Barb’s Music Blog

Berkleemusic Celebrity Online Scholarship


I received word at noon today that I’ve been awarded a Berkleemusic Celebrity Online Scholarship in the name of Michel Camilo (

This means I’ll be able to take another Berkleemusic online course, after all. I’ve been vacillating between grinning and weeping ever since I found out!  

Now I need to decide what to take next, which is going to be really tough.  I have so much yet to learn….

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New Praise & Worship Song

I’ve written a new P&W song…but have not yet had time to record a demo of it.   In the meantime, here are the lyrics–for which I invite feedback:


I love* You, Lord
I love* You, Lord
Constant friend, faithful guide, merciful Saviour
Holy One, God’s Only Son
For your grace, for your pow’r, for the cross You bore
Ev’ry day, ev’ry hour, I love* You more.

Vs. 2:
Substitute “praise” for “love”.

Vs. 3:
Substitute “need” for “love”.

Repeat vs. 1.

Ev’ry day, ev’ry hour, I love You more.

*I’m not sure how I should manage the title…given the rotating verb in the hook and the fact that there are so many “I Love You, Lord” songs out there.  I’ll get input from my SongU counsellors.

Stay tuned for the demo!

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Ultrasound Changes My View of the World

Last week my daughter sent me an electronic photo of her prenatal ultrasound.

I cannot begin to describe how I felt when I got my first glimpse of my grandbaby-in-the-making. Not quite 3 1/2″ from the top of his* head to the bottom of his rump, he still managed to tilt my world on its axis. (*sex unknown)

I’ve known about my daughter’s pregnancy for quite awhile, of course. But there was something about “seeing” that tiny little baby that really grabbed my heart. He suddenly seems so real! His hands and feet are about 1/2″ long now. Consider how tiny that makes his fingers and toes…and the bones inside them…and the nails on the tips of them!

I can’t help but think of Psalm 139 (New Living Translation):

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

Lately I’m thinking God’s greatest miracles are His smallest.

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Introduction to Audio for Games – Week 1

Oh, boy! Where do I begin to express my ignorance on this topic? I bring no experience and no innate gaming skills to the table. Thank goodness for my son, an avid gamer. I’ll be calling on his assistance on a regular basis, I’m afraid.

One of my assignments this week was to take an online quiz on game sounds, where we had to identify the game by the sound played. I got 3/18…and counted myself lucky to have gotten that. (Apparently the odds on guessing aren’t all that great.) Three. Hmm. Wow.

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I Got My A!

…and I’m thrilled with the feedback from my Film Scoring instructor, Jack Freeman:

Barb, this is very nice! (I don’t really notice that much difference in quality between the cues that are ‘properly sequenced’ and those that aren’t!) All your music would stand alone quite well apart from the film, I think. Your cues make good musical sense.

I’ve already made a few comments about the first cue in the previous assignment – it works very well under the narration and still follows the development of the film.

Nice musical transition to the second cue, good modulation also. Nice ‘working/industry’ feel with the strong pulse. Tempo works very well and helps to catch many visual events. The piece is interesting to listen to but doesn’t detract from our understanding of the film. Nice sort of deceptive resolution into the 3rd cue, very good contrasting feel. Brings out the ‘crystal’ aspect of the film for me, very delicate.

You definitely have used the overlap techniques well in this film. Very good recap to the first theme to tie everything together. Nice ending also. I think this is a good example of the techniques you’ve learned in the class. Bravo, great job!

(See why I’m thrilled?)

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It’s Official! I’ve Finished Film Scoring 101!

This is my final project for Film Scoring 101 from Berklee Music online.  The instructor said we could post our projects if we made it clear that this was an assignment, only, with our original music–and not the actual product.  So…this is a work print, only–not the actual, original product.  The music is mine.

The first two cues have been sequenced, but cues 3-5 are simply output from my notation software.  I plan to sequence them, as well, to give consistent sound throughout the documentary.

Even after all the calculations involved in order to sync music with the video, it still seems like magic to me!  I hope I never lose that sense of wonder….


Film Scoring 101…almost done!

I can’t believe I’ve finished the last week of my Berklee Film Scoring class.  I’ve learned a ton over the last three months!  Our final project is to score a minimum of two of the cues for a 5-minute documentary film on Waterford Crystal (Ireland).  I suspect that most of us are going to try to score overlapping cues for the whole thing; I know I am.  Fortunately, I have until January 4 to complete this.  My days off this week are certainly coming in handy!

As you can see, my son has been working on my website for me.   (How’s that for a fantastic Christmas gift?)  My videos now display and play properly, so you can finally watch “Butterflies”.  :)   Additionally, he has set up a player, where you can choose songs to listen to.

I just added another video, “The Attic” (working with footage from the TV show, Providence).  As with the Butterflies video, this footage was provided for our student assignments.  The “real” videos had different music and better video files (with no SMPTE code printed on it).

December has been a cold month in a lot of places, so I invite you to listen to “Summer at the Lake”.   If it’s cold where you are, as well, close your eyes, relax for a few minutes, and let the music invoke memories of the warm, lazy days of summer.

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The Attic

This is an assignment I did for Film Scoring 101 (Berklee Music online).  Note that this was an assignment, only, and the broadcast version (Providence) had different music!  This was my first film scoring project, and I was very excited to discover that the math prep I did actually had the music syncing properly to the video. (Imagine!)

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It’s hard to believe I’m finishing week 9 of Film Scoring 101. I’ve learned a lot…but am painfully aware of how much I don’t know and how terribly slow I am!

Nevertheless, here’s a little something to give you a peek at what I’ve been doing. (The music is also in my play list.) Note that the work print provided for this assignment is just a portion of the actual documentary. The “real” documentary also has higher-quality video, no embedded SMPTE time code, and different music. Our assignment was to write and arrange music that would complement and support the video, and sync to its movement.

Leave me a comment to let me know what you think!


P.S. Please accept my apologies for not checking on posts that had been submitted. I promise to do better!

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Turning on a Dime

Have you ever had one of those moments when you’re moving along in one direction and, suddenly, your life takes a U-turn?

That happened to me last Friday. There I was, Supervisor, Retail Administration, with my four-person team comfortably ensconced in their roles–as was I–when the VP called me in to discuss a new opportunity. Six days later, the change was announced to my team. Monday I start in my new role. Then, as though I needed another shot of adrenaline, I received a single-song publishing contract offer for “Bright Red Convertible”!

I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Or maybe I’m suffering from whiplash. How can one’s world change so quickly? Perhaps I need to pinch myself….

P.S. For those who are anxiously holding their breath to hear how I’m doing in my Film course, I’m happy to report that I figured out how to use markers, and I got the video playing.

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