CMajor's PODCASTING LIVE!...now on BlogTalkRadio AND SPREAKER

Welcome to CMajor's brand new episode on getting ready to play the piano, now featured on BlogTalk Radio.  You'll discover how to pick out the right keyboard or piano for yourself. We'll go over some music basics and take it from there.  You may be wondering, what is the right type of piano or keyboard--How many keys will you need?  Will you need something that feels like a real piano?  Is it better to purchase a real piano over a digital piano?  Do you have the space for an upright or grand piano?  Once you've decided on a piano, what type of music do you wish to learn to play?  Do you really want to just sit down and play the piano?  Some students only want to learn to read music.  In my opinion, playing and piano and reading the notes are two different approaches.  You can learn to play the piano in three months or so.  Becoming musically literate and reading the notes on a staff may take considerably longer, i.e. up to two years with steady practice and careful attention. We'll talk about the best way for you to get started according to your learning style and take it from there.  Listen to the upcoming episode as well on How to Play by Chords and By Ear.  Good luck!

#becauseofmusic CMajor's students can write their own piano songs.

becauseofmusic CMajor's students can write their own piano songs.

Sight-reading Tips & Resources

Performing at BlackThorn51: Working with a Hands-on Promoter 

Hi There!  This is CMajor.  I just wanted to say that I've enjoyed working with a hands-on promoter this time around.  As you know, I am performing at Blackthorn51 on May 10th.  It's a new venue for CMajor.  And, it's the first time I've officially worked with AftonShows.  I had signed up with Afton a long time ago, but some reason we had not worked together.  I've worked with other promoters and venues in the past on NYC.  They're all great in my opinion!  I get it.  Some of my friends out there may or may not agree.  If you are looking to get recognized in the Greater New York City area, one way to do it is to work with promoters who can secure a venue and put on shows.  Some of my musician friends have a different opinion.  They think that is unfair to have to create your own draw and sell your own tickets.  I don't have a problem with it.  I think that you should be able to pull your own weight when it comes to performing.  Otherwise, how will you know who you are really playing your music to?  I suppose one could hire an audience services agency and get people to come out.  That's expensive and it may have a different outcome than the one you're hoping for as an artist.  I can honestly say that I know first-hand that my friends who play concerts in front of thousands of people every week or so don't really know their fans' names.  But, the upside is that they can consistently provide that type of energy for that size of an audience.  Performing in New York City, however, is a dream come true for me.  I really enjoy knowing that I can tweet or post on my social media about an upcoming show.  Hope to see you at the next show!  

On the Next CMajor Radio Show!--Upgrading Your Sound/Piano 

Good Morning All!--You're all invited to the next CMajor Radio Show online.  CMajor is building a podcast that can help you understand what you need to be successful in your music making.  So, the next episode is devoted to making sure you have the right instrument to succeed.  Questions that I usually get from my students are below:

  • Should I purchase a real piano or a digital piano?
  • Which digital piano should I buy, i.e. one with the highest brand recognition or one with the best features and benefits?
  • How long will a digital piano last and will I need to upgrade again?
  • Is my acoustic piano in tune?

All very good questions and all are real-life questions.  Let's start with the first question, "Should I purchase a real piano or a digital piano?".  The short answer is it depends on your budget.  If you are upgrading from a keyboard, for instance, purchasing a digital piano may seem like the next logical step.  However, if you have the space and the budget to do it then purchase a real piano.  I find that my students that have real pianos seem to stick with their piano lessons longer.  I'm not sure of all of the reasons why, but I think they feel more encouraged to learn to play the instrument.   "Which digital piano should I buy?"  I recently had a conversation with a parent who wanted to purchase a digital piano with a lot of 'smart' features and benefits.  I encouraged her to think about the service options available to her if she purchased that piano over one with a higher brand recognition with reliable service.  "How long will a digital piano last and will I need to upgrade again?"  You will probably not need to upgrade again if you make a careful purchase.  I love this last question above..."Is my acoustic piano in tune?"  It's a question that I take for granted because I can easily tell if a piano is in tune, but it seems that your average non-musician parent cannot tell and they need advice.  The best thing to do in this case is to guide the parent to someone who can tune the piano and give them an idea of what to expect when they speak to someone about tuning their piano.

I'll see you on the next episode.  Have a great rest of the week!

CMajor Introduces New Promo Codes to Save Fans Money $$ 

Dear Fans and Super fans of CMajor:

CMajor is so grateful for your support.  To show you her appreciation, CMajor would like to offer you discounts to her upcoming show.  With the new Early Promo Discount Code you can save 20% to 30% off the higher price with this discount.  Now through April 20th use YOUR EARLY PURCHASE PROMO CODES below:

  • Your $2 OFF online ticket Promo CODE:  CMAJOR722
  • Your $2 OFF cash ticket Promo CODE:  CMAJOR722

*REMINDER: Promo CODES expire on APRIL 20TH!!

Let CMajor know if this helps you to purchase more tickets.  Ok?--You are saving money with these Promo Codes.  The Promo Codes also help CMajor to get more perks, bonus pays, better time slots, and longer set length options.  You are CMajor's Co-Promoter!  

**SECOND REMINDER:  By buying Tickets in Advance versus paying the higher door price you are helping to spread the word about CMajor.  Thank you for ALL that YOU do!

All show details are listed at http://www.aftonshows.com/cmajorporter.

CMajor's Tweets -- Temporarily Protected...for now! 

Hi there!  have you been following CMajor's tweets?  tweeting is so much fun and Cmajor loves to connect with others.  However, her tweeting activity is experiencing a temporary change at the moment.  You may encounter the following message:

  • This account's Tweets are protected. 
  • Only confirmed followers have access to @crlpor5's Tweets and complete profile. Click the "Follow" button to send a follow request.

If so, don't panic...lol!  It's just a quick test to see who is sincere about following CMajor.  I'll switch it back again for those who have been faithfully following along as a casual follower and not a "confirmed" follower.  But, for now please feel free to check out and follow CMajor in her other social media pursuits.  The list is below:

CMajor's Classroom http://cmajorsclassroom.wordpress.com

By going over the the classroom, you'll see some helpful resources that CMajor has been posting to help students, parents and teachers.

CMajor's Main Website CMajor's Main Website

By going to CMajor's Main Website, you'll see much more content from Cmajor, i.e. pics, vids, blog, calendar, etc.  

And, join CMajor over at her YouTube Channel.  I'm currently in the process of building followers and posting pre-show material.  It'll take some time, but my goal is to keep posting until I have enough interest to get my own channel name.  Thank you for following!!

~C.

Thank you for Listening!--Listening Homework from CMajor  Podcast

Hi there!--Thank you for listening to today's podcast.  If you heard Weathering the Storm for the first time, you know that I wrote that song prior to calling myself CMajor.  It's a story that I've shared a few times with listeners and fans.  Also, if you join me on The CMajor Radio Show and the After-Show you'll hear me play from time-to-time some of the tunes that I've written.  But today's podcast was special because I wanted to see what you are able to hear when you listen to the music of CMajor.  For instance, are you able to hear that you can keep the beat to the tune by tapping quarter notes?  Try it and let me know how you like tapping quarter notes.  Did you guess the time signature yet?  Were you able to conduct Weathering the Storm in 2 time, 3 time or 4 time?  I look forward to seeing your homework answers.  Write to me over at #cmajorsclassroom.  Better yet, subscribe to the CMajor's Website at CMajorPorter.com right here.  You'll go to the subscribe page.  Happy homeworking!  Thanks for listening and reading.

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  1. Weathering the Storm

Because of Music...My Students Can Take An Exam Challenge 

For the past couple of years, I've been gradually introducing my students to the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) syllabus in addition to other methods that I teach from.  What's different about the ABRSM program is that it offers students the opportunity to take an exciting exam challenge.  #BecauseofMusic is a hashtag that I have written about on social media.  It's exciting for me as a piano teacher to have students that are excited about their music making.  It's all about them.  I recently had a student who asked me if I thought I was a good music theory teacher.  I didn't quite know what to say about that.  I told her that I aim to make music theory fun and clear to my students.  I told her that music should never be two things, 'scary' or 'confusing'.  She agreed.  Then I turned the question back to her saying, "Do you think I'm a good teacher?"  She said, "Yeah!".  I thought about her answer all the way home as I drove back to my side of town.  I wondered if she was being polite.  I replayed the tone of her answer in my head.  She sounded genuine.  I have no reason to not believe her.  But, what I do know for sure is that she feels confident in her music making....so much so that even without knowing her last exam score yet, she is already preparing for the next level exam.  She's asking great questions.  She's engaged.  She realizes that there have been some gaps in her learning over the years from past lessons with different teachers.  I admire her spirit for learning because she is doing everything she can to keep up and catch up. Good for her!--ABRSM does everything they can to make the exam experience rewarding and positive.  They offer certificates that state the students' achievements--Pass, Merit, Distinction.  Because of Music...My students can take an exam challenge as much as they want and feel good about their music making.  #BecauseofMusic

Stay Tuned for More Time Values 

Hi There!--If you've been tuning in to CMajor's podcasts, you know that she will discuss eighteenth and sixteenth notes next.  There are so many Music Theory experts all across the internet.  One thing we all agree on is that Music Theory does NOT have to be confusing.  In fact, music theory can be fun.  Please feel free to listen as CMajor explains how shorter sounds are written.  She'll also talk about how some composers find quicker ways to write stems on noteheads and the one thing that you should avoid writing.  Thanks for reading.  See you again soon!

CMajor's Audio Paraphrases 

Look for audio paraphrases to appear in CMajor's blog.  They will be taken from her upcoming podcasts.  Stay tuned more more updates.  Thank you for reading and listening!!

CMajor's Classroom Online Course Has Started... 

CMajor's Classroom Online Course Has Started...CMajor has posted content on Blog Talk Radio, Spreaker, WordPress, YouTube and all of her regular social media. Follow the reading if you can.  It's going to be fun to share music theory and music basics with you!  I look forward to seeing your homework online.  If you need any additional tips for ways to complete the homework, please feel free to let me know.  I encourage you to work toward accuracy, becoming more perceptive when it comes to music making and building your confidence.  You can do it!  See you soon!

CMajor's Classroom Announcement--All New! 

Welcome to CMajor's Classroom on Social Media!--Sign up for classes today by following CMajor on Twitter at @crlpor5 or you can follow CMajor on Facebook by going to https://facebook.com/cmajor.porter.  On Twitter, CMajor will tweet homework assignments as announced on her broadcast and podcast shows.  Check out the CMajor Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio.  Also check out a "cliff notes" version of this broadcast on her Spreaker podcast.  Coming Soon!--CMajor's All New Spreaker podcast on Speaker.com.  There you'll find announcements about upcoming topics.  If you are a serious student, you'll want check out LinkedIn for academic posts/links as a follow up to show episodes.  See you online and happy learning, clicking, listening and watching!

CMAJOR'S ONLINE MUSIC COURSE

CMajor's classroom is excited to offer a course for everyone learning to read music.  The class will include a study of essential elements of music making aiming to help students preparing for exams.  If you would like to sign up for private or group lessons contact CMajor right here on Bandzoogle.  When you subscribe to the Bandzoogle site, you'll receive homework assignments via email.  The class is taught by CMajor herself.  The Resources she will use are listed below:

First Steps in Music Theory

The AB Guide to Music Theory, I & II

Music Theory in Practice, 1-5

The Music of Black of Americans

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the books, resources, etc.  Look for Throwaways and fun free quizzes!  See you in class!

#becauseofartsadministration CMajor can manage her own career.

becauseofartsadministration CMajor can manage her own career.

PERFORMANCE DIRECTIONS

Hi.  Welcome back to CMajor's blog.  Today's blog is about Performance directions.  Many of CMajor's students are new to performance directions.  By the time students are studying Grade 2 level materials provided by ABRSM (Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music), they need to know certain words and signs and remember the ones they learned in Grade 1.  The words are in Italian.  For instance, if I say "giacoso", I expect my piano students to understand that this word means "graceful".  If the music says, "grave", the student needs to know that this means, "very slow, solemn".  Performance Directions can be fun because they can help bring the music to life.  The signs students need to learn in Grade 2 include accent signs over or under a note.  A slur with dots inside means that the notes are placed 'semi-staccato'.  In other words, play the notes less separated.  And now a short quiz for you--1. What is the sign for crescendo?  2. What does 'crescendo' mean? 3. What is the sign for 'mezzo forte'?  4. What does mezzo forte mean?  And, the last question---5. Can you give the meaning of Lento? Send CMajor an email right here on her Bandzoogle site with your answers.  CMajor can send you a FREE picture of a fun sticker reward of your choice if all of your answers are correct.  Good luck with your upcoming performances!  Keep in touch!

READING NOTES ON THE GRAND STAFF

READING NOTES ON THE GRAND STAFF

Step by step and day by day you can learn to name the parts of a Grand Staff. It's "one step at a time", as my mom says. In the picture of music associated with this blog post/look, you will notice a treble clef sign. There is also a bass clef sign pictured as well. There are many ways to explain the grand staff and its parts. For instance, the Edna Mae Burnam, all-in-one method uses the name "fence" to explain the grand staff. It says, and I quote, "The music name for 'fence' is a staff." The method goes on to say, "This is a brace. It holds the treble and bass staffs together and forms a grand staff so that we can read notes from the entire keyboard." There is also a brief discussion of hand placements and lines and spaces. Some methods, such as the Michael Aaron Piano Course state, "The treble and bass staffs are joined together by a BRACE to form the GRAND STAFF". Another method, The Ada Richter Piano Course says, "In piano music we use two staves--one for the high notes, one for the low. This is called a GRAND STAFF". Sometimes methods may instead opt to introduce clef signs separately at first, such as in the John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course. For a more in depth discussion of piano methods, you are invited to come over to my CMajor band page 24/7. There is no pressure to make a purchase of books. But, I can give you FREE advice on which book may benefit you in your quest to learn to play the piano. Hope to see you here soon!

ACCIDENTALS

ACCIDENTALS - OOPS! WE NEED TO REMEMBER...

Accidentals in music theory terms are no accident.  They are signs that we need to remember.  What is a sign that looks like a number sign called?  It's called a sharp.  What does it do to the note that follows it?  It raises the note by a semitone.  The sign that looks like a lowercase "b" is called a flat sign.  It lowers the note that follows it by a semitone.  Each sign has it's own function.  For example, if you draw a natural sign in front of certain notes, it will cancel out any flat or sharp sign.  In the words of Eric Taylor, author of the Music Theory in Practice series, the signs for sharps, flats and naturals are called accidentals.  Sometimes my students have trouble viewing the accidentals.  They sometimes confuse the lines and the staffs that the accidentals appear on.  I remind them to look closely at the time signature as well as the accidental.  I agree with Eric Taylor that it is important to draw accidentals clearly so that you can see which note each sign belongs to.  Accidentals are things that you learn early on in piano lessons.  If you have any questions or concerns about accidentals, please feel free to contact me.  I am always glad to answer any questions you may have about music theory.    

SHARPS

FLATS

Time Signatures - What do They All Mean (Reprise)


Time Signatures - What do they all mean?

Hi again.  Thanks for stopping in to see me here from LinkedIn and Facebook.  There are many neat resources about time signatures that are out there.  Please see the resources that I recommend below.

Please click on the following "click URLs" to search/advance search for resources that can help you understand the full meaning of various time signatures.  The links will take you directly to Sheet Music Plus where you use the search box/button to find the following titles:

Glover Piano Theory, Primer (click on the link below; cut and paste or re-type the book title to search for this item.)

 http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-8156166-12145963

Eric Taylor, Music Theory in Practice, Grade 2 (click on the link below; cut and paste or re-type the book title to search for this item.)

http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-8156166-12145963

Eric Taylor, The AB Guide to Music Theory, Part I (click on the link below; cut and paste or re-type the book title to search for this item.)

http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-8156166-13017311

Note: If you need more tips and resources on Music Theory, please send me your comments and messages.  Leave a comment or share.  I'd be glad to hear from you.  Also, once you've purchased and received your books, please feel free to contact me with your questions and concerns about time signatures.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you!

Best, C.

Note: Time values and time signatures are two different terms.  

 

 

 

 

Teachers College gave me so much.  It's time to give back to TC.  I am available to share my experience with anyone who would like to hear my story.

Teachers College gave me so much. It's time to give back to TC. I am available to share my experience with anyone who would like to hear my story.

Solo piano songs by Carol Porter

Solo piano songs by Carol Porter

Recently, I attended this year's academic festival at Teachers College, Columbia University.  I had such an amazing time that I made a video tribute and shared with the TC Community.  You can see the video posting here: https://www.facebook.com/TeachersCollegeAlumni/videos/10155202220347719/.  I am giving back to Teachers College along with so many other alumni.  By sharing my TC experience with anyone who would like to hear it, I believe I can contribute to "making a world of difference".  Overall, I had so many positive experiences during my time at TC.  I also had a definitive path that led me to go to Teachers College.  In recent years, especially, through Academic Festivals, alumni networking, teaching jobs that I've had, performing in New York and managing my career as an artist I've come to realize just how much Teachers College gave to me.  As I continue my work in the arts and music, I would like to share ways that will let others know about the journey and the experience on-site and off-site during my time at TC and how it has helped me to be forward thinking. The most valuable lesson has been to use my arts administration training to lead my own career as an independent artist.  ARAD (Arts Administration) graduates typically go on to work in diverse arts administration organizations around the world.  But, I've been able to hold onto my passion and keep moving forward by using my marketing skills and programming ideas in my work as an independent artist.  Without the influence of Teachers College in my life and through teachers that I've had, I probably would not have had the courage or the desire to become CMajor.  Usually it's the reverse, I think.  Many arts administrators begin their careers as artists and then decide to commit to leading an organization.  I did the opposite.  After my internship in marketing and pr at the New York Philharmonic and following a brief management career in community arts and foundation arts, I decided that I wanted to focus mostly on recording, performing and teaching.  #BecauseofArtsAdministration, I'm able to give back in ways that promote and support the arts from an artist's point-of-view.  As I continue my journey, I would like to always make some time to say, "Thanks to TC!"  #TCMade #TCAcFest