? Not only is it a fun and rewarding activity, but it also has numerous benefits for adult learners.

Learning to play a musical instrument, like the mandolin, as an adult has been shown to improve memory and coordination. Studies have found that playing an instrument can boost brain function and cognitive abilities, making it a worthwhile pursuit for those looking to enhance their mental abilities. Moreover, the physical act of playing the mandolin can improve hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and motor skills.

Beyond the cognitive and physical benefits, playing the mandolin can also provide a sense of accomplishment and personal fulfillment. It is a challenging pursuit that requires discipline, practice, and perseverance. Mastering a piece of music can be incredibly rewarding and boost self-confidence. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and personal growth, which can translate to other areas of life.

At Granby Music, we offer mandolin lessons for adult learners of all levels. Our experienced instructors provide personalized attention and instruction, tailored to each student’s unique needs and goals. Whether you’re a complete beginner or looking to hone your skills, we can help you unlock your musical potential.

Learning to play the mandolin is a great way to cultivate a new hobby and discover the joy of music. It’s a rewarding pursuit that can provide numerous cognitive, physical, and personal benefits. So why not take the leap and register for mandolin lessons today at Granby Music? We look forward to learning together and exploring the joy of music with you.

In conclusion, don’t hesitate to try something new and embark on a journey of personal growth and fulfillment. Learning to play the mandolin as an adult can be a great way to enhance your cognitive abilities, physical coordination, and overall sense of accomplishment. Register for mandolin lessons today at Granby Music and start your musical journey!

Discovering Your Musical Potential: Embracing the Joy of Music

Are you someone who has always admired the world of music from afar, convinced that you just don’t have the ability to participate in it? You might be surprised to know that music is not just for the naturally gifted. Anyone can learn to make music and experience the incredible joy and satisfaction it brings.

Music has been a fundamental part of human culture for thousands of years. From drumming and vocalizing to composing and performing, music has been a way for people to express themselves and connect with others. It’s a universal language that transcends all barriers, bringing people together regardless of their age, background, or skill level.

If you’ve always wanted to explore your musical potential but haven’t been sure where to start, the first step is to believe in yourself. You don’t need to have a special talent or years of experience to make music. All you need is the willingness to learn and the commitment to practice.

One way to start your musical journey is by finding an instrument that resonates with you. Whether it’s the guitar, piano, or even the ukulele, there are countless options to choose from. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play it yet. There are many resources available online, including tutorials and courses, to help you learn.

Another way to get involved in music is by joining a choir or band. Singing with others or playing in a group can be a fantastic way to learn from others and be a part of a community. You can also explore music production and composition, which can be a fun and rewarding way to express your creativity.

As you begin your musical journey, remember that progress takes time and effort. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Every musician starts as a beginner, and it’s through practice and dedication that we improve.

Music is more than just a hobby. It’s a way to connect with your inner self, express your emotions, and find joy in the world around you. By discovering your musical potential, you can unlock a whole new world of possibilities and experiences.

So go ahead, take that first step, and start exploring the wonderful world of music. Who knows, you may discover a hidden talent or passion that you never knew you had. And always remember, music is for everyone.

“The Secret to Becoming a Skilled Mandolin Player: Personalized Instruction and Passionate Teaching

Dear fellow music enthusiasts,

As Ronald Reagan once said, “Music can stir emotions deep within us, and allow us to express ourselves without words.” Whether you’re a seasoned musician or a beginner mandolin player, you know how true this is. Music has the power to move us, to inspire us, and to bring us together.

If you’re a beginner mandolin player looking to take your skills to the next level, I have great news for you. With the help of Granby Music’s private online mandolin-family lessons, you can improve your playing quickly and easily. Our expert instructors provide personalized instruction that is tailored to your individual needs and interests. With the convenience of online lessons, you can learn from anywhere and at any time that suits you.

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started on your musical journey:

Tip #1: Practice, practice, practice! The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Set aside time each day to play your mandolin, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Tip #2: Start with easy songs and scales. Don’t try to play difficult pieces right away. Start with simple songs and scales and work your way up to more complex pieces.

Tip #3: Use a metronome to keep time. It can be very helpful for beginners who are still developing their sense of rhythm.

Tip #4: Watch and learn from others. You can learn a lot by watching videos of experienced mandolin players and observing their techniques.

Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re struggling with a particular technique, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a more experienced player or instructor.

By following these tips and taking our online lessons, you’ll be on your way to becoming a skilled mandolin player in no time. Music is the universal language that brings people together, and we at Granby Music are committed to helping you express yourself through your mandolin playing.

Register today to learn more about our lessons and instructors. The future of your musical journey starts now!

Musically yours, Granby Music

Mandolin Magic: Unlocking the Surprising Benefits of Playing this Tiny Instrument

Learning to play a musical instrument is an excellent way to improve one’s cognitive abilities, reduce stress, improve memory, and enhance creative thinking. The mandolin, a small stringed instrument that’s becoming popular among musicians around the world, is no exception. Adults who learn to play the mandolin can enjoy many physical, emotional, and mental benefits that come with this hobby. Here are a few reasons why it’s worth adding the mandolin to your repertoire:

Firstly, playing the mandolin can have a positive impact on brain function. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, playing music can enhance the brain’s white matter and strengthen the connections between neurons. This means that learning to play the mandolin can improve memory, focus, and overall cognitive skills.

Secondly, playing the mandolin can improve hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity. With its small size and delicate strings, playing the mandolin requires precise movements, and it can help build finger strength and agility.

Thirdly, mandolin playing can offer a great way to relieve stress. Music is known for its calming effect, and playing mandolin can be a therapeutic way to relax and reduce anxiety.

Finally, playing the mandolin is a fun and rewarding experience. It can be played solo or with others, making it a great hobby for socializing and connecting with others who share similar interests.

For those interested in learning to play the mandolin, there are numerous resources and courses available both in-person and online. Many websites provide free tutorials, sheet music, and step-by-step instructions to help players master the mandolin.

In conclusion, learning to play the mandolin can be an excellent way for adults to improve their cognitive skills and physical dexterity while reducing stress and having fun. It’s worth considering as a new hobby, and with the number of resources available, anyone can learn to play this enjoyable instrument.

#mandolin #music #hobby #mentalhealth #brainfunction #stressrelief #coordination #fun #creativity #cognitiveskills #memory #fingerdexterity

What Are Chords? How Do You Use Them?

by Adam Sweet

What are chords?  How do you “make” chords from scales?  What are chords used for?  Who first used chords and how are they used today?

Chords are groups of three or more musical notes played together. They can be played on a piano, guitar, or any other musical instrument.

To make chords from scales, you can start by playing the first, third, and fifth notes of the scale consecutively. These three notes form a basic chord, called a triad. For example, if you are working with the C major scale (C D E F G A B), the C major chord is made up of the notes C, E, and G.

Chords are used to provide harmony in music. They are typically played alongside a melody, and the combination of the two creates a richer and more complex musical experience. Chords can be used to add depth and interest to a musical piece, and they can also be used to create tension or dissonance, depending on how they are used.

Chord forms usually consist of the tonic, subdominant and  dominant chords for a given key (aka the 1, 4, 5 chord “Progression”)

Tonic, subdominant, and dominant are the first, fourth, and fifth degrees in any scale.  They are the key elements to building a song.  The tonic is often referred to as “home”, while subdominant moves you to the next note, and dominant makes you want to return back home to resolve the sound.  Why do we care?  Because the majority of music that you will ever listen to or play, bases the entire song off of these chords.  You can create, or recreate most songs when you understand tonic, dominant, and subdominant chords.  

The Tonic Chord

The Tonic:  The tonic degree, or the tonic chord, is always the easiest to find.  The tonic is found by the first degree in a scale.  If you are looking at the C major scale, the tonic is C.  If you are working with the G major scale, the tonic is G.  A song will probably begin and end with the tonic.  The tonic is called home, because it is where we are at rest.  It is where a song is resolved, and where we want to start and melody and always where we want to return to.  We want to come back home with the tonic.  Thus, the tonic draws back to itself.  The tonic is symbolized with Roman numeral I if it is MAJOR.  It is a Roman numeral i for a MINOR tonic chord.  

The Subdominant Chord

The Subdominant: The subdominant is the fourth degree of a scale, or can be found 4 tones, or notes above the tonic.    The subdominant causes us to “leave home”.  It has an almost mysterious, or unresolved feeling that causes us to draw back to the dominant.  Which is why it is called sub-dominant.  As such, you will often find a dominant following a subdominant chord.  The subdominant is symbolized with a Roman numeral IV for a MAJOR chord.  It is a Roman numeral i for a MINOR subdominant chord.

The Dominant Chord

The Dominant: The dominant is the fifth degree of a scale, or can be found 5 tones, or notes above the tonic.  You will often see the dominant chord as an inversion of its root chord. Just like the subdominant, you will often find the dominant chord as an inversion of its root chord.  Simply stated, that just means that instead of it being in this order of G-B-D, you will find it as B-D-G.  Same chord, just inverted.  The dominant chord causes tension or stress with a desire to resolve.  It almost begs us to return back home.  Therefore, the dominant chord leads us back to the tonic, or to home.  The dominant is symbolized with a Roman numeral V for a MAJOR chord.  It is a Roman numeral v for a MINOR subdominant chord.

Other Chord Progression Examples:

It is difficult to say who first used chords, as the concept of chords has likely existed for as long as people have been making music. However, the use of chords in Western music can be traced back to at least the Baroque period (17th and 18th centuries).  The use of chords can also be traced back to the ancient Greeks, who used them in their music. Today, chords are an integral part of Western music and are used in a wide variety of musical styles, including classical, jazz, bluegrass, rock, and pop.  

The Joys Of Playing Music

by Adam Sweet

There’s something truly special about playing music that can’t be found anywhere else. The feeling of sitting down with a musical instrument and creating beautiful sounds is an experience that’s hard to describe. Whether it’s the vibrations of a guitar string or the sound of a piano key being struck, playing music is a truly immersive and rewarding activity that brings joy to both the player and the listener.

For many musicians, playing an instrument is a form of therapy – a way to escape the stresses of daily life and lose themselves in the beauty of their craft. The act of creating something beautiful with their own hands can be incredibly empowering, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with mastering a new piece of music is hard to beat.

But playing music isn’t just about personal fulfillment – it’s also about connecting with others. Whether it’s jamming with friends or performing for an audience, playing music is a way to bring people together and share in the joy of creation. There’s a sense of community that comes with being a musician, and the bonds formed through music can be incredibly strong.

Playing music can also be a way to explore one’s own creativity. Musicians have the freedom to experiment with different sounds and styles, to create something that’s uniquely their own. There are endless possibilities when it comes to playing music, and the sense of discovery that comes with exploring those possibilities can be incredibly satisfying.

In short, playing music is an activity that brings joy and happiness to both the player and the listener. Whether it’s the sound of a guitar, the beat of a drum, or the melody of a piano, the power of music is undeniable. So if you’re looking for a way to connect with others, explore your own creativity, or simply find a little bit of joy in your life, consider picking up a musical instrument and letting the music take you away.

In conclusion, playing music can be a life-changing experience. It offers the chance to create something beautiful, to connect with others, and to explore one’s own creativity. So why not give it a try? You never know where it might take you.

Brostuig Go Dti an Posad aka Haste To The Wedding (Double Jig)

Brostuig Go Dti an Posad

by Adam Sweet

HASTE TO THE WEDDING [1] (Brostuig Go Dti an Posad). AKA and see “Carrick Fergus,” “Carrickfergus (1),” “Come Haste to the Wedding,” “Croagh Patrick,” “Rural Felicity (1),” “Long Eight (The),” “Perry’s Victory (2)” (American), “Footprints,” “Granny Plays the Fiddle,” “Quadrille Canadien (Boulay) 3ème partie,” “Quadrille des seigneurs 1ère partie,” “Trip to the Dargle (A),” “Trip to the Gargle (A),” “Let Brainspinning Swains,” “Small Pin Cushion (The).” Ireland, Britain, New England, American, Canadian; Jig, Country Dance, Long Dance (Irish), Morris Dance Tune, or Quadrille (meaning 6/8 tunes from Midwestern USA). D Major (most versions): C Major (Harding’s, Robbins, Sharp): F Major (Bacon-Adderbury): G Major (Bacon-Brackley): A Major (Cranford). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Bacon-Adderbury, Bayard, Harding, Kerr): ABB, x4 (Bacon, Mallinson): AABB (most versions): AA’BB’ (Cranford): ABCD (Bayard {Marr}). 

The tune “Come, Haste to the Wedding” was introduced in the pantomime, The Elopement, staged in London in 1767. The first stanzas to the song from the production begin:

Come haste to the wedding, ye friends and ye neighbours,

The lovers their bliss can no longer delay;

Forget all your sorrows, your care, and your labours,

And let ev’ry heart beat with rapture to-day:

Ye votaries all, attend to my call,

Come revel in pleasures that never can cloy:

Come, see rural felicity,

Which love and innocence ever enjoy.

Let envy, let pride, let hate and ambition,

Still crowd to, and beat at the breast of the great;

To such wretched passions we give no admission,

But leave them laone to the wise-ones of state;

We boast of no wealth, but contentment and health,

In mirth and in friendship our moments employ.

Come see ruraly felicity, &c.

This version was sometimes known as the Manx tune and was printed by the Percy Society in 1846, but it appears as well in numerous songsters of the late 18th and 19th centuries, including The Jovial Songster (1800), The Nightingale (1802) and Charles Wilson’s The Myrtle and Vine; or, Complete Vocal Library (1803). It is the basis of the Manx ballad, ‘The Capture of Carrickfergusby,’ written by Thurot in 1760 (Linscott, 1939). Samuel Bayard (1944, 1981) comments on the popularity of the air over the past two centuries as well as the tenacity of the main title to stick with the tune. When Chappell printed his well-known set in National English Airs (1840, I, No. 163; notes, II, 129; reprinted in JEFDSS, III, 210), he traced the tune to the year 1767, when it was used in pantomime, to a song beginning ‘Come, haste to the wedding, ye friends and ye neighbors!’ This version of the air, continues Bayard, is still the earliest known, and it may be that the popularity of the song occasioned the fixed quality of the title. In his 1944 work Bayard poses the question as to whether the words were included in the original pantomime as a result of its associations, or whether the later uses of the tune secured it. However, the tune’s appearance under the title “Small Pin Cushion (The)” in cellist-composer James Oswald’s Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 10 (London, 1760), and the Manx “Capture of Carrickferusby” both predate the pantomime. At best, the provenance of the tune is yet to be discovered although it would appear to have Gaelic origins, and it may even be that it was Oswald’s composition.

If the tune at first achieved popularity as a stage piece, it was soon after quickly disseminated, entering folk tradition. Chappell noted that the tune was “more frequently to be heard upon the chimes of country churches than any other, and usually played when a wedding is about to take place.” Caoimhin Mac Aoidh (1994) reports that in County Donegal tradition a bride was ‘hauled’ (marched) from her house to the chapel along with her family and guests, led by a fiddler playing this tune. An early manuscript appears ance of the jig is in Lincoln fiddler William Clark’s c. 1770 music copybook (No. 25). Morris dancers picked up the melody and morris dance versions have been collected from the villages of Adderbury (Oxfordshiere), Brackley (Northamptonshire), and Headington (Oxfordshire) in England’s Cotswolds. The author of English Folk-Song and Dance found the melody in the repertoire of fiddler William Tilbury (who lived at Pitch Place, midway between Churt and Tilbury in Surrey), who used, in younger days, to play at village dances. Tilbury learned his repertoire from an uncle, Fiddler Hammond, who died around 1870 and who had been the village fiddler before him. The conclusion was that “Haste to the Wedding” and other country dance tune of similar type had survived in English tradition (at least in southwest Surrey) well into the second half of the 19th century. In northern Ireland “Haste” is often the first tune played in a set (along with “Leslie’s Hornpipe” and “German Beau (The)”) for the set dance The Three Tunes, which dates to the ceili dance revival of the 1930’s. Dance instructions are printed by Keegan (2002).

In North America the piece also has a long history. “Haste” appears in late 18th century music copybooks such as those of Captain George Bush and Henry Livingston. The latter purchased the estate of Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1771 at the age of 23. In 1775 he was a Major in the 3rd New York Regiment, which participated in Montgomery’s invasion of Canada in a failed attempt to wrest Montreal from British control. An important land-owner in the Hudson Valley, and a member of the powerful Livingston family, Henry was also a surveyor and real estate speculator, an illustrator and map-maker, and a Justice of the Peace for Dutchess County. He was also a poet and musician, and presumably a dancer, as he was elected a Manager for the New York Assembly’s dancing season of 1774–1775, along with his 3rd cousin, John Jay, later U.S. Chief Justice of Governor of New York. It was printed by Howe in his Musician’s Omnibus of 1850, and in his School for the Fife in 1851. “Come Haste to the Wedding” was entered into the music copybook of American musician M.E. Eames, 1859 (p. 73). Burchenal published it under the title “Green Mountain Volunteers” along with a New England contra dance by the same name. It was recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph from Ozark Mountain fiddlers in the early 1940’s, and also was recorded by Herbert Halpert for the same institution in 1939 from the playing of a Lauderdale County, Mississippi, fiddler named Stephen B. Tucker. The title appears in a list of Maine fiddler Mellie Dunham’s repertoire (the elderly Dunham was Henry Ford’s champion fiddler in the late 1920’s) and it was a favorite dance tune in western New York at the turn of the century (according to Bronner’s source, Milo Kouf). As “Hasten to the Wedding” it was mentioned in an account of a fiddlers’ convention at the Pike County Fairgrounds in the Troy Herald of July 6th, 1926. Winston Wilkinson (“Virginia Dance Tunes,” Southern Folklore Quarterly, VI, 1, March, 1942) calls it “one of the best-loved tunes in Virginia.” He collected it from Albermarle County fiddler James H. “Uncle Jim” Chisholm, who had played it and other tunes in the 1930’s at the White House for President and Mrs. Roosevelt. Fiddlers in the Appalachians seldom knew or played 6/8 time tunes–when they did, however, this “Haste to the Wedding” was one of the most frequently played.

Canadian renditions of the jig were recorded early in the 78 RPM era. Fiddler Arthur Joseph Boulay (1883-1948) recorded a faithful solo version in November, 1923, for Victor Records under the title “Quadrille Canadien (Boulay) 3ème partie,” and in 1929 Montreal fiddler J.O. LaMadeleine recorded an interesting ‘crooked’ (irregular meter) version as the first figure in a quadrille set entitled “Quadrille des seigneurs 1ère partie” (Quadrille of the Lords).

The following passage is from A Contribution to the History of the Huguenots of South Carolina (1887) by Samuel Dubose and Frederick Porcher. It describes a country dance in Craven County, South Carolina in the early 1800’s:

Nothing can be imagined more simple or more fascinating that those Pineville balls. Bear in mind, reader, that we are discussing old Pineville as it existed prior to 1836. No love of display governed the preparations; no vain attempt to outshine a competitor in the world of fashion. Refreshments were provided of the simplest character, such only as the unusual exercise, and sitting beyond the usual hours of repose, would fairly warrant. Nothing to tempt the pampered appetite. Cards were usually provided to keep the elderly gentlemen quite, and the music was only that which the gentlemen’s servants could produce. The company assembled early. No one ever though of waiting until bedtime to dress for the ball; a country-dance always commenced the entertainment. The lady who stood at the head of the dancers was entitled to call for the figure, and the old airs, Ca Ira, Moneymusk, Haste to the Wedding, and La Belle Catharine were popular and familiar in Pineville long after they had been forgotten, as dances, everywhere else.

An odd alternate title called “Trip to the Gargle (A)” appears in O’Neill’s 1001 Gems (probably a corruption of “Trip to the Dargle (A)”) while as “Carrickfergus (1)” it appears in Brysson’s A Curious Selection of Favourite Tunes with Variations to which is appended Fifty Favourite Irish Airs (Edinburgh, 1790). The classical composer Camille Saint Saens used “Haste to the Wedding” in his opera Henry VIII, and John Powell employed a variant he collected from Mrs. John Hunter, a Virginia fiddler, in the last movement of his symphonic composition Set of Three (Wilkinson). The English novelist Thomas Hardy, himself an accordion player and fiddler, mentions “Haste to the Wedding” in Under the Greenwood Tree as one of the tunes the wedding-guests danced to after the marriage of Dick and Fancy

What is Americana? How does it relate to other music?

By Adam Sweet

Americana is a genre of music that originated in the United States, influenced by various styles such as folk, blues, country, and rock ‘n’ roll. It is often characterized by its roots in traditional American music and its blend of various musical styles. Americana has become a popular genre, attracting fans from all over the world and inspiring many artists to create music in this style.

One of the most interesting aspects of Americana is its connection to other musical styles, particularly Celtic and African-American music. While Americana may have its roots in traditional American music, its sound and style are also influenced by a number of other musical traditions.

Celtic music, for example, has had a significant impact on Americana. Celtic music is an umbrella term used to describe the musical traditions of the Celtic peoples, including Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Brittany. This genre of music is characterized by its use of the fiddle, accordion, and harp, and its unique vocal style, often featuring intricate harmonies and lilting melodies.

Celtic music has been a part of Americana since its inception, and has been embraced by many American musicians who have incorporated its sounds and styles into their music. One of the most famous examples of this is the band The Chieftains, who are widely regarded as the pioneers of the Celtic music movement in America.

Another genre that has had a significant impact on Americana is African-American music. African-American music encompasses a wide range of styles, including blues, gospel, R&B, and jazz. This genre of music is characterized by its use of the blues scale, its improvisational style, and its focus on the human experience.

African-American music has had a profound influence on Americana, with many Americana artists incorporating elements of blues and gospel into their music. This has helped to create a unique sound that is both modern and rooted in tradition.

One of the reasons that Americana has been so successful is its ability to bring together different musical styles and traditions. This fusion of different musical traditions has created a sound that is both familiar and new, and that appeals to fans of all different genres of music.

In conclusion, Americana is a genre of music that has been shaped by a number of different musical traditions, including Celtic and African-American music. The fusion of these different styles has created a unique sound that is both modern and rooted in tradition, and that appeals to fans of all different genres of music.

If you’re a fan of Americana, be sure to check out the hashtags #AmericanaMusic, #CelticMusic, and #AfricanAmericanMusic on social media. By following these hashtags, you can connect with other fans and stay up-to-date on the latest news and releases in the world of Americana.

An enriching and rewarding activity that can enhance your life and bring you closer to your community

Are you looking for an enriching and rewarding activity that can enhance your life and bring you closer to your community? Look no further than mandolin lessons in Granby, MA! Our beautiful town nestled in the heart of the Pioneer Valley has a rich musical history and a vibrant community of music learners and enthusiasts.

At Granby Music, we offer expert mandolin lessons for all levels, from beginner to advanced. Our experienced instructors are passionate about music education and dedicated to helping each student unlock their musical potential. Whether you’re interested in folk, bluegrass, classical, or any other genre, we can help you cultivate the skills and knowledge to play with confidence and joy.

Learning to play the mandolin is not just a personal pursuit, it’s also a way to connect with others and contribute to the cultural richness of our community. By taking mandolin lessons at Granby Music, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other music learners and performers, share your love of music, and participate in local events and performances.

Moreover, music education has been shown to have numerous cognitive and emotional benefits. It can improve memory, attention, and processing speed, as well as promote stress reduction and emotional well-being. Learning to play the mandolin can be a fulfilling and rewarding activity that provides lifelong benefits for the mind, body, and spirit.

In conclusion, learning to play the mandolin in Granby, MA is a great way to enrich your life, connect with others, and contribute to the vibrant musical community of the Pioneer Valley. Our expert instructors, personalized attention, and supportive environment make Granby Music the perfect place to unlock your musical potential and discover the joy of music. So why not take the leap and sign up for mandolin lessons today? We can’t wait to welcome you into our community of music learners and enthusiasts.

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