Lesson Plans

Vol.17 No.7

Sam Hunt - Country singer-songwriter Sam Hunt is known for his blending of genres, and for incorporating the use of R&B and pop in the production and songwriting of his music.
Techniques: Building a Song - How to assemble the parts of a song for home recording
Learning New Songs “Attention” - Here you’ll find the guitar chords you need to play Charlie Puth’s “Attention”

Vol.17 No.6

Techniques: Navigating a Score - Here’s an explanation of the signs posted throughout most music notation. Only by recognizing and following them will you be able to find your way.
Hayley Williams - Survivor
Learning New Songs “Til I Hear It From You” - Here you’ll find the guitar chords you need to play Gin Blossoms’ “Till I Hear It From You”

Vol.17 No.5

Learning New Songs: “Learn to Fly” - Here you’ll find the guitar chords you need to play the Foo Fighter’s “Learn to Fly”
Tame Impala - Australia’s Kevin Parker Is a Lone Wolf In The Studio, But He Tours With a Pack
Understanding Chord Progressions: Part 2 - We continue to develop a deeper understanding of how chords work together…

Vol.17 No.4

Niall Horan - Still moving in the right direction
Learning New Songs: Little Talks - Here you’ll find the guitar chords you need to play Of Monsters and Men’s “Little Talks”
Techniques: Understanding Chord Progressions - Developing a deeper understanding of how chords work together

Vol.17 No.3

Sturgill Simpson - An unlikely newcomer’s country and Americana roots take hold and give life to a thriving musical career
Learning New Songs: I Knew You Were Trouble - Here you’ll find the guitar chords you need to play Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”
Techniques: Intervals - Practicing patterns using scales can be an essential part of a good practice session. We’ll be learning a new type of scale pattern based on intervals.

Vol.17 No.2

Finding The Fiddle That Fits - Though anything new can take a while to get used to, comfort is key.
Halsey - Multi-platinum, marquis singer-songwriter Halsey has already been awarded trophies from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and MTV Video Awards–to go with her four GRAMMY and American Music Awards nominations.
Techniques: Boogaloo Basics - Pete Rodriguez’s song, “I Like It Like That,” has had a long history! There’s something about this song that has kept artists revisiting the track every couple generations.
Learning New Songs: Don’t Stop Believin’ - Here you’ll find the guitar chords you need to play Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”

Vol.17 No.1

Best Music Schools 2020 - In Tune covers what college admission officers are looking for and music school tuition
Learning New Songs: Lego House - Here you’ll find the guitar chords you need to play Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House”
Techniques: Scale Sequences - Learn how to apply scale patterns that you’ll find throughout musical playing styles
Lewis Capaldi - The Wonder of a Mega-Hit

May 2019

Luis Fonsi - The “Despacito” hit-maker represents the latest, greatest success in a wave of Latin pop in the mainstream
The Legacy of Woodstock - Against the odds, a 1969 music festival continues to resonate in popular culture — for reasons that go well beyond the music.
Techniques: Doo-Wop Songwriting - All that’s old is eventually new again in pop culture, with the doo-wop vocal style of such 1950s groups as The Platters and The Drifters coming back over the decades to influence acts from Boyz II Men to BTS.

April 2019

Charting the Crop of Global Pop - Music made in America and other English-speaking territories, plays in more countries than you might think. But there is also a slew of great popular songs created elsewhere that never makes it to our shores.
Techniques: Odd Meters - Although often used in various kinds of non-Western music, songs with odd meters—rhythms with an off number of beats in each measure—have also been employed for distinctive grooves in modern jazz, progressive rock and other genres.
Dua Lipa’s Dream Come True - The British singer-songwriter — a daughter of refugees from war — has racked up hits and awards on both sides of the Atlantic with songs made for dancing as you cry.

March 2019

Mix, Match, March! - Having evolved over centuries, marching ensembles offer more roles to play than ever—here’s a primer on the diverse instruments, groups and styles.
Modern Band: High Hopes - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Panic at the Disco!’s “High Hopes”
Techniques: Harmonic Minor Scale (Part 2) - From age-old Middle Eastern music to vintage big-band jazz to various pop hits of today, the modes of the harmonic minor scale offer an exotic spice.
A New Generation Discovers Queen - Queen was a hit sensation in the 1970s and ‘80s, but the British rock quartet has never had more listeners than it does today, with the Oscar-Winning bio-pic Bohemian Rhapsody garnering the band a whole new world of fans

February 2019

2019 Best Music Schools: Isn’t It Special - Certain colleges have earned especially high marks of specific aspects of music education.
2019 Best Music Schools: A Guiding Hand - Admissions Consultants for Music Colleges offer students help through the entrance maze.
Techniques: Harmonic Minor Scale - The harmonic minor scale is a common element of Middle Eastern music, as well as Western pieces seeking an exotic flavor – such as Duke Ellington’s “Caravan.”
Jorja Smith - Young Brit Singer-Songwriter Jorja Smith Stands on the Cusp of Stardom, Having Made Fans and Friends of the Likes of Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Drake

January 2019

 

Modern Band: Sunday Candy - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Chance the Rapper’s “Sunday Candy”
Songwriting’s Olympic Village - The ASCAP EXPO in Los Angeles Brings Music Creators Together for Three Days of Networking, Education and Inspiration.
Techniques: All About That Bass - Basslines are often the foundation of a song, along with being the first thing that might grab a listener.
Taylor Made - Ten Years Into Her Record-Breaking Career, the 29-Year Old Pop Superstar Keeps Evolving.

December 2018

Let There Be Light…and Sound - How do the technicians who work behind the scenes make sure the magic happens onstage? And how did they learn their craft?
Modern Band: Zedd’s “The Middle” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Zedd’s “The Middle”
Techniques: Country Music - The sparse poetry of classic country music is rooted in its folk-accented one forms, arrangements and instrumentation.
The Song Remains the Same? - The classic rock pose of Greta Van Fleet has earned the millennial band worldwide buzz even as the Michigan quartet polarizes opinion.

November 2018

Modern Band: Paramore’s “Ain’t it Fun” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Paramore’s “Ain’t it Fun.”
Techniques: Pentatonic Scale - We give you a few distinctive techniques and methods you can use to study the art of the pentatonic scale.
Sustainable Woods - Key instrument makers are emphasizing sustainability when it comes to harvesting trees for guitars, drums and more.
Making it for Real - A journey to stardom: Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real

October 2018

Modern Band: Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up”
To Be, Or Not To Be… - Selecting the right music college to attend can be overwhelming. Here’s a few ideas to help guide you through the process.
Techniques: Guide Tones - Using guide tones for improvisation.
Billie Eilish: Taking the Crown - Billie Eilish is among the youngest pop singers in the world, but has a mature and unique perspective on her music. 

May 2018

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of May Lesson Plans

Software - Many of today’s music software programs combine features that once required different applications (or pieces of  hardware). This lesson will explore the functions commonly found in music software.
Modern Band: Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”
The Voice of Brynn Cartelli - Brynn Cartelli has a voice beyond her high school years—and The Voice‘s blind auditions helped her get discovered.
Techniques: Riffing on the Blues - Exploring more central concepts and techniques behind the blues.

April 2018

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of April Lesson Plans

Kacey Country - Learning about the music of country singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves.
Techniques: The Blues - Understanding the central concepts and techniques behind the blues.
Key Decisions - Learning the ropes of electronic keyboards.
Modern Band: Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still.”

March 2018

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of March Lesson Plans

Modern Band: Smash Mouth’s “All Star” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Smash Mouth’s “All Star.”
How to Get in Step - Exploring the world of marching music.
The Music from Black Panther - Learning about the music of Black Panther.
Techniques: Articulation - Understanding the central concepts and techniques behind articulation.

February 2018

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of February Lesson Plans

Best Music Schools 2018: Moving Up - The transition from high school to college can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.
Seoul Music - K-pop is making waves in American pop music unlike any other international genre.
Modern Band: How to Play Camila Cabello’s “Havana” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Camila Cabello’s “Havana.”
Techniques: Inversions - Understanding the central concepts and techniques behind inversions.

January 2018

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of January Lesson Plans

Modern Band: Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Imagine Dragons’ “Believer.”
It’s All About That Bass - Bass instruments can play more than just a supporting role.
Techniques: Supersonic Pentatonic - Understanding the central concepts and techniques behind pentatonic scales.
Icon: Talking Heads - Learning about the career and influence of Talking Heads.

December 2017

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of December Lesson Plans

Icon: Joan Sutherland - Learning about the career and influence of Joan Sutherland.
Modern Band: Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”
Techniques: Minor Scales for Major Occasions - Understanding the central concepts and techniques behind using melodic and harmonic minor scales.
The History of Nylon-String Guitars - Maybe you’re familiar with the nylon-string guitar, also known as the classical guitar. But are you familiar with its fascinating history?

November 2017

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of November Lesson Plans

Icon: Run-D.M.C. - Learning about the career and influence of hip-hop group Run-D.M.C.
The Hits Keep Coming - When it comes to percussion instruments, there’s no limit to what you can hit.
Modern Band: Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again (feat. Charlie Puth)” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again (feat. Charlie Puth).”

October 2017

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of October Lesson Plans

Techniques: Go Fourth (and Fifth)! - Understanding the central concepts and techniques behind quartal and quintal harmony.
Icon: Donovan - Learning about the career and influence of psychedelic folk singer-songwriter Donovan.
Fleet Foxes on the Fast Track - The indie-folk band took a few years off while their bandleader went back to school—now they’re back with an exciting new sound.
Modern Band: Beyoncé’s “I Was Here” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Beyoncé’s “I Was Here.”

Volume 14 Lesson Plans:

May 2017

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of May Lesson Plans

How It Works: A Signal Achievement - Becoming familiar with the technical workings of one of music’s most important pieces of equipment.
Modern Band: Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful.”
Techniques: Inspired by India - Understanding the central concepts and techniques behind Indian music.
Icon: Carlos Santana - Learning about the career and influence of Carlos Santana.

April 2017

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of April Lesson Plans

Techniques: You Got Rhythm - “Getting” jazz’s core rhythms.
Modern Band: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Icon: Gene Krupa - Drummer Gene Krupa forever changed the role of the jazz drummer with his flamboyant showmanship.
Bluegrass Royalty - Taking a deeper look into the work of bluegrass singer/violinist Alison Krauss.

March 2017

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of March Lesson Plans

Modern Band: Pink’s “Just Like Fire” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Pink’s “Just Like Fire.”
Songs for the Screen - Examining the production process behind the movie musical.
Techniques: What’s in a Chord? - Understanding how to use chord tones to write melodies.
Icon: Tina Turner - Learning about the legacy of one of the great R&B singers.

February 2017

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of February Lesson Plans

Modern Band: Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s “This Is What You Came For” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s “This Is What You Came For.”
Techniques: All Made Up - Getting familiar with improvisation.
How It Works: Crash Course - Understanding the surprisingly subtle differences between cymbals.
A Career Lesson Plan - Start preparing your students now for college and beyond, with music very much in mind.
Icon: Bob Marley - Learning about the international influence of the reggae superstar.

January 2017

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of January Lesson Plans

Modern Band: Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”
Techniques: Adding to the Beat - Learning complex polyrhythms can broaden your understanding of rhythm as a whole.
The Write Stuff: Dissecting the (Ear)worm - Research shows there’s a scientific reason behind how songs get stuck in your head.
Icon: The Who - With their unparalleled energy and rambunctious live performances, the Who became one of the most iconic rock bands of the 1960s.

December 2016

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of December Lesson Plans

Modern Band: Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” - Here you’ll find the materials you need to play the Modern Band arrangement of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”
Techniques: 12-Tone - Knowing the math of 12-tone rows will expand your understanding of the spirit of experimentation in classical music.
Icon: Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Learning about the life and career of gospel singer and proto-rocker Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The Savvy Flutist - Familiarizing yourself with the technical aspects of the flute can help you to become a better instrumentalist.

November 2016

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of November Lesson Plans
CLICK HERE to download the Modern Band Chart Notation Guide to accompany the lesson on Sia’s “Cheap Thrills.”

Modern Band: Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” - Here you’ll find the materials needed to play the Modern Band arrangement of Sia’s “Cheap Thrills.”
Made in Sweden - Taking a look inside Max Martin’s Swedish hit factory.
Icon: Glenn Gould - Learning about the life of classical pianist Glenn Gould.
Techniques: Polychords - Exploring the many shapes of polychords.

October 2016

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of October Lesson Plans

Modern Band - Here you’ll find the materials needed to play the Modern Band arrangement of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
Techniques: Ostinatos - Getting to know the ins and outs of ostinatos.
How It Works: Human Hearing - Understanding how we perceive music in its physical medium: sound.
Icon: Miles Davis - Taking a closer look at the life and influence of the legendary jazz artist.

May 2016

CLICK HERE to download PDFs for the full set of May Lesson Plans

DCI FAQs - Learning about the basics of DCI and how you can get involved.
Icon: Wanda Jackson - Learning about the life and career of one of rockabilly’s most influential artists.
You’re in Control - Understanding the functionality and applications of digital instrumental controllers.
Techniques: Triple Play - Exploring examples of triple meters in classical, jazz, and popular music.

April 2016

Techniques: Afropop - Exploring the different styles of the Afropop genre.
Icon: The Temptations - Learning about the history of the popular Motown group.
The Write Stuff: A Word on Words - Understanding the importance of lyrics in songwriting.
The GRAMMYs Was Their Classroom - Taking a closer look at the students who participated in GRAMMY Camp—Jazz Sessions.

March 2016

More Than a Score - Trying out notation software.
Progressive Rock - Understanding what made progressive rock “progressive.”
The Write Stuff: Hands on Harmony - Understanding how harmony and chord progressions can enhance your songwriting.
Techniques: Singing Together - Learning about the challenges and techniques behind group vocal harmonies.

February 2016

The Write Stuff: It’s in the Groove - Studying the importance of rhythm in songwriting.
Icon: Elvin Jones - Understanding polyrhythms and how Elvin Jones used them to evolve the meaning of standard jazz drumming.
Discovering Their Voice - Understanding the meaning behind finding your voice as a performer through personality and vocal technique.
Techniques: Four Score - Exploring what every instrumentalist can learn from scores written for string quartet.

January 2016

The Write Stuff: Repeat After Me - Learning how to apply repetition in songwriting.
Viva Vinyl - Understanding the popularity of vinyl records in the modern music industry, and the technical processes that go into making them.
She Rocks - Recognizing the accomplishments of successful women in the music industry to break down cultural barriers.
Techniques: The Music of New Orleans - Exploring the dense and multifaceted music of the bustling bayou city.

December 2015

Icon: Frank Sinatra - Understanding the history behind one of America’s most iconic singers.
The Making of Mariachi - Learning about mariachi music, and its role as a symbol of Mexican cultural heritage.
Metal Lessons - Exploring the techniques behind one of the most technically challenging genres.
The Write Stuff: Emulate the Greats - Understanding the benefits of emulating your favorite artists.

November 2015

The Write Stuff: Be In-Formed - Understanding the concept and applications of song form in popular music.
Cover Story: 5 Seconds of Summer - Exploring 5 Seconds of Summer’s sound from its beginnings to present day.
Icon: Clark Terry - Learning about Clark Terry’s impact on the world of jazz as a pioneer of the flugelhorn.
Techniques: Remixing Bach - The master composer of the Baroque era, J.S. Bach has had his music reinvented in nearly every other genre.

October 2015

Band on the Run - Understanding the benefits of performing experience for young musicians through the Lagond All Stars tour.
Emotion in Motion: Carly Rae Jepsen - Getting to know the songwriter behind pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, and the work that went into her latest release.
Make Your Timing Click: Using a Metronome - Learning how to apply the metronome to improve your technique.
The Doobie Brothers - ’70s pop rock outfit the Doobie Brothers went through over 12 lineup changes in a decade and nearly as many influences to their sound.

The Young Musician's Textbook