There were so many questions posed in the DREAM STUDIO/GEEK BAR at the NCKP conference!!!
Here are a few of them answered in print:
USING YOUR iPAD
Q. How do I make folders on my iPad?
A. Simply hold your finger on an APP until it wiggles, and then drag it on top of any other APP. Now they have become a new folder. You can rename it by clicking the little X at the right end of the long white bar at the top of the folder window.
You can pull APPs out of a folder by opening the folder and then holding your finger on the APP, waiting for it to wiggle, then drag it out of the folder.
To stop the APPs from wiggling, touch the HOME button (the round button on the surface of the iPAD).
TIP: I like to keep FOLDERS of APPs
in my DOCK for my students. I have labeled these MUSIC, MUSIC2 and
MUSIC3. Then, I can easily find the APP I need to reinforce a certain
Q. How do I close APPs on my iPAD?
A. This is important, since open APPs can drain the battery.
Double-tap the HOME button (round button on surface of iPad). The screen will appear to 'lift up' and will reveal a list of APPs along the bottom of the iPad. These are all the APPs that are currently OPEN (RUNNING).
Hold your finger on any APP you wish to close. You will see a little red circle with a straight line through its center. Click on that little circle and the app will close. Notice that all of the apps along the bottom got red circles after you clicked on just one. That makes it quick and easy to just hit all of those red circles and close the APPs you don't want open any longer.
There is NO QUICK WAY to close all open APPs on an iPad.
Q. How can I organize which APPs appear on which screens on the iPAD?
A. From the home screen, just hold your finger on any APP. This will cause all of the APPs to wiggle. Then you may drag any wiggling APP to any other place on the screen, even to the dock at the bottom. You can even drag them to another 'page' by dragging them far to the right or left of the screen. A new page will open up and you can drop your APP there if you like.
Q. How can I quickly find an APP?
A. From the HOME SCREEN (main window), swipe to the LEFT and you will get a search window. Type the first few letters of the APP and several choices may appear.
Q. How do I move files to my iPAD?
A. You can move files to your iPad several ways:
My favorite way to move files to an APP within the iPAD and keep them organized is to use a program called DISK AID on my MAC. All you have to do is install this program (which is about $20) and then you plug in your iPad to your computer via a USB cable. (NOTE: You can also do this wirelessly as long as the computer and iPad are on the same wireless network.) DiskAid allows you to drag and drop folders from your computer into any APP on the iPad. It's so simple! For example, I use the program Home Concert Xtreme with MIDI files so that my students can play along with a virtual band/orchestra on their pieces. I like to keep these MIDI files organized by method book or composer, so I leave them in folders and drag them into the window inside Disk Aid.
You can also move files using iTunes. This works well for PDFs that you might be moving to PiaScore or Adobe Reader, for example. I don't like to use this method for Home Concert Xtreme, since it will not keep the files organized in folders.
You can also put files into DROPBOX and then open them in the DROPBOX app on your iPad. Then DropBox will ask you which application should open the file. Quick and easy! Dropbox is a free service for storing files online. (Only free up to a certain size limit, however.) www.Dropbox.com
You can sync some files through iCloud. Certain apps work very well with iCloud, including Keynote, Pages and Numbers.
You can EMAIL the files to yourself, and then open them in the email on the iPad and then choose an application to open the file.
By far, my favorite method is DISK AID! It is available for Mac or PC! Here is a link to their website: http://www.digidna.net/diskaid
**Oh, and did I mention that Disk Aid also works for transferring things to/from your iPHONE!?
Q. I am walking into a concert hall. How do I silence my iPad?
A. Um, well, you could just turn it OFF all the way. That is accomplished by holding down the top button (power button) until a screen appears that says 'slide to power off.' Then just slide your finger along the red arrow and the iPad will shut off.
If you don't want to turn off your iPad for any reason (for example, you're writing a blog!), but want it to be totally silent, go to the SETTINGS (grey/white APP on your home screen) and scroll down to SOUNDS. On the right side, then, slide the ringer and alerts to the left (off). You can also set 'change with buttons' to On/Off, so that you can easily silence the sounds of the iPad using the volume buttons on the side of the iPad. At the bottom of this right-hand window, you'll also see LOCK SOUNDS and KEYBOARD CLICKS. The lock sounds are when you slide your window across the unlock/lock screen (if this were 'on,' you'd hear a swooshing sound when you swipe; frankly, it's annoying!). The keyboard clicks are also VERY annoying, so I choose to leave mine OFF. You can turn them ON if you like the simulation of hearing clicks with each key that you type. Those of us that grew up with typewriters are used to the sound of clicking upon each key stroke, but it seems odd and out of place on the iPad (to my ear!). It's up to you! Also, on this screen, you can set the various sounds you might hear with each notification on the iPad, including ringtone, text message tone, the sound heard with new mail/sent mail, facebook posts, etc.
To ensure that SIRI doesn't suddenly start talking in the middle of the concert hall, you might also want to go to SETTINGS and then GENERAL and click on SIRI on the right side and turn OFF. Siri has a funny way of speaking when she shouldn't...
Q. How do I keep using my iPad but prevent notifications or calls from being received?
A. Turn your iPad on 'do not disturb.' You will find this in SETTINGS, then DO NOT DISTURB. Just slide that to ON and no notifications will pop up on your iPad screen and no calls will come through. You will not even be notified of text messages.
Note: You can schedule a 'do not disturb' time by going to SETTINGS, then NOTIFICATIONS. On the right side, DO NOT DISTURB will be at the top and you can touch that to open another screen to schedule a time to put your iPad into DO NOT DISTURB mode. On that screen, you can also choose to allow calls or messages to come into the iPad from people on your Favorites list, everyone, or no one.
TIP: I recommend using DO NOT DISTURB mode while you are teaching, especially if you are with a student on SKYPE!
More iPad tips to come...
Post your questions below and I am happy to answer them!
Copyright 2013 Kathleen Theisen
Saturday, July 27, 2013
The amazing SEAN CHEN is performing a concert right now in the main ballroom. The program includes Bach: French Suite in G Major, Ravel: Valse nobles et sentimentale and La Valse. Wow, just wow. Sean is the 2013 Christel DeHaan Classical Fellow of the American Pianists Association and was also the third prize winner in the Cliburn Competition about a month ago. Sean lives in New Haven, Connecticut, where he is pursuing the Artist Diploma at Yale. His Bachelor and Master degrees are from Juilliard.
If you'd like to sample his playing, go to YouTube! There are many recordings there, including his incredible performance of Beethoven op 106, Das Hammerklavier, from the Cliburn Competition.
Posted by k at 1:44 PM
Saturday morning 11:15 ... Ratko Delorko, who gave an amazing talk on Friday, is back on stage now.
The MONOCHORD has been used since the fifth century.
It was not a musical instrument yet.
Clavichord - limited touch dynamics, after touch
He showed an inverted keyboard by Silbermann 1765. The white keys were UP higher and black keys were down. Static down weight of 16grams. 3 mm key dip. Dynamic down weight 18-800grams
It has restricted dynamics
This was Bach's preferred instrument. A lot of the well-tempered clavier was "born" on the Clavichord.
Professor Delorko has several video clips of the period instruments from his collection, with him performing, and he alternates these with modern grand "live."
The SPINET is louder, but no dynamics. Requires a high finger action.
VIRGINAL: strings are parallel to the keyboard. Sounding board is located toward middle of strings.
1570 example of virginal by Floriani... Live video clip.
On the modern grand... Heartbeat tempo, Focus on central registers. Old Italian embellish from the main note! Trills cannot be fast. (Because notes are plucked toward the center of the string) ... compressed dynamics, agogic like a speaker.
Harpsichord - lengthwise stringing, no key dynamics.
Example: linked keyboards change the down weight.
8 foot ... See handout... <insert notes here later>
Need high finger action. No dynamics.
On modern grand: nearly flat terrace dynamics, agogic like a speaker, embellishments respect same rules as Bach-improvise!, heartbeat tempo.
In England, Kirkman produced a harpsichord w a pedal that opens the llamellae. That creates more sound.
On the modern grand: constant non-legato, except in harmonic fields, interval steps are broad, jumps short. Turns are legato on beats. Anapest and Dactylus are short.
Cpe Bach book: true art of playing keyboard instruments.
Separation in steps and jumps... See handout...
Harmonic fields... Can connect ... See handout... <insert later>
'There is nothing written and you can't call these guys. We don't really know how it sounds. We play the wrong instrument.'
Scale phrasing... Bearings are extremely important.
Playing in every key without retuning.., Andreas Werkmeister 1691
Christofori invented the hammer pushing principle
There is an action he designed "can't really work, but it does."
1730... Bach tried Silbermann's instrument and Bach condemns it.
1732... Piano music starts to have "piano" and "forte" indications.
Video clip of Ratko performing concerto in A Major on the fortepiano with orchestra. He pushes on the moderator to make it quieter.
Beethoven sonata op 49 no 2 on a Schantz fortepiano (video of him playing this piece on this instrument) on the modern grand... No slurs... Play non legato. Long palling in select sections only. Try 1/2 and 1/4 blow too. Dynamics equivalent...
Use professional editions. You may extend on beats. Scales may speed up a bit. Allegro doesn't necessarily mean fast!!!!
Presto is different from today. What was fast then? Horse! "Today we drive a car on the highway going 120 mph talking on a cellphone."
Video of Schubert Impromptu... Tempo switches in different modes/keys.
Broadwood 1785 makes the first pedal at outside edges of the piano.
Una corda shift limiter. You can go to two strings or one string.
Damper pedal was split on some of these instruments. Beethoven had one with split piano. 1815.
Clementi piano... You could depress half the pedal for different sides of the piano. It also had the una corda shift limiter.
John Field ...invented the Nocturne, not Chopin.
On the modern piano, you can get the "sf" by playing a little early. You can't get the true "sf" on the modern instrument.
1830 Irmler piano. Video: Schumann: Romance in F# Major. This piano has a dark, baritone-like tone quality.
1847 Erard ... Chopin used between this and Pleyel.
This instrument begins to sound more modern. The dampers are beneath the strings and they react very slowly. He played a video of Raindrop Prelude on this instrument, then demonstrated on a modern grand.
1853 Beckstein, Steinweg, and Blüthner Started piano factories in different cities.
1856 leather coved hammer... Getting worse...
Video of Liszt on a Bösendorfer from 1856
The new, heavier pianos made people invent things like finger stretchers... Bad!
1859. Steinway patents cross-stringing. Now we are heading toward the modern instrument.
Brahms: Intermezzo, op 118... A Major..... Action comes from above... Video
1885 first dishwasher developed
1886 coca cola invented... Atlanta.
Scriabin on a Blüthner.... Video ... Piano had real gold ... 1905... BEAUTIFUL SOUND!
Modern concert grand - he listed the static down weights, etc, for modern as compared to all others he spoke of today.
Schimmel Pegasus... Cover opens electrically. You sit on a seat attached to the piano.
He ended with an amazing performance!
Posted by k at 12:22 PM
Friday, July 26, 2013
Right now, three winners of the Mtna national performance competitions are performing in a Master Class, working with the amazing Peter Mack. For those of you that haven't seen Professor Mack's master classes in the past, you might want to scroll down to see my notes from his master class in March at the MTNA conference. I'll be updating live throughout his master class, so keep hitting refresh.
The first student was the 2012 MTNA-Kawai Junior Competition winner. Katrina Jia, age 12, is a student of Fei Xu in Chandler, AZ. She played the Schumann ARABESKE, op. 18.
Peter shared a quote from Ingrid Clarfield, who said something like if you play long notes and cut them off, people say you have no sense of timing. If you play it exactly right, people will say it is too mechanical. If you play it just slightly too long, then people think you are very musical and a genius!
Dr Mack - in true Dr Mack fashion - is now sitting at the piano, and placing hands onto the piano and asking the student (and also the audience of piano teachers) to guess which style of piece he would have been playing with that preparation. The audience, of course, was in stitches as he continued to ask style of piece, fast-slow, period, composer, name of piece, key, opus number... All without playing a single note. Of course, he did this as a preparation of showing the young pianist how she could begin her piece a little bit differently to capture the mood. Sheer genius.
More ideas: if you have a theme that comes back many times, you can plan to do something slightly different each time. Perhaps use different voicing or perhaps change the sense of timing. Dr. Mack: "What's your favorite thing to eat?" Ice cream. So you go out for ice cream and you have the happy smile. Then the next day, you go out for ice cream again and you have a big happy smile. Then the next day, the same. Then again and again. After several days of this, even ice cream will probably seem "old." When you have sections that repeat, you might want to change them after a few times.
Peter is soooo encouraging for the students with whom he works. With this first student, he continues to tell her how beautifully she plays at every chance.
The second performer is now on stage. Her name is Megan Lee and she is a student of Sean Schulze at Cleveland Institute of Music. Megan, who is a sophomore in high school, was the 2013 MTNA-Yamaha Senior Piano Competition Winner. She is performing the entire Sonata, op. 78 by Beethoven.
As Peter works with her on the opening slow phrase, he talks about every note being so beautiful. When you play each note so beautifully, it's more difficult to play a long line. There is a beautiful pearl with each note. "If instead you gave me a beautiful pearl necklace, all would make much more sense." Problem: how to unify lots of beautiful, beautiful notes. Unify the notes with your body. Peter demonstrated playing the same phrase by moving the body "in" toward the most intense moment. Now the student is at the piano and he has her start further "back" and have her move in very slowly as she plays, with a goal of going forward the most intense moment. The importance here is connecting a string of beautiful notes together into a longer phrase.
Dr Mack is asking the performer what is most amazing about THIS sonata. Beethoven was the "ultimate recycler." He takes a little theme and uses it over and over in many movements throughout a piece. As he demonstrates, he takes a little motif from the Pathetique to show how Beethoven recycles it throughout the piece. When you are working on a Beethoven Sonata,
"This is Beethoven playing the Apple-banana game!" I say apple, you say banana, then they went back and forth. Eventually, Peter threw in a watermelon, which was a SURPRISE. "Why was it a surprise? Because I had set up apple, banana." If we have had lofty Beethoven, he sets up a pattern and then he breaks it. The breaking of the pattern gives us the interest to impel the music forward.
How do you prepare a surprise FORTE? You play much quieter before it, so that the audience is "straining to listen."
This is one of the keys to interpreting Beethoven: whenever you can hear him setting up a pattern, that's lovely. When he breaks the pattern, make sure YOU break the pattern. Know where you break it and "play it so we go 'woo.' "
Peter played an example of the Waldstein Sonata and then slowed down the rhythm and it became Climb Every Mountain! "I'm going to ruin Beethoven for you." LOL! He noted how Beethoven borrowed from broadway. Lol.
Beethoven wrote a set of variations on RULE BRITANNIA. There is a clip from that tune in this op 78. Dr Mack stated he doesn't think this is a coincidence!
Look for patterns, look for breaking those patterns, then have so much fun with it!
Working with the third performer, Peter is focusing on RHYTHM and using a concept he calls the "leg metronome." After the student played an excerpt, Dr Mack said, "and what did you do that was so great?" Isn't he wonderful with students at getting them to realize what they just did!?
He is stressing how particular Ravel was regarding rhythm. He wrote exactly what he intended!
Ravel also unifies his pieces with repeated notes.
Regarding the LH theme: "this is as if ravel were saying, I know you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, but here's another house."
He is recommending an app called SPEAK BEAT, which is a metronome with a voice. The voice is irritating. You can choose the voice... Bernadette, David, etc. LOL!
I'm not able to stay for the final few minutes of the MC, but it was simply a stunning demonstration of great teaching.
Posted by k at 4:28 PM
Karen Zorn is speaking right now at the NCKP. She is posing the question of how we can continue to
She is president of Longy School and talks of "Musicians as Agents of Change."
If you view music as an elite pursuit, then the world is getting smaller and smaller. If you view musicians as agents of change, then musicians can transform lives and communities. They need skills to make a differences.
2013: virtually all conservatories are struggling with the changes in society and attitude toward music programs.
Students have changed. Many aspiring musicians want a different future. They want a meaningful life, not just a musical life. Programs like TEACH FOR AMERICA are very popular.
The college application process has changed. They are not just judged for their academics. They are judged on their community service, as well. The need to volunteer is changing the students.
She believes we are on a new path. How do we redefine what it means to be a musician? This led her to EL SISTEMA. It's a social program, changing lives and communities. The program was started 30 years ago. Today, there are over 400,000 children participating in Venezuela alone. The goal is to guide and encourage children to become full citizens of the world.
Gustavo Dudamel is a graduate of EL SISTEMA.
" Through music it is possible to change the lives of thousands of children." -Dudamel
EL SISTEMA is a philosophy.
1 Social change through the pursuit of musical excellence - one is not prioritized at the expense of the other
2 The ensemble -mixed ensemble, where some players are playing the original score and others are playing other versions which are easier
3 Intensity - 3-4 hours a day, up to 6 days a week. It becomes an extended family. The students advance rapidly. The times are after-school, preventing them from getting involved in other less desirable activities after school.
4 Mentoring - everyone is expected to share with others once they have learned something. The teacher is also a student. The teacher and students are very close in age.
5 Accessibility - free or nearly free - in Venezuela, the programs are funded by the govt, but in the USA, the programs are funded through fundraising.
Participation as a musician ensures that music will survive. 75% of symphony subscribers learned to play music as a child.
In EL SISTEMA, "Every child is an asset." Each child is fully valued.
Musicians who are trained to teach in groups, ensembles, deal with a variety of unknowns,
Longy looks at the opportunity to train the musicians who are prepared to teach in this program.
TAKE A STAND: SUPPORTING SOCIAL CHANGE THROUGH MUSIC... collaboration between LA PHIL and Longy School works to support the growth of EL SISTEMA in the USA.
They seek to change the face of music education.
They give professional development for teachers, a conference, and now a MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING at Longy to train teachers for EL SISTEMA program.
YOLA... Youth Orchestra Los Angeles... Is the EL SISTEMA program run in Los Angeles by the LA PHILHARMONIC.
The music education degree puts the teaching throughout the program, rather than a practicum at the end. The students take just as many courses in music as they do in education. They take lessons with the performers in the LA PHIL. There is also an emphasis on orchestration, since those skills will be needed within the EL SISTEMA program.
The graduates of the program will have public school certification, but will be expected to start their own EL SISTEMA programs.
Bard College has a Charter School that runs from 8am-5pm in Delano, Califoria. The town is an agricultural area. Unemployment rate is 38%. There are two state prisons. The EL SISTEMA program there allows the kids to have music two hours a day. They work on mariachi music, have a choir and a full classical orchestral program.
For more info:
Posted by k at 11:35 AM
Thursday, July 25, 2013
The audience was mesmerized by the phenomenal playing of 12-year old Katrina Jia, a student of Fei Xu and the 2012 MTNA-Kawai Junior Piano Competition Winner. Miss Jia lives in Chandler, AZ. Tonight, she performed:
Arabeske, op. 18 by Schumann
Étude, op. 25, no 2 by Chopin
Nocturne, op. 27, no 2 by Chopin
Jeux d'eau by Ravel.
The second performer is stepping on stage...
Posted by k at 9:41 PM
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
The pre-conference is coming to an end in a few minutes and it has been an amazing day in the TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE sessions. Updates will be posted later! If you are at the conference right now, please join the piano geeks in the DREAM STUDIO/GEEK BAR starting Thursday morning to see the perfect studio setup and to get answers to all of your burning tech questions!
Posted by k at 10:18 PM