Musical Musings

Sharing musical thoughts and ideas.

Area Musical Events - September 2019

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 by Paula Augustine | Area Events

September 2019 - Area Music Events

Area Musical events that are free (or very cheap) for your family to enjoy.

Johnson City Symphony Orchestra - Symphony in the park

TVA Credit Union Stadium - Cardinal Park
199-131 Legion St., Johnson City TN

Free Outdoor Pops Concert!

East Tennessee State University Events

Faculty Trumpet and Trombone Recital

Friday, September 13, 2019, 7:30 PM

, 173 Sherrod Dr, Johnson CityTN37614 Brown Hall Auditorium

Brass faculty Dr. Brett Long and Dr. Justin Waller perform an evening of music for trumpet and trombone duo with Professor Yi-Yang Chen, piano. Admission is free and it is open to the public.

Dr. Heather Buchanan:  Body Mapping

Friday, September 20, 2019 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM    

Matthes  Hall, Music Building, ETSU

Dr. Heather Buchanan of Montclair State University will present a free, public lecture on Body Mapping. “Body Mapping” is a person’s perception, understanding, and experience of their own body shape and size, including how and where a person’s joints move and function.  Body Mapping is extremely important for conductors and performers of all types.  The lecture will include demonstrations and an opportunity to work directly with Dr. Buchanan. Admission is free and it is open to the public.

Guest Artist, Pianist, Shichao Zhang

Friday, September 20, 2019, 7:30 PM

, 173 Sherrod Dr, Johnson CityTN37614, Brown Hall Auditorium

An evening of piano music written by Beethoven, Albéniz, and Rachmaninoff.  Chinese pianist Dr. Shichao Zhang has been featured in solo recitals, chamber music concerts and concerto performances at major concert halls in China and the United States. Admission is free and it is open to the public.

The Romantic Historical Time Period

Saturday, August 10, 2019 by Paula Augustine | Music History

The Romantic Period

Fall 2019 History Focus

Those who attended the fall "Back to Music" Studio group class were introduced to the Romantic time period in music history. We had fun playing two games that focused on this historical time period from 1820-1910. (some scholars divide this period into an early 1820-1850, and a late 1850-1910) We also created a piece together called "Joy" which featured one student at a time playing an improv on the piano, while everyone else played on various instruments to harmonize. 

The Romantic Historical time period was not about romance as we know today. Romantic meant expressing feelings and composers tried to express feelings in their music. The feeling could be love, but it could also be anger, fear, happiness, joy, etc. During the Romantic period music became 'bigger', bigger orchestras, bigger and more elaborate piano pieces, bigger range of pitch and dynamics, as well as pieces that reflected a specific country or nation. 

During the group session we learned about one famous composer, Frederick Chopin.  He came from a musical family and, similar to Mozart, began performing at the piano very young and composed his first piano piece, a Polonaise, at the age of 8. Chopin was born in Poland, but moved to Paris, France when he was 20 and never returned home. Chopinn spent most of his life teaching and composing. Chopin was physically frail and did not perform much. Instead he would play and perform with friends in their homes. He moved to England to see if he would get better, but this did not help. He died October 17, 1849 at only 39 years old. Chopin composed many pieces for the piano and was called, "the poet of the piano."

Here is our Improv piece on Joy

Click Here

School year and routines and a free printable

Thursday, August 8, 2019 by Paula Augustine | Parent Ideas

It is back to school time and back to schedules. Some of our personalities are glad when the school year gets us back on task again, while other personalities will miss the carefree days of summer with no schedules.

Routines and practicing at home:

Consistent Daily Practice Routine: With regular weekly piano lessons also comes scheduling in time during the week for your student to get to their instrument and spend time practicing. Having practice time available as part of the student's routine is very important. Have an established daily practice time, like right after breakfast. Stick to this time. Generally, the more consistent you are, the more willingly your child will follow the routine, and the less resistance you will encounter.

Provide Company: Sometimes students feel practice time is lonely time. Some kids will go to their instrument more willingly if you provide some company during their practice time. Some children like you to sit right next to them, others will just want your presence in the room (you can just enjoy a peaceful moment reading a book or doing a craft).

Avoid the Banishment Approach: Watching the way we speak and announce practice time can set a positive or a negative emotion for the student. We don’t want practicing to feel like punishment or a time-out.

Give a "Treat": Or something after practice that will be fun. Young children are just beginning to understand what being disciplined means and why we set aside daily time to practice. Generally, I am not a fan of giving tangible treats or rewards, I want kids to learn to love music for its own sake. An occasional special treat or reward can provide an excellent boost to motivation, maybe after a tough day at school or after negative time with others.

Make Your Child Feel Like the Expert: The following technique works well with younger kids. Sit down at the bench and begin playing. Say something like, “Wow, I really need someone to show me how to do this, or I can’t remember how this song goes.” Most kids will very willingly come and set you straight.

Free Printable from Keri Lynn Snyder's blog:

Here is a free download to help you cultivate an intentional school year. It includes sections to reflect on the summer, process how you feel about the upcoming school year, start conversation with your kids, and brainstorm rhythms for the new school year. Click here to download the free printable.