Posts Tagged 'interview'

Artist Interview – Hans-Gunter Heumann (The Classical Piano Method)

 Hans-Gunter Heumann

Hans-Gunter Heumann

By Brendan Lai-Tong

If you’re a music teacher, it’s likely that you are on the lookout for the something new to help teach your students more effectively. Whether this is new repertoire, etudes, or method books, it’s always nice to branch out to see what else is out there. You’ll never know when  something new will work really well for a particular student!

While we were at the Music Teachers National Association Convention in Anaheim, California we had the pleasure of meeting Hans-Günter Heumann. Many of you may know of his contributions to the piano repertoire. His original compositions, arrangements and educational methods for piano are enjoyed by pianists around the world, especially in Germany.

Hans-Günter studied at the Continue reading ‘Artist Interview – Hans-Gunter Heumann (The Classical Piano Method)’

More Teaching Resources – Interview With Michelle Sisler (Keys to Imagination)

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Michelle Sisler

Michelle Sisler

Music lessons should never be a dull or boring experience. There are many great method books and resources that teachers can use to make music lessons fun, interesting and engaging for students of all ages. We were on the lookout for some of these resources while at the Music Teacher’s National Association Convention in Anaheim, California.  Some great resources that stood out were teaching aids and games from Keys to Imagination. Michelle Sisler was running the Keys to Imagination booth right next to ours at the show!

Michelle’s uses of technology and creative teaching materials have gained her national recognition and a Continue reading ‘More Teaching Resources – Interview With Michelle Sisler (Keys to Imagination)’

Artist Interview – Donn Bradley (Audition Tips for Singers)

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Donn Bradley

Donn Bradley

As many of you already know, the audition process for obtaining singing roles in opera, musicals and other shows can be quite challenging. Just like singing, auditioning is a skill, and it can take a few tries to get a grasp of how the process works.

Today we will be sharing singing and audition advice from Lyric Baritone and Character Tenor – Donn Bradley. Donn is a native of Santa Cruz, CA, and current resident of wherever the work is, USA. Donn is a versatile singer, with solid technique in Opera, Musical Theater, and several popular styles.

He has performed five major roles with Townsend Opera, and narrated five major works for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra including Façade by William Walton, and performed as Bass soloist for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with VITA Academy in Sacramento (2008).

Previous major Opera/Operetta roles include: Ko-Ko in The Mikado (2012), Major General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance (2011), Njegus in The Merry Widow (2010), Monostatos in The Magic Flute (2009), Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore (2009), Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus (2001), Papageno in The Magic Flute (1998), The Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance (1998), and Louis in The Wandering Scholar (1997).

Hi Donn, thanks for taking the time to interview with us.

What inspired you to start a career in music?

I have been able to sing my whole life, though my Continue reading ‘Artist Interview – Donn Bradley (Audition Tips for Singers)’

Artist Interview – Mistheria

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Artist Interview – Giuseppe Iampieri (a.k.a Mistheria)

Welcome back to our Artist Interview series! We’re sure that you all can relate to how important it is to be a versatile musician. You never know what will be asked of you when on the job, and it will be to your advantage to be able to understand and play in many different styles of music. As you know, Classical, Jazz, Pop and Rock all have their respective performance practices. Today we are interviewing Giuseppe Iampieri (a.k.a Mistheria), a native of Italy who has had an incredibly diverse career. He has played piano and keytar professionally in many different styles and genres of music and this versatility has led him to have many exciting and varied experiences.  At the age of 6 Mistheria started studying music with Maestro Marco Aurelio Pisegna, a famous accordionist, composer and performer. By age 13 Mistheria was studying at the Music Conservatory “A. Casella” in Italy where he graduated with honors and distinction in 1995.

Continue reading ‘Artist Interview – Mistheria’

Artist Interview – Phyllis Thomas – Interactive Now! series

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Phyllis Thomas

Phyllis Thomas

Today we had the opportunity to interview Phyllis Thomas, co-author of the Interactive Now! series published by Heritage Music Press.

Phyllis, born and raised in Colorado, has had an extensive career in music as a performer and music educator. She graduated with a M.M. degree from the University of North Texas with a major in vocal performance. Phyllis has sung in productions with the Dallas Opera, Fort Worth Opera and other regional opera companies. Her years of experience as an elementary music teacher in Texas is what eventually led her to co-author the Interactive Now! series with Debbie Anderson, music teacher friend and colleague.

Each volume of the Interactive Now! series, previously known as SMARTBoardNow, is Continue reading ‘Artist Interview – Phyllis Thomas – Interactive Now! series’

Artist Interview – John Kreitler (Christopher Kazoo and Bongo Boo)

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Today we will be looking at the Christopher Kazoo and Bongo Boo series by John Kreitler!

John Kreitler

John Kreitler

John Kreiter is a film & T.V. composer, songwriter, music producer & classical music composer residing in Los Angeles, CA. He holds a B.A. in Composition from Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR where he studied violin, composition and conducting, before continuing his studies towards an MM in Composition from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

Kreitler began his professional career composing film scores for Avco Films and for independent filmmakers in the Midwestern United States as well as scores and songs for commercials before moving to Los Angeles. His composing credits include the award-winning films “To Beat the Devil” (Avco Films) and “6344” (Butterfly Films); songs for Material Girls (MGM/Sony) numerous television films & documentaries; numerous daytime television series, including As the World Turns, Guiding Light, Another World, All My Children; the European series Riviera,and the NBC drama Passions. He has also contributed underscoring, songs and source music for numerous prime-time series such as Law and Order, Friends, Homicide, Melrose Place, 90210, Lois & Clark, Saturday Night Live, and many others. He has won ten EMMYs since 1991 and been awarded the prestigious BMI/TV Film Award ten times.

In addition to his busy composition schedule, Kreitler is Continue reading ‘Artist Interview – John Kreitler (Christopher Kazoo and Bongo Boo)’

Kicking Kickstarter Up A Notch

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Crowd sourced funding seems to be all the rage recently! By turning to this method of fundraising, amazingly creative individuals are able to enlist the help of the community to make their dreams come true. Musicians, in particular, have been following suit in order to fund musical projects that wouldn’t have become a reality otherwise.

One example of this is film director and cellist Ty Kim. Ty is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and award-winning television producer.  Some of his accolades include six Los Angeles area Emmys, the National Edward R. Murrow Award, nine Golden Mikes, and the Associated Press Award for California.

Director Ty Kim with childhood idol, Muhammad Ali

Director Ty Kim with childhood idol, Muhammad Ali

Ty has played the cello since the age of four and was a student of Francesca Church.  At Stanford University, Ty continued his cello studies with Stephen Harrison and later formed a piano forte trio with two fellow students that were coached by Andor Toth.  More recently, Ty played two Continue reading ‘Kicking Kickstarter Up A Notch’

Dennis Alexander – Artist Interview

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Dennis Alexander

Today we had the opportunity to interview Professor Dennis Alexander, a prolific composer on staff at Alfred Music Publishing. In addition to his compositional duties at Alfred, Dennis is also an active soloist, accompanist, chamber musician and clinician.  Keep reading to learn more about Dennis and how he approaches his compositional process.

You may know his compositions from some of the books below:

What inspired you to start a career in music? 

 I grew up in Continue reading ‘Dennis Alexander – Artist Interview’

Sharon Burch – Artist Interview

By Brendan Lai-Tong

We recently had the opportunity to interview Sharon Burch, music teacher, clinician and author of the Freddie the Frog series.

Sharon Burch - Freddie the Frog

Sharon is a National Board Certified Teacher in Music, 
holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Truman University in
 Kirksville, Missouri and a Masters’ Degree as a Professional Educator from
 Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. In addition, she also holds a certification in 
piano instruction from the International Piano Teaching Foundation developed 
by Dr. Robert Pace. She has served as a vocal and piano instructor, taught preschool through 8th grade general music and directed junior high
and high school choirs. Sharon currently specializes in K-3 music.

Sharon found that the use of games, storytelling and puppetry in teaching was a highly effective way to communicate the concepts of music to her students. As a result, the Freddie the Frog series became a reality in 1995.

Sharon authored Continue reading ‘Sharon Burch – Artist Interview’

Mario Guarneri – Artist Interview

Mario Guarneri

Mario Guarneri

By Brendan Lai-Tong

We recently had the opportunity to interview Mario Guarneri, an active performer and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mario has had an impressive variety of musical experiences throughout his career as a trumpet player and as a result he is familiar with many different circles of the music community.

Mario’s career has encompassed everything from playing with Louis Armstrong at the age of 13 to fifteen seasons with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has recorded solo albums on the Crystal and Nonesuch labels, played principal trumpet with the L.A. Chamber Orchestra for ten seasons, and appeared on over 300 T.V. and motion picture soundtracks, most notably as soloist on Godfather III. In addition, he has performed with a diverse list of creative musicians including Earl “Fatha” Hines, Frank Zappa, Sarah Vaughn, Cleo Lane, and Roger Kellaway.

Since his return to the Bay Area, where he was born and raised, he Continue reading ‘Mario Guarneri – Artist Interview’


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