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eNotes, Issue #003
September 28, 2007


Hello Students,

If you are new to eNotes, welcome to the music newsletter that expands your knowledge about piano and singing. Of course, that includes a wide territory. Every 2 weeks or so you will get tips, techniques, and interviews related to the ever so cool world of piano and singing.

I’d like to talk abou the importance of rhythm in music. We tend to spend so much time trying to “get the notes” that we overlook the “feel” of the song. So what do I mean by “feel”? The feel is the central pulse that unifies the music.

I’ll tell you what made me think about this. I was teaching a private piano lesson the other day. When I demonstrated a section of the music, my student said “We’re playing the exact same notes. Why do you sound so much better? . I humbly agreed. But why did I sound better? I thought about this. It was because she didn’t have the feel of the song. The notes were there but there was no rhythmic pulse or intensity.

So how does this translate? How do you keep rhythm into your music? It all begins with awareness of the pulse. Here are some techniques I use in my private and classroom teaching

* March to the beat of the song while you are singing.
* Say the words to the song like a “rapper”, then sing the song.
* Decide which words are important and accent or lean into them.
* When playing the piano, pay attention to what needs to be accented. All notes are not created equal. If you are playing jazz, accent the offbeats and if you are playing rock music, accent beats two and four.

There are lots of upcoming classes some of which are new!!
Follow this link for my schedule of classes Upcoming Teaching Schedule The two new classes I will be teaching are

Tuesday, November 27th 6:30-9:30 PM
This one-night class is for the singer who would like to learn how to study and practice chords to accompany themselves. You will then learn basic embellishment techniques to spruce up these chords to play in various styles. You will get hands on experience trying out these techniques too. No need to pay a coach anymore! This class comes with a book and CD (the text used for Instant Piano). $75
This class will be held at my house in Burlington, MA.
Free warm chocolate chip cookies included in the price!
Call 781-238-4454.

Thursday, November 15th, 10 AM - 1 PM
This class is going to be held at a real live beautiful piano shop in Marshfield, MA. Every student gets their own piano. We will use the text called "The Season" which expands on your knowledge of chords and teaches some embellishment patterns while learning your favorite holiday songs. It is not required that you have taken "Instant Piano for Hopelessly Busy People" but some knowledge of chords and basic note-reading ability for the right hand is helpful. To see the studio on line click on this link and then the tab for New Adult Classes! Class fee $75.
Call 781-238-4454 to register with me or send me an email to reserve your spot

Martin Snow Piano Shop Contact Page to Debbie Gruber

Well, until next time. Enjoy this lovely weather and happy singing and playing.

Debbie Gruber, B.M., M.M.

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