Are You Ready for Another FREE Jonny May Piano Tutorial?

For those who joined us in the last FREE piano tutorial from Musicnotes Signature Artist Jonny May, how’s that Beginner Blues Shuffle coming along? Get ready for more Piano with Jonny goodness with another totally FREE lesson, complete with free sheet music from Musicnotes.com. One of the coolest things about Jonny’s piano lessons & tutorials, both with Musicnotes and on his Piano with Jonny YouTube page, is that you can slow down, study and repeat passages as many times as you want. In Jonny May’s latest Musicnotes piano tutorial, we build on our Beginner Blues Shuffle lesson, where we learned the basic blues chord progression, and add more chord changes while continuing to develop
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Free Piano Lesson/Sheet Music from Jazz Marvel Jonny May!

Learning to play the blues can be somewhat intimating for beginning or casual pianists. But, familiarizing yourself with the chord progressions, phrasing and rhythms/grooves that characterize blues music can open a whole new world of musical possibilities. That’s why our great friend (and Musicnotes Signature Artist) Jonny May recorded a free piano lesson on blues basics, complete with FREE sheet music! First a little about May’s outstanding credentials. As a jazz, blues and ragtime aficionado, Jonny May has performed with YouTube sensation (and fellow Signature Artist) Postmodern Jukebox, played at Comedy Central and Universal Studios, and has accompanied such luminaries as Tony winner Lin Manuel Miranda and Grammy winner Lari White. Jonny
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Booking a gig

How to Book Your First Gig: 10 Dos and Don’ts

You’ve arranged/written the songs, practiced performing, and feel ready to share your musical brilliance with the world. But how exactly do you take the leap from creating for personal enjoyment to getting ready to book your first gig?  We lay out 10 dos and don’ts to help you book your first gig, with anecdotal support provided by a few of our Musicnotes sheet music friends. Do: Record a demo You’ll want to have some demonstration of your talent to show booking agents/promoters. You don’t need to book studio time, at-home recording technology has improved so much in recent years that you can build a decent at-home studio with your computer, a mic
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Three Piano Songs That Are Nearly Impossible to Play

The question of “What piano songs are the most difficult to play?” has inspired friendly arguments among music lovers, likely for as long as piano songs have been composed. The issue of what, exactly, makes a piece of music “difficult” to play is difficult to define. For example, a song which is ten hours in length is going to be “difficult” regardless of the complexity of the song itself. Then there is the question of entertainment value. If a song is not pleasant to hear, then pianists will have little interest in playing it simply to take on the challenge. Therefore, the only true way to determine which piano songs
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The History of Sheet Music

Take a Quick Trip Through The History of Sheet Music – A Fun Infographic

Just like any language, musical notation has evolved over time. The stave, clefs, notes, accidentals, dynamics and other building blocks that we today recognize as notation didn’t always exist. Similarly, it wasn’t always as easy as downloading the sheet music you want in the key you need from anywhere. (Yes, those were dark times, indeed.) From stone to sheets to iPads, the portability of sheet music certainly has improved in the past 5000 years or so. Take a look at other ways notation, sheet music and sheet music publishing have advanced from ancient Mesopotamian beginnings to today. Click here for a printable PDF version. Click here to view the infographic
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Contrafactum: What’s That?

A lesser-known musical term, contrafactum, refers to a song in which the melody is similar or even identical to another song yet contains different lyrics. One of the most popular examples of contrafacta are “What Child is This” and “Greensleeves.” While the lyrics convey very different meanings, the melody remains the same for both. There are several reasons for why a composer would choose to repeat one melody across two different pieces. Often times, the composer has chosen to reuse the melody from another piece because it brings together the beginning and end of a show. For example, “Come to Me,” also known as “Fantine’s Death,” is sung in the first
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Choosing the Perfect Audition Piece for You

Tips on how to do well at an audition are more or less universal, but the perfect audition piece is not. (Check out our Updated: 40+ Songs for Stage and Show Auditions blog post.) Each individual musician is different just as every performance of a piece varies ever so slightly from the one previous. There is no “one-size-fits-all” audition piece. Not saying it wouldn’t be nice, but it just doesn’t exist. There isn’t a perfected audition piece that will work for everyone the same. There is, however, a uniquely perfect audition piece for you. Musicnotes.com is here to help guide you through three basic steps to take when selecting the
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Benefits of Playing Music Infographic

Learn The Many Ways That Music Benefits Your Mind – Fun Animated Infographic

As musicians, we appreciate a vast array of music benefits that come from playing and practicing. For some of us, music helps to relax us. For others, it helps to pep us up! Sitting down at the piano or picking up our violin can offer a fun diversion, or it can challenge you in unique ways. Aside from the general pleasure we get out of practicing and performing, learning and playing music has proven benefits when it comes to mental, cognitive and emotional health as well. For example, did you know that playing music increases memory, coordination, and can actually alter your brain’s structure? School students who study music are
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Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions and Meeting Musical Goals

The new year presents us with the opportunity to consider what we may want to improve upon or accomplish over the next 12 months. Have you chosen your musical new year’s resolutions or goals yet? Read on to find popular articles relating to seven common musical resolutions, including everything from learning to play a new instrument to getting into tip-top musical shape for 2016’s auditions and performances! Resolution #1: Learn How to Play an Instrument Did you receive a new instrument over the holidays? Perhaps you used to read sheet music, but could use a bit of a refresher. We have simple guides to the basics of reading sheet music,
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Choral Audition Tips from 6 Stand-Out Choir Conductors!

What do you really need to do when you’re auditioning for that choir, small ensemble, choral competition or festival? We’ve asked several of our choral director friends at the top of their game to tell us what they look and listen for. They’ve graciously shared their wisdom with us so that we can share it with you. You’ll notice that some of our experts give similar advice on a few topics. Pay special attention there, and do what they say! Read on, and get ready for your BEST choral audition ever! Rollo Dilworth – world-renowned conductor and clinician, prolific composer and arranger, chair of music education and music therapy at
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