Parents! How to Help Your Students Practice ~ Day Five

 

We have established that regular practice routines will not happen without proactive piano parents. So, how can parents be proactive practice assistants even if they have never touched a piano?

 

Day 5. The Youtube Liaison: As students get older, it can get harder for piano parents to be active in the home practice process. By transitioning from an authoritative role to an assistant role, parents can be supportive by performing simple tasks such as searching out quality Youtube performances of pieces their children are playing. It can be a really useful experience for teen piano players to see and hear performances of the pieces they are about to play.

 

September 19: On This Day in Music

today

• 1829 ~ Gustav Schirmer, German music publisher.  He founded G. Schirmer Inc., a classical music publishing company based in New York City, founded in 1861.

• 1818 ~ Blanche Thebom, American mezzo-soprano

• 1921 ~ Billy Ward, Singer, musician: piano with Billy Ward and the Dominoes

• 1931 ~ Brook (Benjamin Franklin) Benton (Peay), Singer

• 1934 ~ Brian Epstein, Talent manager for The Beatles

• 1935 ~ Nick Massi (Macioci), Bass, singer with The Four Seasons

• 1936 ~ The classic, Indian Love Call, was recorded by Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, on Victor Records.

• 1940 ~ Bill Medley, Singer with The Righteous Brothers

• 1941 ~ “Mama” Cass Elliott (Ellen Naomi Cohen), American folk-pop singer with The Mamas & The Papas

• 1945 ~ Freda Payne, Singer with Duke Ellington

• 1946 ~ John Coghlan, Drummer with Status Quo

• 1947 ~ Lol Creme, Guitarist, singer with 10cc

• 1952 ~ Nile Rogers, Musician with Honeydrippers

• 1953 ~ Gisele MacKenzie took over as host on NBC-TV’s Your Hit Parade. Her biggest hit during that stint, 1953 to 1957, was Hard to Get in June of 1955. Ironically, the song was first sung by Gisele in an episode of the NBC-TV show, Justice. It became a hit and she performed it again on Your Hit Parade.

• 1955 ~ Eva Marie Saint, Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman starred in the Producer’s Showcase presentation of Our Town on NBC~TV.

• 1974 ~ Eric Clapton received a gold record for I Shot the Sheriff. The song reached #1 on the pop charts on September 14th.

• 1968 ~ Red (Clyde Julian) Foley passed away

• 1981 ~ For their first concert in years, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited for a free concert to benefit New York City parks. The concert attracted a crowd of 500,000 people in Central Park and was broadcast to a TV audience in the millions.

• 2009 ~ Arthur Ferrante, American pianist and composer (Ferrante & Teicher – Exodus), died at the age of 88

 

Think Playing the Piano is Hard?

Try to find an American Fotoplayer!

fotoplayer

The American Fotoplayer is a type of photoplayer developed by the American Fotoplayer Company between the years of 1912 and 1925. The Fotoplayer is a type of player piano specifically developed to provide music and sound effects for silent movies.

The appeal of the Fotoplayer to theatre owners was the fact that it took no musical skill to operate. The Fotoplayer would play the piano and pipe organ mechanically using an electric motor, an air pump, and piano rolls while the user of the Fotoplayer would follow the onscreen action while pulling cords, pushing buttons, and pressing pedals to produce relatable sounds to what was occurring onscreen. These actions could create sounds such as a steamboat whistle, a bird chirp, wind, thunder, a telephone bell, as well as many others. On Fotoplayers specifically, most effects were created using leather cords with wooden handles on the ends which the effects were directly connected to. For example, the steamboat whistle sound effect was created using a household bellows with a whistle at the end. Pulling the cord compressed the bellows, delivering a gust of air into the whistle. Creating a drum roll on the other hand was a bit more complicated. A clockwork device was needed to time the strikes of the drum which required constant winding.

Adapted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_American_Fotoplayer

 

September 18: On This Day in Music

today

• 1763 ~ An instrument named the spinet was mentioned in The Boston Gazette newspaper on this day. John Harris made the spinet, a small upright piano with a three to four-octave range. There is no verifiable evidence to support the rumor that a man named Spinetti made the first spinet.

• 1809 ~ The Theatre Royal at Covent Garden re-opened after being destroyed by fire the year before. The Theatre Royal at Covent Garden began in Bow Street in 1732. It was designed by E.M. Barry in classical style. He also built for the theatre’s management the Floral Hall next door in glass and iron, meant to be a straightforward rival to the Bedford’s flower market. Both of Barry’s buildings are now part of the rebuilt Royal Opera House at Covent Garden complex.

• 1838 ~ Emil Scaria, Austrian bass-baritone

• 1899 ~ Scott Joplin was granted copyright for his “Maple Leaf Rag”, the most famous ragtime composition, by the US Copyright Office

• 1910 ~ Josef Tal, Polish-born Israeli composer and pianist

• 1917 ~ The Honolulu Ad Club registered a patent for the ukulele.

• 1927 ~ The Columbia Broadcasting System was born on this day, although its rival, NBC, had been on the air for some time. The Tiffany Network, as CBS was called, broadcast an opera, The King’s Henchman, as its first program. William S. Paley put the network together, purchasing a chain of 16 failing radio stations. The controlling interest cost between $250,000 and $450,000. The following year, the 27-year-old Paley became President of CBS. It only took one more year for him to profit 2.35 million dollars as the network grew to over 70 stations. In 1978 Paley received the First Annual ATAS (Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) Governor’s Award as Chairman of the Board of CBS.

• 1929 ~ Teddi King, Singer

• 1933 ~ Jimmie Rodgers, Singer

• 1939 ~ Frankie (Frances) Avalon (Avellone), American rock-and-roll singer

• 1947 ~ Country singers Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the first country show for the NYC venue.

• 1948 ~ The Original Amateur Hour returned to radio on ABC, two years after the passing of the program’s originator and host, Major Bowes. Bowes brought new star talent into living rooms for 13 years. Ted Mack, the new host, had also started a TV run with The Original Amateur Hour on the DuMont network in January of 1948.

• 1949 ~ Kerry Livgren, Guitar, keyboards with Kansas

• 1952 ~ Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Colvin), Drummer with The Ramones

• 1955 ~ What had been The Toast of the Town on CBS Television (since 1948) became The Ed Sullivan Show. This “rilly big shew” remained a mainstay of Sunday night television until June 6, 1971. Sullivan was a newspaper columnist/critic before and during the early years of this pioneering TV show.

• 1957 ~ The Big Record, hosted by ‘the singing rage’, Miss Patti Page, debuted on CBS-TV. The Big Record was a live musical showcase featuring established artists singing their big songs. The Big Record lasted one big season.

• 1962 ~ Joanne Catherall, Singer with Human League

• 1967 ~ Ricky Bell, Singer with New Edition

• 1969 ~ Tiptoeing through late night TV, Tiny Tim announced his engagement to Miss Vicki Budinger. Johnny Carson, host of The Tonight Show, was so enthralled with the falsetto-voiced singer that he invited the couple to get married on the show. They did on December 17, 1969 and TV history was made.

• 1970 ~ Rock radio mourned the loss of rock music legend, Jimi Hendrix. He died at age 27 of an overdose of sleeping pills. His Purple Haze and Foxy Lady became anthems for a generation at war in Vietnam.

• 1985 ~ “Song & Dance” opened at Royale Theater NYC for 474 performances

• 1997 ~ Jimmy Witherspoon passed away

A Manuscript of Mozart’s Piano Sonata K331 was Discovered in Budapest in 2014

mozart-sonata-k331

 

The manuscript of Mozart’s A major piano sonata K331 has recently been discovered in Budapest. Having spent the majority of its life in the Budapest’s National Széchényi Library for decades, the coveted manuscript was rediscovered by Haydn scholar Balazs Mikusi.

“When I first laid eyes upon the manuscript, the handwriting already looked suspiciously ‘Mozartish’,” said Mikusi, who is the head of the music collection at National Szechenyi Library. “Then I started reading the notes, and realised it is the famous A Major sonata … My heart rate shot up.”

The piece was composed in 1783 and contains Mozart’s most popular jam, “Turkish March,” which has become a piano lesson staple all over the world.

Although, unfortunately, Mikusi can’t say how or when these pages found their way to Hungary; they reveal subtle differences from the published editions of the sonata. The key variances are seen in the phrasing, dynamics and occasionally the notes themselves.

“It is very rare that a Mozart manuscript pops up. Moreover the A Major Sonata had no known manuscript, so it is a really big discovery,” he said.

The library has only released teasing images of the manuscript, nothing more.

 

From Manuscript of Mozart’s Piano Sonata K331 Discovered in Budapest’s National Széchényi Library : Classical : Classicalite.

The whole sonata:

 

September 17: On This Day in Music

today

• 1878 ~ Vincenzo Tommasini, Italian composer

• 1884 ~ Charles Tomlinson Griffes, American composer

• 1923 ~ Hank (Hiram) Williams, Sr., American country-western singer and songwriter. He was the first country musician whose music crossed over into pop and he wrote 125 compositions

• 1926 ~ Bill Black, Bassist with Bill Black Combo, played in Elvis Presley band, backup for Elvis

• 1929 ~ Sil Austin, Tenor saxophone, composer

• 1931 ~ RCA Victor began demonstrating a very early version of the long-playing (LP), 33~1/3 RPM phonograph record. It would be another 17 years before RCA rival Columbia would begin mass production of the LP.

• 1940 ~ LaMont McLemore, Singer with The 5th Dimension

• 1950 ~ Fee Waybill (John Waldo), Singer with The Tubes

• 1952 ~ Frank Sinatra sang at his final session with Mitch Miller and Columbia Records.

• 1955 ~ The Perry Como Show moved to Saturday nights on NBC~TV. Soon, U.S.A. audiences would “Sing along with me … I’m on my way to the stars…” with the incomparable Mr. C. Como’s hourlong variety show replaced his three-times-per-week, 15-minute show, which had been on the air since 1948. The new version of The Perry Como Show soon became Saturday’s highest-rated TV program, beating CBS competitor Jackie Gleason.

• 1955 ~ Capitol Records released Magic Melody, Part Two. The tune consists only of the last two notes of the musical phrase, “Shave and a haircut, two bits,” making it the shortest tune ever to be released.

• 1973 ~ Hugo Winterhalter passed away.  He was an American easy listening arranger and composer.

• 2002 ~ Michael “Dodo” Marmarosa, a jazz pianist who played with luminaries like Dizzy Gillespie, Tommy Dorsey and Buddy Rich in the 1940s before a military stint derailed his music career, died of a heart attack. He was 76. Marmarosa died at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Pittsburgh, where he lived the past few years, playing the piano and organ for other residents and guests. Marmarosa joined the Johnny “Scat” Davis Orchestra at age 15 in 1941. He then played with Gene Krupa’s band, Charlie Barnet’s big band, where he recorded “The Moose” and “Strollin”, and played with the great Gillespie. He played in Dorsey’s band in 1944, which included Buddy DeFranco, Sidney Block and Buddy Rich. And later that same year, Marmarosa joined Artie Shaw’s band. In 1947 Marmarosa was selected by Esquire magazine as one of the nation’s top jazz artists. Marmarosa disappeared from public view in the early 1950s after a series of personal tragedies and a stint in the Army.

• 2009 ~ Leon Kirchner, American classical composer (Pulitzer Prize for Music 1967), died at the age of 90

• 2015 ~ David Willcocks, English conductor and composer (Kings College Choir), died at the age of 95

Parents! How to Help Your Students Practice ~ Day Four

 

We have established that regular practice routines will not happen without proactive piano parents. So, how can parents be proactive practice assistants even if they have never touched a piano?

 

Day 4. The Lead Vocalist: Most people are not too comfortable with breaking out into song in public, but they will happily sing in front of their own children. Parents of your littlest piano students should be encouraged to sing along with song lyrics. Just make sure that the sing-alongs happen with songs their children already know quite well. Sing-alongs do not work when a song is first being learned.

 

September 16: On This Day in Music

today

• 1685 ~ John Gay, English librettist

OCMS 1887 ~ Nadia Boulanger, French composition teacher
More information about Boulanger

• 1915 ~ Cy Walter, pianist (3’s Company)

• 1920 ~ Enrico Caruso made his last recording for Victor Records in Camden, NJ.

• 1925 ~ Charlie Byrd, Guitarist, played with Stan Getz

• 1925 ~ “B. B.” (Riley B.) King, American blues singer and guitarist, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987

• 1934 ~ George Chakiris, Academy Award-winning actor, dancer in West Side Story (1961)

• 1938 ~ Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded the swing classic Boogie Woogie for Victor Records.

• 1941 ~ CBS radio debuted The Arkansas Traveler. The program was later renamed The Bob Burns Show. Burns played a very strange musical instrument called the ‘bazooka’. The U.S. Army chose the name to identify its rocket launcher because it looked so much like Burns’ bazooka.

• 1943 ~ Bernie Calvert, Bass with The Hollies and also The Dolphins

• 1944 ~ Betty Kelly, Singer with Martha and the Vandellas

• 1948 ~ Kenny Jones, Drummer with Small Faces, Faces and also The Who

• 1950 ~ David Bellamy, Singer with a duo called The Bellamy Brothers, songwriter

• 1963 – Richard Marx, Singer, songwriter

• 1963 ~ She Loves You was recorded by The Beatles the Swan label. It was the first record recorded by The Beatles; but the second single by the ‘Fab Four’ to hit #1. I Want to Hold Your Hand, was the group’s first #1 song and million seller (on Capitol). It beat She Loves You to the top spot by just a few weeks. Other Beatles hits were also recorded on Capitol (Capitol had rejected She Loves You) and Swan labels; but the Beatles liked variety, so add these record companies to the Beatles list of recording labels: Vee-Jay, MGM, Tollie, United Artists, Atco, E.M.I., Parlaphone and Apple.

• 1964 ~ Shindig premiered on ABC-TV. The program had go-go girls and the biggest rock bands of the day in a dance party environment. Regulars were Jimmie O’Neill and the Shindig Dancers. The first show featured Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, The Wellingtons, Bobby Sherman and comic Alan Sues.

• 1965 ~ San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral became the site of the first concert of sacred music presented by Duke Ellington.

• 1965 ~ The Dean Martin Show debuted on NBC~TV. It was a weekly variety show that continued on the network for nine years. Regulars over the years were The Goldiggers, Ken Lane, The Ding-a-Ling Sisters, Tom Bosley, Dom DeLuise, Nipsey Russell, Rodney Dangerfield and Les Brown and His Band. The theme song? Everybody Loves Somebody.

• 1994 ~ Bernie Lazaroff Leighton, pianist, died at the age of 73

• 2000 ~ Israeli conductor David Shallon died in Tokyo after suffering an asthma attack at the age of 49. Shallon was born in Tel Aviv and studied violin, viola and horn.

• 2000 ~ Valeriu Stelian, a folk singer who inspired anti-communist protesters a decade ago, died of cancer at the age of 47. Shortly after the 1989 anti-communist uprising, Stelian began singing at University Square in downtown Bucharest for students who protesting the presence of former communists in government. Six weeks after the uprising, coal miners descended on Bucharest at the behest of the government and beat up the students. Six people died in the melee and the protest harmed Romania’s image to such a degree that many young Romanians emigrated, believing democracy would never come to the Balkan country. “Oh God, come here to see what has become of people”, went the lyrics of one of Stelian’s songs composed in 1973 and played to film footage of people who had died during the uprising. During his career, Stelian toured the former Soviet Union, Norway, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, England and the United States. He also set up some recording studios in Romania.

Lego Grand Piano

The Lego Ideas Grand Piano not only looks good on the shelf, it pairs with your phone to play back tunes.

Someone from CNET writes: “I got my hands on the hard-to-find Grand Piano set from the Lego Ideas collection and put it together just for you. Watch as I assemble over 3,000 pieces, and sync the model with my phone to make it play music.

 

September 15: On This Day in Music

today

1876 ~ Bruno Walter, German-born American conductor

• 1903 ~ Roy Acuff, ‘The King of Country Music’, Country Music Hall of Famer, with the Smoky Mountain Boys, publisher with Acuff-Rose Publishing

• 1924 ~ Bobby Short, American pianist, singer of popular music, regular on first Playboy TV series. His autobiography is Black & White Baby

• 1928 ~ Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderly, Musician, Alto/Soprano Saxophone

• 1930 ~ Hoagy Carmichael recorded Georgia on My Mind on the Victor label. Georgia on My Mind has been the official state song of Georgia since 1922. The song has been recorded by many artists over the years.

• 1934 ~ NBC radio presented The Gibson Family to American audiences. The program was the first musical comedy to be broadcast. The show originated from the studios of WEAF in New York City.

• 1940 ~ Jimmy Gilmer, Singer with Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs

• 1941 ~ Les (William) Braid, Bass, organ with The Swinging Blue Jeans

• 1945 ~ Jessye Norman, American soprano

• 1955 ~ Betty Robbins (Mrs. Sheldon Robbins) became the first woman cantor at services held at Temple Avodah in Oceanside, Long Island, New York.

• 1980 ~ The Elephant Man made its debut on Broadway with rock singer David Bowie in his acting debut.

• 2001 ~ Billy Hilfiger, a musician and younger brother of fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger, died after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 45. Hilfiger worked as a landscape architect in New York City but was best known as an avid guitarist. He played with former members of the rock band Blue Oyster Cult and with another brother, Andy Hilfiger, among others.