The Music Workshop Company Blog 

Each month the Music Workshop Company publishes two blogs. One blog, written by the MWC team addresses a key issue in Music Education or gives information about a particular genre or period of music. The other blog is written by a guest writer, highlighting good practice or key events in Music Education. We hope you enjoy reading the blogs. 
To contribute as a guest writer please email 
A Musical instrument in your kitchen? A Beginners' Guide to Playing the Spoons 
Is there an instrument you can play at home, without buying special equipment? Can you make music from items already in your house? The answers are yes, and yes. You can make sounds and rhythms with a percussion instrument that you'll find in your kitchen. 
Here at The Music Workshop Company, our mission is to share our passion for music. But this year has not been the same in terms of live performance. We have been lucky to still be offering music workshops, in person and online. But where live music is concerned, it may be a while before we get back to any kind of normal. In the past, technology and music haven’t always seen eye to eye. Despite the inevitable pre-concert announcement, someone’s mobile is bound to ring. And it’s not uncommon to spot a fellow audience member taking a video and posting it to social media. 
In 2020, it’s been “all change”. The smart phone and internet culture have become the musician’s friend. More than ever, musicians and musical organisations have turned to the internet as their only creative outlet. Some have used technology in innovative ways, creating multi-track solo masterpieces, others have used the online world to stay in touch with their audiences, and to keep providing music and music education where it’s most needed. 
Did you know that, as of December 2020, Mariah Carey’s ever popular All I Want For Christmas Is You, which was released in 1994, has never topped the UK charts for Christmas, even though it has won critical acclaim and held top spots around the world? 
On November 30th, NME suggested that this might be the year! At time of writing, 5 days before Christmas, the song is at Number One in the UK - but will it still be Number One on Christmas Day? 
What makes a great seasonal single? Sick of hearing the same few songs every time you walk into a shop? Let’s take a look back over some of the great UK Christmas Number One Hits.  
Some of them may surprise you. 
This year, organisations from around the world have been sharing music and arts education resources online. This connects them with people who would normally be able to attend performances and workshops, and it creates a whole new way to learn. 
The upside of this is that a whole range of creative activities from top arts bodies is now readily available, wherever you are in the world. 
You can head off for some lessons at Carnegie Hall, join in with activities at the Royal Opera house and learn to draw with professional artists. 
Here at the Music Workshop Company we love to share our knowledge about the history of music. We believe that learning about the rich cultural heritage of the country where we live provides a valuable, direct link to our local communities, and can be an interesting starting point for a journey of musical exploration. 
As we hunker down to enjoy winter in the UK as the global pandemic forces ongoing travel restrictions, there seems no better time to meet one of the country’s greatest collectors and advocates of English folk music. 
Cecil Sharp was born on November 22nd, 1859. Curiously, November 22nd is also Saint Cecilia’s Day the feast day of St. Cecilia who is known as the patron saint of music and musicians. 
November 6th marks the birthdate of the inventor Adolphe Sax. Famous for the Saxophone, Sax conceived and patented quite a number of new instruments. His life was difficult and unusual, but his influence, and the thick, singing tones of his instruments or those they inspired, are still heard daily across music genres from pop to jazz and orchestras to regimental brass bands. 
Image: Reno Laithienne. Unsplash 
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