Celebrate the Arts in you!

Crystalline Carol

Crystalline Carol

Crystalline Carol

A cold, still winter’s night.  The aurora borealis-lit sky shimmers and reflects off icy-laced branches of evergreens.  Wisps of snow fall from the tops of boughs as night creatures explore their world.

This seasonal piece is represented by two carols, O come, O Come, Emmanuel and Carol of the Bells.  The piece finishes with the fading of ‘Ding, dong, ding, dong…” in the pizzicato cello.

Icy effects provided by sord. violins, violin harmonics, muted trumpets and hand-stopped French Horns.  The celesta adds to create this magical atmosphere.

Please share your comments and this link.

Name that Christmas Tune

Christmas Challenge

How many of these Christmas favourites can you name in this famous Christmas arrangement by Leroy Anderson played by the Boston Pops Orchestra?

Here’s a list…

Joy To the World; Deck the Halls; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Good King Wenceslas; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Silent Night; Jingle Bells and Adeste Fideles

If you are interested in the background of this collection/arrangement, see here.

Still a Christmas Favourite

Mannheim Steamroller

Christmas Extraordinaire

After so many years, this collection of traditional Christmas pieces still provides a eclectic variety of holiday pieces, something for almost everyone.  There are others available from this group, easily found online.  Get in the Christmas spirit and play some music!


Thank you, to All!

Thank you

I am very thankful for a milestone of 10,000 plays of my various music compositions on SoundCloud over the past year and a half since joining this incredible site.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to listen to my compositions on SoundCloud.  This site provides an incredible platform/stage for musicians and artists of all walks of life to be heard and appreciated.  It’s free to join!

Username: Marshall Shaw

10000 plays SoundCloudI look forward to another year of musical expression and growth.  I’ll be posting my annual Christmas piece over the next 3 weeks.  Your comments are always appreciated and welcome.

GarageBand iOS sees RED

GarageBand iOS RED

Apple releases GarageBand iOS as a (Product) RED version which includes a long awaited feature discussed below.  You have the option to purchase the (GarageBand)RED Loop Pack, an exclusive collection of 300 guitar, bass, synth and drum loops in a variety of genres.  These loops expand the ‘uniqueness’ of your project creation, and will certainly inspire you to create your own loops.  Cost: $0.99 US, beyond a good deal.



“I Can’t Sing”

“Sorry, I’m Tone Deaf”

Numerous times in my educational career, students and adults have told me they can’t sing, sing off key, or were told they don’t have a good, singing voice.  This shuts them down, void of the incredible emotional and artistic benefits to humming, singing, and simple vocal expressions that can make us unique.  As a lover of music creation, I am aware of the connection between my musical thinking and ways to articulate it, including singing and the use of the tongue to ‘tap’ out the rhythms of a more complex melody or pattern.  This connection is quick and discrete.  As a brass player, tonguing was incorporated into the way I practiced orchestral parts ‘on the go’ adding the ‘tonguing’ technique as I sang the part (single, double and triple tonguing).

I have noticed an increase in apps that allow singing or humming into your device for sound creation and notation.  These apps promote a love for singing, especially for those who are shy, or lack the connection to the emotional uplift singing can provide.  In the privacy of your headphones, these apps open a new world of sound creation, all triggered by your voice… no keyboards or keys on an instrument to learn.  Many have a built in pitch tuning function that encourages slight pitch modification to better the overall sound.   I recommend the use of headphones, especially with Vio.  These apps allow for recording and sharing with others and to other apps (inter-app audio apps) in many cases.  Explore, create and innovate your unique sound!


Vio on the App Store on iTunes at 7.24.15 pm


ScoreCloud Express för iPhone, iPod touch och iPad från App Store i iTunes at 6.57.10 pm

ScoreCloud Express

Noisy Ghost Walk

noisy ghost walkNoisy Ghost Walk is app game music describing a playful sprite’s attempt to walk on a narrow ledge to avoid being detected by the minor phantoms that guard this chamber.  The blaring trumpet at the end signals something… you decide.

It was written completely on GarageBand for Mac using extra Logic Pro X sounds to demonstrate the basic features of GarageBand for upcoming educator workshops.  Please contact me if you have any comments or questions.


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