The Grand Opening of Jordan Kitt’s New Rockville Showroom and Music Education Center

On January 25th, Jordan Kitt’s Music celebrated the grand opening of its flagship showroom and Music Education Center in Rockville, MD with a special concert and reception.

Grand Opening
Tony DeSare performs to a capacity crowd at the new Jordan Kitt’s Rockville Showroom

The Grand Opening Concert featured the enormous talents of Tony DeSare, who enthralled a capacity audience of just under 100 with a performance melding contemporary, jazz, pop, and classical piano.

Named a Rising Star Male Vocalist in Downbeat magazine, DeSare has lived up to this distinction by winning critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances throughout North America and abroad. From jazz clubs to Carnegie Hall to Las Vegas headlining with Don Rickles and major symphony orchestras, DeSare has brought his fresh take on old school class around the globe. DeSare has three top ten Billboard jazz albums under his belt and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, NPR, A Prairie Home Companion, the Today Show and his music has been posted by social media celebrity juggernaut, George Takei.

Jordan Kitt's Grand Opening
(L to R) Chris Syllaba, CEO of Jordan KItt’s Music, Tony DeSare, Ray Fugere, CFO of Jordan Kitt’s Music.

In an effort to expand its showroom, recital facility and Music Education Center, as well as consolidate it’s warehouse from a separate facility into an adjoining one, Jordan Kitt’s Music moved into this new location in December, and became fully open in mid January. The new space is more convenient to customers accessing the store from the beltway, and offers more than 5,000 square feet of new & used pianos from manufacturers such as Yamaha, Bosendorfer, Mason & Hamlin, Roland, Cristofori and others.

Recital Hall
A reception was held in the new recital facility designed for audiences of up to 90, and featuring a Yamaha concert grand for performance.

The facility also has a greatly expanded 1,500 square foot Music Education Center, offering piano instruction to hundreds of students weekly.  It includes private teaching studios complete with performance grade pianos, a large group teaching facility, a waiting area for parents, and a recital hall for seating of up to 90 complete with a Yamaha CF series concert grand piano.

The store expansion in Montgomery County marks Jordan Kitt’s Music’s 105th year of continuous service to the customers, institutions and piano students in metropolitan Washington, D.C. and continues to be the area’s (and one of the nation’s) oldest continuously operating music stores.  Jordan Kitt’s Music has matched the perfect piano with over 250,000 customers since 1912, as well as having taught over one million piano lessons.

MSMTA
(L to R) Michiko Yurko, member of Maryland State Music Teachers Association (MSMTA), Chris Syllaba, CEO of Jordan Kitt’s Music, Artist Tony DeSare, Lily Chang, founder International Young Artist Piano Competition (IYAPC) and member MSMTA, Alice Shiu, a teacher at the new Rockville Music Education Center and member MSMTA, and Ray Fugere, CFO of Jordan Kitt’s Music

The new showroom and Music Education Center is located at 11726 Parklawn Drive in Rockville, just 2.6 miles from the Washington Beltway (495) off the Rockville Pike (Rte 355) exit.  Anyone wishing to find out more information about lessons, the recital facility, home or event rentals or information about new or used products should contact us today at info@jordankitts.com

 

 

Jordan Kitt’s CEO elected to the NAMM Board of Directors

Just days ago, the National Association of Music Merchants elected a new board of Directors, including the appointment of Chris Syllaba, President and CEO of Jordan Kitt’s Music.

NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization’s popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that promotes the pleasures and benefits of making music and strengthens the $17 billion global music products industry. It serves as a hub for people wanting to seek out the newest innovations in musical products, recording technology, sound and lighting. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages.

NAMM welcomed the following members to the organization’s Board of Directors: Lauren Haas Amanfoh, President, Royalton Music Center, Inc.; Bryan Bradley, Senior Vice President/General Manager, HARMAN International; Philip Cajka, President and CEO, Audio-Technica U.S., Inc.; Kathy Donahoe, President and Member Partner, American Way Marketing, LLC.; Alun Hughes, Managing Director, British Band Instrument Company Ltd.; J. Scott Mandeville, President, Tim’s Music; Eric Matzat, President, Palen Music Center, Inc.; and Chris Syllaba, President/CEO, Jordan Kitt’s Music.

Jordan Kitt’s Music was asked to be a part of this extraordinary organization for a number of reasons related to its own community outreach efforts, including:

    • Its participation in the Music Education Advocacy DC Fly-In, an annual advocacy effort organized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) to promote music education in our public schools.
    • A partnership with Strathmore, supporting annual student concerts for Montgomery County Public School 2nd and 5th grade students resulting in 20K+ students each year being exposed to music and the different instruments of the orchestra.
    • Its presence on the Give a Note Foundation Board of Directors: formed by leaders of NAfME (National Association for Music Education) to “nurture, grow, and strengthen music education opportunities – every student, every school, every community.”
    • CEO’s involvement with classical music outreach as a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra (VSO) Trustee Council.
    • Its commitment to community music outreach through free public concerts featuring area talents at its recital facility
    • Providing music education through approximately 20K lessons taught per year out of five education centers in 2 major markets at Jordan Kitt’s Music School.
    • Its support of music education by providing recital hall, rehearsal rooms and meeting facilities for area music teachers, local Music Teacher Associations, and Piano Guild auditions.
    • The support of local Piano Technician Guild (PTG) meetings and organizing manufacturer training and education opportunities for the local piano technician community.
    • The support of numerous Music Festivals and organizations, including the Washington International Piano Festival, local Music Teacher Associations, and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).

Read more here.

National Philharmonic at Strathmore this weekend…

National Philharmonic:
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2

Haochen Zhang, piano
Piotr Gajewski, conductor

Rachmaninoff
Dvořák  
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor
Symphony No. 8 in G Major

Few openings in the piano concerto repertoire can equal the mounting tension at the beginning of Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto, a piece that established the composer’s fame.

Since his gold medal win at the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, 26-year-old Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang has captivated audiences in the U.S., Europe and Asia with a unique combination of deep musical sensitivity, fearless imagination and spectacular virtuosity.

“Such a combination of enchanting, sensitive lyricism and hypnotizing forcefulness is a phenomenon encountered very rarely.” — The Jerusalem Post

Get more information and tickets here!

 

11 Year Old Piano Prodigy Surprises Crowd

Via the telegraph

If you close your eyes you could be setting foot in a blues bar on New Orlean’s Bourbon Street.

But this is across the pond in Perth, Australia, and the pianist is 11-year-old Louis Rebeiro, wowing crowds with an impromptu performance.

The self-taught piano prodigy was strolling through the Fremantle Markets when he stumbled upon the music stall and put in a show-stealing jam session.
He was with his cousins and one of them dared him to play for everyone. He just jumped on with no reservations,’ his mother Lorena told Daily Mail Australia.

Footage shows the little legend capturing hearts with an improvised performance spanning nearly eight minutes.

Self taught is great, but so are lessons. Sign up today for Jordan Kitt’s Music School here

Piano helps you stay alert as you get older…

via the DailyMail.com

Pensioners should revive their youthful dreams of becoming a rockstar, new research suggests.

Learning to play an instrument could prevent their brain succumbing to the effects of old age, scientists claim.

A study found musicians have faster reaction times than those who are unable to play the piano, drums or a guitar.

Alertness is known to decrease in old age, but experts say picking up the skill could keep their brain healthy.

Learning to play an instrument could prevent their brain succumbing to the effects of old age, scientists claim

Learning to play an instrument could prevent their brain succumbing to the effects of old age, scientists claim

Researchers from the University de Montreal, Canada, decided to see if there was a way to prevent the negative effects of aging on the brain.

They compared the reaction times of 16 musicians and 19 non-musicians.

The musicians had started playing between the ages of three and 10, and had at least seven years of training.

There were eight pianists, three violinists, two percussionists, one double bassist, one harpist and one viola player.

All but one also mastered a second instrument, or more.

They were sat in a quiet, well-lit room with one hand on a computer mouse and their index finger of the other on a vibro-tactile device – a small box that vibrated intermittently.

A study found musicians have faster reaction times - which decline in old age because of a breakdown in natural brain processes

A study found musicians have faster reaction times – which decline in old age because of a breakdown in natural brain processes

They were told to click on the mouse when they heard a sound from the speakers in front of them – known as audio stimulation.

While they were also asked to click when the box vibrated – referred to as tactile stimulation.

What learning piano in my twenties taught me — and why you should try it

by Rob Price via the Business Insider.

When I was about seven or eight, I went for a taster violin lesson at school. The idea was to get an idea for the instrument, and see if I wanted to learn properly. I enjoyed it — but the expected lessons never materialised.

A few years later, I asked my mother why: Apparently the tutor had refused to teach me.

It’s fair to say that I am not a natural musician.

But at the start of 2016, I resolved to change that. I decided to learn the piano.

It was a year of immense frustrations, and deep satisfaction — and endless Philip Glass. It expanded my horizons, and forced me to confront my failings head on. And for that reason alone, I’d recommend it to anyone.

Why? I wanted to do something totally new

I’m 24 years old, I live in London, and I’ve gone through life without knowing the first thing about music. I love to listen to it — I’ve got a pretty big collection, and I go to gigs regularly. But how it’s made has always been one great big opaque mystery to me.

Both of my brothers play — saxophone and guitar, respectively — but the extent of my musical education was tapping out basic beats on a glockenspiel and learning the first few bars of “Neighbours” on the piano at school. So why did I take the plunge now? Well, there were a few reasons:

  • I wanted to challenge myself. 2016 was the start of my third year living in London. I’d settled into a routine, and wanted to add some variety to my life — and something that would push me in a new direction.
  • I wanted to do something totally new. Learning music for the first time isn’t like taking up a new team ball-sport, or an unusual arts-and-crafts activity. Music is an entirely new category of human endeavour I have never meaningfully engaged in before. That makes it pretty exciting — and intimidating.
  • I love music. Pretty self-explanatory. I hoped that learning an instrument for the first time would enrich my appreciation of the artform.

I also set myself a few goals — some strict, and some more nebulous.

  • Pass my Grade 1 piano exam by the end of 2016. If you’re not familiar with the system, you can take exams as you learn instruments, from Grade 1 through to Grade 8. A clear target of reaching Grade 1 by the end of the year would give me something to work towards, a way to measure my success or failure.
  • Improve my knowledge of classical music. I had no strict timeframe for this, or a set point when it would be “completed.” But I’ve never known my Bach from my Beethoven, and I wanted to change that.
  • Learn “Metamorphosis II,” by Philip Glass. This was a longer-term goal, beyond 2016 — it’s a beautiful, flowing, and technically tricky bit of music that I wanted to work towards as I got better.

How did it all go? The short version is that it was fantastic — I’m extremely glad I did it, and I’d strongly urge to anyone thinking about taking up an instrument to do it, whatever your age.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, however.

Learning something new is a lesson in humility and patience

Note: The following sections go into some detail on what and how I learned. If you just want to know whether I passed the exam or not, skip down to the “arcane mystery” section below.

Let me make this clear: Piano is hard. Really hard. It requires you to think in a way you’ve never done before, juggling a thousand balls simultaneously. Interpret the music. Keep the tempo. Vary the volume. Move both hands independently of one-another. Make sure it all actually sounds good.

You know that brain-straining feeling when you try and multiply three three-digit numbers together? That’s what it felt like to be interpreting and playing music on the fly.

Read more here

Jeff Goldblum and the life-changing magic of playing his Yamaha piano

Play it again, Jeff!

Jeff Goldblum, professional smooth operator, started his onstage career as a piano player at seedy cocktail lounges in his hometown of Pittsburgh. He still practices an hour every day, sometimes commandeering the ivories in hotel lobbies to stay on top of his craft. On the heels of a three-month residency at Los Angeles club Rockwell, the 64-year-old actor discusses his lifelong musical passion.

LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 218 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jeff Goldblum plays the piano with Jimmy Fallon on March 29, 2010  (Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Jeff Goldblum plays the piano on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in 2010.

Photographer: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Practice, practice, practice

“I’ve been blessed with some biggish hands, but early on, I trained my left hand a bit harder. I would take my thumb and my pinkie, place them right below the keyboard, and stretch my finger and thumb against the keyboard, and do a split with my hand. It’s like hand acrobatics. I enjoy the feel of the keys. I’m tactual.”

A Yamaha C6 grand piano, one of Goldblum's go-to instruments.

A Yamaha C6 grand piano, one of Goldblum’s go-to instruments.

Source: Yamaha

His favorite instrument

“I have this baby grand Yamaha, which is fantastic. I keep it tuned constantly. [My son] Charlie enjoys it as well—he’ll sit on my lap and bang away on the keys. And I have a Yamaha C6, with a microphone set up around it. It’s the one that they have at the Carlyle as well. Everyone seems to love it, because it’s nice and bright for jazz.”

A little help from his friends

“After I play some piano, I’m different for the rest of the day. It brings you into this community that you might not have anything in common with otherwise, and there is a way that you communicate with musicians that you can’t with anyone else. It’s changed my life. It’s a way to have a conversation that goes deep into the blood system.”

Read more here

The inaugural concert for the Middleburg Music Fest International

Last week, The inaugural event for the Middleburg Music Fest International (MMFI), was held at the luxurious and sophisticated Salamander Resort & Spa in the beautiful horse and wine country of Middleburg, Virginia.

MMFI is a nonprofit performing arts initiative that seeks the preservation, awareness and promotion of classical, jazz and contemporary music – specifically those works that highlight the role of the piano as a solo performance instrument or as part of any assembled group of musical instruments.

Nikita Fitenko

The event commenced with a concert by internationally acclaimed pianists Nikita Fitenko and Katerina Zaitseva, with a wonderful program of piano solo and piano duo works including compositions by Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Medtner, Debussy, and more – all performed on the fabulous Bösendorfer 280 Concert Grand, normally housed at Strathmore Hall and supplied courtesy of Event Patron Jordan Kitt’s Music.

A special wine reception immediately followed the performance, presented by Event Patrons Greenhill Winery & Vineyards and Boxwood Winery.

For more information about the Middleburg Music Fest, contact the Jordan Kitt’s Music near you.

Jordan Kitt’s goes to Strathmore for Europe’s Finest Pianos Concert & Show

Two weeks ago, Jordan Kitt’s Music was proud to be a part of the largest European factory piano event in area history at Strathmore Mansion, featuring a unique collection of extremely rarte pianos from Bösendorfer or Steingraeber & Söhne.

A special performance by world renowned concert pianist Eric Himy played to a capacity crowd, followed by a show and sale event on Sunday. The event also included the the extraordinary Oscar Peterson Signature Edition Bösendorfer, a remarkable instrument capable of recreating “live” performances originally recorded by one of history’s greatest jazz pianists.

Boesendorfer piano

A unique sampling of pianos from this event are being hosted at area Jordan Kitt’s Music locations throughout the season. For specific model information, call (301) 770-9081 in Maryland, or (703) 573-6070 in Virginia.

Music therapy reduces depression in young people, study finds

Music therapy reduces depression in young people, study finds -BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Researchers from Queen's University Belfast, pictured, and Bournemouth University found young people, aged eight to 16, also enjoyed improved self-esteem compared with those who received treatment without music
Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast, pictured, and Bournemouth University found young people, aged eight to 16, also enjoyed improved self-esteem compared with those who received treatment without music

The largest ever study of music therapy’s effect on children with depression has found significant benefits.

Recipients, aged eight to 16, also enjoyed improved self-esteem compared with those who received treatment without music, researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and Bournemouth University found.

More than 250 took part and experts said it suggested the care should now be made available as a mainstream option.

Professor Sam Porter, from Bournemouth University, said: “This study is hugely significant in terms of determining effective treatments for children and young people with behavioural problems and mental health needs.”

The research found:

:: Young people aged 13 and over who received music therapy had improved communicative and interactive skills, compared to those given the usual care options alone.

:: Self-esteem was significantly boosted and depression lowered.

:: Even after music therapy had finished, social functioning improved long-term in all age groups.

:: However, most improvements tended to be modest and short lasting and there was a higher drop out rate of 38%.

T he findings were part of a Music in Mind study carried out in partnership with the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust.

It concluded the results of the trial strongly indicated the need for further research to ascertain what type and dosage of music therapy was most effective, for whom and in what circumstances.

Mental ill health affects up to a fifth of children and adolescents worldwide, including social, emotional and behavioural problems. Adolescent depression and anxiety frequently co-occur and extend into adulthood, the report added.

The therapy used musical experiences within a patient/therapist relationship to achieve better health.

Dr Valerie Holmes, from the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University and a co-researcher, said: “This is the largest study ever to be carried out looking at music therapy’s ability to help this very vulnerable group, and is further evidence of how Queen’s University is advancing knowledge and changing lives.”

A total of 251 children and young people were involved in the study, supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which took place between March 2011 and May 2014.

They were divided into two groups – 128 underwent the usual care options, while 123 were assigned to music therapy in addition to usual care. All were being treated for emotional, developmental or behavioural problems.

The Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust said: ” The findings are dramatic and underscore the need for music therapy to be made available as a mainstream treatment option.

“For a long time we have relied on anecdotal evidence and small-scale research findings about how well music therapy works. Now we have robust clinical evidence to show its beneficial effects.”

Read the full article at the Belfast Telegraph here