Noteable Notes

As I come across or develop key information or concepts for effective piano training, I list them here for your review.  Please take the time to review the information below and I look forward to hearing how these concepts impact your training.

Musicians, Past and Present

posted Apr 16, 2012, 9:26 PM by Margy Barber

Where to begin...well, in the last post I talked about Gershwin...and last night I got to hear Leon Bates and the Chattanooga Symphony give an amazing performance of Rhapsody in Blue.  He performed completely from memory...a few missed notes (for those of you students who are obsessed with a perfect performance, did you know that it rarely happens to ANYONE...even a pro??), but the emotion and!  Good stuff!
What a gift of music Gershwin was given and turned toward us...and think of the hundreds of other classical composers who have done the same or even more to contribute to our musical heritage!  But more recently, I'm feeling the loss of other musicians, both in my life and outside of it....

--Luciano Pavoratti....the great tenor voice of our generation, passed away last month.  He made opera cool for this century.
--Max Roach...drummer who worked with Dizzy Gillespie
But they don't always have to be famous to miss them...
--Dr. Bruce Short, a supportive piano parent for many years in my studio,
--Greg Milam, a  good friend from high school who just visited us with his family 2 just weeks ago, died today suddenly. He played a mean saxophone in high school, and continued to be a music afficiondo his whole (too short) life.  Our hearts go out to his wife Linda and little daughter Alana tonight.

Who are the musicians who have most influenced you? Are they from the past or from your present?  I thank God daily for that handful of people who have most influenced me in my music skill and in my music exposure...most are sadly not a part of my life anymore but their influence is felt constantly.

Every student! Ask your parents to download this! (updated)

posted Apr 16, 2012, 9:24 PM by Margy Barber

We're beginning work on our compositions this month, and you don't have to wait for your teacher to enter your compositions in the computer...try it yourself at home!  Finale has a great new upgrade to their free Notepad software that is really intuitive and easy to use.  Here is the link:   Remember, ask Mom or Dad first, but this software lets you write out your own music, listen to it playback, enter lyrics, and then print it out!  You'll love it!

Advanced students...or super-creative beginning ones:  Finale notepad is very basic, so if you get fancy you'll run into these limitations:

In NotePad, you can't...
...Change key signature mid-piece.
...Change time signature mid-piece.
...Use time signatures other than those offered in the set-up wizard (No 5/4, 7/8, etc.)
...Have a pick-up measure.
...Have more than one line of lyrics. (Use text tool to add additional lines)
...Adjust where measures fall on the page.
...Have repeats that function during playback (if created in NotePad)
Have Guitar chords that transpose (use text tool)
Have brackets on repeat endings (use SmartShape lines if you're patient and determined)
Change measure numbers
Change instrumentation after creating the score
Create a file with more than 8 staves
NotePad can't create swing playback,
Notepad can't extract parts from a conductor's score, although you can copy and paste the parts into a new score
Notepad can't create multi-measure rests or block rests
NotePad can't create grace notes.

IN SPITE of those limitations, this is a good basic music writing program to play around with.  If you want something more substantial, your parent may need to ask Santa to bring you Sibelius, Cakewalk, or the full-blown Finale version.


Needed: Your pictures!!

posted Apr 16, 2012, 9:22 PM by Margy Barber

Hey moms and dads!

I'm finally compiling a studio scrapbook of pictures from my students over the years..if you have a spare picture of your child in a recital, summer institute or piano camp, group class, or even practicing at home, could I have a copy? Doesn't matter if it is a current one or from when they just started lessons--I'd love to include them in the studio scrapbook and feature some on the web site photo center. Thanks SO much!

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