Fairfax County has closed school today so…no lessons today due to the snowy weather.
Those using Piano Maestro may find a new assignment for today 🙂
1874 ~ Charles Ives, American composer
More information on Ives
• 1890 ~ Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton, jazz pianist/composer
• 1913 ~ Grandpa (Louis Marshall) Jones, Country Music Hall of Famer, Grand Ole Opry, singer
• 1914 ~ Fayard Nicholas, American tap dancer, one-half of The Nicholas Brothers and actor (The Five Heartbeats)
• 1923 ~ Robert Craft, American conductor and writer
• 1935 ~ Jerry Orbach, American singer and actor for the musical theater
• 1937 ~ Wanda Jackson, Singer, songwriter
• 1939 ~ Jay Siegel, Singer with The Tokens
• 1939 ~ All the Things You Are was recorded by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra on the Victor label. Jack Leonard was the featured vocalist.
• 1945 ~ Ric Lee, Drummer with Ten Years After
• 1950 ~ Tom Petty, Singer with The Traveling Wilburys
• 1951 ~ Al Greenwood, Keyboards with Foreigner
• 1955 ~ “Day-O. Day-ay-ay-ay-o!” One of the most popular of the Harry Belafonte hits was recorded for RCA Victor. Day-O didn’t make it to the pop charts for over a year, until January of 1957, after its name had been changed to The Banana Boat Song (Day-O).
• 1958 ~ Mark King, Bass, singer with Level 42
• 1958 ~ Ivo Pogorelić, Croatian pianist (1978 Casagrande winner)
• 1962 ~ With Halloween just around the corner, we remember that Bobby “Boris” Picket and the Crypt Kickers reached the top of the charts this day (for two weeks) with The Monster Mash. And someone, somewhere, has resurrected it every Halloween since.
This piece is now in Piano Maestro in the Halloween section and there is sheet music, if you are interested.
• 1962 ~ The musical, Mr. President, written by Irving Berlin, opened on Broadway. Mr. President ran for 265 performances.
• 1965 ~ The Beatles received a gold record for the single, Yesterday. This song marked the first time a cello was used in a pop hit.
• 2000 ~ Li Yundi, an 18-year-old virtuoso from China, has won Poland’s Frederic Chopin piano competition, becoming one of the youngest players to capture the prestigious international prize. Read the whole story
Vivaldi, one of the greatest baroque composers, has a very interesting story. He ran an orphanage in the 18th century in Italy that became famous all over the western world for its musically talented children. A lot of his pieces were written for specific children in his school. Vivaldi learned the violin from his father, and was trained as a priest. He was nicknamed “the red priest” for his red hair and was apparently somewhat sure of himself, having claimed once he can compose a concerto faster than it can be copied.
Vivaldi wrote over 500 pieces, most of which are lost today. He is considered one of the greatest musical landmarks in history, having inspired many composers that followed him, including J.S.Bach and others.
Other fun facts about Vivaldi can be found here.
It will be fun watching your child improve their piano skills all while having fun using Piano Maestro in lessons each week!
As your child’s teacher (or YOUR teacher!), I’m looking forward to seeing the progress they will make when they start using it at home each day. This guide will help you understand how this app will benefit your child and how to get it set up on your own iPad.
What is Piano Maestro?
Piano Maestro is the ultimate piano practice tool that will have students quickly playing their favorite classical, pop, rock, TV and video game songs and themes. It is available in the App Store and works on the iPad.
What skills does it improve?
• Note reading
• Sight reading
• Inner pulse
What makes it so fun?
• Upbeat background tracks
• Stunning graphics
• Instant rewards and feedback
• Satisfaction of playing REAL music
It works with an acoustic piano?
Yes! Your child practices on your real acoustic or digital piano. Piano Maestro listens from the iPad’s built-in microphone. No wires needed.
I’m already paying for lessons. What value does this add?
Sometimes I wish I could be there with your child to encourage them to keep practicing daily. I’m sure it’s not always easy, as unforeseen challenges will arise.
Since our time each week is just too short, this app will give me eyes on the ground and it will keep them practicing longer and improving more quickly.
How will it be used in lessons?
I will spend a few minutes of each lesson helping your child master a couple of new songs all while having fun! I will also teach them how to use the practice options at home.
At the end of the lesson, we will choose Home Challenge assignments within the app that will show up in your account at home. I’ll get updates when progress is made.
Wow, this sounds awesome. Now, how do I get started?
1) Download Piano Maestro on your iPad from the AppStore
2) Create a JoyTunes account with a parent’s email, under which, you can have multiple profiles for each member of the family.
3) Create a profile for each family member (that means you too Mom and Dad!) inside the Parent/Teacher zone (top right-hand corner of the main screen)
4) Connect to your teacher, me! After creating a profile in the “profiles” tab of the parent/teacher zone, select the student’s profile and click “connect to teacher.” Once I approve the connection to your child, they will receive full access to all content for FREE! I will then also begin receiving weekly progress reports.
5) Start Playing – I will now start assigning you homework, meanwhile, get started on Journey Mode.
When you connect to the O’Connor Music Studio, Piano Maestro is free for as long as you study here.
Today’s Listening Assignment is Country Gardens by Percy Grainger.
“Country Gardens” is an English folk tune collected by Cecil Sharp from the playing of William Kimber and arranged for piano in 1918 by Percy Grainger.
The tune and the Grainger arrangement for piano and orchestra is a favorite with school orchestras, and other performances of the work include morris dancing.
A piano version:
Piano duet (four-hands)
From the Muppets
And, how a Morris Dance is done:
Find Country Gardens on IMSLP, Piano Maestro (under the method book section) and Piano Pronto: Movement 2
Today, we’ll listen to the Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, of Ludwig van Beethoven. It was written between 1804–1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music, and one of the most frequently played symphonies. As is typical of symphonies in the classical period, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is in four movements.
I’m sure you’ve heard the first 8 notes before…
Since it was written for orchestra, each instrument has its own line:
A piano version, transcribed by Liszt
From Disney’s Fantasia 2000:
Pink learns to play the violin, and interrupts a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with the Pink Panther theme played on various instruments.
Arrangements of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony can be found in Piano Maestro and lots of books including Piano Pronto’s Movement 2, Movement 5 (Victory Theme) and Beethoven: Exploring His Life and Music.