Monthly Archives: December 2015

#7 Songs

This slightly different post was inspired by Kate Graham’s blog of the same title, #7 Songs. The idea was to share 7 songs that have had significance in my life – not an easy task for someone who has spent a lifetime as a musician!

Those who know me will be aware that I have a very eclectic taste in music that covers a wide range of genre’s. Coming up with the first was easy though as from the day I first heard this, a lifetime love of this band started which continues to this day.

Yes – Starship Trooper

The release of “The Yes Album” was a pivotal point in the development of prog rock and this track was on constant play in the Sixth Form Center at school. I can safely say this track changed my musical tastes forever – along with “Tarkus” from Emerson Lake & Palmer which was released around the same time.


This is the band I have seen live more times than any other – I never tire of hearing this song!

Maynard Ferguson – Birdland

If there is one trumpet player that has influenced me more than anyone, it is Maynard Ferguson. I was first introduced to “The Boss” by army colleagues Bob Allen and Dave Marcham who between them, had great Maynard record collections that made baby sitting duties for them a real pleasure!


Earth Wind & Fire – September

During the late 70’s, I ran a mobile disco and developed a real love of the great bands that were around then – especially Earth Wind & Fire which probably had a lot to do with the great brass lines! This remains THE dance track that I am most likely to request from the DJ at a party!


Elgar – Nimrod

This is without a doubt, my favourite piece of classical music, period. And when the genius of Leonard Bernstein is added to the mix, it becomes even more powerful. (not all classical musicians will agree with that though!). IMHO one of the most moving pieces of music even written.


Ride of The Valkyries – Regimental March of The Parachute Regiment

If you love Wagner, you might want to skip this one. But as the post is about songs with meaning in my life, this one has a huge part to play. I served as a musician in The Parachute Regiment for about 6 yrs during which time, I made a lot of lifelong friends and learned a lot about music outside of the brass and military band genre – much of this thanks to a great bandmaster, Ernie Mortlock. This is also the period in my life when I was posted to Germany – a country I now call home. So for many. many reasons, this one has to be in the list.


The Beatles – Something

Growing up in the 60’s, one can not help having been influenced by The Beatles. This is my favourite Beatle track and one that shows off the often underestimated talent of George Harrison.


Choosing just seven songs isn’t easy – just looking at my CD collection tells me just how difficult that is! And I’m sure I will look at this in years to come and thing “how did I forget that one!”. My final choice was difficult – but whilst I do have wide tastes, in the past, Folk music wasn’t one of them. This man changed all that when I saw him supporting Jools Holland a few years ago. 

Seth Lakeman – Kitty Jay


I hope you enjoyed this post and my thanks once again to Kate for the inspiration.

Great uses of Learning on Video.

I am occasionally knocked out by the effectiveness of some of the video I see that is freely available on YouTube – especially that many people are making these available at no cost too!

This brief post was inspired by something I was sent by a fellow trumpet play on Facebook today which featured the highly talented trumpet player, Dominck Farinacci who has created a series of tutorials on a variety of brass techniques using the music of Clifford Brown.

This example is about “Ghost Tongueing” – his explanation is superb and something I will be personally working on !

Clifford-isms (Part 2/3): Ghost TonguingPart 4/8 of the #CliffordBrown Educational Series. This post deals with Ghost Tonguing, one of the most defining characteristics of Clifford’s playing. (Select HD for best viewing).

Click here to receive a PDF summary at the end of this series:

I know I had said this series would only be for October, but each video ended up getting more in depth than I initially anticipated, and I’ve gotten so many great questions from you about specific aspects of his playing, so I’m dedicating a little more time to tailoring them around the requests. Thank you all for your comments and interaction throughout this series!
#BrownieLives #GreatJazzSolos #JazzLegends

Posted by Dominick Farinacci on Saturday, 7 November 2015

(A by product of this post is that I also had to learn how to embed a Facebook video into WordPress!).

Here’s Dominick in action – I love the fact he is taking time on the tour bus to do this and is counted in by the driver!


My second example is the awesome Astrid – Astrid is a teacher and creates highly engaging videos on a variety of topics and as it is Christmas time, here she is explaining where German words end!


Next, a short but effective video from Don Taylor on how to run a great webinar. (check out his ebook on this too!).


Don also runs an annual survey on “what’s hot” in Learning and Development – the current survey results have Video well towards the bottom of the list – but I think this is a reflection of the fact that Video has already become a standard tool of choice.

Finally, the work of Outtakes continues to impress – they have taken the art of interactive video to a new level with their DAz technology. This enables video to having moving “hotspots” which take the viewer to additional content and is also now trackable using SCORM or TinCan xApi.


Video isn’t hot, it’s just business as usual now!