iBegin® News

November 20th, 2011

Where does the time go?  I find it difficult to believe that it’s been so long since I posted last.  I’ve been busy orchestrating all sorts of orchestral scores, coping with a new Sibelius, collecting and testing a new iBegin® Reader from IDR Solutions in Kent, updating and testing iBegin® books, and doing research on the best way to present my e-books for beginning wind instrumentalists on the net.

I’m pleased to report that the record for completing iBegin® is 8 weeks, held jointly by a student and a teacher from the Regents School Pattaya, two absolute beginners, with no previous experience of the alto saxophone, so I’m very pleased that iBegin® managed to take them from beginners to competent school orchestra players in such a short time.

Digitising Strauss

March 5th, 2010

Where does the time go to?  I can’t believe that it was August when I last posted.

My Chamber Orchestra is playing Mozart’s Symphony Nº 29 and my Jazz Group is playing Dixieland.  I’m also digitising a few scores of the Strauss famly, as most publishers only print those awful “Piano/Conductor” parts which are no use to man or beast.  I’ve finished “Im Krapfenvaldl” and am half-way through “Feuerfest!”.  Still to go are “Bahn Frei”, “Explosions Polka” and “Auf Der Jagd”.  I’ve also managed to get the parts and scores off to Ecole Mondiale in Mumbai, where I’ll be conducting two works of mine for middle-school bands at the end of March, “Four Chinese Folk Songs” and “Jungle Tango”, a new work which I wrote specially for them, featuring elephants, snakes and tigers.

Back to iBegin® and digitising Vivaldi

August 22nd, 2009

Back to iBegin® and digitising Vivaldi

Well the opera nearly killed me. Unfortunately, I sang the role with the ‘flu (ordinary variety) and two days after the final performance was rushed to hospital with severe chest pains. My diagnosis was digestive failure caused by complete exhaustion as I didn’t have any other symptoms of a heart attack or angina. My heart specialist agreed, but it’s taken me a month to recover. Fortunately, I was well enough to accompany my ex-student, Andy Scott http://www.andyscott.org.uk at the World Saxophone Congress and it was good to see him and perform with him again after 25 years. Andy also made some suggestions that I added to iBegin®, so that my beginning saxophone students handle their instruments with safety and not damage them through mishandling due to their inexperience of the saxophone. Thanks Andy!

So now it’s back to iBegin® and digitising some Vivaldi concerti. I also digitised J. Strauss junior’s “Im Krapfenvaldl”, printed by a Viennese publishing house with more than a few wrong notes, which I corrected. Whilst I was doing that, I was contacted by a local school, Regents School Pattaya, who asked me to substitute for a music teacher who failed to return after the holidays. As Regents Pattaya http://www.pattaya.regents.ac.th is a lovely school with polite, hard-working students and a very supportive staff, I was more than happy to accept. The Strauss and Vivaldi will come in handy sooner than I thought. My thanks go to Tom Myers of I.S. Bangkok who sent me jpgs of a Vivaldi concerto with my original bow markings.

Mark Stephens of IDR Solutions http://www.jpedal.org/ kindly sent me the Windows version of a wrapper for iBegin® Reader, which will allow me to place all the iBegin® pdf and Sibelius files into one iBegin® file. This will make it really easy for my younger iBegin® users who only need to download the Sibelius demo and the iBegin® file to be able to use iBegin®. It really is “plug and play” and no more fiddling around with preferences/properties which was very awkward for younger users. Thanks Mark!

So now I’m rationalising all the iBegin® chapters to make sure that they all have an adequate number of exercises for beginners to practise each new skill they learn. Once I’ve done that, I’ll be putting iBegin®, one book at a time, on the internet for download.

iBegin Online

May 3rd, 2009

Welcome to iBegin Online. Here you can read about the progress of iBegin® as it moves towards its availability for download on the internet and updates to iBegin®. iBegin® is a series of ten illustrated, interactive tutorials for beginning wind instrumentalists. If you’d like to find out more about iBegin®, please visit http://crhg.info/ibegin

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