"Music on the Brain" Piano Studio in northeast Overland Park, Johnson County, KS offers piano and voice lessons for adults and children as young as 4 years old (10+ for voice students) from all parts of the Kansas City metro. Weekly individual lessons are enhanced with small group lessons every 6 to 8 weeks, providing a fun environment in which to perform for each other and learn more about music and the piano. Click here to learn more!
Now accepting new piano and voice students for the 2018-2019 studio year. Contact the studio for more details.
Each month, you will receive a "Composer Card" displaying the name of the composer, the music period, dates lived, place born, famous works, "composing superpower," and "performance superpower." From there, it's up to you to learn about the composer and contribute to the collective studio blog! Once you have a unique/ distinct fact to contribute, ask me or a parent to add it to our facebook page discussion about that composer. We'll also have a running list in the studio so everyone can learn what others discovered.
In addition, I'll provide a playlist for you of the famous works listed on the Composer Card. You don't have to listen to the entire list (some pieces are very long!), but I encourage you to listen to several minutes. You might even consider playing the music during dinner or in the car, so the whole family can enjoy! (Note: If there are videos with the music, you aren't required to watch; it's more important to listen to the music even if you aren't watching performers.)
You can use any (credible) reference material available, including books I have in the studio library. Here are links to a few of my favorite web resources:
Classics for Kids is my favorite resource for composers, with bite-sized podcasts perfect for playing in the car.
Meet the Composer from Making Music Fun has some fantastic biographies and activity pages, often with videos and audio files to enjoy.
During the month of November, the studio is buzzing with the music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. These days, we refer to him as C.P.E. Bach in order to distinguish him from his father, famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach (“J.S. Bach”) and three of his brothers, who were also gifted musicians and composers:Wilhelm Friedemann (W.F. Bach), Johann Christoph Friedrich (J.C.F. Bach,) and Johann Christian (J.C. Bach.)
CPE Bach was born in the family’s hometown of Weimar, Germany in 1714.He was a very influential composer who lived and composed during a time when music was transitioning from the baroque style (his father’s style) to the classical and, later, the romantic style. To learn more, look for the discussion about CPE Bach on our Facebook page and check out the CPE Bach playlist.
During the month of October, we're learning about a Baroque composer from Naples: Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti. Scarlatti was born in 1685 in the Kingdom of Naples (part of today's Italy, but at that time was owned by Spain.) He wrote 555 sonatas for the keyboard (that's right: five hundred fifty five!) Most of these sonatas were written for the harpsichord or the earliest "pianoforte" instruments.
You've probably heard the word "sonata" without knowing much about what it meant. A "sonata" is really just a way to organize and analyze an instrumental composition. For those students who have been learning about "form," most of Scarlatti's sonatas have only one movement which was written in binary form ("A-B form").
During the month of September, we're learning about Georg Philipp Telemann. He was born in 1681 in Magdeburg, Germany, and lived for 86 years--that's a really long time for the Baroque period! He played many instruments (especially woodwinds like the flute, oboe, and recorder,) and wrote more than 1,000 cantatas. (A cantata is a medium-length composition for singers and instruments which tells a story using solos, chorus, and orchestra.)