Archive for November, 2012


A Fun & Playful Way To Play “Jingle Bells” On The Piano (Video)

Friday, November 30th, 2012
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If you want to have fun and make some playful sounds with Jingle Bells, take a look at this short video. We play with different chord progressions, voicings, as well as use a “walking bass” in the left hand. Come up with your own ideas and have fun and surprise your friends or family!

You can also watch this video on this web page: http://www.playpiano.com/JingleBells

Plus you can watch this video and over 300 others at our YouTube Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/chordsgalore and be sure to subscribe so you will get all my new videos sent to you each time I post a new one.

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A Fun Way To Play “O Christmas Tree” On The Piano

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
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Here is a fun way to play “O Christmas Tree” on the piano this Christmas. Remember there are MANY ways to arrange a song, and this is just one way. As you gain knowledge as a pianist you should actively work at creating your own arrangements of songs – putting your own stamp of originality on them.

You can also click on this link to see the video on a web page: http://www.playpiano.com/OChristmasTree.htm

Or you can go to my YouTube channel and watch it there (along with over 300 of my other piano videos):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJcYCOWBIaw

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5 Songs For Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
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Thanksgiving songs have been apart of American culture for a long time. Not as
celebrated as Christmas songs, Thanksgiving music is just as important to the
holiday. Holidays have always had a way of bringing people together.

Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving music provokes feelings of love and family, making the moments that
    you share with your loved ones much more special. The wonderous festival of
    Thanksgiving is commemorated to give thanks and appreciation for all you’ve been
    blessed with throughout the year. Originally created as a religious and sacred
    festival, Thanksgiving has now evolved into a national holiday with much pomp
    and galore. Though the festival has become a more joyful and fun occasion, it
    still has some of the traditional antiquities it began with like song and dance.
    This article will discuss the most celebrated songs of the season as well as
    their origin and creator.

    Every Day Is Thanksgiving

    This song is a fan favorite for many reasons, but mostly for its creative lyrics
    that resonate feelings of holiday joy in all it’s listeners. The inspiration for
    the song is to education. The authors(Karen Rupprecht and Pam Minor) believe
    that through music and song one can be both entertained and inspired to learn.

    O God, Beneath Thy Guiding Hand

    This is a religious song that is used to celebrate the presence of God in all
    that matters. To keep the holiness of the spirit alive, this soulful hymn was
    created. The song was originally sketched in 1833 by the famous American
    preacher and writer Leonard Beacon. The song in part, was created to celebrate
    the 200th anniversary of the founding of New Haven, Connecticut.

    Faith Of Our Fathers

    This is a melodious hymn, that is sung in both homes and churches throughout the
    country. Composed originally by Frederick W. Faber in 1849 the hymn was created
    in memory of the cathloic martyrs from the time of the establishment of the
    Church of England by Henry VIII. The song was also sung at the funeral of
    President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Today however, it is sung more as a
    Thanksgiving song to the tunes of St. Catherine by Henri F Hemy.

    Lone Pilgrim

    This Thanksgiving song is enriched with legends and symbolism that are inspired
    by the journey of the pilgrims who sailed to America in 1621. Also called the
    Mayflower Survivor Song, this song celebrates courage and the will to survive.
    The lyrics of “Lone Pilgrim” are written by Bob Dylan, but its origin and claims
    to authorship are many.

    Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

    This song was written by Henry Alford in 1844, this song has long been
    considered a favorite of the holiday. Traditionally, sung to the tune of St.
    George’s Windsor by George Job Elvey. This harmonious song makes a great entry
    into your Thanksgiving song. This song will impress both The Lord and everyone
    else in the mood of celebrating the harvest season.

    Conclusion

    Although the Thanksgiving holiday has many songs and hyms, the songs selected
    have a sentimental and traditional value. Inspite of the food and festivities,
    one should always be mindful of the spirit of the holiday. Each day that we
    survive is a blessing and should be celebrated to some extent. Thanksgiving
    music will always be a big part of our tradition and country.

    Thanksgiving songs

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How To Alter Any Chord Easily (Watch video)

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
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Altered chords

You know all the basic types of chords – major chords, minor chords, 7th chords and so on. But did you know that any chord can be altered just by adding a “+” sign or a “-” sign?

It’s true.

If a plus sign “+” is added to a chord like this: C7+5 it means to raise the 5th one-half step. If a minus sign “-” is added to a chord such as C7 it would look like this: C7-5 and means to lower the 5th one-half step.

Watch this short video and you’ll understand.

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Study & Listen To Music For Better Spatial Reasoning Skills

Monday, November 12th, 2012
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Want better Spatial Reasoning skills? Study Music & Listen To Music!

Study music

Both sides are guilty, if we’re honest. One side would have you believe that those who study music at a young age will be brilliant Rhodes Scholars ready to be the next world leader. Others believe that the research that seems to indicate that music makes a person more intelligent isn’t as solid as some would have us believe. Others, and maybe you’re one of these people, haven’t heard about the research.

Here’s how the story goes: one good reason to learn a musical instrument is because positive changes in your brain take place. Scientists did a study where they brought in a number of everyday people and had them watch their favorite movie while hooked up to a monitor that measured brain waves. In the background they listened to words spoken in Mandarin that sounded like “mi”. Because Mandarin is a language based on tone of voice, when “mi” is spoken with the tone going up, that is one word. When the vocal inflection goes down, that’s another word and when the inflection stays flat, it’s another word.

Those who had at least 6 years of musical training were able to track the changes in these different vocal inflections much easier than those with no musical training. Remember that they were focused on their favorite movie so this was done automatically in the brain as measured by their brain waves. This, according to scientists, proves that studying music causes positive changes to the brain that allow for a higher level of auditory processing.
Let’s admit that measuring brainwaves while somebody listens to “mi” for hours on end isn’t the most exciting of experiments but how about something a little more practical? When a baby is born, they have in their brain billions of cells that are looking for a place to call home. Brain cells form pathways based on experience and those pathways strengthen over time as repetitive actions are taken.

This is why reading to your child is important. Each time you read to them, pathways are formed and strengthened causing language to form. It’s like weightlifting for brain cells. The same thing happens with music. When you play classical music for your child, musical pathways are formed and strengthened improving the way the brain processes sound. If you’re wondering why you should care if your child has musical pathways, it’s because musical pathways resemble the pathways that strengthen spatial reasoning. Somebody with good spatial reasoning skills could, for example, rapidly construct a jigsaw puzzle and it is the same kind of thought process that directly relates to chemistry, architecture, and many other math and science fields. IQ tests and other intelligence based tests that are used for college admissions tests and other standardized assessments are heavy on spatial reasoning.

Some pro-music people overstate the positive effects of music. First, it seems to only work when classical music is used. Because that style of music tends to be more complicated, it gives the brain a better workout. Second, although there is evidence that actually learning an instrument makes the effects last a lot longer, but music tends to stimulate these formed pathways to turn on but they only stay turned on for a relative short amount of time. Improved spatial reasons goes away after just an hour from the time the music is turned off. In other words, we don’t walk around with these improved skills.

Still, though, the mountain of studies has made the conclusions pretty irrefutable: those who study and listen to music will see improved brain function. Listed here are merely two of the many studies that prove this point.

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