Why Study Piano?

Maybe we should have our local school boards review this research: if the goal of public education is to teach students to learn and be better equipped to think, there may be merit in this research . . Jim K.

In a study released in 2000, second graders from a low income school in Los Angeles were given eight months of 'piano keyboard' These students, taking the Stanford 9 Math Test, went from scoring in the 30th to the 65th percentile. An interesting finding given the TIMMS results of 1998. (Neurological Research, March 15, 1999; Gordon Shaw, Ph.D, University Of California, Irvine)

Private Instruction Piano Lessons with The Piano Guy!A related study by University of Wisconsin Professor, Dr. Frances Rauscher published in 1997 in the Scientific Journal Neurological Research showed that children involved with keyboard instruction at an early age showed significantly enhanced abstract reasoning abilities, critical to success in science and complex math.

After learning about this research, the Wisconsin School District of Kettle Moraine wanted to see how this concept would work in the real world. They implemented a program that replicated the Rauscher study, using kindergarten students and group piano

At the end of the school year, students in classes that had received 'piano keyboard' instruction outscored those who received no keyboard instruction by 46 percent! The program has since expanded to K through 6 students across the entire district.

Way back Then !!

From Strand, January 1898: When match manufacturers S.I. Moreland and Sons challenged their customers to create “the greatest novelty of any sort that can be made with not less than 1,000 of our match-boxes,” G.W. Roberts of Birmingham submitted a full-size piano composed of 3,776 matchboxes and 5 pounds of glue.

Victorian Humour !

There was a composer named Liszt,
Who from writing could never desiszt.
He made polonaises
Quite worthy of praises,
And now that he’s gone he is miszt.

There was a composer named Haydn,
The field of sonata would waydn;
He wrote the Creation,
Which made a sensation,
And this was the work which he daydn.

A modern composer named Brahms,
Caused in music the greatest of quahms.
His themes so complex
Every critic would vex,
From symphonies clear up to psahms.

An ancient musician named Gluck
The manner Italian forsuck;
He fought with Puccini,
Gave way to Rossini,
You can find all his views in his buck.

– Anonymous

Not Exactly Bob Darch !!

I grew up in a home where Ragtime was a strong influence . . Scott Joplin, Joe Lamb, and many others were played, and people like Bob Darch, and John Arpin visited our "Red Carpet Saloon" in Temperanceville, north of Toronto. The first Ragtime Society 'Bashes' were held at our home, hosted by my father, the late Jim Kinnear SR, editor of the "Ragtimer", the newsletter of the Ragtime Society.


Bach in the Woods . . . . brought to you by a Japanese Cellphone Company. . . . .


Descendants from Goro Fujita on Vimeo.

It isn’t often that an animation leaves me dumbstruck, but this one did the trick. Descendants is an extraordinary 14 minute animated short about the wish of attaining the unattainable and that out of every great evil some great good must come. The music is wonderful . . . 

The protagonists are a pair of flowers (the older more experienced voiced by Whoopi Goldberg in full form and the younger by Christy Scott Cashman). They grow on the edge of a clearing next to one another. One wonders from the start whether there is some symbiotic connection between them.

One is aged and world-weary, made bitter by an unexplained backstory - the other one still youthful, vibrant and inquisitive. Providence has joined these two almost as one and it seems this is how it could continue, until one day a company comes to the clearing conveying something unanticipated to their lives.

This short film started as a diploma project by Heiko van der Scherm and Holger Schoenberger at theInstitute of Animation (part of the Filmakademie Baden-W├╝rttemberg). It is a fascinating piece of animation – you can read about its history and how it was made here.

Piano Makes Peace

The attraction of a piano knows no limits to a musician.
In the middle of the hostilities, a soldier still has time for music. . 
Wonder if he's playing the War of 1812 . . . 

Handel's 'Water Music' anyone ??

FLORIDA KEYS: A US Coast Guard boat passes near the grand piano on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay in Miami.

A grand piano recently showed up on a sandbar in Miami's Biscayne Bay, about 200m from condominiums on the shore.

The piano, which weighs at least 1000lbs, was placed at the highest spot along the sandbar so it doesn't get underwater during high tide.

While officials aren't sure how it got there, they know it won't be going anywhere unless it becomes a hazard to wildlife or boaters.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino says the agency is not responsible for moving such items, The Miami Herald newspaper reports. And, he adds, unless it becomes a navigational hazard, the US Coast Guard won't get involved.

For now, the piano has become a fancy roost for seagulls.