Thursday, July 30, 2015

Music Theory 1 for Beginner Piano

Here is an infographic which can help you remember how to begin reading music.  Music is read on a staff containing five lines and four spaces.    The Top staff has a treble clef on it and the notes on this stare are played with the right hand.  These would be the higher notes.  The bottom staff has a bass clef and notes on this staff are played with the right hand.  These would be the lower notes.    To beign, memorize the lines and the spaces on each staff.  The letters denote the notes on the piano.  Learning to read music is like learning how to read another language.  To schedule lessons, use the contact form.

Lessons are $25.00 per half hour and must be paid in advance at least four lessons at a time.  I accept Pay Pal.  Lessons are held on-line through Skype or via webinar.  Students must have a keyboard with at least 65 keys, digital piano, or upright  piano.   Schedule your lesson today!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Learn How to Read Music

If you would like to learn how to play the piano, the first thing you should learn is how to read music. Learning to read music is similar to learning another language.  Actually it could be quite fun when you finally learn to read the notes and actually play a song.  Children derive the greatest satisfaction form this!

All music is written on a staff.  A staff contains five lines and four spaces.  There would be a note on the line or the space and the notes are read from the bottom to the top. and then from left to right. Here is a staff containing the lines and the spaces.  Notice that each line contains a note and each space contains a note.  These notes never change.  Therefore, we must memorize the notes on each line and each space.  The curly symbol on the left is called a treble clef or G clef because the curved part of the treble clef curves around the G line.

We would start on the bottom line and read the notes there:  E G B D F.  There is a mnemonic device,a sentence, to help you remember the letters.  The first letter of each word in the sentence
corresponds to the letters on the line.  The sentence is :  "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge."  However, because the girls are sensitive to being left out, I have cahnged the word from "Boy to "Baby."  If we examine the letters on the spaces, we will observe that the letters spell the word "space."  When we see letters written on the staff containing a treble clef, we would play these notes with the right hand.

The piano is the best instrument to use for composing music because you can actually hear all instuments on the piano.  Therefore, if you learn to read the notes on the piano for both hands, you can read the notes to play any instrument.  I am gpoing to be offering beginning lessons to read music at my website.  Sign up for piano lessons here on the Contact Me form. and receive my book free.  Limited time until August 30, 2015.  Enjoy!

I am trying to raise money to go on book tours.  I would appreciate your support.  Please make a donation in the sidebar at GoFundMe.  Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Thanks to the Sponsors

Last night was the performance of the Destiny Africa Children's Choir at the Common Fence Music Hall in Portsmouth, RI.  What an incredible experience!  The children began their energetic day teaching area children how to play an African drum.  Our students were very eager to learn drumming and spent a good part of the day testing out what they had learned on each of the drums which the children, both male and female, played.

At night, the choir gave an astonishing performance of highly energetic dancing, melodious singing, and powerful drumming, which reverberated throughout the room.  The music was upbeat leading everyone to arise and partake of the dancing!  The area students and a few others from the audience danced with the choir.

The children, who are all orphans living in Kampala, Uganda, were amazing.  They seemed so wel adjusted that one could hardly believe the harsh conditions under which they were living before they arrived at the orphanages.  Well- behaved children, they work hard and are being ttrained to be leaders in their country.  They were very eager to help the American children with their drumming techniques.

Many thanks to the  the sponsors of the event:

1345 West Main Road
Middletown, RI 02840

82 East Main Road 
Middletown, RI 02843

99 East Main Road
Middletown, RI 0284USA

933 Anthony Road
Portsmouth, RI 02871

AfriClassical Highlights:
If you desire to experience a performance of music in your area, here are some upcoming events.  

August 13, 2015 - Flutronics will release their new EP, City of Breath,
which features their classical perfomance on flutes. 

August 12, 2015 - John Malveau is featuring Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl,  2301 Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA.  Admission and bus ride are free.  Bus leaves Long Beach.  For more info call (323) 850-2000

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Promote Your Business by Supporting the Children

The Destiny Children’s choir will be visiting with us on July 20, 2015.  At that time, they will give a workshop on choral singing and African drumming.  They will then give a performance at night for the community.   We expect 200 children to be attending the camp and 200 guest for the performance.

We would like your company to be a sponsor for our events and we would be grateful for your support.
We have three levels of sponsorship for a brochure design: 

Level 1 advertising -$25.00 business card size ad – Your logo and business name will be prominently displayed on our brochure.

Level 2 advertising – $50.00 quarter page size ad– Your logo and business name will be prominently displayed on our brochure.

Level 3 advertising - $100 –  one half page size ad - Your logo and business name will be prominently displayed on our brochure.

Level 4 advertising – 175.00 – full page ad.

Thank you for you kind consideration of this request.  If you would like to be a sponsor, please fill in your donation in the link at the event site.


Gail E. Cavanaugh

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Beginner Piano Lesson

Anyone who would like to learn how to play piano will be
able to take piano lessons by webinar beginning on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 1:00 am, 2:00 pm, or 4:00 pm EST.  The lesson is one half hour long.  The fee is $25.00 per half hour.  Details and instructions on where to sign up on-line are included here:

The first song we will attempt to play is I Know Where I am Going, on page 42 in the book, How to Play Piano by Roger Evans.  The book can be purchased in a local music store or on-line at Amazon.  Be sure to bring a pencil (not a pen) to take notes.  You will learn how to read this music sheet and play the song.  If you would like to attend the meeting, please send me an e-mail to the address located on this notice or use the contact form on this blog.  I will then send you a Pay Pal invoice to the e-mail address you provided.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Read an Exerpt from My New Book

Here is an exerpt from my new book:

"The students must know where Middle C is on the piano, because from there, they will be able to find all of the other keys, as they are in alphabetical order.  Hence, one of the prerequisites to learning how to read music is that the student must know the alphabet.  If not, it will be very difficult to teach the students the sequence in the pattern of keys.  After learning the placement of the keys on the piano and the placement of the notes on the staff, the children should strive to read a new piece of music each week, beginning with simple pieces of music.  The ultimate goal is for the students to be able to read and play any piece of music, beginning with this class."

From Beyond My Imagination.

The book is available for free as an e-book on Amazon on the Kindle and at your local library on e-Zone. Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth, Rhode Island Libraries have the e-Zone installed on their websites.  

Saturday, July 4, 2015

History of African Drummimg

As we are awaiting the day when the Destiny Africa Childrens Choir arrives at our local music center, I thought it would be interesting to study the history of African drummimg.  African drums are believed to be the oldest musical instrument in the world.  The Africans have observed that everything that moves has rhythm.  Most of the drums are made in Ghana, Bali, and Thailand today and drumming is an art that is taken very seriously.

The djjembe drum, as it is called today originated in West Africa with the Mandinkas.  It is made with a piece of African hardwood topped with an animal skin stretched across it, most likely goat skin from Central Africa, which has the best goats for making drums..  It was introduced by the Malian empire about 400 – 800 years ago.   Drumming in Africa was so prestigious that Blacksmiths made the drum and the people who made the drums were said to be of the djembe families.   They were the only ones who were allowed to play the drums.  The families were called "djeli" and are still prominent in the area today.  They originated from Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, where the art of djembe drum making began.  These areas have the trees which theae highly desired drums were originally made.  If the drum is made elsewhere, it is noticeable in the way it sounds.   They use the drums to play for weddings, funerals, baptisms and other rituals.

The drummer usually starts the ritual and then a singer joins him.  The guests then gather around in a circle and dance with the drummer and singers.  Some drummers today do not have the singer and the art has been lost.  African drumming was discovered by the Europeans first and then by North Americans.  It has spread all over the world with Japan and China taking up an interest more recently.  The drumming is an art and each new member of the family studies the art of drumming for many years with the master.

Music teachers often use the African drum to teach rhythm to young children, as the Africans believe that everyone has rhythm.  Additionally, drums and piano make a nice duet.

We look forward hearing the  Destiny Africa Childrens Choir.