The Music Corner for Piano Lovers

Beethoven's Birthday and Other Significant Musical Memories

16 Dec 2014 News

Today — December 16 — is Beethoven's birthday, and it holds special significance for me as well. You see, it was the day I married my husband, although when we chose the day, its musical significance completely escaped us.

This time of year holds a number of other wonderful musical memories for me as well. Around about this time, some years back, my husband bought me the beautiful Weber upright I play and compose on. It was an anniversary gift. And even though we're looking to buy a new grand, the Weber, I've decided, will always be a part of my life. It has sentimental value and such a rich, mellow sound, I can't bear to part with it.

The keyboard I own was also a gift from my husband— a Christmas gift. Christmas is also the time, my children and niece receive music-related gifts. My daughter got her first little keyboard last year. She and her brother love playing it. It's light enough for my daughter to carry around, and she can come up to me and have me play and sing nursery rhymes to her. This Christmas, it's my niece's turn to receive a small keyboard. She'll be two in March, so this should be a fun introduction to music for her.

For her very first Christmas, my daughter got a lovely little Mother Goose rhyme book from Barnes and Noble. It had a keyboard attached to it, with the music notated in colors corresponding to the colors on the keys. I remember thinking it was a great way of teaching parents and children music. We're planning to go to Barnes and Noble to see if the Christmas Carol book is available.

So, I have many reasons to love this time of year, not least of which is the opportunity to bring out all my Carol Books. The house is filled with the sound of music. I play the easier versions when I'm trying to teach the children the melody. The more challenging versions present each familiar melody in a beautiful setting, and these make for wonderful solos.

There is one thing I don't particularly like about the season. It's the cold. Yes, I do realize there are parts of the world where the temperature goes down to the low thirties or twenties or even lower. I'm fortunate not to encounter snow, but I'd still like it warmer than it is. I wistfully think of warm summer days at the beach.

If you, like me, prefer warm weather to cold, I have a little musical gift for you: a new piece that's a musical representation of a day at the beach. It's called By the Sea Shore, and will, I hope, open your imagination to sound imagery as well as empower you to make an important interpretive decision on your own. There is no right or wrong decision. You'll make your decision based on what the piece is about and the way your instrument and the acoustics of your surroundings interact to produce sound. So, your ear and your taste will help you make your decision.

It's an easy piece — Level 3-4. It won't take you long to learn, and if you're at a higher level, you can sight read through it with the greatest ease. Take a listen to the piece and download the sheet music here:



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