For tapping out a beat may help children learn difficult fraction concepts, according to new findings due to be published in the journal Educational Studies in Mathematics.
An innovative curriculum uses rhythm to teach fractions at a California school where students in a music-based programme scored significantly higher on math tests than their peers who received regular instruction.”Academic Music” is a hands-on curriculum that uses music notation, clapping, drumming and chanting to introduce third-grade students to fractions.The programme, co-designed by San Francisco State University researchers, addresses one of the most difficult – and important – topics in the elementary mathematics curriculum.”If students don’t understand fractions early on, they often struggle with algebra and mathematical reasoning later in their schooling,” said Susan Courey, assistant professor of special education at San Francisco State University.
• 1974 ~ William DeVaughn, a soul singer, songwriter and guitarist from Washington, DC, received a gold record for his only hit, Be Thankful for What You Got.
• 1976 ~ Ear doctors didn’t have to drum up business this day. There were plenty of walk-ins as The Who put out a total of 76,000 watts of power at 120 decibels. They played the loudest concert anyone had ever heard, making it into “The Guinness Book of World Records”.
• 1977 ~ “Beatlemania” opened at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 920 performances
• 1989 ~ First presentation of rock n roll Elvis awards
• 1994 ~ Herva Nelli, Soprano, died at the age of 85
• 1997 ~ “Once Upon a Matress,” closed at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 187 performances.
• 2002 ~ Mario Lago, an influential composer, actor and political dissident, died of lung failure. He was 90. Throughout a multifaceted career, Lago wrote more than 200 popular songs and appeared in 20 films and more than 30 telenovelas, Brazil’s version of television soap operas. He was also an active member of Brazil’s Communist Party, and was imprisoned six times during Brazil’s 1964-86 military regime. One of Lago’s most successful songs, Amelia, sang the praises of a woman happy with very little from her husband. The name came to signify a submissive woman in Brazilian slang. Lago continued acting until January, 2002 when he was hospitalized for a month with emphysema.
Here are 8 bits of wisdom from Play It Again that remind us that it is possible to make time for what matters most in the face of life’s demands and stresses.
Own Your Stress
Rusbridger is completely clear-eyed about just how stressful his job is, and by confronting — rather than denying — the reality of his stress, he’s able to seek out ways to reduce it. Being editor of the Guardian is “one of those jobs which expands infinitely to fill the time and then spill beyond it,” he writes. “An editor, particularly within a modern global media company, is never truly off duty.”
A typical day in the life of a newspaper editor, he writes, means “a hum of low-level stress much of the time, with periodic eruptions of great tension.”
Find Your Metaphor
When Rusbridger felt frustration and self-doubt — which was nearly all the time — he found it helpful to think of people who took on great challenges in different fields. This helped put his own project in perspective, and also let him feel solidarity with others who had taken on great challenges. He compares learning Chopin to climbing the Matterhorn, the forbidding mountain in the Alps.
He writes: “Jerry R. Hobbs, an American computational linguistics expert and amateur climber, described the mountain as ‘just about the hardest climb and ordinary person can do’, which, apropos the G minor Ballade, sounds familiar.”
You’re Not Alone
Rusbridger supplements his piano practice with lots of reading. One book in particular, Arnold Bennett’s 1910 How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, reminds him that the sense of having not enough time to do all we want to do is universal, and not exactly new.
As Bennett writes: “We never shall have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.”
There’s Power In A Morning Routine
Rusbridger learns quickly that his daily 20 minutes have to happen in the morning, before the unpredictable demands of work kick in. Here is how he describes his routine:
“I get up half an hour earlier. I fit in ten minutes of yoga listening to the Todayprogramme – not exactly meditative. Then breakfast and the papers with more Today programme all at the same time. Then I slip upstairs to the sitting room to play before driving into work.”
Pursuing Your Passion Is An Investment
Even though his morning piano practice is a solitary activity, he undertakes it knowing that it will have social benefits. After all, when he was a child, his mother told him that playing the piano would help him make friends. She’s right, and he finds her message echoed in the pages of Charles Cooke’s book Playing the Piano for Pleasure: “The better you play, the more your circle of friends will expand. You can count on this as confidently as you can count on the sun rising. Music is a powerful magnet which never fails to attract new, congenial, long-term friends.”
Mortality Is A Good Motivator
When Rusbridger’s former girlfriend gets in touch to tell him that her breast cancer has returned, he finds himself reflecting on mortality, and thinking of other friends more or less his age who are undergoing treatment for various serious diseases. Each brush with illness or mortality strengthens his determination to lean the Ballade. “In terms of getting on with life’s ambitions,” he writes, “I’m hit by more than a tinge of carpe diem.”
“Amateur” Is Not An Insult
Rusbridger has no illusions or intentions about becoming a professional pianist. He’s a dedicated amateur from the start, and his conversations and meetings with other music lovers — both professional and amateur — is a reminder that “amateur” isn’t a value judgment (i.e. worse than a professional), but a worthy end in itself. In fact, it’s probably a good deal more enjoyable and less stressful than being a pro.
In conversation with Rusbridger, the New York Times music critic Michael Kimmelman talks about the perks of being an amateur. “You have another life, it’s a full and interesting life, but you decide to add this life as well because music gives you something that you can’t get from this other life. It isn’t about having a career and making a living from it, it’s about something that only music-making will give you.”
It’s Never Too Late
As he improves and comes closer to learning the entire Ballade, no one is as surprised as Rusbridger himself. “It’s a funny thing to discover about yourself in your mid-50s — that you spent the previous forty years not doing something on the assumption that you couldn’t do it, when all along you could.”
He is astonished to learn, after memorizing complex passages of the Ballade, just how powerful his own memory is. “Back in the summer of 2010 I had no idea of just how capable a 56-year-old brain was of learning new tricks,” he writes. “So it’s heartening to know that, quite well into middle age, the brain is plastic enough to blast open hitherto unused neural pathways and adapt to new and complicated tasks. So, no, it’s not too late.”
• 1909 ~ Benny Goodman, American jazz clarinetist, composer and bandleader. He became a leading player with his own bands during the 1930’s and also commissioned works from classical composers including Bartok and Copland.
More information on Goodman
• 1913 ~ Pee Wee (George) Erwin, Trumpet with Tommy Dorsey Band and Isham Jones Band
• 1913 ~ Cedric Thorpe Davie, Composer
• 1920 ~ George London, Baritone singer with Bel canto Trio (with Frances Yeend and Mario Lanza); member: Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera; Artistic Director of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Director: National Opera Institute; head of the Washington Opera and established the George London Foundation for Singers in 1971.
• 1922 ~ ‘Smilin’ Ed McConnell debuted on radio, smiling and playing his banjo. McConnell quickly became a legend in the medium.
The Nitehawks Swing Band will be playing at Greenbriar Park Saturday, May 30 at 7:00 pm. All concerts at Greenbriar Park include free pretzels, soft drinks and ice cream. Bring a blanket or a chair!
The Nitehawks Swing Band has been entertaining audiences around the Washington, DC metropolitan area for over 15 years. From big band dance arrangements of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington to high energy jump and jive tunes, and slow, belly-rubbing ballads, and even a little rock & roll, they will set the mood and keep you dancing through the night. With a full group of Brass, Reeds, Rhythm and Vocals, they provide the full big band sound.
• 1911 ~ Sir William Gilbert, English librettist who together with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan collaborated on many operettas, died of a heart attack after rescuing a woman from drowning. He was 74.
• 1911 ~ Carl M Story (1916) Fiddler
• 1912 ~ Fifteen women were dismissed from their jobs at the Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia, PA — for dancing the Turkey Trot while on the job!
• 1919 ~ (Walter) (Wladziu Valentino) Liberace, American concert pianist and showman. His trade mark was a candelabra on his piano.
More information about Liberace
• 1922 ~ Iannis Xenakis, Rumanian-born French theorist and composer
More information on Xenakis
• 1923 ~ Eugene Wright, Jazz musician, bass with Dukes of Swing, played with Brubeck
• 1935 ~ Josef Suk, Czech violinist and composer, died at the age of 61
• 1930 ~ Eleanor Fazan, Opera and show choreographer
• 1937 ~ Peter Kolman, Composer
• 1941 ~ Roy Crewsdon, Guitarist with Freddie and The Dreamers
• 1942 ~ The biggest selling record of all time was recorded. A little out of season, perhaps, but White Christmas, the Irving Berlin classic, was recorded by BingCrosby for Decca Records. The song was written for the film “Holiday Inn”. More than 30-million copies of Crosby’s most famous hit song have been sold and a total of nearly 70-million copies, including all versions of the standard, have been sold.
• 1943 ~ Hermann Hans Wetzler, Composer, died at the age of 72
• 1943 ~ “The Million Dollar Band” was heard for the first time on NBC radio. Charlie Spivak was the first leader of the band that featured Barry Wood as vocalist. The unusual feature of the show was the awarding each week of five diamond rings!
• 1945 ~ Gary Brooker, Keyboard player, singer
• 1948 ~ Linda Esther Gray, opera singer
• 1948 ~ Michael Berkley, Composer and broadcaster
• 1949 ~ Francis Rossi, Guitarist
• 1949 ~ Gary Brooker, Rock keyboardist with Procol Harum
• 1950 ~ Rebbie (Maureen) Jackson, Singer, oldest member of the Jackson family
• 1951 ~ Dimitrios Levidis, Composer, died at the age of 66
• 1996 ~ James George “Jimmy” Rowles, Jazz pianist, died at the age of 77
• 1997 ~ Jeff Buckley, Musician, drowned at age 30
• 2003 ~ Janet Collins, the first black prima ballerina to appear at the Metropolitan Opera and one of a few black women to become prominent in American classical ballet, died. She was 86. In 1951, Collins performed lead roles in “Aida” and Bizet’sCarmen and danced in “La Gioconda” and “Samson and Delilah” at the Met in New York City. That was four years before Marian Anderson made her historic debut as the first black to sing a principal role at the Met. Collins left the Met in 1954. During the 1950s, she toured with her own dance group throughout the United States and Canada and taught. Collins also danced in films, including the 1943 musical “Stormy Weather” and 1946’s “The Thrill of Brazil.” The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1974 paid homage to Collins and Pearl Primus as pioneering black women in dance.
Renowned pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim has unveiled a new type of piano, which he says is a “sound alternative” to the standard concert grand piano that has not undergone much change over a century.
Barenboim, 72, launched the instrument at the Royal Festival Hall here on Tuesday, in advance of his Schubert recital series.
Declaring the new piano a “sound alternative”, Barenboim said: “I’ve fallen in love with it and I want to spend as much time with it as possible.”
The exterior of the new piano looks much the same as any other modern concert grand piano, but inside, there are some dramatic differences, The Guardian reported.
Designed by the Belgian instrument-maker Chris Maene, the Barenboim has straight parallel strings instead of the diagonal-crossed ones of a contemporary piano. The wooden soundboard veins go in different directions. The bridges, ribs and bracings are specially designed and the hammers and strings have been repositioned.
Barenboim, currently heading Berlin’s flagship opera house, the State Opera, said he intended to perform the entire series on the new piano.
Modern pianos have become highly standardised, with few changes to their fundamental design over the past 100 years.
They are largely cross-strung, with the bass strings crossing over the middle and treble strings in an “X” pattern, allowing the sound to be concentrated on the centre of the soundboard.
He developed his idea with Belgian instrument maker Chris Maene, with support from Steinway & Sons.
As well as the straight strings, the Barenboim-Maene piano features a double bridge and horizontal soundboard veins.
According to a press release, the piano “combines the touch, stability, and power of a modern piano with the transparent sound quality and distinguishable colour registers of more historic instruments”.
Pianist Gwendolyn Mok, who plays an 1875 straight-strung Erard piano, has said that such instruments possess superior clarity.
“If you look inside your own piano, you will notice that the strings are all crossing each other,” she told the San Francisco Examiner in 2013.
“With the straight strung piano you get distinct registral differences – almost like listening to a choir where you have the bass, tenor, alto, and soprano voices.
“It is very clear and there is no blending or homogenizing of the sound. It therefore gives you huge opportunities in experimenting with colour.”
• 1966 ~ Percy Sledge hit number one with his first, and what turned out to be his biggest, hit. When a Man Loves a Woman would stay at the top of the pop music charts for two weeks. It was the singer’s only hit to make the top ten and was a million seller.
• 1973 ~ Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, German composer and conductor, died at the age of 73
• 1975 ~ The Doobie Brothers went gold with the album, “Stampede”. The group, formed in San Jose, CA, recorded 16 charted hits. Two made it to number one, becoming million-selling, gold record winners: Black Water in March, 1975 and What aFool Believes in April, 1979.
• 1977 ~ Jiri Reinberger, Composer, died at the age of 63
Pianist/composer Sergei Rachmaninov was possessed of both unusually large hands and a staggering lack of empathy when it came to writing piano music for other people. Hyung-ki Joo is by no means the first pianist to have been confounded by the mammoth chords of his Prelude in C sharp minor (Op.3, No.2).
He probably is the first to have come up with this particular solution helped by his partner in crime, violinist Aleksey Igudesman.
• 1915 ~ Mario del Monaco, Italian opera singer famed for Verdi and Puccini
• 1928 ~ Thea Musgrave, Scottish composer, best known for her concertos operas and choral and other vocal works.
• 1929 ~ Donald Howard Keats, Composer
• 1930 ~ Eino Tamberg, Composer
• 1931 ~ Veroslav Neumann, Composer
• 1932 ~ Jeffrey Bernard, Singer
• 1935 ~ Ramsey Lewis, American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader
• 1935 ~ Elias Gistelinck, Flemish Composer
• 1939 ~ Don Williams, Country singer
• 1940 ~ Rene Koering, Composer
• 1942 ~ Priscilla Anne McLean, Composer
• 1947 ~ Liana Alexandra, Composer
• 1950 ~ Frank Sinatra made his TV debut as he appeared on NBC’s “Star-Spangled Review” with show biz legend, Bob Hope.
• 1957 ~ Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Dallion), Singer with Siouxsie and the Banshees
• 1957 ~ That’ll be the Day, by The Crickets and featuring Buddy Holly, was released by Brunswick Records. On September 14th, the tune became the most popular record in the U.S. It was the first hit for Holly and his group after two previous releases went nowhere on Decca Records in 1956.
• 1961 ~ Singer Johnny Cash turned TV actor. He appeared on the NBC drama, “The Deputy”.
• 1972 ~ “Applause” closed at the Palace Theater in New York City after 900 performances