I’m back! And taking another music production class, after a looong break. Actually, two classes, both on Monthly, one of my favorite online learning platforms. For 3 main reasons:

  1. You have projects to complete within a limited timeline (30 days)
  2. You get assigned to a group of peers and part of your assignment is to give each other feedback
  3. You get to watch the entire process as experts create their art from from scratch

This month, as a Monthly Plus member, I decided to take the plunge and take Music Production with Blanks and Singing with Stevie Mackie. Here’s what I learned:

Music Production

For this class, students will be following Blanks and creating their own version of:

  1. A cover song
  2. And two original songs

Week 1

I decided to do a cover of a foreign song by a singer from HK.



For this class, students are asked to complete vocal exercises and eventually sing a final song.

Week 1

It was interesting watching Stevie work with two students (one male, one female) as well as give tips on health and vocal range, etc., etc.

But by far the most important lesson I learned is the one on vocal imitation. It’s such a simple concept, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, but as soon as Stevie talked about the importance of imitating sounds you hear, a light bulb went off in my head.

Of course! That’s how you learn any language (and music is a language)–via imitation. One key that Stevie talked about in his video was to “not think about it.” Just listen and imitate.

I caught this point only after a few hours practicing by trying to analyze singers’ voices in my head: On this note, she has a bit of a growl, and then there’s a slide between these notes, and then that note is breathier than that note…

It’s probably a good idea to do a bit of both, I’m guessing. But just as kids don’t analytically think about the language they are learning, it makes sense to just listen and imitate without thinking too hard about it.

Another tip I learned from an English teacher is to wait a couple seconds after you hear something and not repeat right away. Let the sound echo in your mind for a moment before you try to imitate.