Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Piano’

Be Still My Soul

Here is a beautiful piano version by the talented Chris Rice of the old tune “Finlandia” and the great lyrics out of the Lutheran Hymnal.

“Be Still, My Soul”
by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Hymn #651
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 46:10
Author: Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, 1752, cento
Translated by: Jane Borthwick, 1855
Titled: “Stille, mein Wille”
Composer: Jean Sibelius, b. 1865, arr.
Tune: “Finlandia”

And if you were raised in the Assemblies of God – like Greg and I were, you will remember these lyrics to the same tune by Gloria Gaither:

I Then Shall Live
Lyrics
Words by Gloria Gaither
Music by Jean Sibelius
FINLANDIA
I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven;
I’ll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father;
I am His child, and I am not afraid.
So greatly pardoned, I’ll forgive my brother,
The law of love I gladly will obey.
I then shall live as one who’s learned compassion;
I’ve been so loved that I’ll risk loving too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I’ll dare to see another’s point of view.
And when relationship demand commitment,
Then I’ll be there to care and follow through.
Your kingdom come around and through and in me;
Your power and glory, let them shine through me;
Your Hallowed name, O may I bear with honor,
And may You living Kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor,
And may You feed a hungry world through me.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
Text © 1981 Gaither Music Company. Music © Breitkop
f & Hartel (Outside U.S.
only). All rights reserved.
Beautiful either way – Enjoy and God Bless
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My NEW Website!!

Most of you know – but maybe some of you don’t – that I’m a piano and voice teacher, who also loves to write.  I’ve been teaching professionally in my home since 1995.  It is what I LOVE to do – invest in students and help develop a love of music in each one.

I’m so happy to finally be able to offer the lessons that I teach in my home to those of you out there who are interested in lessons ONLINE.  I now have a website designed for just that purpose.  I hope you will hop over there to see my new site and watch a short video of introduction of yours truly and tell me what you think!
www.cindysmusicstudio.com
It was hilarious making not one but FOUR videos to include with a sign-up from the first page. Greg had these BRIGHT lights pointed right at me and I had trouble seeing – let alone speaking correctly – so they are quite funny for me to watch back and remember what fun we had that day – with a whiny puppy in tow!  If you sign up on the first page you will be directed to my other videos – and it’s free to do so, all you need is your email to do so. Some of the pictures and videos are not up yet – but most things are there for you to get an idea about what I do. I have room for some new online students in my schedule especially in the summer and so if you know of anyone who is an area without a teacher – direct them to my site and I will see if I can help them.
Cindy’s Music Studio

Thanks so much for taking a look!  Have an awesome day!

 

God Bless

Music Of Your Life

Piano

Image via Wikipedia

This should be on my music blog – but because it is something that I have been thinking about for a while now – music being a HUGE part of my daily life – I thought I would write on this subject and  make it a part of my regular blog site today.

Music does so much more than just teach another language  and skill – or help you focus in another part of the brain – Music actually makes you feel happy.

As a music performer and instructor for most of my life – I can say that those of us in the music profession – actually feel joy in a real way that comes from our pores.  On more than several occasions I have seen it visibly lift the spirits of depression and sadness. Even those not thrilled about practicing the piano – will actually feel better after they do.  Those experiencing sadness, even grief – will feel better after singing for 30 minutes.

Yesterday I had the privilege of singing with a couple of young teenage girls – singing their hearts out  to Rascal Flatts and other artists they were familiar with.  It was great to see them come out of their shells and enjoy the moment – releasing the endorphins while singing – making them feel joy and happiness and a sense of well-being.  All three of us sang at the top of our lungs – and it felt good.

Now sometimes – music doesn’t bring a smile.  When it is forced.  When it is not rehearsed enough.  And sadly – when the student or artist does not know the difference.

I am a firm believer in the fact that when you rehearse something in haste – often times it can be learned wrong.  The brain cannot make a quick adjustment when corrected.  I have seen this many times in a student who learns a passage of music wrong – and then does not have the “ear” to be able to tell that it is wrong. They rehearse it wrong all week – and then when being corrected for that “wrong” part  – cannot make the shift in their brain.  It is almost too late for them.  Better to have learned it right – and have it take longer to learn – then to learn it wrong in the first place.  This takes patience, knowledge and an “ear” to tell if it’s wrong.

The reward for learning it correctly is in the happiness it brings – to both yourself and to others listening.

Music is not just learned and played correctly – but it is also felt.  Anyone can learn it – not everyone can feel it.  Ever heard a bad musician?  Then you know what I mean.  Ever hear a really good artist that feels what they play and sing?  Then you also know what I mean.

I want my students to both learn it correctly – and to feel it.  In this way – music can be learned and enjoyed – and truly bring a smile.

We all make music.  Whether we are musicians or not.  What do you do with the music of your life?  Do you go through the motions – like some of my piano students – learning things wrong with daily reinforcement?  Or do you have an “ear” to tell the difference?   Do you feel the music and rhythm of your life and as you do – does your life bring a smile of joy to others?  

May your music be pleasant to others today – bringing peace and joy to whoever it touches.  Amen.

God Bless

Depending On How You Look At It

This image was first published in the 1 st (18...

Image via Wikipedia

Twenty years ago I fell on some rocks at the ocean in California where we were living at the time.  As fate would have it – I broke my fall with my strong side – and my strong hand and arm.  My hand was  so painful by the next morning I couldn’t move it and had to go to the doctor – who rushed me into x-ray where the technicians move your already injured hand in twisted and contorted positions to get a proper ‘read’.  Ouch.  Anyway it was determined that a tiny bone was broken and they put me in a cast up to my elbow.  I had to wear the stupid thing for 6 weeks – and at the time Greg was pastoring a small church and I was the ONLY one to play piano.  Needless to say – we went acappella for all that time I was out of commission.  It was terribly pesky – I couldn’t write or anything – even eating was hard – I can’t do anything well with my left hand.

Several years ago I fell down some cement steps at our church – on a Sunday morning.  It was very embarrassing and painful too.  I ended up going to the doctor and found that I had broken my foot.  And as fate would have it – it was my right foot, which meant that I couldn’t drive a car – or push the sustain pedal down for the piano – not sure which was worse, being that I am a music teacher and accompany my voice students – it is part of what I do each day.  Driving – playing piano with the pedal – it was a toss-up.  And to add even more drama – Greg was doing some remodelling in our home at the time – putting wood stairs and railings to our 2 story entry way of our house – so during the time of my ‘infirmity’ there was NO RAILING for the stairs and I literally had to hug the wall coming down from the bedroom to the first floor of our home every time I went back and forth.  It must have looked HILARIOUS to anyone watching.  I felt completely handicapped and miserable – didn’t think I’d ever have a normal foot again – and in fact when I would take the ‘boot’ off to shower or to sleep – I was so glad to put in back on again – as I would have the protection – and was afraid of being injured again – my foot was SO tender.

While I was in this injured state – Greg drove me to the grocery store one day.  We parked the car and Greg came around to get me and walk me in.   There was a cross-walk directing in front of one of the entrances and we needed to wait for the cars – or have them wait for us – whichever was the case at the time.  When it was clear we started across very slowly. A car that was stopped and now waiting for us to get safely across – and this was now visible to my dear husband.  If you know my husband you know that he is the most gracious man in the world – does not have an enemy and always tries to do the right thing.  He is generous to a fault and would never want to inconvenience anyone.  And so this car having to ‘wait’ for us really bothered him – and he proceeded to drag me across the intersection.  Looking back – it must have been hilarious to onlookers.  But at the time – I was NOT amused.  After all folks – I was handicapped – and I thought to myself, ‘let them wait’!

It is different to each of us – depending on how you look at it.

And so it is with each of us on this journey – called life. Some are gracious – some are impatient – some let life pass them by – some wonder what happened.

I no longer have to wear that cast or boot and I’m glad that I am not ‘handicapped’ anymore.  At least in the obvious physical way – we all have our internal disabilities that no one sees.  The part that is just between us and God.  And those physical limitations are always going to be there – especially the older I get.  My shoulders, neck and back are not what they used to be and because I carry all my stress there – during a production week like this one – I struggle all week-long – not to feel handicapped – but to feel normal. Hmmm – what is normal?

But normal is relative too – depending on how you look at it. 😉

 

God Bless

Do You Have The Music In You?

Key signature in C-sharp-major and a-sharp-minor

Image via Wikipedia

My husband is a drummer – and a very good one too.  He’s never had a lesson – it’s just a natural ability.  He feels the music inside of him and can express it.  But as good of a drummer as he is – our 19-year-old son Shawn, is even better.  Same thing – no lessons – just a natural talent.  He’s been playing for several years now – and is one of the drummers at his church and has had numerous opportunities to shine as he has been asked to play for retreats, seminars and other out-of-town gigs.  He’s even done some writing and recording with vocals, drums and guitar,  another instrument he just picked up.

His talent amazes us.  There really doesn’t seem to be anything that boy can’t do.  Except maybe clean his room – but I know that’s normal.  *Sigh*  Why can’t he be both talented and have a clean room?  I guess in the big scheme of things – it doesn’t really matter – and we have chosen  not to die on that hill. Always somewhat of a ‘golden boy’ with the ‘X factor’ – he’s even a great athlete and played both baseball and basketball growing up, excelling in both.  But my car looks and smells like a guy’s locker room. Oh well.  Another hill we have chosen NOT to die on.

This last week he’s been in training to work as a drum technician at a local Guitar Center.  It’s a perfect fit for someone like him as he will be able to demonstrate his ‘know-how’ to any potential customers.  That job along with trying to finish up his AA degree at a local college should keep him really busy.  And with no time to clean his room – or MY car.  *Sigh*  We are wondering if being so busy will actually force him to get the much-needed sleep his young body will need – and he will stop his prowling around at night – when we are trying to sleep.  *Sigh*  WE need sleep – even if he doesn’t think HE does!

I’m always in ‘awe’ of people who can just pick-up an instrument and play it.  No lessons – no real practice or effort – at least it seems that way to me.  My piano ability came as a result of years of practicing and becoming better – my vocal ability was much more instinctive and natural – but even so – I took many lessons myself and had to work at it, study it – and have paid by ‘dues’ performing in both a junior and senior recital in college to finish up my music degree.

There are those people who just ‘have the music in them’ and can pick something up – like our son and just begin to play it.  I have much respect for those that have the ability to play the piano without a lesson because they can hear it – and feel it.  They didn’t study the theory involved – or don’t seem worried about key signatures – they just play it – in ANY key!  My ability came with years of study. And I still stumble if I have to play in a difficult key – or play without aid of any written music.  It’s simply NOT FAIR!

Maybe you are one of those gifted people who can do this.  Or maybe you too have ‘the music in you’ and it’s dying to get out – but there are those so much better at it – that you do not try to learn – or it’s frustrating to you because it does not come easily like those I’ve described above. Maybe you are like me – who has to work at it – study it and practice A LOT!

I believe that we all can have a song in our heart – even make a joyful noise because we were created to do so.  God has equipped each person with different abilities and talents – and I try not to beat myself up because I’m not like another person who can do something I can’t. I try to remember what God has given me – and be thankful.  I try to use that talent to bless others – and not worry about what He didn’t give me – because maybe what He didn’t give me – He has given to someone else – like my son.

Below is a song from the opening season two of  ‘The Sing-Off‘ – what talent these people have!  Enjoy and remember to keep a song in your heart.

God Bless

Christmas Comes Early At The Holman’s

 

jingle bell sheet music

Image via Wikipedia

 

Anyone recognize ‘Jingle Bells‘ from the music on the right?  Then you must be a musician – or at least had some piano lessons as a child 🙂

I am a private music teacher.  I have two recitals a year for my students – piano and voice combined – and we usually do a Christmas recital – so for my household it means we start listening to “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night” on the piano and things like “What Child is This” and “A Baby Changes Everything” by voice students – as early as October.  In fact – it’s already begun.

Why fight it?  Christmas music is beautiful – and it’s a tough job to listen to talented and gifted students everyday playing wonderful music – but then to have to play for voice students as they lift up their voices singing holiday classics?  Why it’s almost too much for me.  I have the greatest ‘job’ in the world – making music with my students – it just doesn’t get any better than this – folks.

I have found that I can listen online to much of the music before purchasing it for my students – on youtube and then a great place to instantly download sheet music is at musicnotes.com.  Listening, choosing, downloading – yes this has been my life lately.  So FUN!!

I see another happy piano student coming in now – so I must close.  I believe she’s learning ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ – great arrangement.  Wish you could all be here in this area to hear my students playing and singing.  If you were in this household – you’d be in the Christmas spirit REALLY early this year!

God Bless!

Here is one of my favorite Christmas songs – by Neil Diamond.  It reminds me of all of the wonderful Christmases I have enjoyed with my husband (30 of them) – and it gets better all the time.

Jennifer Thomas

I am always interested in “new” talent.  And this young woman is no exception to the word “talent” – in fact it is an understatement.  I listened to her first on my pandora radio through my computer – and then made a whole station dedicated to her music and those like her.  It is passionate and deeply moving.  I hope you will love it as much as I have.  Below is an example of one of her amazing pieces – “A Beautiful Storm”  Enjoy!

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