Roland RM-700 Digital Piano Review

Roland RM-700 Digital

From the outset, the new Roland RM-700 reveals a new direction for Roland® pianos. It offers all the same features of the KR-Series pianos and then goes on to improve them with excellent new features from some of Rolands other high end products.

It features an 88-note multi-sampled piano which is powered by Roland’s very own Sound Source Chip from the HP-Series pianos, along with their new PHA II Progressive Hammer Action with escapement and Ivory Feel keyboard. Enhanced educational applications like Visual Lesson, DigiScore and Wonderland from the successful I-Series pianos also makes an appearance. The inclusion of a beautiful touchscreen LCD featuring several stunning apps such as Slide Show, Anime and Piano Roll from Roland’s unique VIMA products really help to round out the package.

In person, one of the first things people notice about Roland’s RM-700 is the simple, classic design which comes in two different elegant finishes: classic ebony or warm mahogany wood. The unit also uses the “toe-block” design with the front legs. This is a feature you really only see on higher-end acoustic uprights. It gives the piano a more traditional appearance while adding stability.

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When you sit down to play the piano you are immediately impressed with the look and feel of the aptly-named “Ivory Feel” keyboard. It’s textured keys are made of a special material to absorb oils and moisture during playing. It faithfully replicates the same look and feel of real ivory and ebony keys. Everything was thought of in the design of this Roland. It even replicates the “escapement” feel you get on an acoustic grand piano that occurs when the hammer releases. To put it mildly, the results are stunning.

The rich and full tones that emit from the RM-700 are a credit to its powerful digital technology. 88 notes of samples taken from a nine-foot grand captures each subtle nuance. All keys are touch sensitive, becoming louder the harder you play. And each key has varying tonal “colors” which mimics a real piano and is essential for artistic expression during play.

This is one of those pianos that has too many features to name. My advice, come into our store and play it! We carry both new and used variants. If you keep a keen eye on our used pianos page, you may even spot one at a great price. Although they don’t last long!

Jordan Kitt’s Bruce Anderson featured on Elliot in the Morning!

Elliot in the Morning

Elliot stopped by our Rockville store to take a piano lesson in with our education coordinator, Bruce Anderson. Bruce is also the official organist/keyboardist at the Verizon Center in DC – home of the Washington Capitals Hockey Team. Besides the organ, there is a Yamaha keyboard there that he plays for Caps games.

Watch the video here.

 

Free Concert Alert! – Songfully Yours, April 14th 2013

Songfully Yours

From the great letter scenes of grand opera to intimate art song epistles, letters have long been thematic staples of vocal music. Songfully Yours features musical letters well-known and not-so well known by Mozart, Verti, Tchaikovsky, Massenet, Offenbach, Leoncavallo, Rachmaninoff, Herbert, Caballero, Britten, Moore, Picker, Yeston, Bock and Harnick, and Elton John.

Featuring Deborah Sternberg, Soprano – Karen Mercedes, Contralto – Diana Vera, Soprano – Rachel Sarrano Winograd, Pianist.

Come and join us, free of charge! Sunday, April 14th, 2013 at 3pm.

Jordan Kitts Recital Hall – 8500 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031

Announcing Julia Turnbull to the JKM Teaching Staff

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Julia believes that a student’s music education should explore rhythm, melody, and harmony incorporating songs and basic theory with piano. Julia is a professional soprano with a desire to share her training with students who are passionate about music. She teaches beginner and intermediate students of all ages in piano. She also instructs beginning to advanced students in voice. Julia is certified by the state of Virginia to teach music education for grades K-12.

Education:

Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Converse College
Bachelor of Music in Music Education from James Madison University
Holds Teacher Licensure for Virginia

JKM welcomes back Ai Yuki Sato to the Music School!


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Ai is a very capable pianist, teacher, and accompanist with many years of experience teaching all levels of piano from young beginners to community college students. She endeavors to bring her students to a high level of proficiency while keeping lessons fun and upbeat.

She especially enjoys teaching children. Her lessons incorporate piano repertoire, ear- training and theory. She also particularly enjoys teaching duets and music for two pianos. She is familiar with multiple teaching methods.

Education: Ai holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, a Master of Music in Piano Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, from Indiana University, IN.

Students perform in recitals, Spring Festival, Sonatina Festival and competitions.

Ai is available to begin lessons on March 10.

Mason & Hamlin Model A – Piano Review

Mason & Hamlin Model A

There is nothing as elegant or beautiful as the sight and sound of a grand piano.  The notes float upon the air reaching everyone’s ears.  Looking upon a grand piano makes you realize how beautiful the music is going to be that comes from the keys.  Unfortunately many people are unable to make the room for a grand piano.  They just don’t have the space required to fit a grand piano into the room they want.


Mason Hamlin Model A SoundboardThe Mason & Hamlin Model A piano came from a design by Richard Gertz, one of the 19th and 20th Century’s premiere piano designers. Gertz was trained by some of the great piano engineers at the Bösendorfer and Blüthner factories where he worked on the design and build of the modern Steinway pianos. He then moved on to design and build his own creation: the Mason & Hamlin piano.

The tonal similarities between Mason & Hamlin and Steinway pianos are no accident. In some ways, Gertz took an world-class school of thought and advanced it with his new creation at Mason & Hamlin. It is little wonder that Mason & Hamlin have a reputation for being “the poor man’s Steinway” and some even believe them to be more durable. The pianos are handcrafted in Haverhill, Massachusetts to the highest standards in the industry with materials and parts that we find to be equal or superior to the materials and parts found in much higher-priced pianos .

The Model A piano that is made by Mason & Hamlin is the grand piano for people with limited space.  It is a baby grand with the dimensions needed to fit into anyone’s home with ease.

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Made with the professional in mind, the Model A Piano is perfect for any purpose – whether it is instruction or personal use.  Due to new innovations in piano design and construction, the tone of this piano is very close to the depth that you find on larger grand pianos.  Nothing is lost because of the size.  It is perfect for homes, conservatories and musical institutions.

It is due to the innovations of today that such rich sound can come from a small piano.  With dimensions of 5ft 8 ½ in in length and a width of 56.12 inches, this piano is of small stature no doubt but it is made of a hard rock maple – so it will last for generations.  The grace and beauty of the piano are just the beginning.

You can get the finish to match any décor you have in your home.  Whether mahogany, walnut or Brazilian rosewood is your favorite, it is available.  There are also such finishes as ebony in both satin and high polish.

For pricing or more information on the Mason & Hamlin Model A, click here.

Also, from time to time we happen upon very beautiful Used (and professional restored) Mason & Hamlins, like this one. So always be on the lookout on our used pianos page.

Improving Children’s Literacy through Music Teaching

Excerpt taken from a January 28th, 2013 article by the Institute of Education, University of London:

The New London Orchestra’s flagship education project Literacy through Music is aiming to improve primary school teachers’ confidence and skills in using music in the classroom, and provide them with methods and activities that they can use to support literacy development.

 

The scheme, now in its second full year, is being run by the New London Orchestra, which provided in-service training (Inset) for teachers. Sessions involving the teaching of music and literacy activities took place in 30 primary schools in the London Borough of Newham, involving around 650 teachers during 2011- 2012.

 

The previous (first) year’s scheme evaluation (available at http://www.imerc.org) had found that the children taking part in the scheme had significantly improved their reading abilities compared to those in control groups. This positive finding led to the NLO organising the professional development programme that built on the evaluation of the first year.

 

Literacy through Music is made possible through a donation to the New London Orchestra from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

 

Researchers from the Institute of Education carried out a thorough evaluation of the latest phase of the programme by surveying the teachers who took part.

Professor Graham Welch, who led the research, said:

 

“The New London Orchestra’s Literacy through Music project is demonstrating the power of music to enhance the quality of children’s learning in other areas of development. A key design feature is the close partnership and teamwork exhibited by NLO musicians, teachers and teaching assistants. The outcomes of the initiative are very positive”.

JKM Pianos Abound on Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day Piano

List of some of our pianos used on Inauguration Day, who played them, and where they were used:

  • Yamaha DS4 – played by Ben Folds at the National Day of Service on the National Mall
  • Yamaha DC3 – played by John Legend at the National Portrait Gallery for Generation  Now Party
  • Yamaha DC3 – played by John Legend and Cyndi Lauper at the Italian Embassy for the DNC Committee Brunch
  • Yamaha DGB1K E3 Classic – played by Stevie Wonder at the National Building Museum for the Inaugural Candlelight Celebration
  • Yamaha DGB1K E3 Classic – played by Katy Perry’s Band at the Convention Center
  • Yamaha DC3 – played by Jamie Foxx at the Convention Center
  • Yamaha DS6 – played by Alicia Keys at the Commander-in-Chief Ball at the Convention Center

Elton John, Jordan Kitt’s Music and Yamaha’s 125th Anniversary

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Jordan Kitt’s was just honored with front row seats at Yamaha’s 125th Anniversary Celebration at Disneyland’s Hyperion Theater in Anaheim, CA. This concert featured performances by, among others, Michael McDonald, Toto, Sarah McLachlan and the Rocket Man himself, seen here with two familiar faces in the background (Jordan Kitt’s President Chris Syllaba center left & CFO Ray Fugere far right). Sir Elton performed on one of his custom Yamaha midi-grands, with his performance being transmitted live, note by note, through numerous Yamaha Disklavier grands in 19 different countries simultaneously! Combined with the 70-piece back-up orchestra transmitted via live video/audio feed, it was the world’s first such performance beamed live around the planet.