Free Sheet Music Scales

Enjoy the free printable major scales from  These scales are printed in two pages of clean, clear typeface.

Free Sheet Music Scales

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10 Tips and Tricks for Sight Reading Music

10 Tips for Sight Reading Music

10 Tips and Tricks for Sight Reading Music.


10 Tips and Tricks for Sight Reading Music

Sight reading seems to be one of those challenges that either a beginning musician loves or has recurring nightmares about. For those of us in the latter category, we’ve consulted with music educators who specialize in the important skill of sight reading music to make it less scary and (maybe even) a little enjoyable!

Practice beforehand…

Time signatures and key signatures are, well, key to being a successful sight reader. For a quick review of how to understand time signatures and key signatures, check out our basic sheet music reading primer.

First, familiarize yourself with and practice a wide variety of time signatures so that you’re ready for any situation. You can mask a mistake in pitch much easier than one in rhythm. As the saying goes “always count… never stop.” Here’s a website we found with helpful, free rhythm exercises.

Another suggestion is to print out some free manuscript paper. Write out various rhythms of half notes and quarter notes in 4/4 time. Next, do the same with quarter notes and eighth notes, then eighth notes and sixteenth notes. Play each of the rhythms as you write them or count/tap/verbalize them out loud, and mix-and-match them as you go along. That way, you’ll familiarize yourself with how they look on the page and you’ll be prepared to perform each rhythm in any context.

Next, memorize your key signatures! A tip for reading SHARP (major) key signatures is to look at the last sharp, and move a half-step above that. In this example, your last sharp is a C, so a half step up from C-sharp is D, meaning your key is D Major.Sharp key signatures

A tip for reading FLAT key signatures is to look at the second-to-last flat (reading left to right). In this example, your second-to-last flat is E, so you’re in E-flat Major. The exception to this rule is F major (or D minor) which only has one flat (B-flat).Tip-for-reading-flat-key-signatures

Then, be sure to know your scales  forward and backward. Practice singing or playing your scales, while reciting (or thinking of) the name of each note as you play it.

Along those lines, learning to sight sing, even if you’re not a vocalist, will help you sight read music for any instrument. Phrasing, intonation and musicality are universal, and sight singing will help you practice those without having to concentrate so closely on what your hands are doing.

Also be sure to practice, practice, practice sight reading music without looking at your hands. Knowing the feel of your instrument’s keys/frets/fingerboard is essential to sight reading music because your eyes will be focused on the piece. Sight reading is like training for a marathon, you need to continuously practice your skills in order to keep them. But, in the end it will pay off! Sight reading is one of the greatest musical joys you will ever experience!

Right before playing…

It goes without saying that first you’ll want to look at the piece. Tap out the rhythm, including rests, then read through the notes and follow the overall structure so you’ll know where to go at repeat bars, D.C., Codas, Segnos and the like. Mentally commit changes in key or time, as well as accidentals, dynamics and other markings. If you’re allowed, make helpful marks on your sheet music in any spots you anticipate having difficulties. Never leave home without your handy sheet music pencil!

Next, sound the piece out in your head. Pay attention to patterns, including scale and arpeggio fragments. If you recognize patterns ahead of time, the notes will be much easier to sight read, and it will free you up to focus on other parts of the piece.

The best musicians study the music closely before playing. The reason they sound so good when they sight read a piece for the first time is because they’ve already studied the sheet music. While the director is handing out the sheet music, the best musicians are secretly scrutinizing it, studying the road map, looking for potentially awkward passages, tapping out rhythm, trying out fingerings—all without playing a note!

 When you begin the piece…

Don’t forget to breathe! It sounds silly, but sight reading music, especially under pressure, can be daunting. Breathing can help you keep tempo and follow your phrasing. For winds players and vocalists it’s even helpful to mark where you plan to breathe beforehand.

Similarly, try to relax and concentrate. Keep your eyes on the page, even if you make a mistake. Don’t correct yourself, just keep moving along. We promise, it will get easier!

In review, our 10 Tips for Sight Reading Music Are:

  1. Familiarize yourself with a variety of rhythms.
  2. Memorize key signatures at-a-glance.
  3. Know your scales forward and backward.
  4. Practice playing without looking at your hands.
  5. Practice sight singing.
  6. Take a minute to examine the piece you’re sight reading. Tap out the rhythm, read through the notes and follow the structure.
  7. Mentally commit changes in key or time signature within the piece.
  8. Make markings on the paper (or on your tablet/iPad), if allowed.
  9. Sound the whole piece out in your head, recognizing patters.
  10. Breathe, relax and keep going, even if you make a mistake.
  11. (Bonus tip) Never leave home without your sheet music pencil!

Do you have additional tips for sight reading music that you’ve found helpful? Do you have a sight reading success story to share? Please let us and your fellow musicians know in the comments below!

via 10 Tips and Tricks for Sight Reading Music.

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Baldwin Black Spinet Piano For Sale

Baldwin French Provincial Spinet Piano in Gloss Black


Unmatched Quality Features Found Only in Baldwin Pianos

  • Exclusive 19-Ply Pinblock

  • Famous Baldwin Scale

  • Solid Spruce Soundboard

  • Exclusive Full-Blow Action

  • Baldwin-built Hammers

  • SynchroTone TM Bass Strings

Built in the Tradition of Baldwin Grand Pianos

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Characteristics:  The French Provincial or French Country design is evident in the scroll work above the piano desk, the fancy key cover handles and the curved legs on the piano and bench.  The touch on the sound is quite soft.  Both my young students and more experienced pianists enjoy the touch on this piano. The repetition rate is good.  The sound is nice and clear, loud enough for a group, and quiet enough for your living room.  I have been using this in for a small church and piano lessons since it was refinished.  It has met needs for solos, ensemble work, personal enjoyment, piano lessons, and congregational accompaniment.
Repairs:  This Baldwin piano was recently professionally refinished by Julia Race Music Services.  The former color was Regal Oak, but is now Gloss Black.  As part of the refinishing of this piano, the missing oak bottom panel was replaced and refinished with another oak panel.  The key bed, piano back and entire case were thoroughly cleaned.  Surfaces blemishes were repaired with a polyurethane product before being sanded and refinished with a quality polyurethane glossy color. The rectangle stylistic frames on the exterior case sides were removed for a more modern look.  A small repair was made in the lower hitch pin area.  The felts are still in good shape and the tuning pin bushings are tight, helping a tuning to last.  As a professional piano technician, I have come across many levels of bushing holding power, and these bushings are better than most pianos I have dealt with.  The piano has been tuned and will be tuned once more to A440 before sale.
Dimensions:  The measurements of the piano are as follows:

Length at the lid: 57″.
Width at the key bed: 25″.
Height from the floor to the top of the lid: 36 1/4″.
Shipping:  I encourage prospective piano buyers to view this piano personally. Please call Julia at (570) 295-0371 to arrange a meeting.  I do not ship internationally. Shipping may be available upon an individual basis for destinations within 200 miles of zip code 17745.  Please call Julia to see if this may be an option for you before trying to buy this item.

Age:  The serial numbers fit the Baldwin Acrosonic, but there was no other reference to the Acrosonic sub-brand on the piano. According to the serial number 1284647, if Acrosonic, this piano was built between 1981 and 1982.  Please scroll down to the end of the blog to see the list of serial numbers for Baldwin/Acrosonic.

The Piano Blue Book has this to say of Baldwin pianos:

“BALDWIN Pianos bearing this well known and an honorable name was the product of The Baldwin Piano Mfg.Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, and were. In the best sense of the word, instruments of the highest degree of excellence. The system or chain of scientific improvements peculiar to the Baldwin piano based on the law of acoustics, and known as the Baldwin acoustic system, which permitted the greatest conservation of tone, secures an artistic result of the highest quality, and has resulted in gaining for. It a leading position among the world’s artistic musical instruments. The Baldwin piano has an individuality of the highest character. When it was exhibited at the International Exposition at Paris in 1900 it was honored with an award (The Grand Prix) which has never been bestowed on any, other American piano, and the highest honor ever received by any, piano made In America. The Baldwin pianos are made in most modem and perfectly equipped factories under ideal manufacturing conditions. At the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, Mo., 1904, the Baldwin piano was again awarded the Grand Prize and still another Grand Prize was awarded the Baldwin pianos and Manualos at the Anglo-American Exposition, London, 1914. The “New York Tribune,” in commenting on the comprehensive display of the Baldwin Company at Paris, and the success of this piano and this house, said that they made a record that would never he forgot in the history of uprights, grands and reproducing pianos, the grands including the various sizes from concert grands to small grands for parlors. In Rome, 1923, the Baldwin piano was awarded the Papal Medal and the House of Baldwin appointed “Purveyors to the Holy See.” The Baldwin piano is recognized as a universal favorite between the leading operatic artists and virtuosos of the pianoforte. The Baldwin Manualo is a unification of the most artistic piano with the most scientific players’ construction; in other words, it combines the highest artistic attainment in piano production with the most gratifying ability of performance. The entire output is controlled by The Baldwin Piano Company.

The Baldwin Grand Piano, designed, built and guaranteed by the Baldwin Company, Loveland, Ohio, is used exclusively by the first rank of artists in all spheres of musical expression – pianists, composers, conductors, singers, instrumentalists – as well as the outstanding symphony orchestras around the world and in music festivals everywhere. Without reservation, from the nine-foot concert grand to the five feet, two inch grand, every Baldwin embodies the latest concepts of acoustical science and piano making, it is a precision engineered musical instrument of the highest degree of excellence. Any Baldwin made piano is worth the time. Money and energy to rebuild or refurbish.

Baldwin also builds Howard spinet and grand pianos, and Hamilton studio pianos for home and school, all maintain great resale value.

1900 – 10400 1962 – 152706 1974 – 204113 1986 – 266329
1910 – 16400 1963 – 156591 1975 – 208742 1987 – 270416
1920 – 35800 1964 – 160868 1976 – 213470 1988 – 278556
1930 – 63000 1965 – 165701 1977 – 217853 1989 – 284228
1940 – 88700 1967 – 175821 1979 – 228858 1991 – 293772
1943 – 102000 1968 – 179702 1980 – 236654 1992 – 301774
1948 – 105000 1969 – 184661 1981 – 242984 1993 – 305110
1950 – 110243 1970 – 190028 1982 – 248306 1994 – 310000
1955 – 128167 1971 – 192401 1983 – 253274 1995 – 313000
1960 – 145002 1972 – 195485 1984 – 257293 1996 – 316000
1961 – 148635 1973 – 199649 1985 – 26225″”


This distinctive and exclusive name designates a line of spinet and console pianos built by the Baldwin Piano Company. Coined from the Greek word,”akros,” meaning supreme and the Latin word, “sonus,” meaning tone, the trade mark “Acrosonic” is registered in the United States Patent Office. Acrosonics are famous for their beautifully compact styling, their tonal clarity and power and Baldwin’s exclusive Full-Blow Action.

1936-2650001967-831583 1977-1104802 1987-1406054
1946-3650001968-851540 1978-1135737 1988-1432927
1956-5854541969-881087 1979-1180266 1989-1442402
1960-6798441970-912986 1980-1220374 1990-1431760
1961-7028061971-933476 1981-1253176 1991-1450068
1962-7237781972-953937 1982-1286178 1992-1463568
1963-7437721973-979129 1983-1324487 1993-1478744
1964-7631431974-1007687 1984-1343955 1994-1483157
1965-7840171975-1035719 1985-1365605 1995-1491127
1966-8037271976-1067508 1986-1383187 1996-150032″


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Bright Spots – One Girl’s Passion for Music Despite Disability | HSLDA

May 30, 2014
Charity Klicka

Music is a wonderful thing; an inspiring way to escape the day-to-day craziness of life.

The story I am about to tell you is a story about music, and about a sweet girl who pursued her love of music despite her disability.

15-year-old Joanna Costa was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a disability that consists of joint contractures in both her hands and feet. This means Joanna has limited use of her toes and fingers, and specifically in respect to playing musical instruments she has limited to no use in her fingers.

Yet despite her disability, Joanna still loves music and pursues it with a passion! She taught herself how to play the piano at age seven. And just a few years ago, Joanna started playing the hammer dulcimer. If that isn’t already amazing, Joanna also loves to sing and has sung in multiple choirs and ensembles. “I have always loved music,” Joanna explains in an interview with the HSLDA Blog, “I like to play a variety of genres, but my favorites include classical pieces and hymns.”

Joanna’s love for music started at a young age. It all began when Joanna asked her mom, who was a piano teacher, if she could give her piano lessons. “She was teaching my older brother Stephen, and whatever he did, I wanted to do too,” Joanna conveyed about her first interest in music. “Also, my dad and mom both play piano, so I wanted to play the piano like they did.  My dad would come home from work and play, and I would listen to him and think, ‘I want to do that.’” Joanna’s mom also plays in their church, and all that little five-year-old Joanna wanted to do was to play the piano as well as her parents.

Mrs. Costa consulted a music therapist, Janet, about Joanna’s condition and if she’d be able to play the piano. Janet assessed Joanna’s ability to play and felt very confident that Joanna could learn to play the piano. “That therapist”, Joanna explained, “became my piano teacher and has been teaching me ever since.  She has especially taught me how to play more complex pieces with my physical limitations (since I can only play with 2 or 3 fingers at most in each hand).”

Through all of this, Mr. and Mrs. Costa homeschooled Joanna and taught her the importance of music and education. Speaking of her homeschool experience, Joanna explained that “homeschooling has allowed [her] schedule to be flexible enough to allow for the therapy and doctor’s visits necessitated by [her] diagnosis”, as well as for extracurricular activities.  Although Joanna isn’t able to play certain sports such as soccer or softball, homeschooling has afforded her the opportunities to do other extracurricular and physical activities such as sled hockey, horseback riding, participating in the science fair, and the 4-H club. Homeschooling has also allowed her enough flexibility to practice and record music.

In 2013, Joanna released her first CD, called Four Fingers, Two Hands, One Piano. The CD includes pieces played by Joanna from Muzio Clementi and Joseph Haydn. In Joanna’s own words: “Playing these pieces, even with a disability, allows me to enjoy the beauty of music – a beauty I hope to share with others. Having to work harder, perhaps more than others, to perform the pieces gave me an even greater appreciation of the compositions.”

When asked what her inspiration was behind her first album, Joanna said: “I have to blame my father for this one.  Primarily, dad encouraged me to share my story. Our desire was to promote the idea that disabled individuals can still do amazing things (and should not be looked down by others in society) and we wanted to bring glory to God through the process.” Although there were some technical difficulties and the album took 3 years to record, Joanna said “it was a good learning experience to go through the recording process and it taught [her and her dad] patience.”

With one album under her belt, Joanna hopes to record another CD in the not too distant future. Joanna also loves to help people, and some of her future goals in that area include going to the Middle East this spring to help at a home for girls, and helping out at an orphanage in Mexico this summer. “I have always wanted to help kids”, Joanna explained, “and I hope to do something along these lines in the future.”

Homeschooling has allowed Joanna the opportunities to pursue her passion for music and her passion for helping people. She loves God and has a heart ready and waiting for Him to use. I look forward to see how God will use Joanna next.

PC: Sarah Fisher

Bright Spots – One Girl’s Passion for Music Despite Disability | HSLDA.

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Transposing, Major & Minor Keys, and Left Hand Chords with Mary’s Little Lamb

A music teacher shows how chords, major and minor keys, and transposition can be easily introduced with “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.

Mary Had a Little Lamb for Beginner Piano — How to Add Chords.

via Mary Had a Little Lamb for Beginner Piano — How to Add Chords.

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Why We Teach – and how NOT to burn out :)

Thank you Kristin, for your valuable insight.

Small Town Music Lessons

I have been asked to write an article for a publisher working on a book.  Here is my section as a work in progress, from the heart.  🙂  And since I am sick at home, I thought I’d get to work on it.  🙂

Wallpaper9Teaching has to be organic.  If teaching isn’t already a part of your drive, something you desire to spend your days doing, you will burn out.  We all have had times we didn’t want to go to work.  Often, the reasons vary as much as the personalities between the teachers.  Maybe it has been a long week, maybe the parents have requested one too many times to reschedule, or maybe the kids simply won’t practice the assignments you’ve carefully jotted for them to follow… but in the end, do we really enjoy teaching?  What drives us?

I have been teaching since I could talk.  I used…

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HSLDA | Dangerous Policy Lurks behind Romeike Triumph

Dangerous Policy Lurks behind Romeike Triumph

Federal officials announced last week that they will allow the Romeike family to stay in America. The decision came after Department of Justice lawyers argued that Germany’s mistreatment of homeschoolers like the Romeikes is perfectly reasonable. Read more about the Romeike family.

by Michael Farris
HSLDA Founder and Chairman

Other than the Romeike family themselves, no one could have been more thrilled than me with the sudden reversal from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which allowed them to remain in the United States. Just one day after the Supreme Court refused to review the court order that demanded their deportation to Germany, the Romeikes were informed by DHS that they could remain indefinitely in the United States where they can continue to homeschool their children.

The DHS notification came to attorney Will Humble, who was the immigration lawyer assisting the Romeikes and HSLDA at all phases of these proceedings. Humble was lead counsel before the administrative judge, and I was lead counsel before the federal courts.

This administrative victory needs to be understood for what it is. It is a victory for the Romeike family alone. No other German homeschooling family can benefit from the administrative grace that was shown in this one instance.

Damage Done

Despite this welcome relief for this one courageous family, the damage done to our laws on asylum and the principles of religious and parental freedom remains.

We cannot slip into complacency and believe that all is well on all fronts. The dangers latent in this case must be understood, combatted, and reversed.

Some court decisions contain language that presents a self-evident danger to liberty. Other times the dangers are much more subtle. For example, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935), the Court held that Congress could not regulate commerce once goods had come to rest within a state. It could only regulate commerce while in transit and—with words that launched a thousand regulations—those things that “directly affect” commerce. The “effects test” has been used by Congress, the Supreme Court, and the executive branch to impose countless regulations on all manner of activity that would otherwise be outside of federal jurisdiction.

The dangers to liberty that are embedded in the Romeike case are equally subtle. One has to take a closer look at the facts in the record, the arguments of the Obama Justice Department, and the decision of the Sixth Circuit to fully appreciate the very dangerous ideas that were embraced in this case.

But once these dangerous ideas are unmasked, it becomes apparent that they pose real threats to the principles of freedom that virtually all Americans would have believed were solidly established.

Burden of Proof

As with any asylum case, the Romeikes needed to prove two basic propositions to be entitled to asylum. They had to prove that they faced either past or future persecution and that this persecution was motivated, at least in part, on one of the grounds contained in our asylum statute. Religious persecution is one of these recognized grounds for asylum.

Thus, the case boiled down to two particular questions:

1. Was the punishment that the Romeikes would face upon deportation back to Germany sufficiently severe to count as persecution?

2. Was the motive of the German government marked, at least in part, by a desire to repress the family’s exercise of their religious beliefs?

On one level, the first question was not seriously debated. All parties agreed that if the family returned to Germany and continued to homeschool, they would face the threat of losing custody of their children.

Our government was not so callous as to suggest that losing one’s children would not be a severe punishment. However, the government and Sixth Circuit contended that it would not be persecution, because the family could just stop homeschooling and send their children to public schools in order to avoid the punishment.

In this context, the controlling legal rule is that persecution is proven when a government acts against a person either for an immutable characteristic or for a reason that one should not be required to change.

“Tolerance will never be achieved by a government which is intolerant of religious minorities.”

Michael Farris
HSLDA Founder and Chairman

Our government contended that forcing a parent to have their children attend a school that violates their religious beliefs does not offend a conviction that one should not be required to change.

Dangerous Conclusion

Hence, the first dangerous rule to emerge from the Romeike case is that governments may order children to attend schools that violate the family’s religious beliefs. It was not a direct ruling in this case anymore than the effects test was a direct ruling in the Schechter Poultry case, but the conclusion is present just the same.

The second issue—was Germany motivated, at least in part, by a desire to suppress the religion of the Romeikes?—requires review of some important facts from the record. Both HSLDA and the Justice Department placed considerable emphasis on a finding by Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court that contained a discussion of the motive for the ban on homeschooling.

The general public has a justified interest in counteracting the development of religiously or philosophically motivated “parallel societies” and in integrating minorities in this area. Integration does not only require that the majority of the population does not exclude religious or ideological minorities, but, in fact, that these minorities do not segregate themselves and that they do not close themselves off to a dialogue with dissenters and people of other beliefs. Dialogue with such minorities is an enrichment for an open pluralistic society. The learning and practicing of this in the sense of experienced tolerance is an important lesson right from the elementary school stage. The presence of a broad spectrum of convictions in a classroom can sustainably develop the ability of all pupils in being tolerant and exercising the dialogue that is a basic requirement of democratic decision-making process.

Our Justice Department and the Sixth Circuit found no motive to suppress religion in this official description of Germany’s policy. Yes, Germany did say it was “counteracting the development” of religious and philosophical minorities. But look at the motive, our Justice Department and Sixth Circuit argued. Germany is just trying to promote tolerance by putting children of all viewpoints together in one place.

Tolerance? Really? The aberrational German theory of “tolerance” was clearly demonstrated by the facts in the record.

Another German appeals court held that it is appropriate to use the family courts to seek “the removal of the right [of parents] to determine the residence of the children and to decide on the children’s education.” The same court held that it is “completely acceptable” for courts to “enforce the handover of the children, by force if necessary and by means of entering and searching the parental home.”

Why was it acceptable to use these strong-arm police tactics? That German court gave an answer: to prevent “the damage to the children, which is occurring through the continued exclusive teaching of the children of [sic] the mother at home.” The court conceded that it was not concerned with academic issues—homeschooling could successfully transmit knowledge. It was the philosophical development of children that was at issue.

The German court believed that it was “damaging” to children to be taught only the philosophy of their mother.

And so as to not leave any discretion for leniency by lower officials, this appellate court instructed the family courts that they have “the immediate task to take away all home schooled children.”

All about Tolerance

So, what does our Justice Department say about all of this?

The German court thus explained what it saw as the value of the law in bringing people of differing views together to learn from each other and to learn to accept those whose views differ from their own. The goal in Germany is for an “open, pluralistic society.” Teaching tolerance to children of all backgrounds helps to develop the ability to interact as a fully functioning citizen of Germany. It is scarcely feasible, with those stated goals in mind, to tease from the opinion a persecutory motive on the part of those who enforce the law.

There you have it. The German courts have said it is damaging for children to learn only the religious and moral values of their parents. The German courts say that they wish to counteract the development of religious and philosophical minorities. The German courts say it is appropriate to use force to remove children. The German appellate courts tell the lower courts that they have the immediate task to remove all homeschooled children from their parents. And our Justice Department says it is impossible to find in these facts anything other than an open, pluralistic democratic society teaching children to be tolerant.

The Justice Department’s view echoes the words of George Washington University Law Professor Catherine Ross:

In order for the norm of tolerance to survive across generations, society need not and should not tolerate the inculcation of absolutist views that undermine toleration of difference. Respect for difference should not be confused with approval for approaches that would splinter us into countless warring groups. Hence an argument that tolerance for diverse views and values is a foundational principle does not conflict with the notion that the state can and should limit the ability of intolerant homeschoolers to inculcate hostility to difference in their children—at least during the portion of the day they claim to devote to satisfying the compulsory schooling requirement.

Ross joins Germany and our Justice Department in believing that pluralistic societies may crush “intolerant” homeschooling parents to promote tolerance in their children.

History and logic prove, however, that tolerance will never be achieved by a government which is intolerant of religious minorities.

Incidentally, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights—a treaty that Germany has adopted—says this about the rights of parents in education:

The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to choose for their children schools, other than those established by the public authorities, which conform to such minimum educational standards as may be laid down or approved by the State and to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.

This treaty was adopted in the aftermath of the horrors of Nazi Germany. The right of parents to ensure that their children have an education that conforms to the parents’ convictions is considered a fundamental human right—a right Germany currently rejects and considers dangerous.

“In order for the norm of tolerance to survive across generations, society need not and should not tolerate the inculcation of absolutist views.”

Catherine Ross
George Washington University Law Professor

Freedom at Risk

The long-term concern for American homeschoolers arising from the Romeike case is obvious. If our government contends that Germany did not violate the principles of religious freedom when it banned homeschooling in order to gain philosophical control over children, then it implies that it would not violate religious freedom or parental rights if the United States decided to ban homeschooling for the same purpose. After all, we would simply be promoting tolerance and pluralism.

That is the subtle but dangerous message buried in the Romeike decision.

How should we respond?

There are two specific areas of concern that demand our attention. First, we need to deal with the specific problems in our asylum system that have led to a severely limited view of religious freedom and parental rights. Second, we need to address the underlying antagonism that our government is expressing against the right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children.

HSLDA has worked with leaders in the House of Representatives to secure language that would ensure an amendment to our asylum law that addresses parental rights and religious freedom. If an overhaul of the immigration system passes Congress, there is a very good likelihood that this correction will be adopted. We will have more to say on that topic, including calls to action, should this provision become a point of contention in that process.

HSLDA is unlikely to get engaged on the broader immigration issue. We simply want to ensure that if such a measure is moving through Congress, families like the Romeikes will find refuge in the United States.

The more pressing issue is the need to address parental rights in general. At the same time that the Romeikes were facing deportation, other pitched parental rights battles in our own country were taking place. Perhaps the best known of these battles was the Pelletier case in Massachusetts.

Doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) conspired with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families to seize custody of Justina Pelletier because the BCH doctors thought that they knew better than the doctors at Tufts Medical Center how to treat this young girl. Because the Pelletiers wanted to choose the doctor for their daughter, they lost custody to the State of Massachusetts.

I was asked to draft a specific statute that has been introduced in Massachusetts to fix the underlying law in that state. And such laws, which specifically address parental rights to choose a doctor, may become necessary in other states.

Protecting Liberty

But there is a bigger and broader solution. The Parental Rights Amendment (PRA) is the ultimate form of protection for our family liberties. Just as the Second Amendment tells all levels of government that they may not interfere with our right to bear arms, the Parental Rights Amendment tells all governments to not interfere with our rights to raise our children.

We have also proposed state versions of the PRA in statutory form, which have recently been enacted in Virginia and Nevada. We also helped draft Michigan’s parental rights statute which was adopted in 1994. Utah, Kansas, and Arizona also have similar statutes on their books.

Everyone who believes that we need to ensure parental rights are protected at the highest legal level should join these efforts. Please go to and sign up to become a part of the team—which, at a minimum, is a commitment to call or write your legislators when bills are moving in Congress or in your state.

Do we want a nation where the government can tell us that they can take our children away from us—all day or during the school day—so that they can ensure our children develop the philosophy that the government wants to instill?

Liberty cannot be sustained in a nation in which all children are indoctrinated in the government scheme of homogenized philosophies. We must have a people who can think for themselves and believe in the religion of their own choice.

These freedoms are threatened by our own government. But only our silence and inaction will actually defeat us.

Stand up. Speak up. Show up.

via HSLDA | Dangerous Policy Lurks behind Romeike Triumph.

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Regulating Your Piano

By Newfound Pianos

“Piano Regulating Needs,
As a mechanical device, your piano’s “action” needs regular adjustment called “Regulating”. A regulated piano is more responsive to the demands of the pianist. Actions parts swell and shrink with humidity changes and it is not uncommon for a new piano to need regulating within the first year as parts begin to break in when used. Likewise all movable parts on any new or older piano show the effects of wear as the piano is used. Regulation is needed to compensate for the settling of cloth, felt and buckskin aside from the dimensional changes in wooden and wool parts due to changes in relative humidity. Small adjustments are common recommendations by your piano technician and should be accomplished in order to avoid unnecessary repairs and replacement of parts in order to avoid more frequent full scale regulations.”

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The Juilliard Manuscript Collection Website

View this amazing collection of rare, composer-edited sheet music from the Julliard School here: The Juilliard Manuscript Collection Website.

“In 2006 Juilliard received a trove of precious music manuscripts from the billionaire collector and financier Bruce Kovner. The collection includes autograph scores, sketches, composer-emended proofs and first editions of major works by Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Chopin, Schubert, Liszt, Ravel, Stravinsky, Copland and other masters of the classical music canon. Many of the manuscripts had been unavailable for generations. Among the items are the printer’s manuscript of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, complete with Beethoven’s hand-written amendments, that was used for the first performance in Vienna in 1824; Mozart’s autograph of the wind parts of the final scene of The Marriage of Figaro; Beethoven’s arrangement of his monumental Große Fuge for piano four hands; Schumann’s working draft of his Symphony No. 2; and manuscripts of Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 and Piano Concerto No. 2. The entire collection has since been digitized and can be viewed online.[10]”  Source:

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Piano Recital

Julia is excited to announce a recital featuring the work of her students to be held at:

Faith Baptist Church

305 Cider Press Road,

Lock Haven, P.A. 17745

Join us on February 10, 2014 at 6:30 P.M. to enjoy some of her students’ favorite music.

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