This summer, I’ve decided to add a new feature to piano lessons. I know that many families travel during the summer months and it’s sometimes difficult to practice.
These daily assignments, June through August will help you and your students learn a bit more about the pieces they’re learning during the year – or maybe give ideas for something that they’d like to learn.
Each piece has a bit of composer info and several different interpretations, some of which are very humorous. Some of the assignments appear in Piano Maestro so be sure to have that handy, if your student uses that.
Some days give hints that the assignment of the day may be played (or reviewed) at the next lesson so please be sure that your student takes note of that (no pun intended!)
• 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
. 1996 ~ Normani Kordei Hamilton. Known simply as Normani, the talented singer and dancer gained fame as part of the group Fifth Harmony, who were formed in 2012 on the American version of X-Factor, a television singing competition. The group ended up in third place on the competition show but went on to achieve commercial success. In 2018 the group split and Normani began her solo career. Her first solo single “Motivation” reached the US Top 40 and was certified platinum. Normani has also collaborated with notable musicians Calvin Harris, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Sam Smith, and Megan Thee Stallion.
• 1997 ~ “Once Upon a Mattress,” 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.