Aural Entasis - Simple Triple Time

Simple triple time (3 crotchet beats in a bar) is usually not played with strict regularity.

In this time signature, the second beat will come generally infinitesimally before the metronome.

The third beat ever so slightly behind it. This is called aural entasis.

Entasis is a technique where straight lines were imperceptibly bent into convex curves to make them appear even straighter and more perfectly proportioned. (The builders of the Parethenon used this technique).

We as musicians can give our music a speaking quality by applying this technique in any time signature but the waltz time affords us the best chance to grasp the essence of this idea. It is very important to remember that the three beats of a waltz are by nature unequal.

There is a reason why each beat in a measure of waltz time is unique and dissimilar.

There must always be a slight pause between beat two and three., because the dancers need a moment of suspension to help them slide through beat three, then swoop still further on down through beat one and on up to the next moment of poise.

The worst thing you can do is to play all three beats equally spaced out. The listener will not be able to hear properly. Both the player and the listener must be able to feel the sense of dancers lifting and whirling around the floor. Beat three must always lead into and through beat one.

Try this exercise:
Try pushing someone, literally placing your hands on their shoulders or back or chest and giving them a gentle push but firm shove on each downbeat (downbeat is the first beat of the bar). This is the movement the music is generating.
Now play, lending this feeling of push to each downbeat. This can be done in any time signature, not only in waltz time. You will notice that the feeling of push can be drastically improved through a slight waiting before each beat. This is what makes it a push rather than a hit- there is a sense of control in it.

Beat three must be delayed to help you move into beat one, but beat one must be delayed in order that we feel that push! Yes, it is possible to achieve both!

The same push that you will sense is what the dancers actually feel. They feely buoyed by that impulse.

Do You Make Embarrassing Mistakes in English?

If you'd like your written and spoken communication as a music teacher to command instant respect and credibility (rather than ridicule and contempt)...

If you'd like your students and parents to stand up and listen when you talk (rather than ignore or even mock your ideas)...

If you'd like to be perceived as an intelligent and articulate teacher (rather than dull and slow on the uptake)...

Then this can help: CONFIDENT GRAMMAR

Allow me to explain:

Every time you speak to a student, parent or colleague

...every time you write an email to parents, student or associate...
...every time you write a report, assignment or presentation...
...every time you write written comments on your students work...

People use your language and grammar to instantly "tip them off" about how educated, competent, and successful you are.

Right or wrong, your students and parents will judge you based on your communication skills, even if you are competent and creative teacher.

Bad English grammar is like a beautiful piece of music played with wrong notes, timing and stylistically incorrect. The audience just won't hear the beauty of the piece because it's obscured by wrong notes and timing etc...

The sad part is that many people who would otherwise be successful are being held back by their bad grammar. And why? Most people subscribe to the myth that it's just too difficult to acquire the communication skills that they know deep down will bring them all they have ever dreamed of.

As music teachers, we need to acquire good English grammar and communication skills and it does not require arduous repetition of boring rules.

The Confident Grammar system I have found claims that you can have near-perfect English grammar quickly and easily by learning a few basic rules and learning how to avoid a handful of common mistakes! I have purchased the ebooks and audio and it is fantastic. I have now started to teach English to some of my private piano students as well with great success - the extra income is also nice. My teaching now consists of 80% piano and 20% English tutoring. It is so much fun! I digress...

Most mistakes in everyday language boil down to less than a dozen common errors in English grammar. With this method you will learn to recognize these quickly and easily - dramatically improving your communication almost instantly.

Confident Grammar System is an excellent product. Being able to use English correctly and confidently is important for me in my day-to-day life and business. I highly recommend this to other teachers or anyone wishing to improve their English.

CONFIDENT GRAMMAR comes with 2 E-Books and 8 tutorials all for under $10.00 US!! What a bargain.

Piano Is Fun


As a piano teacher I have long searched for a note learning software that will supplement my teaching on how to learn to recognize treble and bass clef notes on the piano. The only programs I found were boring drills where a note appears and one just clicks on the note name. They were dull and boring!!

What I really needed was a program that would:
· Introduce the notes gradually
· Teach both the note names and where to find the notes on the piano keyboard
· Clearly explain the difference between the Treble and Bass clef notes
· Allow me to select which notes to practice
· Use bright and colorful animation
· Be fun

Finally, all my searching efforts paid off and I found what I was looking for.
The software program is called, “Piano Is Fun.”

Piano Is Fun is a software program that helps students learn to recognize treble and bass clef notes on the piano. It makes learning to read music easy and enjoyable. The features of the software program include:

· Fun characters: Piano Is Fun "stars" a cast of eight friendly and positive characters. These characters take it in turns to present the lessons

· 20 Step-by-step lessons: The 20 step-by-step lessons introduce students to the notes and keyboard positions of the piano gradually so that they never feel intimidated or overwhelmed. Students will eventually learn to recognize treble and bass clef notes on the piano successfully. PIANO IS FUN PURCHASE INFO.

· Interactive exercises: Students learn to recognize treble and bass clef notes on the piano through interactive exercises and games that ensure that they develop true note recognition skills instead of memorizing silly rhymes.

· Practice Games that teach. The worst thing about most tutorial programs is that they don't teach students anything! Instead, they just test what students already know using repetitive drills. Each lesson of Piano Is Fun includes a Practice Game which shows students the answers when the note reaches the halfway point. This allows students to learn the note names and keyboard positions from scratch - At their own pace. Without getting frustrated.

· Helps develop a musical ear: Each time a student correctly identifies a note name or locates the correct key on the piano, they hear the actual sound of the note through the computer. This helps them to develop their sense of pitch.

· Collectable rewards to provide motivation: When they complete a lesson, students receive a special reward on their personal progress page. These rewards allow you to monitor their progress and also act as form of motivation. (It's incredible to see how motivated students become when it comes to collecting their rewards!)

· The Bronze, Silver and Gold Medallion Challenges: these bring everything together on the Grand Staff. The challenges include the note names and keyboard positions of the Bass and Treble clefs. This helps students make the jump to reading music in the real world.

· Printable Certificates When a student completes a medallion challenge, they are rewarded with a triumphant fanfare and are presented with a Certificate of Achievement. These certificates are a valuable form of positive reinforcement (And look great in a black frame next to their piano!) PIANO IS FUN PURCHASE INFO.

· Custom Lessons: If a student is having problems with particular notes, Piano Is Fun allows you to create a customized lesson to address their specific problem. Just go to the 'Custom Lesson' screen and select any number of notes from the treble and bass clefs and Piano Is Fun will then create a custom lesson to help.

· Keep track of up to 50 students: Piano Is Fun tracks the progress of up to 50 individual students. You can check a student's progress page at any time to find out how they are going. This allows you to quickly determine which students are struggling so that you can take the appropriate action.

· As a bonus gift for purchasing Piano Is Fun, you'll also receive 16 fun musical puzzles.