Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My music studies

I wanted to share with you all what I love to do! I love to sing and play the piano with all my heart! It is a passion of mine and I love worshipping the Lord through music. Here are some of the books I have been using for the christmas season and that I use all the time.

But first before you even get the books and a teacher for piano or voice, you need a piano or key board. Mine is a 25 year old up right kawai. My mother received this piano from my father when they were first married. My mother is a piano and voice teacher and teaches me and has taught me all my life. I have been privledged to learn from her and I love using her piano.

For my piano studies, when I practice I always start out with my exercises in my Hanon book. This gets my fingers warmed up. Its like when you sing you warm up to get your voice ready to sing. I also play scales to warm up and cadences as well.

This book is called Hanon The Virtuoso Pianist in sixty exercises for the piano from Schirmer's library of musical classics translated from the french by Dr. Theodore Baker.

I highly recommend this book especially is one wants to become better at scales and getting faster at scales and other finger exercises. This really helps with many classical and other types of piano peices that have scales and other finger exercises built into the peice.

To warm up before I do harder pieces I always play a few hymns in this hymn collection. It is easy versions of hymns for me and I can sing along and play as well to warm up my voice for voice practicing as well. I also love getting in some studying of the old hymns as my church only does contemporary music. I miss the old hymns. I have memorized many of them by heart after getting this book. I would recommend it for any person who wants to play hymns for worship at home and for enjoyment and also for playing at church. Its a great way to start out accompanying singing.

This book is called The World's Greatest Hymns for piano and voice selected and arranged by Jerry Ray

This book is titled Christmas Encores- contemporary arrangements of christmas favorites by Melody Bober. Anything by this lady is wonderful! She has great books and I would recommend them to any eager student!

Here is a book that has contemporary arrangements of the old favorite carols like Hark the Herold Angels Sing,O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, and Angels we have heard on high and more. I love the arrangements in here and I have used it for 2 years now. This year they are not as challenging, but still fun to learn and play!
This next book is also by Melody Bober and is a wonderful collection of 10 all time favorite hymns. I especially like her version of Be Thou My Vision and Be Still My Soul arranged with It Is Well with My Soul. Those are the only two I have learned in here, but I would buy it just for those two. I want to explore the rest after the christmas season and I am not playing so much christmas music.

The book A Classical Christmas for Piano compiled by Mark Bardard is a new book I bought at the music store for this year's christmas.

I am pleasantly suprised by the wonderful choices of music. They are all classic carols with wonderful classical themes and beautiful added in different rythems and sounds. I am learning Joy To The World(my favorites carol) and Ave Maria in this book. My mother and I will be playing along with her students who also play the piano at a nursing home this year for our christmas recital. My sister will be playing her harp as well and I will also be singing some christmas peices.

The book Yuletide Cheer by Eugenie R. Rocherolle is an old book my mother used for her piano studies when she was a teenager. Now I am using it. I am enjoying learning What Child is This? in this book currently.

I really like the book series What Can I Play on Sunday? by Cindy Perry as well for general studies. I am learning some christmas music from the November/December book right now. Including, Break Forth Oh Wondrous Light and some others. Then in Jazz Up Your Christmas I am doing a jazz version of Silent Night. Its very relaxing! I love this book too.

Now for my voice studies I am in a choir at the Patrick Henry College. It is a choir for high school and middle school homeschooled teens. I love it and I even sang the solo for our first christmas concert at a local nursing home. The song was called Once Upon A Holy Night. Its gorgeous! I love singing with the choir.

I am enjoying singing some hymns such as What Child Is This? and Joy To The World for two of my friends wedding. I am also singing The Church's One Foundation, Be Thou My Vision, and Onward Christian Soldiers. I will be singing these with some of my friends from our reenacting group for their reception. During the ceremony we will be singing We Gather Togeather and The Church's One Foundation. I use the Celebration Hymnal for these hymns.

I love the celebration hymnal of the piano addition. My mom and I aquired this one from our church after they got rid of some of the old ones. We snatched it up! Its great and has a lot of choices and is nice and big for good reading.

I love learning to read the music and sing and play at the same time! I am so thankful to be able to learn to do both.

I also am enjoying the First book of Mezzo Soprano/Alto Solos, its a great book for my lower range and it has some higher vocal range peices as well for me to be able to challenge my range to be a higher. Right now I am singing O Rest in the Lord by Felix Mendelsson. I love his music! The song is from his opera called Elijah. The song is the scriptures from Psalm 37, which is my faovite Psalm! I was so glad to find this song after memorizing this scripture. It has helped me remember to trust in the Lord and wait patiently for Him even better! Its so easy to memorize scripture when it is put to music.

I also love the book Amy Grant put out a while back called Home For Christmas, all of her songs are great for lower ranges. The song I am singing in there is called Breath of Heaven or (Mary's Song). It has a great message and I love the interesting melody. My mom has been working out an alto harmony so we can sing it as a duet for christmas.

I also am so glad to be singing Italian again! I found this great book at the music store recently and its called 24 italian songs and arias of the 17th and 18th centuries. It is based on the editions by Alessandro Parisotti and is from the Schirmer Publication. I am currently learning O cessate di Piagarmi which means in english Either cease of Wounding Me. It is from the Opera Il Pompeo by Scarlatti. Every musician I believe should learn Scarlatti at least once I believe! I love his music and its challenging and beautiful. This book is wonderful because it has translations and pronunciations for all of the italian words in the songs in this book. It also has breath history of each composer and song and when it was first perfomed and written. Its great for learning music history along side musical classics.

And lastly this is what it looks like when you are a music fanatic like me! You have huge stacks up music everywhere! In your room, closet, and on your piano.

And if any of you want to know where to get any of these books I would recommend they have lots of these books, I have bought from them before. Or if you have a local Music and Arts Center or music store you can go there and have the order the books for you. There is no extra charge for having to special order at my local music store. Sometimes they won't have some of them in and you just have to ask them to order them for you. But shopping online you should always be able to find them.

I will probably be posting music posts a lot and be posting my current studies. I am possibly going be teaching some of my mothers piano students and I will update about that as well. I love music so much and want to share what I learn and love with you all.

I will be sure to post pictures from my friends' wedding come january when all the christmas busyness is over.

In Christ,


Anonymous said...

*sighs* loveliness! I would love to see some videos of you singing and playing!

I really miss Melody Bober's music... I wish I had a whole stack of her pieces! They were just perfect for playing for fun - and were so beautiful and exciting!

SinginginHisName said...

yes I should post some videos. I will have to get my dad to video tape the piano recital come christmas.

Oh well which books do you like of hers? I should send you some. I don't remember if you said you had the one with her hymn arrangements, but they are really pretty. They are not that challenging, but nice.

Miss you! I told Jen you are working on sending her a letter too. She was glad of that.

Anonymous said...

That would be great!

I don't have the hymn one, though I loved playing it at your house! If you were to send over some books (which would be so splendid that I would have trouble concealing my excitment) I would love some more upbeat pieces... her medlys and such. I wonder if you can purchace and download music online... that would be fun (I'm also so glad for Jennie's PDF patterns... on my christmas list!)

SinginginHisName said...

well be expecting a package come christmas girl! I will suprise you with some music! and some other treats! Miss you!

Ana Smith said...

I agree, Hanon is a must. :-) Although, recently my teacher has me focusing on chords. I'm doing this pattern (CM chord as example): C-E-G-C, then the 1st inversion but going up to the e, and then the 2nd inversion going up to the G, and then starting over again for 4 octaves up and back down. Then it's up to the d flat major chord, so you're going up chromatically. Right now I'm doing it for all 12 major, minor, and diminished 7th chords. It's a rather effective workout!

Ana Smith said...

I love the Jerry Ray book for sightreading! My other favorite collection of hymn arrangements is "Hymns Re-Harmonized" by Carol Tornquist. ( She has a simple hymnal style arrangement side by side with a more difficult arrangement. These are a bit harder than the Jerry Ray but oh so beautiful!

I also love Melody Bober! This is my final year to learn a new duet out of her Christmas Encores for Two ( Her patriotic collection is also great:

SinginginHisName said...

Oh Ana thank you so much for sharing what you are doing and Oh those other books by Melody and Carol sound great! I will have to see if I can look at them next time I am at the local music store. I am Lord willing hoping to get my permit by christmas, so hopefully I will be driving there myself sooner or later this next year. I did not realize you had blogs too Ana, I will be checking them too. Miss you Ana and I am praying for you too!