March 4 ~ This Day in Music History

 

March Forth is also known as Marching Music Day.  Find out more at http://www.maryo.co/march-forth-on-marching-music-day/

Today is also  National Grammar Day.

. 1678 ~ Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, Italian baroque composer. The creator of hundreds of spirited, extroverted instrumental works, Vivaldi is widely recognized as the master of the Baroque instrumental concerto, which he perfected and popularized perhaps more than any of his contemporaries. A group of four violin concerti from Vivaldi’s Op. 8, better known as “The Four Seasons”, may well be the most universally recognizable musical work from the Baroque period. Perhaps the most prolific of all the great European composers, he once boasted that he could compose a concerto faster than a copyist could ready the individual parts for the players in the orchestra.
More information about Vivaldi

(MaryO’Note:  Spring from The Four Seasons is available in the Piano Maestro App for piano students)

. 1801 ~ The U.S. Marine Band performed for the first time at a presidential nomination. That president was Thomas Jefferson.

. 1875 ~ Bizet’s Carmen premier, Paris

. 1877 ~ The ballet of Swan Lake, composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was performed for the first time in the famous Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia

and

. 1915 ~ Carlos Surinac, Catalan Spanish-born composer and conductor

. 1918 ~ Frank Wigglesworth, American composer

. 1925 ~ Enzo Stuarti, Opera singer

. 1928 ~ Samuel Adler, German-born American composer

. 1929 ~ Bernard Haitink, Dutch conductor

. 1932 ~ Miriam (Zensile) Makeba, South African born singer who was the first black South African to attain international stardom.

. 1934 ~ Barbara McNair, Singer, TV hostess of The Barbara McNair Show, actress

. 1942 ~ Dick Jurgen’s orchestra recorded One Dozen Roses on Okeh Records in Chicago.

. 1942 ~ The Stage Door Canteen opened on West 44th Street in New York City. The canteen became widely known as a service club for men in the armed forces and a much welcomed place to spend what would otherwise have been lonely hours. The USO, the United Service Organization, grew out of the ‘canteen’ operation, to provide entertainment for American troops around the world.

. 1943 ~ Irving Berlin picked up the Best Song Oscar for a little ditty he had written for the film, Holiday Inn: White Christmas at the 15th Academy Awards.

. 1944 ~ Bobby Womack, Songwriter, singer

. 1948 ~ Chris Squire, Bass with Yes

. 1948 ~ Shakin’ Stevens (Michael Barratt), Singer, actor

. 1951 ~ Chris Rea, Guitarist with these groups Chris Rea Band and Ambrosia; singer, songwriter

. 1969 ~ Chastity Bono, Singer, daughter of Sonny & Cher

. 1978 ~ Andy Gibb reached the top of the music charts as (Love is) Thicker ThanWater reached #1 for a two-week stay. The Bee Gees also set a record on this day as their single, How Deep Is Your Love, from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack stayed in the top 10 for an unprecedented 17 weeks.

. 1981 ~ Lyricist E.Y. ‘Yip’ Harburg died in an auto accident in Hollywood, CA at the age of 82. Two of his most successful hits were Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz and It’s Only a Paper Moon, popularized by Nat King Cole and many others.

. 2001 ~ Glenn Hughes, a singer who performed as the mustachioed, leather-clad biker in the disco band the Village People, died at the age of 50. The group, which was the brainchild of producer Jacques Morali, featured men dressed as an Indian, a soldier, a construction worker, a police officer, a cowboy and Hughes’ character, a biker. The band released its first single, San Francisco (You’ve Got Me), in 1977. It followed the next year with its first hit, Macho Man. The band then produced a string of hits, including Y.M.C.A., In the Navy and Go West. Collectively the Village People sold 65 million albums and singles. Although disco fell out of fashion in the 1980s, Hughes stayed with the band until 1996, when he left to sing in Manhattan cabarets.

. 2003 ~ Fedora Barbieri, a mezzo-soprano whose passionate singing sometimes stole the scene from opera diva Maria Callas, died. She was 82. Born in Trieste in 1920, Barbieri performed on stages ranging from Milan’s La Scala to New York’s Metropolitan Opera House to London’s Covent Garden. Barbieri’s career started in 1940 and for her 80th birthday, she sang the role of Mamma Lucia in Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” in Florence. Her repertoire included roles in operas by Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. Barbieri died in Florence, which she had adopted as her home and where she gave many performances.

. 2003 ~ Emilio Estefan Sr., father of the Latin music mogul, died at the age of 83. Estefan Sr. played the plump and comical ambassador in a music video for the Miami Sound Machine’s hit song Conga, which featured singer Gloria Estefan, wife of Estefan Jr. The Miami Sound Machine’s office was once located in Estefan Sr.’s garage. His son later built a home for his parents on his Star Island compound. Estefan Sr. was born in Santiago de Cuba and moved to Spain with Estefan Jr. in 1966. His wife and another son stayed in Cuba because the boy was of military draft age and couldn’t leave until 1980. Estefan Sr. came to Miami in 1968, a year after Estefan Jr., and opened a clothing business in Hialeah.

How the Clefs Came to Be

When my students are first working with the Grand Staff, they are often confused about the placement of the various clefs.

In piano music, we generally use only the G-clef (Treble clef – not “trouble clef” as some think!) and the F-clef (Bass clef)  I try to show students how the curvy part of the G-clef wraps around the G above middle C and the F-clef looks sort of like an F marking the F below middle C.  I draw out G and F on the staff to show how these could have looked.

Originally, instead of a special clef symbol, the reference line of the staff was simply labeled with the name of the note it was intended to bear: F and C and, more rarely, G. These were the most often-used ‘clefs’ in Gregorian chant notation.  Gregorian chant developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions.

Over time the shapes of these letters became stylized, leading to their current versions.

 

JoyTunes Piano Maestro Update Today

Piano-Maestro-End-Game

 

The day has arrived, the new Piano Maestro update is now out (it will take a few hours to appear in the App Store)! Based on your feedback you’ll find a lot of goodies inside, as well as the new plans.

Highlights include 5 new method books (like lesson book 3 from Alfred’s Premier Piano Course and 3 new books from Jennifer Eklund’s Spotlight series), over 50 avatars, practice options for learn levels, fun animation to mark method books, ability to add notes to Home Challenges, enhanced teacher reports, tons of exciting new songs and various enhancements, like new MIDI sounds, no more conflicts with other MIDI apps and notation fixes.

We updated the FAQ so check that out too. https://welcome.joytunes.com/faq-teachers/

Just a reminder to make sure you update to the latest version (Mine is here now).

Thanks for your continued support and all the valuable input and feedback you have given us over the last few weeks. Let us know what you think!

See yesterday’s post for a video on how to download the new app, if you need help.

JoyTunes / Piano Maestro Update Tomorrow!

Piano-Maestro-End-Game

 

Once the new version tomorrow (Wednesday, August 190, 2016) is out you can manually update the app by exiting out of the app, go to the App Store and you’ll see the update tab where you’ll see Piano Maestro with “Update” next to it , tap on that and it will update to the latest version.

If you have automatic updates for apps switched on from your iPad settings under iTunes & App Store, Piano Maestro will automatically be updated.

This tutorial by David might help

Piano Maestro has become a paid app as of this update.  JoyTunes, the makers of Piano Maestro, very recently announced they will no longer be able to continue offering full access to the app on free accounts for students and will be introducing new membership plans. Pop songs, method books and other licensed content, plus home access will become premium as they can no longer continue to absorb the royalty payments.

They also announced the new version will have tons of new exciting songs, as well as 5 new method books from top publishers.

The O’Connor Music Studio will cover the cost of studio access for Piano Maestro.

Home access will be available for 50% off at $30 a year per family (due by August 18th).

I highly encourage you to use this at home if you have an iPad so your student can continue to have full access to all the fun licensed pop songs, exercises & content at home. It will be the best screen time of the week at your house!

If you want to continue to use Piano Maestro at home as well as in lessons the cost will be an additional $5.00 per month or $30 annually for the 2016-2017 school year.

You can purchase Piano Maestro through the App Store for $59.99 per year on your own or take the special discounted price I’ve secured for our Studio families.  The music is super fun and who doesn’t love to see a motivated musician? I’ve seen in my studio that the kids that use Piano Maestro really progress faster, I’d hate for you to miss out!

Please let me know your choice as soon as possible, or no later than August 18
• I prefer a monthly (Sept-June) $3 tech fee.
• I prefer a yearly (Sept-June) $30 tech fee.
• I will buy Piano Maestro for $59.99 directly from the App Store.
• I prefer not to use Piano Maestro at home, so there will be no additional cost

Thanks!

JoyTunes Piano Maestro Year End Summary

joytunes-2016a

 

From JoyTunes:

To celebrate the end of the teaching year, we thought you’d enjoy some very cool Piano Maestro stats that show how students practice more at home, parents are more involved and lots of other revealing info in our end-of-year infographic we’ve prepared for you!

We’ll be rolling it out in stages so without further ado enjoy the first one! Stay tuned for the next part coming soon.
Are there any stats that surprised you?

Why is Theory Important for Piano Students?

Music_Theory

 

Students at the O’Connor Music Studio know that music theory is always a part of lessons.  I strongly believe that theory is needed so that students understand what they are playing and why.

To me, theory work is just as important as playing.  A firm knowledge of musical structure makes playing everything easier.

Music knowledge learned through piano lessons transfers easily to other  musical activities.  Students in Fairfax County Public Schools, students learn to play recorder.  Students are sometimes surprised to learn that they already know all the notes – from their piano lessons!

When you sing in a choir, harmonize with Sweet Adelines, play an instrument in your school or community band/orchestra, join your church’s handbell choir (note:  Pender UMC has an excellent Handbell program), teach yourself guitar – theory will help in every instance. By learning to read, write, and understand this musical language, many more musical opportunities will be made available the rest of your life.

Most piano methods come with a theory book that matches page by page what concepts are being learned in the lesson books.  I actually recommend that students do the theory first when they get home, while the concepts are still fresh in their minds.

If the student is not in a piano method, I’m starting to use the Theory Time series.  Book One covers music alphabet, introduction to keyboard and staff, stem rule, steps & skips on a keyboard and staff, repeated notes, dynamics, treble clef lines & spaces, bass clef lines & spaces, quarter note & rest, half note & rest, whole note & rest, dotted half note, bar lines, double bar line, measures, time signatures, rhythm drill, vocabulary, ear training and a review test. Free ear training videos for each ear training exercise are hosted on the Theory Time YouTube channel. The Grade One workbook is appropriate for beginning 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade students. This workbook includes 51 pages, 13 lessons and 8 Fun Sheets.

For adults and more advanced students, I have a copy of All About Music Theory: A Fun and Simple Guide to Understanding Music which can be used as a review or a “try before buy”.

Stop procrastinating and go do your theory!