For Adults

Miss Hill’s Valentine

Mildred J. Hill's Valentine Although she is known as the composer of “Happy Birthday to You,” Mildred J. Hill wrote numerous children’s songs for her sister Patty’s Kindergarten School. You might be surprised to know that she also composed many other works now available online. Some are sketched in pencil, others penned as manuscript, and several [...]

By |2020-02-13T20:55:12-05:00February 12, 2020|0 Comments

The Turkey Trot

Was the Turkey Trot a scandal because of the actual movements of the dance, or was the shock a rejection of African-American dance and music coming into white ballrooms?

By |2018-11-02T22:40:17-04:00November 26, 2017|0 Comments

Memorial Day: Piano Improv with Ravel and Augmented Chords

What do Memorial Day, Maurice Ravel, and augmented chords have in common? Read on! The breezy “Happy Memorial Day!” always makes me bristle, a little. I know it's well-intended, but Memorial Day is a time to remember Americans who died serving in our armed forces. I guess it’s American to be so relieved for a rare day [...]

By |2018-06-18T14:04:02-04:00May 29, 2017|0 Comments

Bill T. Jones and Winterreise

In New England, deep snowfalls were frequent when I was a child. Wearing rubber galoshes that  went on over our shoes, my sisters and I lifted our knees high to puncture the icy crust. It helps, when you're small and the snow is above your knees, to step inside the leg-holes your older sisters have already [...]

By |2017-01-24T23:19:26-05:00January 24, 2017|0 Comments

Roses in Winter – An Art Song Unearthed

Roses in Winter You might not agree that this little art song is anything special, but it captivated me. “Roses in Winter” is another result of my internet archeology via IMSLP. Composed by Arthur Foote on a poem by Philip Bourke Marston, it's a piece I can't find a recording of anywhere -- which makes it more [...]

By |2018-06-18T13:51:21-04:00January 9, 2016|0 Comments

Floor Pattern “in 10” from Elizabeth Walton

About Elizabeth Walton Elizabeth Walton and Paul Taylor making "Paul Taylor: The Man Behind the Dance" (Photo: UMBC New Media Studio) I’ve been taking Beginning Modern classes with Elizabeth Walton, Associate Professor at UMBC. I love taking beginners’ classes, in part because I get to observe how other teachers introduce concepts of movement [...]

By |2016-10-19T04:45:56-04:00November 18, 2015|0 Comments

March: Modern Dance Phrase for St. Patrick’s Day

A Modern "Hornpipe" Dance Phrase This is a little phrase I created years ago that I've enjoyed bringing back in modern classes during March, in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Its inspiration is a piece on James Galway's "Dances for Flute" -- the "Belfast Hornpipe", #10 on the CD -- but other Irish dance pieces [...]

By |2015-08-29T15:38:19-04:00July 18, 2015|0 Comments

June: Crusis and Anacrusis in Tchiakovsky’s “June” Barcarolle

Originally posted June, 2006. Open pdf score downloaded from IMSLP: Tchiakovsky June This is an exploration of anacrusic elements in Tchiakovsky “June” (Bacarolle), Op. 37 No. 6. It is one of those pieces that’s poignant, even elegant, in its very simplicity. There’s nothing very complicated in its melody or harmony, making its beauty all the more dependent [...]

By |2018-06-18T13:48:35-04:00March 9, 2015|0 Comments

November: Scott Joplin’s “Bethena,” A Concert Waltz

For November, here's piece from a composer with a November birthday: Scott Joplin (born November 24, 1868). "Bethena: A Concert Waltz" was the first piece he composed after the death of his young wife, Freddie Alexander. Just twenty years old, she died only ten weeks after their marriage from a cold that turned into pneumonia. [...]

By |2015-08-31T22:27:42-04:00March 9, 2015|0 Comments

Exercise from Emile Jaques-Dalcroze

Plastique Exercise from Emile Jaques-Dalcroze Originally posted October, 2006. This is an interesting exercise from Jaques-Dalcroze's "Exercices de Plastique Animee," Vol. I.1 Piano accompaniment for the melody is contained in his previous Marches Rhythmiques,2 and I'm also including that music here (with free PDF download). Let's start with the main exercise from the Plastique volume, [...]

By |2018-06-18T13:53:59-04:00March 8, 2015|0 Comments