Piano Pronto


Some of you have noticed that I am switching your students (or yourself!) over to Piano Pronto and may have wondered why.

It was one of the first “method book series” to be integrated into Piano Maestro, so some of the songs have already been worked on using this iPad app.

I am in a Facebook group with the author/composer and many other participants have said that once their students have started in Piano Pronto, the students “forget” the other books at home or in the music bag.

So, a simple experiment was started here and the same thing happened.  Only the Piano Pronto book (Keyboard Kickoff) came out of the bag.

Then, another student got hooked, and another…

Even the young boys seem to love the duets, which are excellent at helping with counting and listening to other musicians.

A minor point but one that makes life easier for the teacher.  All books are $10.00 (plus shipping)  Other method books have varying prices in hard to find locations, some hidden in codes on the back.

Piano Pronto books can be ordered online at https://www.pianopronto.com/ and they are available at our local Music and Arts store in Oakton.  If something is needed fast, digital copies are available to print (or add to the iPad)

If you would like to look through any of the books, just ask!

From the composer, Jennifer Eklund, on Facebook:

Let me give you my fast 5 “things that makes us different from everyone else”:

#1 – On the staff reading day one (I take what I call a “total immersion” approach to note-reading/learning – watch the webinar for the full scoop)

#2 – Aurally pleasing music from very early on. I challenge you to find better and/or more consistently solid arranging in another method series. I don’t wait 2 years to introduce 8th notes. The tunes used in the series are strong and familiar and therefore we can get to more of the fundamentals earlier in the lesson process. Students practice with confidence at home because they recognize the melodies and therefore progress faster.

#3 – All-in-one integrated books (i.e. there aren’t 4 separate books per level the most you ever need is the method and maybe one supplement book)

#4 – The material is age and gender neutral. Clean layout with no illustrations to distract.

#5 – We start teaching how to *effectively* practice from the get-go with our “Pronto Prep” sections that pull out the difficult portions of pieces *before* a student learns the piece.

Other less important stuff:

#6 – The supplements are rooted in my “pop/jazz” background so while the method books are very “classically-based” the supplements are full of pop-style stuff that really creates well-rounded students

#7 – I challenge you to find more varied/interesting teacher duet parts.

#8 – I’m actively writing/creating new items constantly. I really listen to my customers and am writing to suit the needs of the market. If you need something and I don’t have it odds are I’ll probably end up filling your request.

#9 – I stay out of your way as a teacher. The material is extremely flexible. I wanted to give you a solid curriculum that is paced thoughtfully and you can augment the series with all the tools available in your toolbox. You will not feel restricted in any way by the material.

#10 – You can SEE and HEAR everything before you buy. There is NO guesswork involved with shopping with Piano Pronto.

March 21 ~ Today in Music History



. 1685 ~ Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer
Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in d minor (listen to it in the Listening Center) was featured in the Walt Disney movie Fantasia and the new Fantasia 2000
Listen to Bach’s music
Read quotes by and about Bach
More information about Bach
Grammy winner

. 1839 ~ Modeste Mussorgsky, Russian composer
More information about Mussorgsky

. 1869 ~ Florenz Ziegfeld, Producer, Ziegfeld Follies ~ annual variety shows famous for the Ziegfeld Girls from 1907 to the 1930s
More information about Ziegfeld

. 1882 ~ Bascom (Lamar) Lunsford, Appalachian folk song writer, started first folk music festival in 1928 ~ annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival at Asheville, N.C. He was responsible for formation of the National Clogging and Hoedown Council.

. 1921 ~ Arthur Grumiaux, Belgian violinist

. 1934 ~ Franz Schreker, Austrian composer and conductor, died

. 1935 ~ Erich Kunzel, American orchestra conductor. Called the “Prince of Pops” by the Chicago Tribune, he performed with a number of leading pops and symphony orchestras, especially the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, which he led for 32 years.

. 1936 ~ Alexander Glazunov died.  He was a Russian composer of the late Russian Romantic period, music teacher and conductor.

. 1939 ~ God Bless America, written by Irving Berlin back in 1918 as a tribute by a successful immigrant to his adopted country, was recorded by Kate Smith for Victor Records on this day in 1939. Ms. Smith first introduced the song on Armistice Day, November 11, 1938, at the New York World’s Fair. It was a fitting tribute to its composer, who gave all royalties from the very popular and emotional song to the Boy Scouts. The song became Kate Smith’s second signature after When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain and the second national anthem of the United States of America. On several occasions, it has even been suggested that the U.S. Congress enact a bill changing the national anthem to God Bless America.

. 1941 ~ Singer Paula Kelly joined Glenn Miller’s band. Her husband, also a part of the Miller organization, was one of the four singing Modernaires.

. 1955 ~ NBC-TV presented the first “Colgate Comedy Hour”. The show was designed to stop the Sunday popularity of Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” on CBS.  Gordon MacRae, the Gabor sisters and Mama Gabor, in addition to a host of singers and dancers were in the opening program with the gangway of the nation’s biggest ship, the “S.S. United States” as the stage. In addition to MacRae, other hosts of the “Colgate Comedy Hour” included: Fred Allen, Donald O’Connor, Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante.

. 1961 ~ The Beatles made their debut in an appearance at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, where they became regulars in a matter of months.

. 1963 ~ A year after opening in the Broadway show, I Can Get It for You Wholesale, Elliott Gould and Barbra Streisand tied the matrimonial knot.

. 1964 ~ Singer Judy Collins made her debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City and established herself “in the front rank of American balladeers.” She would first hit the Top 40 in 1968 with Both Sides Now, a Joni Mitchell song. Her versions of Amazing Grace and Send In the Clowns also became classics.

. 1970 ~ The Beatles established a new record. Let It Be entered the Billboard chart at number six. This was the highest debuting position ever for a record. Let It Be reached number two a week later and made it to the top spot on April 11, overshadowing Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water.

. 1998 ~ Galina Ulanova, the leading ballerina at the Bolshoi Theater for nearly two decades, died aged 88.

. 2000 ~ Jean Howard, a Ziegfeld girl-turned-starlet who became known as a legendary Hollywood hostess and photographer, died at the age of 89. She wasn’t interested in becoming a film star. Instead, she came to wield power as favorite Hollywood hostess and photographer, turning her portraits into the books “Jean Howard’s Hollywood” in 1989 and “Travels With Cole Porter” in 1991.

. 2005 ~ Legendary cabaret singer Bobby Short, an icon of old-world style who played for more than three decades at New York’s Carlyle Hotel, died at the age of 80.