Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Patterns of Chords and Intervals






Anyone who wants to learn how to compose music will benefit from a study of harmony - the patterns of chords and intervals.  This will enable the composer-to-be , the ability to create beautiful musical compositions.  There are so many variations of the chords and so many ways to combine them with other chords and intervals.

Jean-Philippe Rameau, in the early 18th century, wrote a treatise on our modern view of harmony, which sparked many debates with the lovers of  Italian style comic operas.  Rameau was a pioneer in the new style of classical harmony, which included triads and chords.  Rameau, an organist and harpsichord player, was a French composer and theorist who wrote harpsichord compositions, operas, and ballets.  His work has been a model for students and composers since his death in 1764.

I am offering a classes on chords, triads, and intervals for anyone who would be interested in adding these rich harmonies to their music,  The classes will be available at Avery Piano in Providence, RI and on-line via webinars.  I will break them down into eight week sections, as the teachings can be quite intensive, but exciting.  Anyone who plays by ear, likes to compose music, or simply wants a more intensive way of learning how to play the piano relatively quickly, will find the course very interesting.

I will work one - on one or in groups and I invite you to write me about your individual needs.  There is a charge for the course which will be broken down into eight week sessions.  There wil be separate classes for children.  I do recommend that you have access to piano or keyboard so that you can practice the lessons each day.  If you purchase a used piano, make sure it is well tuned, as the correct sounds are very important in creating compositions and playing the chords.

I look forward to hearing from you.  Use the contact form.  If you have not already done so, I invite you to join my fan page on Facebook - The RI Kids Create Music School, where you will find more information on signing up for the courses.  Please share this with your friends.                            

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Upcoming Events - Rhythm and Keys




It has been awhile since I last posted as I have been preparing for some upcoming events in Rhode Island.  I am very excited about the next three events I have scheduled and hope to be posting several more for this year.


Learn to Play Piano Chords - Bring Life to Your Music
The first takes place at Avery Piano where I am currently offering piano lessons.  Anyone who would like to learn how to play piano chords is welcomed to attend an eight week workshop where we will learn how to play  the chords and inversions so necessary to create harmony and bring more color to their music.  There is more of an opportunity to use the imagination in composing and improvising.  If you would like to write and compose songs, here is a workshop for you.  Dates and times are flexible.  No experience with piano necessary, but if you play by ear, you will enjoy this course. Please call or text for an appointmnt and then sign up at the event site.  401-297-6681.



Explorations in Watercolor Painting - Landscape Techniques
The second event is an art class in watercolor techniques.   If you and your friends would enjoy a Saturday afternoon or week night together, try this worshop in landscape techniques which includes a discussion of Edward Bannisters works.  Edward Bannister is a well-known Rhode Island landscape painter from the 19th century.  Although he worked with oils, and not watercolor, I believe you will find his experiences enlightening.  Invite your friends to your home and enjoy the discussion and workshop.  Adult and children's classes.  Host/Hostess gift included.  Please sign up at the website.  Dates and times are flexible.   Please call to schedule a class.  401-297-6681.  This will be one four hour workshop.

Rhythm and Keys

Finally,  I will be holding workshop and performance of African drum making and lessons in piano with Sidy Maiga, for children at local schools.  Children will learn how to make an African drum, while another group learns how to play piano.  The workshop ends with a drum and piano improvisation with yours truly on the piano.  Adults can book us for your own event.  If any of the schools would like to reach out and plan event for us at your school, please call Gail at 401-297-6681.

Gabriel Okara of Nigeria wrote a poem about the rhythm of an African drum and the complexity of the European piano in his literary work, "Piano and Drums."  He refers to the African "mystic rhythm" of the African drum and the "wailing piano," and the "labyrinth of its complexities" as he struggles to understand the contrasts between the two.  His point of view is very interesting, however, he probably is not giving enough credit to African rhythm, as some people do struggle with rhythm and never "get it."  At any rate, I hope that you find time to attend one of these events.  I will announce the date and time of the African Drumming workshop. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Plans for 2016 - Happy New Year!









I want to take this time to thank all who have visited this blog and commented on it this year.  I will continue to keep you all posted on the events and activities that we are planning for the coming year.

I am conducting research on the needs of parents with children who want to enroll in piano lessons.  Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey.  Although I may not be able to comply with all of the requests, the responses will be considered when planning for the coming year.  If you have any suggestions to offer, now would be a time to voice your opinions.







Friday, December 11, 2015

RI Kids Create Choral Group SIngs at the Providence Bruins Game







Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!



Thanks to the supporters of the RI Kids Create City Choral Group at the Providence Bruins Game on December 2, 2015.



Congratulations to the Academy for Excellence Glee Club, Providence, RI  for representing the RI Kids Create City Choral Group at the Providence Bruins Hockey Game.  They sang "Silent Night" to a crowd of over 8,000 people!  The girls received free popcorn, a free drink, a free hat, and a free Dunkin Donuts gift card.  I am sitting in front of the girls, resting after the performance.


One can observe the love of singing in the students.


These girls came together as a group in September of 2015 and are very dedicated to perfecting their musical talent.


One of the benefits of joining a choral group is that students learn team work, accountability, and not to accept mediocrity.   These are skills which will be useful later on in life.  If any students are interested in joining the RI Kids Create City Choral Group, please use the contact form to contact me.
Visit the RIKCMS promotions website for comfy, trendy clothing, including tees, sweatshirts, and hoodies for men, women and children.



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

RI Kids Create Music Forming a Choral Group






The RI Kids Create Music School has been trying to establish a school in the Providence, RI area.  We have worked out an arrangement to offer piano and voice lessons at Avery Piano, 256 Weybosset Street, Providence, RI.  If interested, please contact RI Kids Create Music School through this contact form or the contact form on the schools website.  Please do not contact Avery Piano about our lessons.

We are also excited to announce that we are forming a student choral group, the RI Kids Create City Choral Group for students in the Providence area under the direction of Joel Gluck.  Students will be divided into groups according to age.  Our first performance will be for the Children’s Museum in Providence inn October and then we will do a Christmas program in December.  If interested, please contact me for applications and permission slips.  Auditions are not required.

In an effort to raise money for the school and for orphans, we will be holding an event in Providence very soon.  We need funding for the event and for a building for the school.  Therefore, we will be selling the book, Beyond My Imagination and t-shirts.   The book is about an after school piano program and contains some music teachings that were used in the program.  It is a book for pre-teens which is aimed at encouraging them to develop their talent.  Consider it as a Christmas present to a special someone while donating to a great cause.


The book is on sale at Amazon and Barnes and Nobles and t-shirts are available on line at Etsy.  We would appreciate your support of this program.






Saturday, September 5, 2015

Back to School - Play Piano to Improve School Work





Going back to school can stir up emotions for students who desire to achieve good grades and in those who do not do so well.  An amazing number of children do not enjoy school at all.

If children are struggling with math or reading, they may dread their math or reading classes because they are totally confused or incapapble of solving math problems or reading their books.   Music can help in several of the areas where children are facing their greatest challenges.   Sudies have shown that children who study music have better math and reading skills.

If you are seeking ways to help your children improve in these areas, music can help students acquire cognitive skills which would greatly help them later on in life to make better decisions.  The piano, in particular, covers a wider range of music skills and would be a greater influence over students who struggle in school.


I am currently enrolling students for the new school year for piano lessons and a choral group, the RI Kids Create City Choir  If you would like to enroll, please use the contact form.  I am teaching on a concert piano for better performance at Avery Piano, Weybossett Street, Providence, RI  Students interested in learning to become concert pianists or choral singers are encouraged to enroll in my classes which are currently being held in Providence, RI.  An audition for the choral group is not reuired.  Must be 10-12 or 14 - 18, or 19 and up.  Contact me at 401-297-6681.

Enroll in seven piano classes, get one free now until the end of September.




Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Newport Slave Opens Music School




1st Congregational Church,  49 Division Street, Newport, RI

Newport Gardner was the first African American to open a music school and church for former slaves in colonial Newport, RI.  A former slave who purchased his freedom, he was well educated and an accomplished musician and composer.

Newport Gardner, born in Ghana in 1746, was sold into slavery to Caleb Gardner by a sea captain who promised his mother he would have a good education.  His African name was Occramer Marycoo.   He eventually did received an education in music and French as a slave, and was known for his great aptitude for music.  In 1791, he purchased his family's freedom from the proceeds of a lottery ticket an started his own singing school.  He published his first song in 1803.

                              Union Congregational Church, 49 Division Street, Newport, RI

Gardner established the African Free Union Society with the help of Dr. Samuel Hopkins, an abolitionist.  This society was a benevolent society established to help former slaves obtain help with finances to return to Africa, food, clothing, and medicine.  He then established the first African American Church in 1833,  the Union Congregational Church for the African Americans in Newport, RI out of the African Free Union Society.  The church first met in homes and then had its residence at 49 Division Street. The building still stands today.

Newport Gardner composed many songs, one of which was an anthem for the church which was the most known among his works.  Published in 1826 in Boston, Massacusetts, the words are as follows:

                                                       The Promise Anthem

"Hear the words of the Lord, O ye African race; hear the words of Promise.  But it is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to thhe dogs.  Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their masters table.  O African, trust in the Lord: Amen.  Hallelujah, praise the Lord, Praise ye the Lord, Praise ye the Lord,   Hallelujah, amen."

Newport Gardner also established the first school, the African Free School for the education of African American freed slave children and advertised it in the Newport Mercury Newspaper on March 25, 1808.   The school, located at 8 Division Street, was free and Newport Gardner asked for cooperation of the whites in encouraging the African former slaves to attend.



In 1824, the church was renamed the Union Colored Congregational Church.  The church eventually moved to Thames Street where its name was changed to Mount Olivet Batist Church and then to West Broadway in Newport, where the name was changed again to Community Baptist Church. Community Baptist Church is still holding services to this day.

Newport Gardner and his group had a desire to return to their native homeland.  They eventually returned to evangelize the citizens, but soon died of diseases shortly after they arrived in Africa in 1826.  Newport Gardner was eighty years old.

The RI Kids Create Music School is trying to raise funds to establish a school in Portsmouth, RI.  We appreciate any support you can give us.  Please donate to our project at the top of this blog page.