The Piano – It’s Child’s Play

Mozart was a gifted child prodigy both on the piano and as a composer. This wunderkind began to play at three years old and spent much time picking out small chords and would be pleased when his music sounded discernibly good. By the age of four he learned his first piece of music on the piano. By his fifth birthday in 1761, Mozart sat down at the keyboard and half an hour later he learned to play the piece. It was a scherzo by the Viennese composer Wagenseil. A scherzo in Italian musical terms is described as a joke. Continue reading “The Piano – It’s Child’s Play”

Jumping On The Piano Wagon

The piano has been in our midst for over 300 years and continued to earn itself a place as the top favourite instrument choice for all ages from 5 to 75. Whether you as a musician enjoy the classic tones of the upright acoustic or the more contemporary recreated sounds of the electronic digital piano – the choice is personal when jumping on the piano wagon.

So how does it drive?

The digital piano produces a generous variety of pre-set timbres so you can choose the settings e.g. the traditional concert grand piano, the silvery steel of the by-gone harpsichord keys, various electric pianos that harp back to the sounds of the 60s & 70s like Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer. You can incorporate other basic “synthesizer’’ sounds to your taste such as string ensemble, rock band, vocals etc. Of course headphones, amps & connections for composition software are all extras that may tip the balance on deciding which one to play. In contrast the ‘no frills’ acoustic piano promises no hidden extras – not even a horn but it does deliver a traditional rich tone and pure sound production. So whether you want to go back to Bach, enjoy improvising over jazz chords like Alicia Keys or explore the wonders of Stevie – whatever your choice – you will surely benefit from the piano. So come on – jump on the piano wagon – it’ll take you on a musical mystery tour.

Def: (pi-a-no.) Italian, short for pianoforte. Piano abbr. p = in a quite tone. Forte abbr. f = loud.

How to find the right instrument for your child

Which instrument should it be? A digital piano or an electric guitar or maybe even drums?

Picking up a musical instrument for the first time is a rite of passage for any child, whether it’s a triangle or an electric guitar. Learning to make music teaches discipline and gives kids a real sense of achievement, especially for those who struggle in other academic areas.

Neuroscientist Nina Kraus found that playing musical instruments has major advantages for young brains, enhancing sensitivity to speech sounds and in turn boosting language skills.

Not only can it help them process speech in noisy classrooms, but it can also help them interpret the nuances of language that are conveyed by subtle changes in the human voice.

Copious other studies have proven that music education keeps young minds sharp and alert, so when children come home demanding a new guitar, a trumpet or a flute so they can play in the school orchestra, parents should welcome the request with open arms.

But where do you start when you’re buying a musical instrument for your child? Chances are you don’t want to spend a fortune. However, investing in a quality instrument that will see your son or daughter through their school years is a wise idea.

Fortunately at Chase Direct we offer a fantastic selection of musical instruments and accessories that are ideal for children’s education and leisure time, and they’re all available at incredibly affordable prices.

Continue reading “How to find the right instrument for your child”

Beach Boys planning new tour – reunited

Some of the oldest names in pop will be packing their gig bagsnext year, as the Beach Boys reunite for their 50th anniversary tour.

Following months of speculation, the band has announced plans for 50 dates in 2012, kicking off at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in April.

The group shot into the limelight in 1962 with the release of their first album, Surfin’ Safari, and have since left a musical legacy with their chilled Californian tones.

Despite rumours of disagreements and background tensions, it seems that the boys have put past grudges behind them and are excited to be working together again.

“This anniversary is special to me because I miss the boys,” said Brian Wilson, “It will be a thrill for me to make a new record and be on stage with them again.”

Wilson will be joined on stage by former bandmates Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks for the international CELEBRATION tour.

With several songs already recorded, the group are also expected to release a new studio album with Capitol/EMI in the New Year.

Earlier this year, the boys got together in the studio to re-record their 1968 favourite, Do It Again.

Mike Love described his pleasure at being back at the piano bench with the old group.

“Music has been the unifying and harmonising fact of life in our family since childhood,” he said. “It has been a huge blessing that we have been able to share with the world.”

And with a catalogue of songs to choose from, fans will be waiting with anticipation to hear the set-list for the band’s upcoming performances.

“We haven’t played together in a long time,” Jardine told the Rolling Stone. “The fans are going to want to hear the hits. But there should also be lesser-known ones that are so important.”

More Bands Needed

More bands should be plugging in their guitar amplifiers and rocking out, according to British rockers Kasabian.

In an interview with Contract Music, the Leicester boys insisted that there was a shortage of good rock bands in the UK and claimed that they were one of the only groups willing to push the boundaries with their songs.

Frontman Tom Meighan said: “There’s a rock ‘n’ roll drought at the moment, so I’m glad we’re here. People are frightened of making records that sound good on the radio.”

“We’ve been overrun by pop and I hate that indie attitude,” guitarist Serge Pizzorno added.

The band recently thrilled rock fans with a raucous live performance at a New Year’s Eve gig at London’s O2.

However, last year Meighan told the Daily Star that he didn’t feel that the band had been given the credit they deserved for their music.

The singer also said that the group would be giving up on the idea of hit singles, and would instead be focusing on albums from now on.

The band, who will be celebrating their 15th year in 2012, released their fourth album, Velociraptor!, last September.