The Romantic Period

By Catherine Hua 

Romantic Era

 

The Romantic period, which took place from 1820 to 1900, was part of the Romantic movement that occured as a reaction to the reason and rationality celebrated during the Enlightenment. The movement induced changes in the art, literature, music, and even politics of the era—feelings, freedom, and emotions were embraced over structure and rules. Poets, artists and musicians celebrated the awe of nature, the terror and strangeness of the supernatural, and the exotic qualities and limitlessness of the world around them.

Because the more “The Romantic Period”

Introduction to the Classical Period

By Catherine Hua

Canaletto

Have you ever read a composer’s name on a music program and realized that you had no clue how to pronounce it, much less know what to expect for his or her music? (Mr. Dvořák, I’m talking about you.) While the pronunciation is simple to learn (it’s DVOR-zhahk by the way), it’s even easier to get a sense of a composer’s style, once you remember the period that he or she is from. If you need a refresher on the Baroque period, you can read more in our previous article here.

Introduction to the Classical Period

The end of the Baroque period took place as a more “Introduction to the Classical Period”

Introduction to the Baroque Period

By Catherine Hua

The Royal Theater in Turin
The Royal Theater in Turin

The Baroque period, which took place between approximately 1600 and 1750, contrasted with the restraint and rationality of the Renaissance. It is unsurprising that the art and music of that era, most of which were commissioned by the Catholic Church and by royalty, were marked by their emotional intensity, grandiosity, and ornate beauty.

The piano’s predecessor, the more “Introduction to the Baroque Period”

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)”

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 more “Artist Interview – Donn Bradley (Audition Tips for Singers)”

A Few Favorite Tools for Studying Jazz Improvisation

By Carolyn Walter

Like many musicians, I consider myself to be a lifelong student of jazz improvisation. Every goal I reach leads me to brand new challenges; most of us could spend a lifetime just on sheer technical mastery of our instrument, let alone the pursuit of a truly original, authentic improvisational voice. That said, I feel lucky to live in such an information-rich an age, with such a wealth of practice tools and educational resources so easily available.

A perfect example would be obtaining a copy of The Real Book, which used to be a bit of a fly-by-night affair due to copyright restrictions, has been made easy these days: this ubiquitous collection of “standards” and other very commonly played jazz tunes is now published legally by Hal Leonard.  Their edition contains almost all of the songs contained in the original bootleg volumes, and has the advantage of being far more accurate and legible than its predecessor.  As it happens, this music school and jam-session staple is on sale at Sheet Music Plus for a few more days (along with lots of other useful fakebooks), so there’s no need to sneak around any longer!

The Real Book

First and foremost, more “A Few Favorite Tools for Studying Jazz Improvisation”

Tips for Woodwind Doublers

By Carolyn Walter
Woodwind “doubling,” or performing on multiple members of the single reed, flute or double reed family, is a fairly common practice.  From an arranger’s standpoint, utilizing players who can double on multiple woodwinds vastly expands the available stylistic and timbral palette available, especially when there can only be a finite number of players in an ensemble.  It may seem a bit unfair, but doubling is even expected in certain musical subcultures.  For example, a member of the sax section in a jazz big band is often expected to pick up a clarinet or flute for portions of a number. In some cases they may be asked to cover a whole song on the alternate instrument.  When a woodwind specialist works in a musical theater pit orchestra situation, their music will sometimes call for the use of not only clarinets, flutes and saxes but oboe, english horn or bassoon as well. If an artist is already skilled at one woodwind, it is often the case that more “Tips for Woodwind Doublers”

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 more “Sharon Burch – Artist Interview”

Resources For Music Teachers

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Life as a music teacher can be an exceptionally fun and rewarding experience. The ability to share the knowledge of music with clarity and a twist of fun is a great gift. Unfortunately, music teachers seldom receive credit for helping students build upon and utilize their interpersonal, time-management and teamwork skills through the act of music making. Students learn these lessons and many more that can be transferred to all aspects of life by being involved in music.

I’m sure you all know that being a well informed and more “Resources For Music Teachers”