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Music Education Whiz Monthly, Issue #001 Welcome
November 07, 2014

Dear Readers,

Thank you for subscribing to Music Education Whiz Monthly! In my first e-zine, I will give you an overview of the site, and will tell you about exciting plans for the future.

My Background

Music has been the main focus of my life from a very early age because I was born into a family of musicians. My dad was the Head of Composition and Creative Studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and my mum was a violin teacher. I learnt the violin and piano from the age of 5 and have sung ever since I can remember. My family would often improvise together on any instrument available, including violin, piano, recorder, viol, autoharp and voice. I feel extremely fortunate to have had these experiences so early in my life, and in my training as an early childhood educator, I have realized how vital it is for young children to experience as much music as possible early on if they are to enjoy a musically rich life. My music degree and teacher training at Cambridge University; my opera training at Birkbeck; drama training at the Central School of Speech and Drama; numerous violin, piano and singing lessons; masterclasses during my time at Harvard University (thanks to my husband who was studying there); a film course at the New York Film Academy; various vocal summer programmes; as well as all the performing and teaching I have done (www.pauladownes.com) have opened my eyes to a vast array of teaching ideas and styles. In my work on www.musiceducationwhiz.com I will attempt to share all this with you. My aim is to make music as accessible to as many people as possible. For example, I don’t believe in teaching music theory in a dry way. Instead it must be learned practically and theoretically at the same time.

My Music Theory pages consist of clear explanations, diagrams and videos, for use in the classroom or at home. I delve into all manner of topics, ranging from basic pitch and rhythm notation presented in innovative and fun ways, through to form and structure in music, taught through helpful tables and videos to show exactly what is going on at each moment in the piece.

My growing selection of worksheets complement the resources on the website and are perfect for consolidating yours or your pupils’ knowledge.

**In the future, I plan to create resources for Bach Chorales and Modes.**

If there are particular topics you would like me to cover, let me know in the Facebook comments box at the bottom of each page on the site.

Cross Curricular pages contain lesson ideas for all ages, combining music with other subjects. So far, I have covered the First World War and Thomas Hardy for KS3 and University/Adult Education. These interesting projects use film to bring many art forms together, and encourage students’ to produce their own films or drama projects.

Inspired by my 3 year-old daughter’s enthusiasm for singing and play-acting, my Nursery Rhyme pages teach you the best-known nursery rhymes through fun animations on YouTube. Each nursery rhyme has a duet part that you can learn, either by watching the video or by purchasing the music. You can also learn interesting historical facts about each song, and colouring pages are available with the easy piano and guitar sheet music for each song.

**Coming soon: Wind the bobbin up!**

Let me know if there are particular nursery rhymes for which you would like me to create pages, by commenting in the Facebook comments box at the bottom of each page on the site.

Christmas Carols pages will be the main focus of my December Newsletter. Let me know if there are Christmas Carols pages for which you would like me to create pages, by commenting in the Facebook comments box at the bottom of each page on the site.

***Other plans for the future include pages on music history, music around the world, and musical instruments. I will also be creating pages on vocal warm-ups and diction for singers.***

To get the most up-to-date news on latest pages and resources, visit Latest Pages , or subscribe to my RSS feed.

Finally, please join me on Pinterest for even more resources and teaching ideas, on Facebook or Twitter for all manner of articles about music education, and subscribe to my channel on YouTube to get our latest videos!

I look forward to sharing my work with you!

With all best wishes,

Paula Downes of www.musiceducationwhiz.com

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