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September 2015

A monthly newsletter to inform

and entertain our friends






Megan Jobe competed in the National American Miss State Finals July 31st through August 2nd at Pheasant Run Resort.  The festivities/contest started late Friday afternoon and ran through Sunday evening.  Megan's contest group, the preteen division, had 98 registered contestants. 

Contests included: talent, formal wear, casual wear, actress, spokes model, photogenic, art, and more.  For talent Megan performed on the piano and earned a 1st Runner Up.

She placed highly in many other contests and won Miss Illinois Preteen 2015.

Megan is one of 6 Miss Illinois'.  There is one for each division, from youngest to oldest: Princess, Jr Preteen, Preteen, Jr Teen, Teen, and Miss.  Many people wonder what a pageant queen does. Well, for Megan her first day as queen was spent sorting boxes of school supplies for kids in need, but at least she got to do it in a crown and sash!

Coming up she has community service work to do, some guest appearances, and then on to Nationals at Disneyland to represent Illinois in a run for the National crown.



Over 100 recital videos are now on YouTube! Visit "Sweet Sounds for You" to see you and your friends performing at past recitals!

  Recital videos are also available on facebook! 



Tickle your keys for Piano Month! Celebrate an instrument that continues to be classical, contemporary and flexible at the same time; an instrument that contributed enormously to the development of music as we know it, and continues to play a key role in modern music.


A Piano History Timeline

1700-Harpsichord maker Bartolomeo Cristofori's invents the "piano e forte" ("soft and loud") in Florence, Italy.

1739-Domenico del Mela builds the earliest known upright piano in Gagliano, Italy.

Early 1700s-Piano builder Gottfried Silbermann adds a precursor to the modern damper pedal, which lifts all dampers from the strings at once to create a sustained tone.

Late 1700s-Piano making flourished in the Viennese school. Mozart composed for these instruments, which were built with wooden frames with two strings per note.

Early 1800s-The English firm Broadwood is the first to make sturdy pianos with a range of more than five octaves

1811-Theatrical pianist and composer Franz Liszt was born in Hungary. He brought virtuosity and flair to piano playing and created the piano recital.

1853-The piano maker Steinway and Sons was founded by Heinrich Engelhard Steinway. His innovations include cast-iron frames and overstringing, or placing strings vertically overlapping and slanted.

1863-Frenchman Henri Fourneaux invents the player piano, which "plays itself" using a piano roll and mechanics.

1873-Composer, pianist, and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff is born in Russia. A virtuoso, his hands spanned the interval of a 13th on the keyboard. His second and third piano concertos are among the most challenging.

Late 1800s-The modern upright piano and grand pianos that are used today first appeared.

1919-By this date, 156,000 pianos and 180,000 player pianos were being manufactured in the US.

1938-Composer John Cage "prepares" a piano, adding nuts, bolts, and pieces of rubber in the instrument to create a wide array of percussive sounds.

1962-The first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is held in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1958 Van Cliburn sensationally won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia at the height of the Cold War.

1980s-Digital pianos became available. They used digital sampling to produce the sound of every piano note. Later innovations include keyboards "weighted" to feel like a grand piano's and onboard recording technology.

2000s-With MIDI technology, internet capability, onboard learning tools, computer screens and more, pianos enter the 21st century with hi-tech features that make them as popular as ever. In 2005, 144,000 digital pianos are sold in the US. (courtesy of Making Music)











We are pleased to send you this monthly issue of our newsletter. It is our way of saying that you are important to us and we truly value your business. Enjoy!
Coming Attractions:
October 17,2015

Halloween Recitals


December 12, 2015

Holiday Recitals


December 13, 2015

Holiday Recitals 



What's the Right Age to Begin Music Lessons?

There is a growing (and convincing) body of research that indicates a "window of opportunity" from birth to age nine for developing a musical sensibility within children. During this time, the mental structures and mechanisms associated with processing and understanding music are in the prime stages of development, making it of utmost importance to expose children in this age range to music. 

The important question then is not when to start lessons, but what is the goal of music lessons for young children? For instance, very young children are not exposed to instruments in order to master them, but to gain experience and learn to develop meaningful relationships with music at a young age. If this is your goal, then the "lessons" can and should start soon after birth and certainly within the child's first year. 

These "lessons" do not have to be-in fact, at first probably shouldn't be-very formal. A parent can serve as guide by immersing the child in a musical environment. You should help your child focus on the music with simple movement activities such as musical games, swaying or dancing while holding the baby, or singing or playing an instrument for the child. 

Once the child is around age three, it may be time for more formalized "lessons." Again, the goal is not to learn to play an instrument but to further develop skills like identifying a beat in music, identifying melody, or identifying instruments. These parent-child lessons might be any number of preschool classes run by private individuals, universities, or community centers. To decide whether or not a class is suitable for your child, make sure your goals and expectations coincide with the teacher's.  

By age five, most children have built a foundation that has prepared them for formalized music lessons. Even now, the goal of the lessons is not to become a great performer on the instrument but to further the understanding of music. Piano and violin are the two most common instruments played at this age, but others have tried the recorder, guitar, or ukulele with success. 

By age 10, the child will have a variety of skills associated with their instrument of choice. They'll also have the physical strength to try a different, bigger instrument, such as a brass or large string instrument that requires a higher level of strength and stamina. Around this time, the goal of lessons appropriately transitions from gaining experience with music to improving performance ability. 

In summary, there are three answers to the question, "What age should children begin music lessons?" Informal activities with music should start soon after birth, followed by more systematic classes around age three, and lessons with the goal of learning the instrument should start between six and nine. Keep in mind that these are only guidelines; exceptions will undoubtedly occur based on the child and/or teacher. Musical experience at an early age is extremely important in a child's developmental process. Like riding a bike or learning a language, these skills can be learned later in life, but they will never be "natural" in the way that is so important for fluid musical performance.(Courtesy of Dr. Robert A. Cutietta. Dr. Robert A. Cutietta is the Dean of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. He is the author of "Raising Musical Kids" and a popular speaker whose areas of expertise include the middle-school learner, choral education, learning theories and the psychology of music. Additionally, he is a highly regarded musician and educator with extensive knowledge about the full range of musical talent nationally as well as internationally.)





PIANO FUN AND GAMES will include learning the music alphabet, learning note names on the staff, ear training and rhythm, solo and ensemble playing, flash card drills and of course music games! An excellent preparation for private lessons!  Ages 5 and 6   Tuesday    3:00 - 3:45     Sept 15 to December 15      No class Nov. 24th 13 week session - $195.00 Lesson materials to be purchased at first class approximately $16.00. 

BEGINNING VIOLIN CLASS - This class is designed for children who want to play the violin. The format includes an introduction to the instrument, playing posture, the treble clef, notes, rhythms, and playing simple tunes. Student must bring their violin to every class. Ages 5 to 7.  Monday 6:00-6:45 September 14 - December 7. 13 weeks- $195.00. Lesson materials to be purchased at the first class approximately $20.00. 




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