• IWD | Musicians who inspired us to play

    #IWD - Musicians who inspired us to pick up an instrument

    This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating some of the musicians who inspired and gave us confidence to play what are often seen as just ‘traditional’ musical instruments. 
    Encouragement comes from many places, from an approving nod from a stranger (or perhaps a nice comment on social media) to teachers, parents, peers, friends and siblings; those we trust and are closest to us are often our biggest supporters. 
    However, there’s something about seeing someone popular in the mainstream who you can relate to advocating and endorsing that thing you want to be doing. It makes us feel more assured that what we do will be positively received. 
    With this in mind, here are some of our favourite musicians who have inspired us and made us feel confident about picking up and playing our instruments. 

    Lizzo | FLUTE

    Lizzo’s flute playing went viral after her iconic performance BET awards. You may not know that she’s a classical trained flautist and she’s inspired so many people that beginner flute sales were boosted by a third in 2019! Her Flute is called Sasha also has it’s on Instagram account #ICONIC

    Watch her NPR Tiny Desk Concert here below.

    Lisa Simpson | SAXOPHONE 🎷

    Not all role models are real life people! Lisa is arguably the best Simpsons character. Summed up: “Her formidable intellect and insatiable thirst for knowledge make her a hero to brainy outcasts everywhere. She’s also been The Simpsons‘ moral compass as well, helping to ground her family’s more outlandish adventures in common sense and decency.”

    Here’s Lisa and her idol who gave her his Sax playing together:

    Alicia Keys | PIANO 🎹

    Alicia Keys is an inspiration in more was then one but those instantly recognisable opening notes in If Ain’t Got You falling down the chord never cease to make you stop and listen. 

    Did you know Alicia started learning the piano aged 7? Watch below as she is gives a piano lesson and shares the story behind one of her most well known and moving songs. On a more classical side, here’s Alicia playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in honour of Kobe Bryant. 

    Nicola Benedetti | VIOLIN 🎻

    Nicola was born in Scotland and won BBC Young Musician of the year when she was just 16 and has gone on to inspire and encourage music education across the world! 

    Watch her famous rendition of the Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams below. She’s got some great tutorials on YouTube which are soon to be added to.

    Shelia Maurice-Grey | TRUMPET 🎺

    Shelia aka Ms Grey is bandleader of KOKOROKO and has performed with the likes of Solange, Kano and Little Simz and studied at Trinity Laban. For a long time, brass instruments have been seen as a ‘male’ instrument and we LOVE that Shelia is breaking down that preconception. 

    In 2018, a Telegraph article reported that Anne McAneney of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, was the only female trumpet player in the world’s top 20 orchestras. This was a couple of years ago but there’s still lots of work to be done in encouraging more women to play brass instruments. 

    Here’s Shelia playing for Jazz re:freshed in 2018:

    Laura Marling | GUITAR 🎸

    It’s Laura’s effortless and often stark simplicity of what is most often just her voice accompanied by a guitar that made us want to pick up the guitar.

    She has recently shared lots of amazing tutorials recently over on her Instagram. Watch her NPR Tiny ‘Home’ Desk concert below.

    We would absolutely love to hear about the women in music who inspired you! Tell us on Instagram or Twitter @TakeitawayMusic

  • Music Podcasts

    Podcasts about Music 🎵

    The podcast world has boomed over the past few years, but what is it about podcasts we love? I think it’s as straightforward as the fact that they provide entertainment and information in such an accessible and simple way.
    Before lockdown, listening to a podcast was the perfect handsfree way to distract yourself from a mundane commute, and now it’s a welcome break from looking at a screen but still staying engaged with something. And let’s be honest, no one ever grows out of having a story read to them! 
    From unpicking songs and the effect a piece of music has in our lives to navigating the music industry – here are some of our favourite podcasts about music to add to your lockdown listening. 
    Have you got a recommendation? Get in touch here and we’ll add it to the post.

    By Sophie Ogunyemi 

    Are we live?4 cartoon faces of Are We Live podcast hosts

    Described as ‘some mates having a chat about music’, tune in to hear our fave musicians BarneyArtist, AlfaMist, TomMisch and JordanRakei chat about, well, music! From what they’re listening to, to talking about recording studio etiquette and much, much more.

    🔊 Listen on SpotifySoundCloudApple Podcasts

    Bitesize Bodacious Babes Bitesize Bodacious Babes - podcast by women in music

    This podcast by Gabi Corbett is from women in the music industry helping to demystify the industry and inspire more ‘bodacious babes’ to get involved!  

    🔊 Listen on various platforms here.

    Broken RecordBroken Record Logo

    From FKA Twigs and Niler Rodgers to Bon Iver, well loved musicians talk about their life, inspiration, craft and what goes into their music.

    🔊 Listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts

    Desert Island Discs Desert Island Discs BBC Radio 4

    The OG of podcasts about music! This radio show has been running since 1942. Each guest is asked to choose 8 tracks, a book and a luxury to take with them as they’re castaway on a mythical desert island. In between each track, the guest is interviewed and generally discusses their lives up to that point.

    🔊 Listen on BBC Sounds Apple MusicSpotify 

    DissectDissect Logo

    This show deep dives and dissects a single album per season and one song per episode. From The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to Frank Ocean‘s Blonde, Beyonce’s Lemonade and more.

    🔊 Listen on Spotify Apple Podcasts 

    Music MattersMusic Matters BBC Radio 3

    ‘The stories that matter, the people that matter, the music that matters.’ From clips like ‘Why music can literally make us lose track of time’ and ‘Why CDs may be more eco-friendly than streaming’ to  ‘The evolution of video game music’, there are some super interesting topics covered in this podcast to keep you going!

    🔊 Listen on BBC SoundsApple Podcasts

    Music Made Me Do ItMusic Made Me Do It

    “Just what do music managers, record label owners and festival founders do, and how can you become one? Stuart Stubbs attempts to unpack the different roles within the music industry by talking to the people who felt compelled to start their own successful businesses and projects within this brilliant and silly world”

    🔊 Listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts 

    Song ExploderSong Exploder Logo E

    “Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.” Over 150 musicians have been involved including Fleetwood Mac, U2, Metallica, Solange, Lorde, and Yo-Yo Ma so we’re sure you’ll find someone you’re interested in!

    🔊 Listen on Apple PodcastsSpotify 

    Soul Music Soul Music BBC Radio 4

    “This podcast series explores pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact.” Each episode takes one song (such as Back to Black and Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay) and hears first hand how it’s impacted various peoples lives.

    🔊 Listen on BBC SoundsApple Podcasts

    Sound Tracking Sound Tracking - image of Edith Bowman

    Each week Edith Bowman sits down with a variety of composers, directors, actors and producers to talk about the music that inspired them and how they use music in their films – from Normal People to Peaky Blinders!

    🔊 Listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts

    Switched On PopSwitch on Pop - Vox

    This show is about the making and meaning of popular music hosted by musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding. They break down pop songs to figure out what makes a hit and what is its place in culture. They ‘help listeners find “a-ha” moments in the music.’ We enjoyed ‘How streaming changed the sound of pop’.

    🔊 Listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts

    The Story of Music in Fifty PiecesThe Story of Music in Fifty Pieces BBC Radio 3               

    Composer Howard Goodall in conversation with Suzy Klein, talk through 50 pieces of music that changed the course of music history including pieces from (of course) Mozart, Beethoven, Copland and more.

    🔊 Listen on BBC SoundsApple Podcasts

    World Service Music DocumentariesImage of concert

    BBC World Service broadcast lots of documentaries and they’ve gathered together all of the music related ones in one place which is very handy! From Lemn Sissey talking about Bob Marley with fans all over the world to the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust there  so many musical genres and histories are covered.

    🔊 Listen on BBC Sounds

    Tell us what you think: @Takeitawaymusic