Piano Lessons For Very Young Children ~ Roadtrip!

RT_Front-cover

Student books in 6 different categories are available now in both digital and hardcopy.  There is now “To the Lake”, “Outdoor Adventure”, “To the Farm”, “Country Carnival” and two levels of “Rockstar Rally”.

  • Ideal for students ages 4 and up.
  • On the staff from the start
  • Music is a mix of familiar tunes and original pieces
  • Multi-key approach
  • 18 songs that can be learned by note or rote
  • Clean easy-to-follow pages (great for special needs students!)

 

 

Two levels of Roadtrip! are currently available in Piano Maestro.

Register for Roadtrip!  Students (ages 4-5) are scheduled for half-hour lessons with their parents present.

Daily Listening Assignments ~ August 13, 2020

 

To a Wild Rose is the first piece from Ten Woodland Sketches, Op. 51, by the American composer Edward MacDowell. It was completed in 1896, Numerous arrangements of the piece have been made. Though the original was for solo piano, it has been arranged for two sopranos, alto and piano.

It has been said that the piece is best played by children, as they wouldn’t embellish it heavily but perform it quite simply. Find it in Piano Pronto Movement 4 and other books.

Chamber Orchestra

A beginning band

Flute

Harp

Tuba

Daily Listening Assignments ~ August 7, 2020

 

Today’s piece is Beethoven’s Rage Over a Lost Penny found in Piano Pronto Movement 4, Songs I Love to Play 2 and Beethoven: Exploring His Life and Music. The official title is The “Rondo alla ingharese quasi un capriccio” in G major, Op. 129 (Italian for “Rondo in the Hungarian [i.e. gypsy] style, almost a caprice”).

The story goes –

At one point Beethoven was composing this piece, a booming and boisterous piece that exuded energy and vitality.

One night a neighbor heard a loud dispute.

Beethoven was in a rage, accusing a maid of stealing a gold penny. The maid ran out and was never heard from again.

The neighbor then heard furniture crashing, and he could only conclude that the great Maestro was tipping over furniture, madly looking for the lost gold penny.

The story spread through the neighborhood and became part of the legend of Beethoven’s bad moods and curmudgeonly behavior.

 

 

An easier version

A tad faster

 

From Piano Pronto

 

Orchestra

 

Daily Listening Assignments ~ July 30, 2020

 

 

 

 

Today’s piece is a fine baseball standard “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer.  The song’s chorus is traditionally sung during the middle of the seventh inning of a baseball game. Fans are generally encouraged to sing along, and at some ballparks, the words “home team” are replaced with the team name.

Find it in Piano Pronto Songs I love to Play 2 and Alfred Premier 2B among others.

Below are the lyrics to the chorus of the 1908 version, which is out of copyright.

Chorus

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.

 

From the movie Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Muppets

Organ

 

Ragtime Piano

 

Player piano

 

Orchestra

 

Daily Listening Assignments ~ July 27, 2020

 

Today we listen to Hot Cross Buns.  “Hot Cross Buns” is an English language nursery rhyme, Easter song, and street cry referring to the spiced English bun known as a hot cross bun, which is associated with the end of Lent and is eaten on Good Friday in various countries.

 

 

This is from Keyboard Kickoff:

Theme and Variations

 

This version gets harder and harder as it goes

 

 

 

In case that made you hungry

 

More about Hot Cross Buns

Daily Listening Assignments ~ July 23, 2020

 

Today we listen to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”. The real name for this work is The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor “Quasi una fantasia”, Op. 27, No. 2. It was completed in 1801 and dedicated in 1802 to his pupil, Countess Giulietta Guicciardi

The piece is one of Beethoven’s most popular compositions for the piano, and it was a popular favorite even in his own day.

It’s in the Piano Pronto Beethoven book as well as many compilations of classical music.

 

Arranged for piano and orchestra

An animation

 

The above were all of the first movement only.  Here’s the whole sonata played by Valentina Lisitsa:

 

Daily Listening Assignments ~ July 22, 2020

 

Today’s piece is called the British Grenadiers and I’ve included it because most students today haven’t heard of the piece OR know what a grenadier is.  Find this in Keyboard Kickoff, Prelude and many other piano method books.

“The British Grenadiers” is a traditional marching song of British, Australian and Canadian military units whose badge of identification features a grenade.   The original melody dates from the 17th century.

 

Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these
But of all the world’s great heroes
There’s none that can compare
With a tow, row row row, row row row
To the British Grenadiers

When e’er we are commanded to storm the palisades
Our leaders march with fuses, and we with hand grenades;
We throw them from the glacis about the enemies’ ears
With a tow, row row row, row row row
For the British Grenadiers

Then let us fill a bumper, and drink a health to those
Who carry caps and pouches, and wear the louped clothes
May they and their commanders live happy all their years
Sing tow, row row row, row row row
For the British Grenadiers

 

In the examples below you can hear the steady marching drumbeat.

 

 

The band of the Highlands and Lowlands plays “The British Grenadiers” at Edinburgh Castle

 

Fife and drum

 

Piano

Guitar

A piano tutorial

A different take

 

 

Daily Listening Assignments ~ July 18, 2020

 

 

hall-mountain

 

“In the Hall of the Mountain King” is a piece of orchestral music composed for the sixth scene of act 2 in Henrik Ibsen’s 1867 play Peer Gynt. It was originally part of Opus 23 but was later extracted as the final piece of Peer Gynt, Suite No. 1, Op. 46. Its easily recognizable theme has helped it attain iconic status in popular culture, where it has been arranged by many artists, including for the piano.

Borrow a copy of the sheet music from the O’Connor Music Studio.  I have this arranged for piano, duet, 2-piano, simplified…

 

8 part vocal orchestra (plus a tiny pair of cymbals)

 

Pianist Paul Barton

 

Solo piano sheet music – Video Score

 

Orchestral version

Daily Listening Assignments ~ July 14, 2020

 

“The Entertainer” is a 1902 classic piano rag written by Scott Joplin. It was sold first as sheet music, and in the 1910s as piano rolls that would play on player pianos.

It was used as the theme music for the 1973 Oscar-winning film The Sting by composer and pianist Marvin Hamlisch.
The Sting was set in the 1930s, a full generation after the end of ragtime’s mainstream popularity, thus giving the inaccurate impression that ragtime music was popular at that time.

Find the sheet music in a variety of levels including Songs I Love to Play, Volume 1 and Alfred Premier Piano Course Book 4.  It’s also available in Piano Maestro and to borrow from the O’Connor Music Studio

 

 

As played in The Sting

 

Adam Swanson

 

Piano Duet

On an older piano

 

At Disney

 

Player piano

Harder than it needs to be

From a 4-year-old

Violin and piano

 

String Quartet

On guitar

 

Saxophone quartet

Miss Piggy sang The Entertainer

And, everyone’s favorite – the ice cream truck!