Welcome Back Music Students!

As the exciting and heartwarming memories of the holidays linger in our homes, I would like to thank each new and returning music student for their lesson dedication.  As you perform the music you practiced over the Christmas season, there is a new sense of purpose and direction in your style.  It is exciting to see improvement each week and know that you love to learn.  I want to help each new piece become easy for you by the end of the lesson, so your focus can remain on improvements throughout the week.  As you lay a good foundation in note reading, timing, and lyric study, the interpretation, color, and expressiveness of style begins to glow.  Each practice day has led to improved musicianship, and there are remarkable jumps of skill on a weekly basis.  I am excited to be a part of your musical journey and look forward to working with you in 2016.

 

 

 

Categories: Piano Lessons, Piano Music: Sacred, Piano Teacher, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watch “Jaron Canon – His Life For Mine” on YouTube

Categories: Church Music, Godly Music, Instrumental Tips, Listening Choices, Piano Music: Sacred | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Practical Application of Good Music Outline and Audio Sermon

Please click on the link below to hear an audio sermon on the Practical Application of Good Music.  A sermon outline is below.

Practical Application of Good Music by Pastor David Reagan Antioch Baptist Church, Knoxville, T.N.

Summary:  Music is a powerful tool, a vehicle for intense communication.  It works strongly and effectively in our lives.  Rock music, built on properties of blues and swing is made of poly-rhythmic properties that influence our emotions toward a bad temper.  It was designed from specific musical attributes to manipulate and create feelings antagonistic of purity.  “The blues is the song of those who turn their backs upon religion.”

The elements of music are melody, harmony, rhythm, lyrics, and vocalization.  Each element is very important.  The trouble with deciding which music a church uses is that there are many degrees between good and bad music.  It is hard to know where to divide the line.  In many churches, there is no system of music responsibility, and resulting bad music and actions follow like a flood, destroying churches.  It takes courage to be in charge of making those choices.

It is all right for music to have surprises, but overall, it needs to have form, direction, and predictability to support the congregation.  Surprise creates tension, and too much tension is not helpful.  Disharmony also creates tension.  Complexity is good until it begins to confuse listeners.  Minor keys are not bad, but present a sense of sadness.  Overall, it is haunting, sad, and meditative.  We have times of sadness, but those should not characterize the victorious Christian life.

Rhythm has taken over much of today’s music.  A straight 4/4 rhythm rouses a person to march.  The natural beat is on the first and third counts.  A 3/4 or 6/8 beat song is more meditative.  The natural beat is on the first beat for 3/4 time or the first and fourth beats for 6/8 time.  Rock music changes the emphasis of the beat.  There is a path in rock music that does not begin at the result.  Rock music uses off-beat or syncopated rhythms repeatedly, it plays with the natural rhythm, changing it.  We have to be careful in our choices in rhythms, it can make music pure or dirty.  Rock music sometimes goes a half beat beyond the natural beat, creating extra emphasis on the beat that is not supposed to be emphasized.  It gets you off of the right beat, creating an off-beat feel.  With “What Can Wash Away My Sin”, there is no dancing feel to it.  When syncopation is added, a sexual dance is the natural reaction.  Watch children’s actions when syncopated music is played, and they will begin to dance to it.  There are people who can listen to rock music without loosing all their morals, but the direction is important – it excites the sexual drive away from what is right, influencing our hearts, and eventually,  our decisions.  This reaction becomes stronger the more it is used.  The whole idea is to loosen morals.  The back-beat hits the end of the accented beat with a thump.  It creates tension and is rock music, emphasizing the second and fourth beat.  The world knows what it does, but it is the Christians who do not want to admit what it does to them.  The off-beat and back-beat are forms of soft rock.  Hard rock emphasizes every beat harshly.  It has sexual connotations.

The study of good music with a desire toward godliness brings standards that everyone may not understand.  If in doubt, ask yourself does this music emphasize the offbeat?  Music is not evil because it is new, but because it is designed with an evil purpose, with tools that go against God’s principles.

The boogie, honkeytonk, is designed by stretching the first beat, and dividing the second beat by two.  Many good, sound and solid preaching churches have a pianist playing boogie beat, which appeals to the flesh.  It is fun, and powerful, but not godly music.  These forms of music go back to jazz, rock, and blues and were designed for the dance halls.  Not all music use these tools to the same extant, but the tools are effective to the extant they are used.  One of our problems is that young people in the church are using the world’s styles of music in the church, then using the same techniques in the world to get a bigger audience.

Vocalization Pitfalls:

Over professionalism: Showing off technical skills instead of emphasizing the message of the Lord.

The country whine: Using a back of the throat in a gravely way.

The contemporary whine: Whine with a depressing attitude, usually used with a ballad style of music that has no resolution.

Music is a tool.  The devil is a great musician.  Music can make us feel inspired, ready to charge, sleepy, depressed, rebellious, and more.  A strong off beat has a memorizing effect, similar to drugs and alcohol.

In our church, we want to hold to good, conservative Christian music.  Other churches may not be as strict, but I wanted you to know why we don’t use the same music as everyone else.  There are reasons you should know for guarding what you listen to in your homes.  Lots of times what you listen to breaks down your resolve for godliness.  If God is dealing with you to surrender your music to Him, be obedient to Him today.

Official Outline

Misusing the Elements of Music

  1. MELODY
    1. Formless
      1. Found in some Romantic Period Classical Music and in the music of the Middle East and Far East.
      2. Has no distinct direction; no recognizable movement from anywhere to anywhere.
      3. God’s truth has direction; His music should have it as well.
    2. Too Tense
      1. Tension in music is caused by surprise.
        1. Melodies have certain forms that we can anticipate; we often anticipate where the next note will be—even when we do not know the song.
        2. Surprise is created by singing or playing a note other than the one anticipated.
      2. The use of surprise in music
        1. Music with no surprises can be boring; surprise can be effectively used to gain attention or create interest.
        2. Too much surprise creates an unfulfilled tension much as an unhappy ending does in a story or movie; God’s music should not leave the listener unfulfilled.
  2. HARMONY
    1. Disharmony
      1. Caused by playing notes together that do not naturally go together.
      2. Often found in Modern Classical Music.
      3. Makes people wince; it almost hurts the senses; it should be avoided in Christian music.
    2. Complex Harmonies
      1. Some harmonies are much more complex than others; they bring notes together that do have connections but the connections are more difficult.
      2. Those who work with music a lot are comfortable with much more complex harmonies than are people who just listen; the average person finds such harmonies difficult to follow.
      3. Hitting an occasional complex chord brings the same surprise as the singing of an unexpected note and can be used to bring freshness to the song.
      4. However, extreme use of complex harmony draws attention to itself and diminishes the message of the song by making the listening experience too intellectual (thus blocking the actual message of the song).
    3. Minor Keys
      1. Minor keys are built on a different scale than the major keys (The key of A Minor starts with the A on the piano and uses all the white keys).
      2. The minor keys have a very different sound and create a very different emotional effect than the major keys.
        1. They are more haunting.
        2. They create a sad, meditative feeling.
      3. Minor keys can be very effective in an occasional melody or song where the purpose is to make the listener meditate on his failures or on the sadness of some condition.
      4. However, sadness is not a major theme of Christianity and when it is a theme it is always a means to a better, happier, end (Psalm 137:1-4).
      5. Minor keys are becoming very popular as vehicles for modern Christian music (even among those conservative in other ways); we need to keep the use of minor keys in a minor position in our worship.
  3. RHYTHM
    1. Backbeat
      1. Refers to the practice of accenting the normally unaccented beats of a song; the backbeat is often provided by a bass instrument.
      2. The backbeat (and offbeat) is the foundational basis for all rock music; hard rock hits every beat.
      3. Backbeat is designed to create a physical, sexual tension in people.
    2. Offbeat
      1. Also called syncopation; refers to the practice of placing accents between normal beats off time from the regular accents.
      2. Used in soft rock and in most modern music.
      3. Creates a desire to jump in jerky movements; to dance.
      4. It de-emphasizes the message of the music by overemphasizing the physical response to the music.
    3. Boogie-beat
      1. Uses an 8/8 rhythm with the pattern of a dotted eighth followed by a sixteenth note.
      2. A jazz style of piano playing coming from bars and clubs; the honky-tonk sound.
      3. As in the other styles, it appeals to the flesh.
    4. General Comments
      1. All of these rhythms go back to jazz, blues and rock (which are all interrelated).
      2. They all have a strong effect on the flesh; they were designed to create sexual tension.
      3. They have a tendency to break down moral restraints; they mesmerize the mind and excite the flesh; where these rhythms predominate, virtue is often lost and moral looseness prevails.
      4. There are admittedly lesser strains of these beats that do not obviously bring these evils but they still have the same effects, only to a lesser degree.  Also, everyone who listens to this music does not fall into moral perversity just as all who drink alcohol do not become drunks, but the danger is always there.  The music tends to excite the flesh but people still have a will and react to the excitement in different ways.  Some people just have a good time and do not associate the feeling they are having with anything sexual.  Others are led to greater sins.
      5. Another danger of this music is that it is the music of the world and the world can always do better at its music than the church can.  Many are being trained to love the worldly sound in the church.  What are they going to do with this love?  Many will go to the world to get their “better” version and will take the ungodly lyrics with the music.
      6. God’s music ought to sound different than the music of the world.  Worldly music has no place in the church.
  4. LYRICS
    1. Lyrics that say nothing of Biblical significance should not be sung.
    2. Lyrics that teach false doctrine should not be sung.
    3. Lyrics that exalt man and his feelings and opinions should not be sung.
  5. VOCALIZATION
    1. This refers to the way a voice sounds as it sings; the singing voice.
    2. Hyper-professionalism: some learn from classical-style professionals; although excellence is always good, we should avoid trying to sound high class in the average church.
    3. Country Whine:  Many try to sound like their favorite country-western music star; the church is not a place for performance; the emphasis should be on the message of the song and not on the performance.
    4. Contemporary Whine:  similar to the country whine, it carries an air of indifference and despair.
Categories: Church Music, Dance Music, Godly Music, Instrumental Tips, Listening Choices, Rock Music, Vocal Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Free Piano Music!

Enjoy this free sheet music resource.  No strings attached for instant download and prints!  Gilbert DeBenedetti has done a great job on his sheet music, providing clear typeface and pictures in graded collections.  Occasionally you will find a priced piece, but they are clearly marked in blue dots.  The vast majority of the sheets are free, and are marked with green dots.

Free Piano Music!.

 

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Christmas Carol Songbook for SATB Voice 22 Free Christmas Songs

Enjoy these twenty-two Christmas carols in full SATB sheet music for free from Cantorion: no email address or subscription required.

Christmas Songbook List
1) Angels we have heard on high
2) Away in a manger
3) Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light
4) Coventry Carol
5) Deck the halls
6) Ding dong merilly
7) God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
8) Good King Wenceslas
9) Hark the herald angels sing
10) In the bleak midwinter
11) It came opon a midnight clear
12) Joy to the world
13) Lo, how a rose e’er blooming
14) O Little Town of Bethlehem
15) O Come, All Ye Faithful
16) Riu, Riu, Chiu
17) Silent night
18) The Angel Gabriel
19) The First Nowell
20) The Holly and the Ivy
21) We Three Kings
22)What Child is This

Christmas Carol Songbook Voice, SATB – Voice, SATB – Sheet music – Cantorion – Free sheet music, free scores.

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A great tool to use when dusting your piano soundboard.

SST 104 Spurlock Soundboard Cleaners from PianoTec Supply Company

I like the design of this tool better than some of the other soundboard cleaning tools as this one does not scratch the soundboard, and cleans the piano soundboard precisely.

Categories: Helpful Hints, Instrumental Tips, Piano Refinishing, Piano tuner, Piano Tuning | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Music Resources

Sheet Music RoseAlfred’s Music Publishing http://www.alfred.com/

Amazon.com:  Edna Mae Burnam’s Step By Step Piano Course

Bill Rice Ranch CDs, Sheet Music, Music Books:

http://www.billriceranch.org/store#!/~/category/id=2122006&offset=0&sort=normal

http://bluebookofpianos.com/  Blue Book of Pianos: Find your piano’s age from the serial number.

Classical Sheet Music: One yearly subscription for $29.95 covers unlimited printing, downloads, and Scorch.

http://www.music-scores.com/

Dampp Chaser: Home of the Piano Life Saver  http://dampp-chaser.com/

Ebay: Find used and new sheet music and instruments  http://www.ebay.com/

Hal Leonard:  Edna Mae Burnam’s Step By Step Piano Course http://www.halleonard.com

J.W. Pepper Sheet Music http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/welcome.jsp

Majesty Music Christian Music http://www.majestymusic.com/

Magnify the Lord-CD with Ray, Ann, & Christina Gibbs http://www.majestymusic.com/new-items/magnify-the-lord-cd.html

MAT Electronics http://matelectronics.com/prestashop/en/

Old Fashioned Christian Music on Internet Radio http://www.oldchristianradio.com/

Piano Adoption: Free Pianos in the United States http://www.pianoadoption.com/

PianoMart: Shop for a piano http://www.pianomart.com/

Soundforth Christian Music http://www.soundforthmusic.com/

Winning Warm-ups for the Voice http://domenicoproducts.com/Winning.shtml

Categories: Helpful Hints, Instrumental Tips, Piano Lessons, Piano Teacher, Vocal Music, Voice Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Tuning by Julia

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Does your piano sound a little off key?  Do a few notes annoy you every time you play?  Are you concerned about the quality of your choir’s next recorded event?  Do you find that your ears rebel during piano practice?  Has it been six months or more since your piano was tuned last?  It may be time to schedule a piano tuning.  In our temperate climate, weather changes and sensitive woods in the piano affect the tension of the strings, causing variations in tone.  Most pianos should be tuned twice a year to adjust to the new changes in temperature and humidity.  If your piano causes your ears to suffer, contact Julia Race at (570) 295-0371 to schedule your piano tuning.

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Piano Lessons with Julia

Playing PianoJulia Race offers piano lessons in Lock Haven, P.A.  A 2005 graduate of Faith Baptist School of Theology, Julia holds bachelor’s diplomas in Sacred Music and Elementary Education.  She has a passion for training competent, dedicated, pianists who enjoy serving others.  She has participated in recordings and has a small recording studio that features digital and acoustic pianos.  Some concepts addressed through lessons include:

Note reading

  • Arranging
  • Following a Director
  • Counting Time
  • Technique
  • Theory
  • History
  • Performance
  • Healthy Practice
  • Repertoire
  • Technology
  • Recording

Julia enjoys using the following materials in her lessons:

  • Edna Mae Burnam’s Step by Step lessons.
  • Alfred’s Piano Course
  • Theory worksheets
  • Music downloads
  • Acoustic and Electric pianos
  • Various hymn books
  • Various repertoire and lesson books available

Lesson prices are as follows:

  • $10.00 per half hour (recommended for juniors and younger children)
  • $15.00 per 45 minutes (recommended for young teens)
  • $20.00 per hour (recommended for older teens and adults.

Call Julia at (570) 295-0371 to schedule a free first lesson, with no commitment to continue further lessons.

Categories: Piano Lessons, Piano Teacher, Vocal Music, Voice Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra Season Opener

The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra.

WSO photo for pops in the park

Hymn of Praise

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

7:30 P.M.

 

Beethoven, Triple Concerto with Eaken Trio, guest artists.

Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 2, “Lobgesang” with Lycoming College and Susquehanna University choirs.

 

“We are delighted to collaborate for the season opener with the Lycoming College Choir and the Susquehanna University Choir performing Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 in B-flat major known as Lobgesang.  Called a Symphony Cantata with texts from the Bible, it was written to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the printing press.
The Eaken Trio will join the orchestra in the first half to perform Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano, Violin and Cello known as the Triple Concerto in C-major.  This is a unique combination of soloists that derives from the more common trio for chamber music.  This will be another opportunity to hear our principal cellist Andrew Rammon along with another two superb musicians, violinist John Eaken and pianist Gloria Whitney.”

-Williamsport Symphony Orchestra Brochure

Tickets:

Balcony $15.

Section 2 $40.

Section 1 $50.

Students: Tickets for students ages 4-23 are free in the upper balcony.  Seats in the orchestra section are $5.  Discount price is not available in the Sterling Circle, Loge, and First Row Balcony.  College students must present a valid college ID at the time of obtaining tickets.  An hour before the show, students may request free rush tickets for Orchestra seats.

To purchase tickets, please call the CAC Box office at (570) 326-2424 or 1-800-432-9382 or visit CACLIVE.com.

via The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra.

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