Senseless

I was deeply saddened by the Las Vegas shooting. In the tragedy’s aftermath, I decided to create an original spoken word soundtrack that I hope you will consider bringing to your audiences through your choreographic talents. This soundtrack features two young ladies giving voice to my words. Click the play button below to hear Senseless. (Note: this soundtrack may engender deep feelings of sadness. Please be emotionally prepared before listening.)

I am making this track available for $9.99. If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at morriss@squirreltrenchaudio.com.

Protected versus unprotected Apple music files

People who use Apple Music run into the inability to edit m4p (protected) files. Here is your guide to understanding what is going on. Apple has has two music file formats:

  • m4p (protected), and
  • m4a (not protected).

If you bought a song on iTunes before 2009, it was in m4p (protected) format. If you bought a song after 2009 on iTunes, or used their sync system to convert m4p into m4a files, then it is in m4a (not protected) format.

However, if you create an offline copy of a song via Apple Music (streaming service), then THAT is m4p (protected) format. So if you have made an “offline” copy of a song via Apple Music, you need to delete that copy (the m4p protected file) before you can download (or re-download) the purchased m4a (not protected) file.

If you don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of figuring out if you have a protected or unprotected version of the song, and don’t want to have to know the difference between m4a and m4p files, I recommend NOT using Apple Music for streaming, and use Spotify instead. That keeps the difference between what you’ve bought and what you are streaming nice and SEPARATE.

There is Always Hope

Squirrel Trench Audio is pleased to present a new, spoken word soundtrack, with an anti-suicide message: There is Always Hope. Music is One More Light by Linkin Park. Voice over written by Andrea Norris Olsen and voiced by Shaunessey Lambert. Edited for a 2:51 routine length. $9.99. Click here to listen to the preview: There is Always Hope.

Email me if you are interested in getting this track.

More spoken word soundtracks for choreography can be found here: Squirrel Trench spoken word soundtracks.

Making choreographers happy

When you need perfect music for a new routine, Squirrel Trench Audio’s catalog of more than 750 ready-to-go clean edits and mixes is an amazing resource. Here’s what Maggy had to say about it:

“A huge thank you to Squirrel Trench Audio for their fast and professional service. You have saved me many hours of editing. So many amazing cuts and songs to choose from! This site is a dance teacher/choreographers dream come true!”

—Maggy Elias Sonoski, September 3, 2017

The catalog is even searchable by dance style. Check out the catalog and find the perfect music for your next routine!

Music for a new dance season

Back to school time means it’s time for a brand new season of dance! One of the most exciting times of year for dancers is to find out what their new routines are all about. And in order to have a great new routine, you have to have great new music.

To transform the process of creating new music from a chore into a joy, we have more than 750 clean song edits and mixes that are instantly ready to be choreographed. Every song and mix is lovingly crafted to be the best possible foundation for your choreography. View the Squirrel Trench catalog of clean music and mixes here.

Here’s what a dance teacher had to say about the service today:

“Thank you so much! I’m going to continue browsing your mixes- you’re SO much more affordable than other sites and save me all of the time in editing. What you’re doing is great- thanks again.”

— Heather Closson, Dance Instructor
Ratio Dance, Auburn IN, August 28, 2017

Helping Ashley at Ohana

I love getting feedback from dance studio owners and choreographers. Especially when they find that my catalog of cleaned and edited songs and mixes transforms the music selection task from a headache and chore into an easy and exciting process of finding music that is perfect for their choreographic vision. Here’s the latest from Ashley Kohl, Creative Director for the Ohana School of Performing Arts in South Hadley, Massachusetts:

“You totally ROCK!!!! Wow, thanks so much Morriss! I’ll be in touch with more … this resource is a serious lifesaver. I have shared it with all of my instructors. I am so much more excited to pick music than I have ever been. It’s usually so daunting and stressful. Game changer!

Thank you for being so generous and helpful!”

—Ashley Kohl, Creative Director
Ohana School of Performing Arts, July 22, 2017

If you’d like to check out the listing of more than 700 clean songs and mixes, just click this link: Squirrel Trench Audio catalog. Find out how easy picking perfect music for your choreography can be!

Tap choreographers: It’s Time for Tea

If you choreograph tap or jazz, I have come across the most amazing song for a routine. And it’s pretty far off the beaten path, not a song I’ve ever heard at a competition. I will deliver a squeaky clean version, perfectly edited for a 2:39 routine​. As one dance teacher exclaimed today “This is FABULOUS!”

Listen to the preview here:
Time for Tea (Squirrel Trench Clean 2:39)

If you’d like to get this version, just email me at morriss@squirreltrenchaudio.com!

Ultra clean Run the World (Girls)

Recently, a dance teacher contacted me in an emergency situation. She needed an ultra clean version of Run the World (Girls) for a fellow teacher’s routine. Her response to the result:

“Wow! Thank you so so much! I cannot express how grateful I am that I don’t have to tell 15 parents their girls aren’t performing tonight. I’ll certainly use your services in the future!”

—Brianna Hafen
America’s Kids in Motion

Two ways in which poor music editing can lead to students who quit dance

Recently, there was a great conversation about the value of music editing as it pertains to dance studios in the Facebook group Dance Teacher Network. As I’ve outlined previously, there is much more to quality music editing for choreography than simply making a cut and calling it a day. Good music editing for choreography takes into account song structure as well as employs a variety of audio engineering techniques when needed. But there are two specific cases where poor music editing can completely frustrate a dancer, and in extreme cases, may even lead a student to quit dance entirely!

There are two kinds of poorly executed music edits that can lead dancers to quit: Awkward fade-outs and too much repetition

The first kind of poor music edit is one that robs the dancer of the applause that he or she so very much deserves after performing a routine. This poor choice is when a dance group or soloist’s song is simply faded out without any thought as to how the music should flow from start to finish. These type of fade-outs usually have the performer(s) dancing off the stage at an awkward point in the song; at a point where the audience isn’t expecting the routine to end because the music does not sound like it’s supposed to end. So the dancer is all the way off stage before the audience realizes that the routine is over, and there is a hesitation before they start to applaud. AND, the dancer is now not on the stage to properly feel, and fully receive, the audience’s applause. In extreme cases, this leaves a young, fledgling dancer who is timid, or a little bit uncertain of their dancing abilities, feeling like the audience may not have really appreciated their routine after all. Instead, always put a button on the music to ensure the dancer(s) receive the applause they deserve while on stage!

The second, and even more direct route where a bad music edit can lead to a dancer quitting entirely is when there is too much repeating left in the music edit for a young soloist. This can happen no matter whether it’s a competition solo or a recital solo. When too much repetition is left in the music, it is extremely easy for a dancer to lose track of where they are in the song and thus where they are in the choreography. When the music repeats over and over (especially choruses that repeat and verses that repeat), the dancer doesn’t have the “help” of the music or lyrics to serve as auditory cues as to where they are in their choreo and what comes next.

Properly edited music for dance has all possible repetition removed. This is an aspect that the vast majority of DIY music editors (and even many audio professionals who have not studied the intersection of dance and music) fail to realize. Music with too much repetition retained leads to students who more easily lose track of where exactly they are in their choreo, an especially big problem in solos where you can’t cue off of another dancer. In these cases, the person creating the music edit doesn’t even realize that the repetition in the music is a big contributor to the problem. And if a student doesn’t not have the “help” of the music to help them remember their choreo, then that leads to frustration, which can lead to quitting dance entirely.

I’m sure you have viewed hundreds and hundreds of solo routines in competition as I have, and therefore you know that at a large comp, there will ALWAYS be at least one young soloist who runs off the stage sobbing because they forgot their choreo under the bright lights of the stage. I have come to the conclusion that poorly edited music containing too much repetition is a major contributing factor to these breakdowns.

Of course, sometimes a dancer who forgets their choreo returns later to the stage and performs triumphantly, but some of these dancers decide to quit dance forever right then and there. Why risk it? Why lose young dancers forever due to poorly thought-out music edits? Sure, there are sometimes when a student forgets their choreo, even with perfectly edited music. But no one wants their students to experience these kind of choreo-forgetting melt-downs.

You, as choreographer and teacher, pour your heart and soul into your choreo, into teaching your students, and cleaning their routines. You spend hours picking out the perfect costume to match your choreo. You deserve to have perfect, optimized music to match the effort you put into every other aspect of the dance, and you deserve to have music that actively helps your dancers remember their choreo instead of being a stumbling block.

This is why Squirrel Trench Audio music is created with the UTMOST care and precision — with song structure analysis to eliminate all possible repetition, ensuring that each music edit is a complete soundtrack, start to finish, that is ideal for choreography. Squirrel Trench Audio even has more than 1,000 clean song edits and remixes available in our archives. Check the listing for the songs that you want and email me or use this form to send me your music requests or for more information.

Oh.My.Gosh by The Bunnies from Sing

OH.MY.GOSH is a fun hip hop song from the original motion picture soundtrack of the movie Sing. Oh.my.gosh is perfect for younger kids doing a hip hop routine, except that singing “butt” over and over and over again my not be appropriate for some audiences. Squirrel Trench Audio to the rescue, with a perfect and squeaky clean version of the song, where ALL instances of “butt” have been removed! The routine length is 2:10. Send me an email if you are interested in this squeaky clean version!