A no-frills how-to manual for piano.




Kim, a faculty member at the Michigan State University’s Community Music School, teaches the basics of the piano in this debut guide.

Many people would love to know how to play piano but are intimidated by the instrument’s numerous, unmarked keys and the opacity of its sheet music. The author seeks to demystify both in this book, which covers the basics of the piano’s layout and musical notation for aspiring ivory-ticklers. After starting with an explanation of the keys and their scales, Kim goes on to take readers through the concepts of basic rhythm, finger numbering, time signatures, pitch, and intervals. She also explains the various symbols that one might encounter in piano sheet music, as well as the major and minor chords. The book is set up so that a student may take an active role, both by practicing the songs and by answering questions by filling in blanks included in the book. Each section ends with playing suggestions, short quizzes, and a simple musical selection that demonstrates a specific lesson. Readers will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly they’re able to try their hands at classic compositions, such as “Ode to Joy,” “Jingle Bells,” “Brother John,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Silent Night.” The author wastes no time on pleasantries, diving into the information without so much as an introduction, and overall, she writes in a simple, direct prose, generally using as few words as possible. There are occasional typos (“That is called as The Grand Staff”), but they don’t hinder comprehension, particularly as there’s relatively little text. This work is bare-bones, covering exactly what the reader needs to know and not a sentence more. For this reason, Kim manages to fit a large amount of information into this relatively thin work. Her pedagogical style may not be a perfect fit for all learners, but aspiring players seeking to teach themselves directly from the page couldn’t find more straightforward instruction.

A no-frills how-to manual for piano.

Pub Date: March 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4787-8461-6

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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