General

Student Humor

Just a quick story to share today…

I was teaching my homeschool music class this morning, and we started learning about Franz Liszt today.  After talking about his life, I played this YouTube video of Evgeny Kissin playing a Liszt etude to listen to as they colored a picture of Liszt.  As usual, I had to explain that the performer they saw in the video was not Liszt because they did not have video cameras back then.

Then the oldest boy (8) asked, “What are those fancy letters at the beginning of the video?”  I quickly answered, “I think those are Chinese letters, because this recital probably took place in China.”  My student thought about that for a moment, and then said, “That makes sense, because most things are made in China.”  :)

Afterwards, I realized that the letters are probably actually Japanese since under the YouTube video it states that the recital took place in Toyko.  Regardless, I thought this was a cute story to share.

General

Some Page Turning Humor

Whew, the semester is wrapping up!  My husband and I are looking forward to graduation, although it’s certainly bittersweet.  I will really miss being in school!  We’ll be moving sometime over the next few months, although a lot is still up in the air.  For now, I can tell you we are moving to Ohio!  (Any Ohioan readers out there?)

I received this email forward from a friend of mine, and today I thought I’d share it here.  Enjoy!

The following program notes are from an unidentified piano recital.

Tonight’s page turner, Ruth Spelke, studied under Ivan Schmertnick at the Boris Nitsky School of Page
Turning in Philadelphia.  She has been turning pages here and abroad for many years for some of the world’s leading pianists.

In 1988,  Ms. Spelke won the Wilson Page Turning Scholarship, which sent her to Israel to study page turning from left to right.  She is a winner of the 1984 Rimsky Korsakov Flight of the Bumblebee Prestissimo Medal, having turned 47 pages in an unprecendeted 32 seconds.  She was also a 1983 silver medalist at the Klutz Musical Page Pickup Competition:  contestants retrieve and rearrange a musical score dropped from a Yamaha.  Ms. Spelke excelled in “grace, swiftness, and especially poise.”

For techniques,  Ms. Spelke performs both the finger-licking and the bent-page corner methods.  She works from a standard left bench position, and is the originator of the dipped-elbow page snatch,  a style used to avoid obscuring the pianist’s view of the music.

She is page turner in residence in Fairfield Iowa, where she occupies the coveted Alfred Hitchcock Chair at the Fairfield Page Turning Institute.

Ms.  Spelke is married, and has a nice house on a lake.

General, Printables

Best Piano Jokes

I’ve just compiled list of kid-friendly piano jokes…read on below to check them out!

This compilation of piano jokes is also available as a pdf to give out to your students/parents, available on the Printables > Other Resources page.

* * *

Student to Teacher: “I can’t reach the brakes on this piano!”

Why is an 11-foot concert grand better than a studio upright?  Because it makes a much bigger kaboom when dropped over a cliff.

Why are pianists’ fingers like lightning?  They rarely strike the same place twice.

Why was the piano invented?  So the pianist would have a place to put his coffee.

Did you hear about the stupid pianist who kept banging his head against the keys?  He was playing by ear. Continue reading “Best Piano Jokes”

Resources

Collaborative Piano Humor

In this delightfully humorous post, Billie Whittaker shares some collaborative piano humor.  She shares some humorous tendencies she has observed in collaborative pianists — such as having advanced photocopying skills, and possessing strong opinions on the ‘use of plastic music protectors’ debate.  She goes on to share some of her own quirks — such as keeping a metronome in her purse at all times (I’m not the only one!!).

I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who does these things!  =D

She also shares this joke:

A pianist and singer are rehearsing “Autumn Leaves” for a concert and the pianist says: “OK. We will start in g minor and then on the third bar, modulate to B major and go into 5/4. When you get to the bridge, modulate back down to f# minor and alternate a 4/4 bar with a 7/4 bar. On the last A section go into double time and slowly modulate back to g minor.”

Check out the whole post here.  Also a must-see: A Brief Guide To Page-Turners.

(via The Collaborative Piano Blog)

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/candelabrumdanse/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

Music Theory

55 reasons why you might be a theory geek

You might be a theory geek if…

  1. your favorite pickup line is, “What’s your favorite augmented sixth chord?”
  2. your second favorite pickup line is, “Would you like to raise my leading tone?”
  3. you dream in four parts.
  4. your biological clock follows a non-retrogradable isorhythm.
  5. you can improvise 16th century counterpoint with no trouble, but you frequently forget how to tie your shoes. Continue reading “55 reasons why you might be a theory geek”