Piano Lessons For Very Young Children

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Student books in 5 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.

Franz Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in c-sharp minor

liszt

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, S.244/2, is the second in a set of 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies by composer Franz Liszt, and is by far the most famous of the set. Few other piano solos have achieved such widespread popularity, offering the pianist the opportunity to reveal exceptional skill as a virtuoso, while providing the listener with an immediate and irresistible musical appeal.

In both the original piano solo form and in the orchestrated version this composition has enjoyed widespread use in animated cartoons. Its themes have also served as the basis of several popular songs.

It is probable that you have heard this piece of music somewhere at one time or another because it is perhaps the most prominent piece of classical (romantic, actually) music featured in animated cartoons across the years.

Now, let the anvils fall and dynamite explode!

And, in real life, Valentina Lisitsa plays Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

This piece is available in Piano Pronto Movement 5 and several anthologies of classical music.

July 10, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

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)

Clarinet solo

 

Orchestra

The Ambrosian Children’s Choir

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

 

 

July 8, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

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.

Beethoven’s Wig:

 

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.

July 5, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

“Morning Mood” is part of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt, Op. 23 was written in 1875.

The melody uses the pentatonic (five note) scale, lending itself to beginning piano books.

 

 

Orchestra:

 

Music box:

Cartoon:

 

Flash mob(!!)

Morning Mood is available in Piano Maestro, Piano Pronto Prelude (as Morning Theme) and other books.

July 4, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

Micky-mouse-4th-of-July-greetings

Today is a great day for patriotic music and there’s nothing better than John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever

A part of every Fourth of July program at the Esplanade in Boston involves a giant American flag unfurling from the ceiling during the Stars and Stripes.  Can you find it?

Piano arrangement by Vladimir Horowitz:

With Horowitz playing:

Marching band:

The Muppets version of Stars and Stripes forever

The animated graphical score:

The Band of the Grenadier Guards

The same melody can be heard with these words:

John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever is never part of a regular circus program. It is reserved for emergency use – sometimes called the “Disaster March”. If a major problem happens — an animal gets loose, a high wind threatens the tent, or a fire breaks out — the band plays the march as a warning signal to every worker on the circus lot that something is wrong.

Find piano arrangements of the Stars and Stripes Forever in Movement 2

Closing out today, enjoy The Year 1812, Festival Overture in E♭ major, Op. 49, popularly known as the 1812 Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

 

 

 

 

 

July 3, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

toccata-d-minor

 

Johann Sebastian Bach’s towering monument of organ music, with its deep sense of foreboding, will forever be associated with Halloween.

Get a free copy of the sheet music at IMSLP or borrow a copy from the O’Connor Music Studio.  I have this arranged for organ, piano, duet, 2-piano, simplified…

It’s also available in Piano Maestro, Piano Pronto Encore and Coda

If you want this in a book with other Bach transcriptions, amazon has this: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and the Other Bach Transcriptions for Solo Piano, arranged by Ferruccio Busoni.

Here, Virgil Fox performs it on his Allen Digital Touring Organ.

 

Diane Bish plays the Massey Memorial Organ at the Chautauqua Institution and talks about this instrument.

 

Animated organ:

Glass harmonica

Accordion

Cartoon:

 

June 27, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today’s listening assignment is a piece from the Piano Pronto book “Prelude” known as On the Bridge of Avignon.

 

The Bridge of Avignon or Pont d’Avignon in French, is a famous medieval bridge in the town of Avignon, in southern France.

 

 

How to do the dance:

 

Orchestra:

Vocal:

 

Barney (remember him?)

 

Piano:

June 22, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today we listen to the third movement Mozart’s Piano Sonata No.11 III (Turkish March) with just a bit of the first movement near the end.

The Turkish influence on western music came through the Turkish military band music (Mehter), which was at the time was the only military band in Europe. It was once popular among western composers like Mozart to write Turkish-style (alla Turca) works, Turkish music being known at that time as Turkish band music. That’s why the Turkish-influenced music works by Mozart, Beethoven or Strauss are in march rhythm as they are called march.

A rondo is a piece of music where the musical material stated at the beginning of the piece keeps returning. This opening music can be called either the theme or the refrain; they are the same thing.  The form can be A, B, A or A, B, C, A – anything as long as the “A” theme returns

The Turkish March movement:

 

 

 

On guitar:

 

Harmonica, anyone?

Vocal:

Find the Turkish march movement of this sonata in these Piano Pronto books: Encore,  Mozart: Exploring His Life and Music,

The first movement can be found in Keyboard Kickoff, Movement 2

June 21, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major), K. 525, is a 1787 composition for a chamber ensemble by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The German title means “a little serenade”, though it is often rendered more literally but less accurately as “a little night music.” The work is written for an ensemble of two violins, viola, and cello with optional double bass but is often performed by string orchestras and there are many arrangements for other instruments as we will see below.

Part of a full orchestral score:

 

Follow the score…

Easy piano sheet music might look like this:

 

The first movement of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, with a graphical score.

 

One of my favorites, Barbershop-Style.  Eine Kleine Not Musik by the Gas Houe Gang tells the story of The Magic Flute (from June 19) to the music of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

 

A piano transcription

For four recorders, all played by the same person

From the Muppets: The Great Gonzo performing Eine Kleine Nachtmusik on bagpipe while sitting on a ten-foot pole!

 

When my son and I played Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart arranged for 2 pianos November 30, 2014 we were the last people to play in the old Steinway Hall.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have a good video camera 🙁

2014-08-10 12.49.02 2014-08-09 12.20.39 2014-08-09 12.16.45 2014-08-09 12.15.17

 

Find this arranged for piano in Piano Pronto: Movement 2, Movement 3, Encore, Coda and Mozart: Exploring His Life and Music,