The Breathing Gym with Sam Pilafian

Written by Emilio Bernardo-Ciddio

From February 16th to 19th, the Hannaford Street Silver Band (HSSB) hosted their annual Festival of Brass, a Toronto-wide event that includes a plethora of masterclasses, performances, and workshops. Each year, guest performers or conductors are featured. In the 2017 edition of the event, the HSSB invited the renowned Boston Brass Quintet to participate in the events. On February 18th, the tuba player for the group, Sam Pilafian, gave a workshop on his famous Breathing Gym method. Read More


Written by Emilio Bernardo-Ciddio

TEMPO ($1.39) – Developed by Frozen Ape. Every musician needs a metronome app, and Tempo is simple, user-friendly, allows for sub division and set-lists programming, and is very reliable.

TIME GURU ($2.79) – Developed by Avi Bortnick. Time Guru creates gaps in the beat to help train your inner pulse. For example, if you have the metronome set to 4/4 time, the metronome will randomly mute one of the beats every measure. You can choose how frequently beats are muted(in percentage), and you can also set the app to mute more beats over time. This app is excellent for improving your time and inner pulse, and promotes having a constant groove.

DRUM SCHOOL ($7.99) – Developed by Ferenc Nemeth. This app is designed to teach percussion fundamentals and drumset skills, but it’s also perfect for training musicianship and learning to keep a constant groove. You can choose from dozens of drumming styles to play along with including, salsa, hip-hop, world music, and more.

TONAL ENERGY ($3.99) – Developed by Sonosaurus LLC. Everyone needs a tuner, and this one is our favorite. This app allows you to visualize where you fall on the intonation spectrum, it can transpose to different keys (perfect when working with transposing instruments and beginners), and you can choose different instruments to play drones in all registers. It also has a built-in metronome.

BETTER EARS ($14.29) – Developed by appsolute GmbH. Better Ears is a an ear-training app the helps improve recognitions of intervals, scales, pitches, tempos, chords, chord progressions, single notes, scale music reading, chord music reading. This app is great for the time you can’t practice but still want to train; perfect for use while traveling or commuting.

DECIBEL METER PRO ($1.39) – Developed by Performance Audio. Decibel Meter Pro is an app that helps track your sound output.

TUNABLE ($5.49) – Developed by AffinityBlue. Tunable is a chromatic tuner, tone/chord generator, metronome, and recorder that helps you learn to play steadily, in tune, and on beat. Featuring a unique “tuning history” display for visualizing pitch over time, Tunable is the perfect toolkit for beginning to professional musicians.

CLEARTUNE ($3.99) – Developed by Bitcount Ltd. This is a simple and easy-to-use tuner and tone generator with a nice big display that is easy to read from a distance (even on your phone). It also offers a variety of pitch and temperament settings – with custom presets – which can be handy for those who frequently have to switch between modern and baroque instruments, for instance. Several readers praised its ease of use for beginner-level students.

PETERSON ISTROBOSOFT TUNER ($12.99) – Developed by Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc. This comes from a company known for its strobe tuners (said to be the most accurate and precise type of tuner). It is sensitive to a wide range of pitches (the whole range of a harp, for instance), has an input boost (iOS only) if you want to use an external mic, and also includes a noise filter (iOS only) so you can tune you, not the other folks sitting around you in orchestra. However, the strobe display may be a matter of personal taste. Some love it, while others find it to be distracting.

Android and Apple App Stores

A Festival of Light and Wonder

Written by Vaiva Slapsys

If you’re not one to walk among the historic cobblestone streets of the Distillery District on a normal Saturday evening, now is definitely the time to make the trip down and explore the magic that it offers. Not only is it a beautiful place to visit every other day of the year, but from now until March 12th it has been transformed into a wonderland of light and colour that will take you away from the harsh winter winds and transport you into a place of imagination and inspiration. Read More

Accessing the Career Centre

Written by Sophia Sam

Are you broke and in need of some extra cash? Are you having trouble looking for a job? Well you are looking at the right article! This article will provide tips and tricks on how you can get a campus job and maintain it while being a student. Read More

Washrooms at York: A Survival Guide

Written by Alex Colle

Today, I have a confession to make. I am ashamed that I have not come to you all earlier, but I want you to know that it was a difficult decision to finally be honest. Okay, here it is:

For years I’ve kept several secrets from my family, friends, and even you. Yes, YOU: the first-year student.

“How could you do such a thing, Alex?!”

Well, it was a selfish thing to do, and completely for my own benefit. It’s going to be even more difficult to tell you what the secret is, but I’m going to do it anyway because I care about my job as a Student Ambassador and Mentor for the Department of Theatre.

I am ready to tell you. Here it is: Read More

Self Care 101

Written by Laura Clark

Hi there, friend. I think it’s time that we had a little chat. I can see you’re working extremely hard, and I think that’s great. Don’t forget you need to take a break sometimes, too. I know, I know, you don’t have time for a break. Who does, really? I’m here to tell you that you deserve breaks and you deserve to take care of yourself. Read More

Richie Nieto Visits YorkU Music

Written by Emilio Bernardo-Ciddio

Richie Nieto is a composer and sound designer currently working as the Audio Director at Ubisoft Toronto. Nieto has worked with many companies such as Dreamworks, Dimension Films, HBO, Electronic Arts, Sony Music, Lucasfilms, the Discovery Channel, and THQ, and has worked directly with Hans Zimmer, Ramin Djawadi, and Klaus Badelt. In this field, Nieto has worked as an audio director, team lead audio, re-recording mixer, sound supervisor, dialogue editor, ADR and voiceover director, engineer and editor, sound designer, sound effects editor, music editor, music recording engineer, music producer, composer, songwriter, and studio and live musician.

On January 19th, Nieto was invited to the York University Music Department by the Music Students Association to speak about life as a media composer, and to share valuable advice with our students. Richie focused on 10 specific useful tips for media composers: Read More

When Is Stress Not Good For You?

Written by Laura Clark

There are both positive and negative effects of stress. Some of the positive effects of stress are: being a motivator, challenging you to push your limits, encouraging personal growth, and improving time management skills. The important thing about positive stress is that it doesn’t leave a lasting negative impact on your body, and that it is a continuous cycle, not a continuous state. Constant high stress levels take more of a toll on your body, which weaken your immune system (making you sick more often, and leaving you more ill when you do get sick), and can have a long-term impact on your health over time.

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