No Class March 24

The church needs to use our space that week.  We will have to add a week on to the end of the year.  I’ll publish an up-to-date end-of-year schedule in the coming weeks.


Supplemental Repertoire

Some students enjoy having extra songs to play.  Here is a selection of books that are at the appropriate level for our class. As your child learns to read more notes on the staff they will be able play more of the songs in the books.


Perfomance Book, Primer Level, 2nd ed.  This book features companion pieces to the the Lesson Book

Primer Level Gold Star Performance Book This book features longer songs with slightly more challenge than the Lesson Book.

Pre-Time Classics, Primer Level This book features themes from the classical repertoire arranged for primer-level pianist.  All pieces are in Middle C position.

Pre-Time Popular, Primer Level This book features songs like Oompa-Loompa and I Just Can’t Wait to be King.

Pre-Time Kid’s Songs, Primer Level This book features songs like B I N G O, Happy Birthday and Mail Myself to You.

Pre-Time Favorites, Primer Level This book features songs like Row Row Row Your Boat, Pop Goes the Weasel and Shoo Fly.

Pre-Time Rock ‘n’ Roll This book features songs like Stegosaurus Rock and Rockin’ on the Soccer Field.  It introduces concepts like articulations and accidentals (sharps and flats).

Pre-Time Jazz & Blues This book features songs like Hound Dog Blues and Dinosaur Stomp.  It introduces sharps and flats.

Who invented Do Re Mi?

The familiar syllables Do, Re, Mi Fa, Sol, La, Ti and Do were first used by an 11th century guido darezzomonk and music theorist named Guido D’Arezzo to help his choir learn their music. He took the first syllable of words from the Latin hymn Ut queant laxis which fell on ascending scale degrees and used them to develop a method of reading andguido hand learning music. No music theory book is complete with out a picture of the Guidonian Hand which was the center of Guido’s method.

There have been a few changes to Guido’s syllables over the centuries.  In the 1600’s Ut was changed to Do and in the 1800’s Si was changed to Ti.

There currently are two mainstream theory systems that use Guido’s syllables; the Fixed Do system and the Movable Do system. Fixed Do assigns the syllables to specific notes.  C is always Do, D is always Re, etc. Movable Do assigns the syllables to specific functions with in a key. In the key of F, Do will be F, Re will be G, Fa will be A, etc. Public schools in America use the Movable Do system. Conservatories and most other countries use the Fixed Do system. (Fixed Do folks say “si” instead of “ti”.)

Important Dates to Know

No-Class Dates

We don’t have class on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve all of which are on Thursdays this year.


This semester’s recital will be on December 17 at 5:45.  I will be combining my 4:30 and 5:30 classes (11 kids).  Performing is an important part of musical education and learning to be a good audience member is too!  I would like every child to choose one song to play for everyone. Children should play the song they enjoy the most. If everyone chooses the same song, that’s OK!  Our recital will be in lieu of our regular class.

At 5:45 all the kids will meet in our room for a quick dress rehearsal then we will invite families in for the performance about 6:00. Afterwards we will have a little reception.

Next Semester & Make-Up Class

The last class of this semester is January 15.  The spring semester begins the following week, January 21.  Spring semester registrations should be completed before the start of spring semester. The last class of spring semester is May 12. Instead of trying to do a make-up class during February or April break I thought we could have our recital on May 26.(My daughter is graduating from NYU the previous week so I’ll be out of town on the 19th)


A metronome is an important practice tool that every musician should have. When it comes to choosing a metronome there are many, many options. If you have never been in the market for a metronome before it can be hard to decide which features are most important. Two features that I have found to be indispensable in my practice sessions are 1) a sound that is loud enough to be heard over my playing and 2) some sort of visual marking of the beat, usually a blinking light, in case I can’t hear it.

You can get an actual metronome to sit on your piano or download a metronome app for your phone.

The metronome I keep on my piano is an ancient Dr. Beat I bought in the 80s. I like it because I can usually hear itdr. beat even when I’m singing high notes (I’m a singer by training), it can create endless subdivisions of the beat, I can adjust the meter of the beat and make the downbeat louder than the rest of the beats.