Notes & Numbers

Notes & Numbers

Welcome! Seattle born, lately on Zoom, Notes & Numbers combines my love of math, music, and teaching!

Operating as usual

21/06/2023

I’ve been playing with Paper in my ipad for math lately and gosh it’s sure pretty 🥹🤩 on that note I’ve got space next year if you know anyone that needs a helping hand 😉

05/05/2023

It’s trig season again, and good lord I love it more every time. To find clarity in the midst of what feels impenetrable feels good man, lemme tell ya what 😎🥹📐🌞

02/03/2023

Greetings teachers, students, and fellow musicians! With various assessments going around I’ve made an updated video that covers proper Zoom settings for Macs, iPads, and iPhones, for you or your students as needed. There’s also a link to a related video for Windows computers, for those that need it.

Like/follow/subscribe if you find it helpful, on YouTube, on instagram, otherwise best of luck in the Wild West of good sound on the internet, and maybe I’ll see some of you in Reno!

16/02/2023

9/X Though I surely met it through my own lessons, extra attention directed at common patterns for phrases in pieces (question/answer, short short long, limerick balance) entered my teaching lately thanks to an excellent presentation by the inimitable Peter Mack, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. In this video you’ll catch a glimpse of that along with some of the slippery bits that come from upbeat phrasings in the classic piece Reveille, typically a brassier situation than the keyboard adaptation we visit here.

I hope you dig it, please comment with anything specific you’re facing lately and I’ll do my best to put out clips from these after lesson videos that take on whatever you’re hoping to explore, and otherwise I hope you’re having fun making music!

09/02/2023

8/X The first of two clips about musical phrases (though I’m sure to make more), this one focuses more on the interpretation of a phrase, and how each phrases combines with every other to give a piece of music direction; these are the decisions we make that bring a vital third dimension to the music at hand, rather than leaving it flat on the page. Plus some singing to boot!

As always these are plucked from videos I make my younger/newer students after lessons, but if you ever have a specific thing you want to know more about, say so in the comments and I’ll make a point to work that in somewhere somehow! Or, alternatively, hit me up for lessons 😉🎹🎶

07/02/2023

Hello everyone, I know it's usually piano time around here, but I'm also your friendly neighborhood (online) math tutor here in case you have a teenager struggling with algebra, functions, factoring polynomials, trigonometry, or the dreaded logarithm; I have space for a few more students in need of a steady hand to get on top of the material that maddens them!

By class name I tutor Algebra through Calculus, and I would be happy to get started ASAP. You can message me here, or find me through my website at notesandnumbers.net. Take care in the meantime, and enjoy some color coded trig scribbling below 😄

31/01/2023

7/X The effective use of arm weight is a foundational element of the technique I try to instill in my lessons. Knowing a piece means to know how it feels, both emotionally and physically, and ultimately to recognize how that focus provides a deeper familiarity and facility with the music we love.

That plus an overview of the appropriate way to treat dynamic markings (ranges not steps!) in music makes this a short but sweet video that I hope you’ll enjoy 😊🎹💪

19/01/2023

6/X Pulling back the veil on something as magical as sound is a privilege and a joy. Exploring the notion of overtones/the density of lower tones is one of my favorite ways to do that as my students and I get acquainted with our instruments. Better yet it’s objectively cool no matter your musical experience, so I hope you enjoy this clip from a student video where we’ve been visiting exactly that!

16/01/2023

5/X Patterns are a big deal! For the player they can help us keep track of where we’ve been and where we’re going, and for the listener it brings them in to the conversation in a way that opens up a piece of music to comprehension *even if it’s your first time hearing it*

For the learner, little observations like what you’ll find in the following can help us understand what we’re likely to meet as we carry on through our musical journey, in this case making some sense of the order of sharps one encounters as they travel clockwise around the circle of 5ths

13/01/2023

4/X Music is fundamentally a matter of storytelling, rather than simple recitation; what we play is more than the notes on the page in time. In the same way that an actor falls flat if they stop at the correct pronunciation of the words they’re meant to say, a piece of music feels thin without a greater intent, a focus on the emotional web you’re trying to weave.

It’s a concept I’ll return to often in these clips, though with different depths or details from student to student, one point in the process to the next. For now, enjoy a visit with an early piece, Young Hunter, from the Faber level 1 lesson book 😄


11/01/2023

3/X Break is over! Lessons are back! As are after lesson videos! For this installment I had the pleasure of a first lesson with a very endearing 6 year old, and between being slightly shorter, fundamental to any first lesson, and a meaningful glimpse at the general vibe I like to establish *at least* with the younglings, I decided to share the whole thing. It won’t be the norm!

Otherwise the website caught some updates over break, among them a refresh on reviews I’ve harvested from current and past students. Though I love them all, the following has a particular relevance to the value of music lessons that I wanted to share:

‘My favorite thing about August learning piano is the opportunity it provides for him to emote. He complains about having to practice (as you’d probably expect for a 10-year-old), but when he finally sits down at the piano, it usually relaxes him. Sometimes he’ll pound at the keys in frustration or if he’s tired, and I like to see that too.

Piano is providing him a great way to get his feelings out. I didn’t expect these emotional/mental health benefits of learning music, and I’m very happy for it.’

29/12/2022

2/X of my after lesson video snippets, this one on the merits and means of warming up wisely! The next should be out the week of the Jan 9th, take care until then!

26/12/2022

1/X of a series I plan to run for the foreseeable future, this is a snippet from an after lesson video I made for an adorable young student I've worked with for about a year now. I make these for all the young and/or brand new students I have, and in this case I'll be talking about some tips for preparing for our winter recital (at the time upcoming, since past) last weekend. She played very well I'm happy to report!

I'll have the second up shortly (it was up last week on instagram, ), and give a shout if you've got anything you'd like to hear about and I'll see what I can do. Hope everyone's had excellent holidays, and is otherwise excited to move into the new year!

17/12/2022

Had some fun with framing for the recital today, at which everyone played wonderfully! My students are rad, and I’ll share some snippets once I’ve cut it up, but in the meantime thank you to everyone who joined, I’ll look forward to getting into more next year 😊❄️🎼

12/10/2022

Sometimes practice involves friends! And laying on the ground to get the best angle of friends!

05/08/2022

Hello! I made a couple of droning improv bits based around an M7th and tone development (best heard with headphones!) during the latest heat wave, which left me surprisingly torn about which to post as I like each more than I expected to.

Though I picked another on IG, I failed at cross posting, so here’s the recording not chosen there; from an iPhone SE rather than a proper mic, this one is a little more internally cohesive, has a bit less background action, and is surprisingly decent on picking up the details. Phones have come quite a ways on mic stuff since the pandemic hit!

To hear the other version, find me on IG , otherwise summer lessons have been wonderful but the fall draws ever closer, and if anyone is looking for lessons online (ages 7 and up, though i’ve a particular soft spot for the returning adult) I’ve opened another day for the coming piano year and would love to meet you!

Check the bio for website stuff if you're interested, I’ll be posting a newer ‘how to set yourself up for online lessons’ vid soon to cover the standard questions to aid that effort, take care besides, it’s wild out there lately!

04/08/2022

Made a couple of these droning improv bits based around an M7th and tone development (best heard with headphones!) during the latest heat wave, which has left me surprisingly torn about which to post as I like each more than I expected to.

Luckily a friend’s talent for naming/description has sealed it for this one, titled ‘a memory that used to be good but now it’s sour and thinking of it feels twisty and jarring’; perhaps it’s obvious I grew up with Jewel’s naming conventions 😅 Special thanks to Mel for being on the plates and spoons in the background, in a weird way I love the infusion of a life ongoing they add to the whole thing 😂

Otherwise summer lessons have been wonderful, but the fall draws ever closer and if anyone is looking for lessons online (ages 7 and up, though i’ve a particular soft spot for the returning adult) I’ve opened another day for the coming piano year and would love to meet you!

Check the bio for website stuff, I’ll be posting a ‘how to set yourself up for online lessons’ vid soon to cover the standard questions to aid that effort, and take care besides, it’s wild out there lately!

26/05/2022

Formally elected as the president of the board for the Seattle Music Teachers Association on Friday, had a student describe trig as ‘fun’ at the end of a session on Tuesday, and ended up catching some diggable sounds (with guest spots by Gousteau!) later that night, all of which feels pretty fantastic 🤩

On that note, if anyone can make sure that ‘Made Trigonometry Fun’ makes it into my epitaph, I’d appreciate it 😤😊

21/05/2022

Every so often a session will lead to a particularly satisfying color coded explanation, such as this recent trig deep dive!

13/05/2022

Perk of improv at home; when i find out I’ve accidentally scored something like this rollercoaster of a short film 😂

Screen credits to Meimei and Gousteau, camera/narration credits to 😻🫡

03/05/2022

Noodling with a theme shamelessly lifted from a student after our lesson yesterday, it’s too catchy to leave it be 😅🥹😬 Thanks for being a super cool kiddo Lucy, and for sharing your excellent musical ideas!

30/03/2022

Hello World! Incredible growth and changes have abounded over the last two years, not least of which being I've moved cities, made the permanent switch to teaching online, gotten deeply involved with my local MTNA chapter (to the point of being the current president elect, beginning my term in May to last for the next two years), and have a full schedule of students who all seem to be thriving. In short, stuff is great!

I'll be working through a backlog of updates and other video goodies that have been waylaid by the purgatory of new home nesting projects, but for starters this. It's a reaction video I made by recording a warm up, and then watching it for the first time while explaining what's going on as we go.

Though it's as much for my students as anything, I hope it will help anyone else trying to pin down good practice, and if you just want a bit of music I've got the improv+explanation bit at the end sectioned off on instagram for your viewing pleasure, if you're not already a follower 😉

Look out for more shortly, follow share subscribe as you will if you dig it, and take care in the meantime!

Phrase structure, in verse 11/12/2021

For anyone who has ever pondered phrases (musical lines/rhetoric, in a nutshell), this is a delightful way to sneak a better grasp without ever suspecting you're being taught in the process. Courtesy of Rachel Matthews, an excellent music teacher, however briefly she may have been one of mine (as a stormy adolescent 😅)

Phrase structure, in verse (for better or worse)

30/09/2021

Best to have a buddy for practice imo 😻

28/04/2021

Students are cool, so are piano guts and Chopin, so it seems kind to share this snippet of one of mine exploring how their piano works with a piece we’re working on. If you want to hear where the piece goes, comment below and I’ll make a recording on my side, it’s an easier (but for the ornaments) Chopin waltz that is extremely satisfying to play, and (it turns out) quite fun to teach as well!

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Videos (show all)

Zoom Music Lesson Setup for Mac/iPad/iPhone
Understanding Musical Patterns
Learning Musical Patterns and How to Recognize Phrases
Important Moments & Their (E)motions
Weighty Gestures & Dynamic Notions
Overtones & Intervals
Patterns of Sharps on the Circle of 5ths
Storytelling: Articulations & Contrast
3/X Break is over! Lessons are back! As are after lesson videos! For this installment I had the pleasure of a first less...
Warming up Wisely!
1/X of a series I plan to run for the foreseeable future, this is a snippet from an after lesson video I made for an ado...
Hot Days Drone

Telephone

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