Thursday, November 12, 2015

Website/App Reviews

TE Tuner: The Tonal Energy tuner is quite possibly my favorite app. As a musician it is the best four dollars you will ever spend. The opening interface is just a normal tuner. But it has settings so that you can adjust the frequency you're tuning at, and you change how sensitive it is (the more experienced you are, the more sensitivity you would want). But the best part of the app is the drone function. You can set it up to drone a note that you can play against, which is more valuable than just a tuner as it trains the players ears. You can set it up for concert or transposing pitch if your students don't quite understand what their pitch is supposed to be. It also has a function that allows you to see the overtones that are in the note you are playing.

Smart Music: Plenty of musicians and teachers already know about this program. It costs 40 dollars per year for students, or a 140 dollars per year for teachers. It has a metronome, a tuner, and a library of thousands of pieces, solo or ensemble. Students can use this program while they study their solos and play along with the recorded accompaniment. You can choose whatever tempo you want, set it up to follow along with the player or just play one solid tempo, and change tempos in certain sections. It also has sight reading exercises that you can have your students do so that they become better at it. is a wonderful resource for students. It has so many lessons on the basics of music like staff and note identification, and identifying various musical markings. The website is free to use, and there's an app you can purchase on your phone. It's great for beginning students, but it's also a great introduction into music theory for your more advanced students.


Educational Philosophy

I believe that music is not just entertainment, but a form of expression and communication. My entire career will be built upon this statement. So many people use music in their daily lives as inspiration, distraction, remembrance, worship, and so many others, but so few of us listen music for the sake of listening. It is my goal to instill a love of music in all of my students. I believe that if your ensemble truly loves music, then the competition aspect of music will follow with ease. Students will practice harder and longer and will come to rehearsal eager to perform at the highest level possible, and they will always strive to be better.

I believe that teaching is a relationship. You must do your best to know your students. Music educators are lucky in that they get the same children for years in a row. We can learn so much about them! My job will be to teach students the music and lead them into contests where they score highly, but I will be there for my students. Music is credited by so many people in helping them through tough times, and I will do my best to make sure the music room/band hall/rehearsal hall/etc. will be a safe and loving place for my students.

I believe my studying of composition will give me an edge in the business. I know how to study my students' playing abilities and I will be able to tailor all of the music I write so that students will always be included and give the best performance they can. And when all students get to play, you have a happy ensemble, and a happy ensemble has nowhere to go but up!

My Storybook

For a project in one of my education classes, we had to make an online storybook. The goal was for us to learn, not only how to make one, but that these online storybooks are becoming more used in the education of students. Mine is about Preston, a world famous Luchador that decides to become a jazz trumpet player.

About Myself

My name is Brian Gruben. I'm from Lubbock, Texas and am currently majoring in Music with emphases in All-Level Certification with an Instrumental emphasis and Composition. My goal is to foster a love of music in every student that I can. I believe that music is a fundamental form of communication and expression, and it will be my goal to help students find their way to understanding music.