CMaJOR'S CLASSROOM ONLINE COURSE HAS STARTED...

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

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!

Warming-Up with CMajor: What is She Playing? 

What does CMajor play when she warms up?  Wouldn't you like to know?...Then, if you can, check out CMajorPorter's Facebook page...CMajor's Facebook Page at CMajorPorter.  There you'll find brief video postings (usually around one minute or less) of CMajor warming up at her very own personal piano. "Adults are delighted! Children love it! "  It excites your 'desire' to study piano...lol.  Seriously, warming up can be fun depending on how you choose to do it.  Check it out and let me know if you like what you hear or see.  Note:  You'll also notice that CMajor's face changes with each video post...for fun!  See you at the warm-up!

Investing in Piano Lessons: How Much Should You Pay? 

Happy 2018!--Here's to a new year and a brand-new you...If you are thinking about investing in piano lessons this year, I have some solid advice to offer. Recently on The CMajor Radio Show, I spoke about parents paying for lessons.  But, what if you're an adult student looking to take piano lessons?  You might be confused about the many ways to get into music making and the cost to you.  Some of my adult students think that requesting to play difficult music, i.e. classical piano pieces, at first is the way to go.  I usually try to encourage my adult students to take a different approach to playing the piano, one that is easy going yet active.  It may be an approach that they have not considered before.  I ask my adult students to stay open to the possibilities.  Do not take on too much, more than you can handle.  Music lessons should be fun!  Nevertheless, back to the question at hand--How Much Should You Pay?  It's a difficult question, but let me try to answer it simply.  Try to invest in the best.  The "best" means the way that you best learn.  Do you best learn by watching videos?  Can you best learn by someone who demonstrates for you first and then have you try to repeat what was shown?  In other words, "parrot play"...it's a term that is used in certain piano methods.  I used 'parrot play' with my younger students mostly.  Some students prefer demonstration and others prefer to try on their own first. Do you best learn by watching videos on a computer screen?  CAN YOU BEST LEARN BY WATCHING AN IPAD or some other device?  If so, then use this approach and self teach yourself to play.  I've taught adult students who enjoy the "gaming" approach to learning to play the piano.  They would rather pay one set fee for a year or for a lifetime of online lessons and go at their own pace and receiving rewards along the way as they progress.  Some adult students enjoy using a FREE app on their phone in addition to having someone travel to their home to give "proper" lessons.  As you go throughout your journey to learn to play the piano, think of it as building.  Plan to build over the long term, as long as it takes.  Pay as you go and try not to be intimidated by price.  Nowadays, with so many options, you can always negotiate and pay for piano lessons in the short-term, long-term or as needed.  Check out the Lessons page right here on CMajor's Bandzoogle website for her podcast/broadcast on paying for piano lessons?Paying for Piano Lessons

Music Making and Wellness at the Piano 

Have you ever wondered about The Music Making and Wellness Movement of the 21st Century?  What's it all about?  CMajor has adult students who are concerned about their overall well-being and wonder how music is affecting their health.  Some want to know that making music is a way to keep their brains working and their thinking strong throughout their older adults years.  They want to gradually perform at their highest capacity when it comes to playing the piano.  I encourage this.  I like to see my students do and play what they are able to.  For some students that means learning to play by chords and by ear.  Other students opt to play by reading notes and try to re-capture piano lesson songs from their youth.  "Music Making and Wellness for Adults is an idea whose time has come.  The wellness benefits of making music are a compelling message to active adults.  Research has shown that group keyboard classes can be just the ticket to help adults keep well."  Join CMajor in her quest to spread this message.  She has committed her piano teaching career to finding out more about this twenty-first-century phenomenon--The Music Making and Wellness Movement. 

What Do CMajor's Students Play...At Christmastime?  Podcast

CMajor's students are in great holiday spirits!--so much so, I've never seen the requests to play holiday songs like I have this year.  Jingle Bells, Good King Wenceslas, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, Linus and Lucy, Carol of the Bells...you name it!  Requests have been coming in left and right from students that wish to play songs at home for their families to hear.  Listen to my podcast talking about CMajor chords plus other chords The CMajor Radio Show.  So far, I've been able to teach students by chords, by rote and by note the songs that they wish to play.  Keep up the good work students!  Anyone reading this blog, if you need suggestions on where to find piano music please feel free to contact me right here on the Bandzoogle website.  I'd be happy to share with you some suggestions on where to find FREE sheet music and where to purchase the music you'd like to play on the piano.  Have a great holiday and I look forward to hearing from you!

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  1. CMajor Plus Other Chords

This Thanksgiving!--CMajor's Students Grateful for Free Online Courses 

CMajor's students are so thankful this Thanksgivingl!--mostly grateful for piano courses that are offered online for Free.  Some of CMajor's students download free apps to help with note recognition while others like to view videos that can help with their artistry.  Most recently, one of my students found an online course that allows him to watch video tutorials for free.  After he watches the tutorials, he downloads the free music repertoire with accompanying instructions.  He could hardly believe the quality of the online course and that he gets a jump start on studying pieces that will lead to college/conservatory level preparation.  Happy Thanksgiving to all aspiring piano students!  

Scales to Keep You Strong 

Playing scales and arpeggios can keep your fingers strong.  Think about Thor...yes, Thor, one of the superhero characters.  Did you see the latest movie?  I couldn't help but think about Thor's hammer.  It made me think about the way that we as pianists have control over the hammers that strike the strings on a piano.  It's a similar strength, don't you think?  We have the power to play scales at lightning speed...lol!  Keep your fingers curved, please.  Play on your firm fingertips as you practice the following scales using a metronome marking of 80 (the quarter note gets the beat)...Have fun!

C Minor Harmonic

G Minor Harmonic

B Minor Harmonic

now try...

C Minor Melodic

G Minor Melodic

B Minor Melodic

...play hands alone, then try hands together two octaves.  For a 'thunderous' challenge, start low and play four octaves...remember, you have the power!

Super Scary Scales for Halloween 

CMajor's students are trying these super scary scales for Halloween...they will surely frighten you!...lol

B major scale (ascending) - B C# D# E F# G# A# B

B-flat harmonic minor (descending) - Bb A Gb F Eb Db C Bb

and...one more 

Chromatic scale starting on G (ascending with accidentals) - G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G

Have fun!  Have a Happy Halloween!

#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