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

Classic Children’s Poems for Spring

Classic Children's Poems for Spring Here is a trio of classic children's poems that can make beautiful little studies for classes in music and/or dance. You could focus on the rhythms, create a movement study with students, or lead them to sing the verses with melody or to add a percussion accompaniment. Or, why not [...]

By |2019-05-11T16:29:35-04:00May 11, 2019|0 Comments

The Cat is in the Snow

January, 2019 The Cat is in the Snow This song, "The Cat is in the Snow," came to me through an old family book. I brought the book to school to share with my students one day. It was a kick for them to see something so old that I’d had it as a child myself. [...]

By |2019-02-16T22:33:16-05:00January 26, 2019|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

Raisins and Almonds and Mother’s Day

Wanting to post something for Mother's Day, I looked through various Wegenlieder, Berceuses, and skipped past the countless WWI-era soldiers' songs for their mothers. Eventually, I thought I'd write something related to my own mother. She was a pianist, with long fingers I wish I'd inherited. Born Claire Marie Christy in rural Ramona Oklahoma, she was encouraged by her teacher to [...]

By |2019-04-17T10:19:38-04:00May 14, 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

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

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