"Gotta get to my study room!"

AC #62 March (2017) Spotlight Feature

Cory Standing Straight-Up

Cory Henry is the artist in the March 2017 Spotlight Feature. I think he is one of the most gifted musicians that have come to the forefront of the public’s attention in recent years. One of my students introduced me to him, “figuratively”, and I quickly became a fan.

He plays all of the instruments in the keyboard family and he plays them all exceeding well! He is a multi-instrumentalist who is “at home” in any musical genre in which you might find him playing. Here’s a link of him playing drums.

 In this Spotlight Feature, he is playing the Hammond B3 Organ on an original composition he dedicated to his parents titled…

Heart At Midnight

Heart At Midnight image

I did this transcription/video as a way for my students and me to have a little fun while we study this particular snapshot of Cory’s artistry, and to wish him a “Happy Birthday” (2/27/87).

I transcribed the complete song performance but limited the scope and focus of the document to his right-hand only. A PDF of the transcription is available as a free download on my website.

In general, my first purpose in doing transcriptions is to give my students and me some additional material to help us in our study and analysis of improvisation. However, being a valued visitor and guest, you too are welcome to download all of the freebies that I’ll be posting and to purchase any of the other deeply-discounted materials that are displayed in the store.  (No membership or password restrictions here! Just come on in and join us!)

If you’re not familiar with Cory, you can check him out further on the Internet.  In the meantime, for your convenience, I’ve included the following 7 links of him playing various “boards”:

Yesterday;
Amazing Grace;
He Has Made Me Glad;
Giant Steps;
Donna Lee;
NaaNaaNaa;
Billie Jean (with an orchestra);

If you like what I’m doing here, please “like”, subscribe, and share my site. Also, consider donating and/or signing up for, or gifting some online music lessons.  

Lesson Appointments Available 24/7

Lesson appointments are available 24/7 because I love working on a worldwide basis with beginners and intermediates of all ages. Let me hear from ya!    

That’s all the time I have for now but, stay tuned, more transcriptions in general and more with Cory will be coming in the future.

Practice well.

"Gotta get to my study room!"

AC #61 February (2017) Spotlight Feature

MulgrewMiller-AC-61Mulgrew Miller is the artist in the February 2017 Spotlight Feature. My students and I are taking a closer look at him by studying a transcription I did of him playing a tune by Charlie Parker titled, “Relaxin’ at Camarillo”.

First, I must send a special “Thank you!” and shout-out to Dr. Kenneth Beilman for video taping several songs performed by Mulgrew’s trio, in 1999 at his 10th annual jazz event, and making them available to the public on his YouTube channel.  The trio was rounded out by Richie Goods on bass and Rodney Green on drums. Thank you Dr. Beilman!

I didn’t know Mulgrew very well but I met him several times through mutual friends and we also shared a music teacher in Boston… (Madame Margaret Stedman Chaloff).

I wish I would have gotten to know Mulgrew better but perhaps through the study of his music and artistry, I, along with my students and you, can get to experience, on some level, some of the love that emanated from his heart during his time here–(1955-2013).

The PDF transcription that appears in the video is available for $5.00 in my website store. The entire performance of  Mulgrew’s right hand only is documented and I also included Richie Goods walking bass solo. I paginated the document so that each page has 3 or 2 choruses.

Also, for an enhanced study experience, there is a $7.00 “zip” package that contains the PDF and a TRANSCRIBE! .xsc file that’s been thoroughly sectioned on a chorus-by-chorus basis whereas each chorus of the audio is named, looped, and synced to an edited video of the performance–I spliced-out the contiguous portion of Rodney’s drum solo. (If you’re not familiar with the TRANSCRIBE! program, go to https://www.seventhstring.com/ for more information.)

In either case, the transcription is a 23-pager, so make sure your printer is properly papered and fired-up if you’re going to render a print-out.

That’s all the time I have for now but, stop by frequently because more transcriptions of Mulgrew and many other great artists will be appearing in the “Spotlight Feature“.

Practice well and keep making great music!

Art'sCorner-(Red WagonYellowShirt-SantaHat)

AC #60 A Happy Holiday / New Year wish for you! (2016-17)

Just a quick post to say I wish nothing but the best for you in 2017 and thereafter.

I’ve been staying fairly busy lately which means I’m finding I have less time to post in this blog. However, if you’re a beginner or an intermediate student, of any age, I can always make time and room for you. I love teaching and coaching and I’d love an opportunity to work with you.

Please visit my website frequently to check out and share the videos that I post in the “Spotlight Feature” section on the site’s front page: artmatthewsonlinepianolessons.com

In the meantime, keep practicing and making great music.

Stay safe and be well.

More later!

"Gotta get to my study room!"

AC #59 Website Update August 2016

quick-note Hey! I gotta get right back to work so this blog post is a really quick-note!  

Matthews Music Mall will be receiving significant updates in 2016 August.

It's time to practice!

                       It’s time to practice!

August 1st – 5th, virtual accompaniment tracks for select piano exercises and etudes, from Hanon, Czerny Op.261, and Czerny Op.821, have been added to the Gym. BYOB. (Buy here.)

Throughout the month, and frequently henceforth, the Gym will be receiving more items and other stores in the mall will have practice material added to their “shelves” too!.

Stay tuned!

Gym-Hanon-Complete Gym-Czerny-261 Gym-Czerny-821

As I said, you’ll have to Bring Your Own Books as I did not include any standard sheet music pages with the accompaniment tracks. However, I did include a video chord sheet so that, after you’ve stated the theme, you’ll have a schematic on which to build your variations… (your solo!)

I made each book’s main page default-scroll down to an optional loop utility–instructions for which are on-board. Otherwise, scroll back up to the area where you can make your selections.

More later!

Practice well and have fun!

"Gotta get to my study room!"

AC #58 Website Update March 2016

Hello everybody!

The grindstone

It’s been a while since my previous post and the main reason for that is simply there aren’t enough hours in a day.  I’m sure the thrust of that familiar expression impacts many of your lives in the same way it impacts mine–and probably more so for some of you.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that the busier I get in working with and having fun with my students and my other music service customers, the less time I have to spend blogging and making “ed-vlogs” for my website–which is fine on one hand because I love teaching… but on the other hand, I thoroughly enjoy all of my website extracurricular activities too!… I’m torn!! 

A metal token coinBy the same token however I must say, “I’d rather wear-out than rust-out”! I’m just glad the key phrase is “less time” in stead of “no time“! Even though my posting pace is slower than I’d like, things are definitely continuing to develop and move forward on the extracurricular activities front.

With all of that being said, here is a synopsis of the website updates as of this post:

Website Update March 2016

In addition to the updated page and post header images, there are three new items to which I’d like to draw your attention.

1 – The Bulletin Board   The Bulletin Board Title Graphic
2 – Matthews Music Mall animated-spotlight-01
3 – Spotlight Feature animated-spotlight-01animated-spotlight-01

1. The Bulletin Board: Bulletin boards are pretty much self explanatory and I’ve placed an auto-scrolling board in the sidebar of my site’s front page. A mouse-over stops the scrolling and a mouse click on any of the board links will take you to that item’s notice page. Although I’m not sure how or whether this will work out, but I’m going to try to make some sort of tie or link between all three new features and the Art’s Corner Blog.

2. Matthews Music Mall: is a virtual 5-store strip mall of stores which offer practice items that often feature a virtual bass and drum rhythm section playing accompaniment tracks against which you can practice various rudiments.

As I write this post, the stores in the mall are under construction but most of them are open with only a few practice items. The store’s item population will be increasing over time. Your visits are welcome and this link takes you to the mall’s parking lot. where you may select a store by clicking its logo title. I ask that you please pardon the construction signs and any other inconveniences you might experience because, at the time of this post, the stores are still unfinished. These stores and the other website expansion projects are all works in progress.

3. Spotlight Feature: The front page now displays an area titled “Spotlight Feature”. The idea for this comes from WGBH radio host Eric Jackson’s “Monday Night Spotlight” where he turns a figurative spotlight on a featured artist or topic.

As I write this post, the spotlight is focused on Joey Alexander. (A fantastic 12-year old musician).

A couple of my students introduced me to his music and expressed an interest in taking a closer look at some of his work. So, following their cue, I transcribed “My Favorite Things” and “I Mean You” for my students and me to analyze and study. You can get both of them free of charge in my store under the “Study Materials” category. Once you’re there, scroll down to the “Transcriptions / Adaptations” area where you’ll find the Download buttons.

I plan to post mostly music-related features in the spotlight but you never know what might be presented because I won’t know either! I’ll be taking ideas from my students, customers, and you, if you’d like to chime in, so, again, stay tuned!

In-office lesson discontinued

At the end of 2015, I closed my downtown brick-and-mortar office. Now, all of my teaching and music services are conducted online exclusively (100%). Since that happened, a couple of alter egos have developed themselves in my consciousness. 

TrenchCoatGrey TrenchCoatOther-x1

When you see them, those of you who know and/or follow me will immediately recognize the radically different character traits they display. In fact, some parts of their persona are about as far away from mine as one can get! However, like me, they love to work hard, practice well, and have fun while doing it. They’ll make periodic cameo appearances in various pages and posts in the MATRA-sphere starting in the very near future. So watch out for them!

More soon!

Cheers!

 

 

"Gotta get to my study room!"

AC #56 Tempus Fugit – This Is The Way We Roll – Old School

Tempus Fugit

In my previous post, (AC #55), I stated that “I’ve been super-busy”. Well, on that point and close to a year later, nothing has changed and that’s something about which I feel very good! Cool

I love being busy because I’d much rather “wear-out” than “rust-out”–if you know what I mean!! Time seems to pass by so much faster when I’m happily engaged in something and having fun with it. Otherwise, time seems to be an endless super-slow drag!

So, even though I’ve been happily engaged in other aspects of my work and the year has flown by, the fact remains that this is my first post of 2015 and it comes out near the halfway point of the year’s 11th month, and that’s a point about which I’m considerably less happy! Cry

Ultimately, I feel that all delays between posts, that are deviations from a regular release schedule–intended or unintended, short or extended–, are really just one type of “blog vérité”–if you will–which inevitably happens from time to time, whether you’re a one-man crew conducting nearly 100% of your business’ operations, like me, or a part of a staff. John Lennon sums it up like this, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans“! (“Beautiful Boy” )

John Lennon Front Cover

As I organize the activities of my days, I give top priorities to my wife, my family, and my students, and most of the time, everything and everyone else, including myself, comes after them.

During my sabbatical from posting, the behind-the-scene logs of my website and social media properties all show that people were, and still are, reading and watching in increasing numbers. I want to thank my new students who’ve recently signed up and also acknowledge the people who decided to subscribe and follow me, despite the fact that I hadn’t posted any new material all year–until now of course!  Thanks, guys! I’ve noticed all of you and I appreciate your visits.

I am very fortunate and blessed to be in the circles of some really great people and to be able to stay busy doing only the things I absolutely love to do–namely, learning and making music at home, teaching music in class, teaching music online, tinkering with computerized music technology, posting and blogging on my website, and helping people along the way.


“This Is The Way We Roll” – “Old School”

The video project, about which I spoke in AC #55, is finally posted.  I emphasize the word “posted” because in no way do I consider it “finished“… although I’ll bet that overshooting my originally stated release date spread by 6 to 9 months, any possibilities of “project manager” jobs coming my way are probably very much “finished“! Laughing I just don’t know how the time disappeared so fast! In any case…

This Is The Way We Roll” / “Old School“!  is now viewable here and via the links on my website’s front page. It’ll go “public” on my YouTube channel on Friday the 13th!

Two-song video

The project was done for fun as part of our studies on improvisation. It is not for sale.

When I approached my students, I promised I would not do or include anything that would make them or their parents ashamed to say they know me. However, when I looked at some of the videos my students posted of their own on their website(s), I realized I had a WHOLE lot of room in which to roam!–like the whole state of Texas, which would only take up a fraction of the safe areas available to me!  It was all done in a spirit of fun and I love it all!

Overall, I’m glad our project is finally released but I can’t believe I miscalculated the time it would take me to get it posted by a factor of at least two or three! There are more things I wanted to do and include and you’ll see lots of rough edges that I could have and should have corrected or fixed.

However, I really desired to get the project out before the end of the year, so I decided to “take a page” from the modern business practices handbook of the major software companies and release it now, in spite of its unresolved bugs, imperfections, and problems.  You know how they do it!  Maybe I’ll do some “point-upgrades” and releases as time goes on. I may include a few pop-ups here and there but I guarantee that I’ll never sink to sneaking in spyware! (Just kidding!)

In closing I want to say, “Thank you“, to the folks who made many behind-the-scenes contributions, and to my students who were brave enough to participate. We had some fun in the process of putting this thing together and I hope that everyone who views the video really enjoys it or can find at least a smile or two somewhere in the flick.