Introducing Beth Corry, teaching specialist at Sterling and Fairfax

Beth Corry is well known locally as an organist, and choral accompanist. She has also directed musical theater, taught general music and maintained a very successful teaching studio in South Carolina. In the spring of 2012 she joined the Jordan Kitts teaching team, offering private lessons at Sterling and Fairfax.

Beth still has openings in her studio, but don’t expect that to last long! “Beth is the best!” says one of her students.

We are offering a summer lesson special for June and July: 4 lessons for $99. If you can snag a lesson time with Beth while she still has openings it’s a real steal!
Contact us at http://www.jordankitts.com/lesson to reserve a lesson time.

Jordan Kitts provides piano for 2012 Gershwin Prize

For the second time in less than two months, Jordan Kitt’s answered the call to send a piano to the White House.

On Wednesday, May 9, Burt Bacharach and Hal David were honored with the presentation of the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The presentation was made to Mr. Bacharach and Mr. David’s wife, Eunice, by President Obama.

A star-studded line-up of international artists performed as part of the event. The roster included Sheryl Crow, Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, Lyle Lovett, Mike Myers, Rumer, Arturo Sandoval, Sheléa and Stevie Wonder.

Jordan Kitt’s Music was honored and privileged to be asked to provide a Yamaha S6 Mark IV Disklavier Pro for this very special occasion in the musical life of our nation. The picture shows Stevie Wonder playing this piano.

The concert and presentation were filmed by WETA and  will be broadcast on Monday, May 21 on most PBS stations (including WETA) at 9:00pm ET.

Testing the Waters with Group Music Lessons

Have you wondered whether group lessons are right for your child? Will he or she like the class or be able to pay attention in a group?

I always try to reassure parents that young beginners, those aged 3 to 7 years old, actually thrive on a group learning environment. If you consider their world at this age, it is typically very social: learning through play and social interaction in preschool and kindergarten, play dates with friends or perhaps beginning to try out team sports. Why should music lessons be any different?

Piano LessonsHowever, if you still need convincing, summer provides the ideal opportunity to try group lessons with our certified Yamaha instructors for a short time at very low cost: the perfect opportunity to “test the waters” with your child!

Rhythm and Rhyme (4 and 5 year olds) provides a four week introduction to singing, rhythm, the solfege and keyboard skills. Parents and students will also get a “sneak peak” into some activities offered in Yamaha Junior Music Course in September.

45 minute class
4-6 students per class
Parent participation required

Young Musician Primer (6-8 years): A four week introduction to the keyboard and rudiments of music in fun group atmosphere. Students may continue in Yamaha Young Musicians Course in the fall.

45 minute class
4-6 students per class
Parent participation optional

All classes are bargain priced at $99 for 4 weeks. Offered in Fairfax, Rockville and Sterling. Register online at http://www.keyboardcenter.com or call 1-800-968-4807

Pat Keithly,
Teaching Specialist
Yamaha Instructor
Studio Manager

Review of Yamaha T118 Upright Piano

Yamaha T118 Review

If you are currently a piano student, thinking of becoming one, or just looking for a quality upright piano for your home, the Yamaha T118 may just be a good fit.

Yamaha’s T118 Piano is a piano student’s dream. A quality Yamaha upright piano that doesn’t break the bank. Meticulously crafted from natural woods, the Yamaha T118 is an instrument of alluring beauty, excellent tone, and responsive touch.

As one of our top sellers, this piano provides a price to performance ratio that is unmatched by other entry-level pianos in the market today. The T118 arrives to your door seasoned specifically for the U.S. market, with a sound and tone that should last a lifetime. Yamaha uses construction techniques on this piano most brands reserve for their high-end uprights. For one, Yamaha creates a permanent crown within the solid spruce soundboard that minimizes soundboard cracking. They also reinforce the crown in its soundboards by using ribs, each of which continue to the edge of the soundboard and are glued into the notched liner. These techniques allow the T118’s sound to hold true for very long periods of time.

Sound is very important even to new piano students, and the use of solid, quarter sawn spruce wood in the Yamaha T118 makes for the best amplification of sound, tone, and sustain. Keys are balanced individually to ensure uniform down weight pressure, giving this piano impressive touch and control that is consistent across the keyboard.

And as with all Yamaha acoustic pianos, the T118 comes with their 10 year limited warranty, covering defects in both materials or workmanship for up to 10 years from your date of purchase.

Finish options include: Polished Ebony, Polished Mahogany, and Polished Dark American Walnut.

For more information or for pricing, click here.

An Event to Remember

On Tuesday, April 17th Jordan Kitt’s Music and Yamaha Corporation of America hosted a special reception and presentation at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Guests from Music Schools, Performance Venues, and Area School Districts around the area were treated to special performances by renowned pianists Frederic Chiu and Gerald Clayton on the award winning Yamaha DCFX Concert Grand Piano.

What made these performances so special that the performers themselves weren’t even present for the event! Both pianist were actually seated at a DCFX Concert Grand Piano located at Yamaha Artist Services in New York. Thanks to Yamaha’s Remote Live Technology, concerts can be broadcast to venues all around the world, opening up wonderful new opportunities for performers everywhere.

The second part of the presentation was a sample lesson given by Frederic Chiu to Sophia Pileggi, a sophomore piano major at Catholic University. Again, Frederic was located in New York, with the student located here. Piano Instructors from local music schools were astounded with the system, and the opportunities this presents for guest lecturers, master classes, and Distance Learning opportunities for their students.

Altogether a very enjoyable evening, and we’re happy to say several performance venues will be presenting special concerts and programs to the public using this technology. Keep watching this blog space for future announcements of concerts and performances.

 

Brad Prentice

Jordan Kitt’s Music
bprentice@jordankitts.com

Our Yamaha makes it to the White House

Early last week we had the privilege of delivering a brand new Yamaha Grand Piano to the White House for the State Dinner. Yamaha artist John Legend was in attendance and played the beautiful piano to a crowd of A-listers, including the President and his family, the British Prime Minister, and many others.

You can see the piano in pictures from the event here.

My First Time on a Yamaha AvantGrand N3

A few weeks ago I learned that I was scheduled for a service to fix a pedal noise on a Yamaha AvantGrand N3. I learned that our electronic tech had been out and had determined it was an “acoustic” related problem. What that means is that although the AvantGrand is a digital piano, it has acoustic piano parts and functions. Yamaha calls it a hybrid piano, and I have learned that is a very accurate name for it. The piano has a grand piano action with wooden keys and the same moving parts as a concert grand. Digital sensors translate the movement of the keys and action parts to create a simulated digital piano sound.

In preparation for the service call, I decided to disassemble an AvantGrand N3 in our store to familiarise myself with this unique piano. Yamaha had e-mailed us an instruction manual which proved very useful in getting all the case parts off. Once I removed the circuit boards and sensors, I found myself looking at something that was very familiar to me, an acoustic grand action. I noticed that it was the very same mechanism that Yamaha uses in their concert grand pianos with just a few exceptions. There are no felt hammers since there are no strings that actually get struck. There are hammer shanks with steel weights on the ends of them with heavier weight in the bass gradually getting lighter towards the treble.

This very accurately replicates the way an acoustic action would feel. All other aspects of the action are exactly the same as those in acoustic pianos. I have been a concert tuner for twenty years working at venues like the Kennedy Center and Strathmore Music Center, since I had gone to the trouble of taking everything apart I couldn’t help but want to give the piano what we call a complete concert level “regulation”. This means getting the keys to respond with the optimum level of response and evenness of touch. When I was done I discovered I was at a piano that had the same feeling of a nine-foot concert grand. A concert grand that takes up less space and allows you to play anytime if you put on the headphones so you don’t bother your neighbors or sleeping family members.

The end of the story is that when I went out on the service call , I found the pedal problem was a simple matter of tightening and adjusting the pedal lyre braces. When I was finished I asked the client how she liked the piano? She was pleased with it overall, but said she wished I could change the way the action felt. After further discussion and evaluation I determined there were things I could do to adjust the touch so she would find the piano more to her liking . So just as I have done for world renowned concert artists on nine-foot grands, I was able to customize the touch of the AvantGrand to the needs of it’s owner. There is no other digital piano on the market that could be adjusted with such precision. The AvantGrand N3 truly is a Hybrid grand piano. You get the advantage of advanced digital technology like Midi as well as the touch and response of a full concert grand, the best of both worlds ! I recommend players of all levels should come into one of our stores and check out these remarkable new instruments, you really need to feel it and hear it for yourself.

Robin B.Olson RPT

What is the right age for my child to start piano lessons?

Piano Lessons

When children are about six or seven years old many parents begin to wonder if it is time to enroll them in piano lessons.  Piano teachers might want to check to see if the child’s hand is ready or whether the child is mature enough to practice or can read and follow directions.  But did you know that the optimum time for training the musical ear begins much earlier than this?

At three years old your child’s brain is already highly receptive to analyzing the world of sound.  If a child is immersed in music at an early age and given a structure in which to explore music- making, the brain can become “hard-wired” for music. Just as a child exposed to one or more languages will learn to speak them all fluently, the young child acquires fluency in music by much the same means.

Allow me to introduce you to Yamaha Music Education.  Yamaha has two delightful music education programs designed specifically for the preschool years when children are so receptive to music, but need to learn in a special way appropriate for their age.

Music Wonderland is a delightful parent and child class designed to appeal to the imaginative mind of the three year old.

Yamaha Junior Music Course (4 and 5 year-olds) gives young children a foundation in the building blocks of music:  lyric singing, the solfege (do re mi) rhythm, movement, piano playing, musical notation, and musical appreciation.  Children learn to hear, sing and play music long before they are ready for a “traditional” piano lesson.

Oh ,and did I mention Yamaha Music Courses are REALLY FUN ?!  Parents and children spend quality time together.  We sing, dance and play! Also, the take-home materials – books, CDs and videos are all top-quality.

Yamaha classes are offered by certified instructors in two semesters beginning in September and February.  Jordan Kitt’s studio locations are Beltsville, Fairfax, Rockville, and Sterling.   Check us out on the web at www.keyboardcenter.com or follow the music education link at www.jordankitts.com

Pat Keithly
Teaching Specialist
Studio Manager