Learning Guitar: What You Need to Know About Sheet Music

Image Source: quadriproject.com

Image Source: quadriproject.com

If you’re like me, between work and family, there are never enough hours in the day. Perhaps that is why I value alone time with my guitar the most. Learning an instrument can be a relaxing and beautiful experience.
Regardless of age, education, or amount of time throughout the day, the guitar is a wonderful instrument to start on, and I might be as bold to say that the guitar is the best instrument to begin with. Why? The guitar is simple … Continue Reading

3 Instruments You Should Learn Today

In a world where the liberal arts are dying out, it’s nice to find solace in the talents of other musicians. This euphoria is heightened exponentially when you play an instrument yourself. The possibilities for an instrument to choose can be overwhelming, so I am here as a guiding light. Below are a few of my choices of excellent instruments for beginners to learn.

1. Piano


The piano is an instrument that, while intimidating, is phenomenally valuable to learn. Piano teaches many of the theories used in music, and acts as a gateway to help learn others … Continue Reading

4 Simple Steps to Learn How to Sight Read

be49cd3cdf512015a04321593bea9172_FotorSight reading is an essential technique in learning how to play piano and it will improve your piano playing skills by leaps and bounds. Learning to sight read piano pieces will help you start to understand music theory and will improve your ability to read notes and pieces just by playing it one time. All-in-all, it will make you a more well-rounded piano player.

However, what is sight reading? Sight reading is being able to look at a piece of music and play the notes and rhythms the whole way through, without … Continue Reading

Jazz Vocalist Heleen van den Hombergh


Heleen van den Hombergh

Heleen van den Hombergh is a wonderfully talented Dutch jazz vocalist who, alas, doesn’t have much of a following in the English-speaking world.

Above I’ve linked you to a performance of “Orange Blossom Scent,” and of course I’ve also offered a literal minded bit of imagery.

As a small symptom of Hombergh’s relative neglect, though, note that she doesn’t have an entry in the English language Wikipedia, a source that gives bits of bandwidth to such (in my humble opinion lesser) musical talents … Continue Reading

Michael Jackson the Father, Poet Songwriter, Dancer, Superstar


Michael Jackson’s Children (Prince Michael II, Paris Jackson, Prince Michael Jackson)

Sometimes I wonder when Michael Jackson began to realize he wanted a lot of children. In his song Can You Feel It he sings to us: Every breath you take is someone’s death in another place: Every healthy smile is hunger and strife to another child. The lyrics told me of his concern for children. Later, his immense philanthropic … Continue Reading

Bruno Bartoletti is Gone: William Bolcom Lives On


Bruno Bartoletti (Sesto Fiorentino, 10 June 1926 – Florence, 9 June 2013])

Bruno Bartoletti, for decades a towering figure in the American operatic landscape, passed away this June.

For a man who died as Bartoletti did just a day before he would have turned 87, the traditional consolation is that he lived a long and full life. Here those aren’t just words: he did indeed!

In the photo above you see Bartoletti in September 2007, at the start of a rehearsal of La Traviata.

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Stearns Square Hosts Journey Tribute Band: Who Was Journey???


Stearns Square Hosts Journey Tribute Band: Who Was Journey?

A Journey tribute band, The Great Escape, played recently at Stearns Square, an outdoors summer venue in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts.

I’m afraid I don’t have any video of that performance to share with you. I do have video of another recent performance of the same tribute band though. Here they are doing Faithfully. That performance is, I might as well say, true to its source. The performers do their job … faithfully.

Their fidelity has me thinking about … Continue Reading

Investigating Michael Jackson’s Subjectivity


Michael Jackson

Baby boomers loved Michael Jackson. We couldn’t take our eyes off him. We grew up watching his whole life. Folks digging the pop-culture moment thrived on Michael’s work because it was undeniably leading us forward. His twenties decade was filled with transformation and his music had a way of reflecting our social angst. His too. I’m encouraged to analyze and investigate Michael’s subjectivity for the JustSheetMusic audience because I know you are interested in this artist. My earlier piece on Jackson got lots … Continue Reading

At The Met: Queen Dido Abandoned Yet Again

Deborah Voigt played Cassandra

Deborah Voigt played Cassandra

The Metropolitan Opera staged a performance of the great Hector Berlioz work Les Troyens this season. This production attracted a lot of attention in December ’12 and January ’13 for a couple of reasons: first because, an up-and-coming French-American tenor stepped in to save the day, capping an extraordinary year for him.

Second, simply because Les Troyans is very demanding for the singers, especially for Aeneas (in French, Énée). Its scale is part of the problem. … Continue Reading

Remembering Bob Fosse


Robert Louis ‘Bob’ Fosse (June 23, 1927 – September 23, 1987)

Susan’s thoughts on Michael Jackson have got me thinking about 20th century dance and choreography, and it hasn’t taken long for my thoughts in this line to land upon Robert Louis Fosse, a/k/a Bob Fosse, a man whose dance style: sexual, stylized, cynical, exciting, has had and continues to have an incalculable influence on the worlds of dance, of music, and of pop-culture generally.

Fosse, famed as a director as well as a choreographer, … Continue Reading