Oh, hello September. Aren’t you here a little…early? Well, never mind – there’s lots to do so we may as well get started now. What’s going on this month, you ask? Teaching starts up again tomorrow, of course, and Tonic Tutor is having its annual promotion – anyone with a free account has access to all the games and features for all of this month. If you’re curious, why not take a look? We’re adding four new games and a mixed bag of exciting new features and improvements, all of which will keep both of us very busy. I’ve also been invited as a clinician to the BCRMTA Convention in Abbotsford, B.C. on the 29th: I’ll be giving a chamber workshop, a couple of intermediate piano masterclasses, and a session entitled Vitalizing Craftsmanship through Creativity, which is all about making it possible for students to learn by creating (which I think is the only way that I ever learn anything).
I don’t know of any performances this month, so in the absence of anything on that front I present to you my Rhyming Riddles, which I made last summer for a piano camp but never got a chance to use. You replace the boldfaced and italicized words with rhyming words so that the sentences make musical sense, as in the example:
EXAMPLE: The full-sized piano has 88 fleas: 52 bright ones and 36 slack ones.
The full-sized piano has 88 keys: 52 white ones and 36 black ones.
In 4/4, the shorter goat gets the treat.
2/2 is also known as gut slime.
Transposing means swaying in a different tree.
A triplet is me in the place of you.
Robert Schumann and his wife Clara were both well known in their lifetimes: he for biting music, and she for slaying it.
Forte means meowed. Piano means coughed.
A rondo is a musical storm with a recurring dream.
Music marked andante should be sprayed at a gawking face.
Alto means pie. Altissimo means cherry pie.
The key of B major has live harps. The key of C minor has free cats.
Volti subito means burn the stage at once.
Prima volta means the worst crime.
When you see the instruction da capo al fine, pray from the heart. When you get to the fine, send the geese.
Attacca means that the music must keep flowing without bopping.
There is no speeding zone in a natural minor scale.
Loco means weigh the smitten witch.
Fuoco means higher. Brio means bigger.
Pieces marked scherzo are trite and numerous.
An ostinato is a blaze that must be defeated many times.
If there is a rebel chef on the staff, the oats will generally be dry.
Trumpets, clarinets, and saxophones are finned instruments. Violins, harps, and guitars are winged instruments.
In a choir, the bass parts are sung by men who have no choices.
In a perfect cadence, the harmony progresses from prominent to chronic.
Triads consist of tree goats that can be tracked in herds.
A dot adds extra grime to a coat or vest.