The Successful Piano Recital

Tattoo hand: LadyD piano student

Hard to believe I am a retired piano teacher now! When Covid struck our little town and schools closed, well it seemed that my 25 years of teaching piano was coming to a close. Since then, I've had lots of time to read so many great books and fantastic articles.

In 1931, yes before you were born, Louise Christine Rebe wrote an article, "The Practical and Profitable Recital." She begins with, 3 Reasons for Giving a Recital.
1. To advertise the work of the teacher. 
2. To give the pupils an opportunity for public appearance. 
3. A fine stimulus to the pupils' work

Yes so true in advertising and I also found over the years that word of mouth was the best referrals! Oh, I so agree and almost all of my students loved performing in front of others. I never made my students perform and I recall over the years that only one girl had a serious melt down. Mostly everyone had a wonderful time and I called it a "Family Gathering." Indeed, the audience will be greatly entertained!

Louise Christine Rebe goes on to mention the planning and preparation of the recital:
1. Selection of Material. 
2. Preparation. 
3. Within the Pupil's Scope. 
4. The Hitching Post Plan.
5. Stage Etiquette

I always give my approval for students to play a piece that best suits their personality! Hard work and preparation with both student and teacher. Usually takes a few months to work on recital songs over and over. When the student feels confident with his or her songs and I feel he/she is well prepared, then I give them a green light to perform with my blessing.

I've had so many rich memories of hosting recitals and seeing my students perform well, so successfully and very pleased with themselves!!

-- LadyD

 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Popular Elvis Song of the 50s

George R. Poulton wrote this song in 1861 and called it "Aura Lee." It first became famous as the class song for the West Point graduating class of 1865. Its popularity was hardly short lived. In the 20th century, it achieved Hollywood stardom in no less than 3 films: "Come and Get It" of 1936, 1952's "The Last Musketeer," and 1955's "The Long Grey Line." Elvis Presley's adaptation became "Love Me Tender," and his recording held the #1 position for 5 weeks. The rest is history!

Love Me Tender

Words and Music by Elvis Presley and Vera Matson in 1956.
Key of G in 4/4 Time

G                        A                      Am/D  D7     G
Love me tender, love me sweet; Never let me go.

  G                           A                    Am/D  D7        G
You have made my life complete, And I love you so.


G             B7       Em        G7   C         Cm            G 
Love me tender, love me true, All my dreams fulfill.

G            E7        A               D7sus4  D7    G
For, my dar-lin', I love you, And I always will.

Here are some slash chords on how I might play this song:

G = G/DB or G/BG 
A = A/C#A
Am/D = D/CG
D7 = D/CE
B7 = F#/D#B
Em = E/GB
G7 = D/FB
C = C/EB
Cm = Eb/G
E7 = G#/DC
D7sus4 = D/CG


~ LadyD 

 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Master Stride Piano

Image via Wikipedia

Fats Waller, three-quarter length portrait, se...

"The swinging, stride sound of early jazz pianists like Fats Waller and James P.Johnson is undergoing newfound popularity. Suddenly, everyone wants to play and hear this bouncy style again. So here are some exercises to help you get in the stride groove. Remember, when playing stride you should not be thinking about lightning-fast tricks or an amazing left hand, but rather a steady left hand and an all-around relaxed feeling." By Judy Carmichael
Exercise #1

(play 2 x's) Bb/Bb D, F then G/G Bb D F,   C/ G Bb C Eb,   F/ F A C Eb 

Exercise #2 

D/D F# A C,  E/D F# A C,  F/D F# A C,  F#/D F# A C,  G/D F G B,  A/D F G B,  A#/D F G B,  B/D F G B,  C/C E G Bb,  D/C E G Bb,  D#/C E G Bb,  E/C E G Bb F F/ l.h. octaves F, Eb, D,C/ l.h. single notes 

Exercise #3 

C/G A C E,  C#/G Bb C# E,  D/ G B D F,  G/G B D# F (repeat) C/ C E,  Bb/Bb C E, A/A C F,  Ab/Gb Ab C Eb,  G/G C E,  G/G B E C, B, A, G/ l.h octave single notes (repeat) Puttin' On the Ritz - Solo Stride Piano


Chris Dawson plays this great rendition from the title song of the 1930 film. Clear crisp lines! Everything between the melody bookends is improvised. None of this was arranged beforehand. Chris is a consummate improviser

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Happy Playing!

~ LadyD

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