Bluescampuk at Tonbridge School 24th to 26th July 2020 visit http://www.bluescampuk.co.uk/ for details.
Please contact me using the contact form if you are interested in more information about any of these productions.
Music and self-development
For many years, one thing that has interested me is the link between self-development and music.
Whether that's the ability to stand up in front of a crowd and perform or team building and creativity, music has it.
It is also great for Self-discipline and organisation, whether with the organisation or resources, because many musicians don't have a lot of money. It's not like you can throw your money around; you have to be precise in doing things. All these things have applications to what we could term self-development, or even the entrepreneurial skills are easily be used in business and just for general development.
I just finished an interview with an American musician and a business coach called Bill Small. Bill also runs an excellent podcast called the Subtle Art of Not Yelling, and I was talking to him on my podcast, Creative, about the skills that a musician and artist have, which have real applications in business.
It has always fascinated me that businesses send people on training courses spending time building walls out of cardboard boxes as training.
But look at the skills learning things that musicians can do; getting on a stage, presenting yourself, putting yourself in the zone to perform, and if you're a frontman and a singer, you also have to communicate with an audience. Of course, this is one of the things that people find so bloody terrifying. Musicians are doing this as part of everyday life. And if you teach music, you understand what I like to call the operating system involved within things like music and music theory, technique and practice; you get a profound insight into someones thinking.
What about if you could get inside the thinking of a customer? You can do that by asking questions and listening and watching the response. It is what you do with that data!
But if you learn to analyse the 'data' that's in front of you, you will be able to make a great connection and be on their wavelength, which in the world of business is crucial for you to come to any form of agreement or sale.
I became aware of this early in my career when I started reading books on management and marketing, and I could see parallels with artists who succeed.
So I started experimenting in the early days by running courses about making money from music, and I had a lot of success with musicians who later became influential players and teachers
I am returning to this online but vastly improved using all I have learnt from musicians and the years of teaching music and NLP psychological work of transforming people and creating lasting change.
And this is unique to each person; therefore, I'm going to be doing this one-to-one. So if you're interested in transformation, visit www.vichyland.com.
6th April 2022
The Magic of British Music
Let's face it, there is something magical about British music, whether that is pop, rock, reggae or heavy metal; all of it has something unique and the envy of other countries. Maybe it's something to do with the English language because its Anglo-Saxon roots have something earthy.
Look at French music. France gave existentialism to the world, and there is something of that in French music, which seems somewhat self-obsessed, slightly nihilistic, even inward-looking.
French Jazz is exceptional; maybe Jazz is something that we don't do very well here. Spanish music is very earthy, but it seems to have taken root in places like South America and Central America, where it has influenced world music.
There is something in this sort of spit and sawdust attitude of contemporary British music that feeds from society's energy into the notes. You can find it in the Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden.
So maybe it is cultural and linguistic, those things that you know as a musician, but very difficult to explain, you can show and can tell, and that's what we do.
So look at the periods when those musical styles developed. Punk developed in the late 70s when there were political problems in the United Kingdom, which reflects in the anti-establishment perspective of the music.
Looking at rock 'n' roll and skiffle, this was a reflection of the search for identity with the young against the established order of British society.
The 60s brought innovation to British culture and presented it to the world in a new way representing the hope of something different in the world, so it's not just the music; it's also a representation of hopes and dreams and a way of speaking truth to power.
Notice that I haven't pointed to musical expertise, and of course, there was, but I don't believe that is where the power of British music lies. It resides in the fact that there are many places to play, most notably the British pub, which is ubiquitous in British culture. Although we have lost a lot of British pubs, we still have thousands of them, and many of them can have live music in, even if it's just a couple of people sitting in the corner playing.
The British pub was always a hotbed of descent and a way of letting off steam. It's become a little more refined now, depending on where you are. Still, the idea of music coming from those places and then moving to smaller concert venues or theatres has a way for the music to develop and for a band to build a following.
However, now, of course, the music industry is enshrined in British culture, but it still doesn't get the payback it deserves. I believe that the way music has become institutionalised in the way that it is taught losing its ability to go and kick arse. The key is how we perform and put our music together. Remember that British music isn't going to be liked by everybody, and nor will yours, but it needs to give meaning to life and society, and if we can continue to do that, it will continue to thrive.
The guitar is probably one of the more accessible instruments to start. But it is one of those instruments that depending on how much time you put in, can develop that even after years and years of playing, you will never fully exhaust its possibilities.
But to get started and play something recognisable and enjoyable, it's pretty straightforward as long as you follow a few basic rules.
First of all, start by playing melodies and tunes that you recognise. It starts to motivate you and helps you create a musically if you do that.
Often people start by playing chords, and there is nothing wrong with that, but they are pretty challenging to do to begin with, and they don't sound like a song.
So get playing melodies that you recognise, simple tunes such as nursery rhymes, Christmas carols, simple rock riffs, anything that gets your fingers moving and gets you coordinated and once you've done that, move on to the next stage.
Now we can play simple chords at the bottom of the guitar, such as A and E minor. There is a succession of other chords that are very similar and easy to change to, such as C major and then using G and D chords, that give us many songs that we could easily play.
Some basic harmony, like knowing which chords go together, help a lot. So in the key of G, we now have five chords: G C and D, which are the major chords and A minor and E minor, and we are cooking.
You can access some concise videos of two or three minutes to help you here firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting the link; this will get you on your way. If you need any more help, contact me, and I could advise you further.
24th March 2022
Are there any free instruments?
One of the main obstacles to learning an instrument is the cost of buying one. It was possible to have an instrument on a free loan in the UK back in the day achieved through various arts groups and councils. I've interviewed many people for the Creative podcast who started this way, but nowadays, these things aren't available; this is one of the things that Ikaro Music has been aiming to do.
I'm getting donations not just of money for the repair of instruments but also for free guitars and keyboards that are unwanted; there are thousands of guitars stuffed away in attics and sitting in corners of rooms unplayed. If you are in the Kent area, we can give these instruments the chance of a new home with a new owner.
If you are not in Kent, some other people may do this, but the centralised organisations that did this in the past are no longer in existence, which is a terrible shame and the fault of the government policies both right and left.
So please make the most of this by contacting us. There are also other lessons available by donation, online or face-to-face. If you do this online, you could be anywhere on the planet.
There is so much research into the benefits of playing a musical instrument and singing. The benefits include self-discipline, organisation, and commitment, also augmented by the fact that creative thinking and, by extension, critical thinking is developed by playing music and writing songs.
The exciting thing about creating songs is that lateral thinking, which is part of songwriting, is a vital aspect of developing a young child's mind, not generally covered in mainstream education.
To check out what we're doing, by visiting www.vichyland.co.uk. You will be able to connect to the car music charity; you'll be able to access the videos and
Find a complete list of the podcasts from the Creative podcast and news about Bluescampuk and other exciting projects running in the area.