Method Spotlight: Basics in Rhythm

It goes without saying that rhythm training is essential to all musicians, yet it can still be a struggle for some students. Garwood Whaley, President and Founder of Meredith Music Publishing, developed a method to solve all your rhythm woes. Sheet Music Plus had the opportunity to interview Garwood Whaley, creator of the Basics in Rhythm method, and find out what makes it so successful! more “Method Spotlight: Basics in Rhythm”

Sheet Music Plus Interviews Morty Manus, co-author of Alfred’s Basic Piano Library

by Jacy Burroughs

Piano teachers, have you ever wondered about the creative process that goes into developing a piano method? In September 2015, I had the privilege of interviewing Morty Manus, former president of Alfred Music Publishing and co-author of the popular piano method series Alfred’s Basic Piano Library. He and his wife, Iris, shared with me the story of how the popular piano method series Alfred’s Basic Piano Library was born.

I was deeply saddened to hear of Morty’s passing early in 2016. He was so charming and full of life just a few short months earlier. How lucky I was to have participated in this interview and, with the support of Alfred Music’s fine recording studio staff, publish these videos in honor of him. The interview is separated into thirteen chapters, each of which is summarized below.

In memoriam: Morty Manus (1926-2016)

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Top Piano Methods

There are so many different piano methods that as a new student or piano teacher starting out, it can be hard to know which to choose.  We shed some light by providing a summary of each of our top ten selling piano method series.

1. Basic Piano Adventures

Basic_Piano_Adventures

Husband and wife team Randall and Nancy Faber have combined forces to develop piano methods and supplemental materials popular for all ages. Basic Piano Adventures progresses gradually and logically through middle C and multi-key approaches. One of the hallmarks of Piano Adventures is that students begin learning a limited set of notes in the middle C position, but play these notes with varied fingerings. This prevents students from associating a particular note with a particular finger. In addition to the Lesson book, each level includes Theory, Performance, Technique & Artistry, Popular Repertoire and Christmas books. The Piano Adventures series also includes My First Piano Adventures, Accelerated Piano Adventures and Adult Piano Adventures. To learn more, watch our interview with Randall Faber.

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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 theMusikhochschule Hannover, followed by further studying of composition in New York and New Orleans. He has dedicated himself to the editing of pedagogical piano material. His particular concern is to present music in an accessible way to reach a broad audience.

His newest contribution to the music world is The Classical Piano Method series.

The Classical Piano Method - By Hans-Gunter Heumann
The Classical Piano Method – By Hans-Gunter Heumann

It is geared towards helping people of all ages and levels to learn how to play piano, including those who are returning to piano after a hiatus. more “Artist Interview – Hans-Gunter Heumann (The Classical Piano Method)”

Ukulele – “The Jumping Flea”

By Brendan Lai-Tong

There is something about playing the ukulele that is innately fun and rewarding. If you didn’t already know, the sweet sound of this four stringed instrument has been around since the 1800s and originated in Hawaii. It is said that Portuguese immigrants who came to Hawaii brought an instrument with them known as the caviquinho. Much like the ukulele, it is a small and four stringed instrument. When the Hawaiians saw how rapidly and nimbly the strings of the caviquinho could be played, they gave it the nickname “ukulele“, which roughly translates to “jumping flea“. Eventually, this instrument evolved into what we know as the ukulele.

Lately there has been a huge resugence in the popularity of the ukulele.  The instrument is fun, portable and easy to dive into. It’s not hard to see why everyone wants to jump on board, especially considering how easy it looks when in the hands of a skilled professional like Jake Shimabukoro! Check out Jake’s amazing performance of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody  below to see him in action:

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