The Berry Basket: The Story of a Rescued Piano Book

BerryBasket

One of the perks of having my own blog is that I can sit at my computer and ramble on about anything. Today, I’m going to tell you about a little out-of-print piano book I found on the internet.

I’m not sure what sent me to a site on Etsy that sold vintage ephemera, which is a fancy word for old printed collectables.  Somehow I found myself looking through a selection of used vintage piano books the shop was selling to cut up and use for crafts. How sad, I thought, that these old books, once lovingly handed to young children and toted back and forth to piano lessons with the hope that the children would fall in love with piano, are now reduced to being cut up for who knows what.

As I was looking and reminiscing, I came upon a 1953 piano book that looked so charming I had to take a close up look. It was named The Berry Basket, and it had the cutest vintage art on the cover. The seller had some pictures of the inside art (with no mention of the music), and I knew I had to get it.  The price was only $3.00 so I clicked the buy button. In a few days, there it was in the mail, saved from destruction and in the hands of someone who could appreciate it!

The book is written for beginners, and the first pieces are only 8 measures long, with sweet, vintage drawings on every page. Each little piece has simple, child-like lyrics.

I was happy to discover the music is in different 5-finger positions and keys. There are no C position pieces in the entire book!  The lyrics are very simple and childlike, back when young children were more innocent and didn’t know the questionable lyrics of today’s popular music.

Since this is a previously used book, there are markings from the teacher.

“Work out notes H.S. Don’t Guess.”  

“Count.”  

“Slow.” 

Some things never change in piano!

According to the preface, the music and words were written by the Sisters of the Holy Cross attending a music workshop in Salt Lake City, conducted by Bernice Frost, a well-known composer of piano teaching music last century.

I wonder what Bernice Frost said in her workshop that inspired the Sisters of the Holy Cross to compose this music? The preface says the book offers, “… development in the basic requirements of elementary musical training. Foremost among these are ear-training, singing, keyboard range and feel, essential points of technic, and pianistic style.”  Maybe Bernice Frost gave them ideas of all the many things that can be done at a piano lesson besides just playing the music. I like to think so.

Maybe the child who used this book is now a piano teacher in his or her golden years, with hundreds of former students who love piano music! I like to think that, too!

The Berry Basket Published by J. Fischer Bros

The Berry Basket
Published by J. Fischer Bros

 

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Made for the iPad: More Rhythm Notes

 

I’m gradually trying to add more to my Made for the iPad page. To find this page, go to the top menu bar and select “Free”, then “Newer Free Resources,” then “iPad Resources,” and you will see a collection of materials I use on my iPad. This is also how you can get to my old site. Just select “Older Resources.”

Today I am posting four more rhythm pages to draw on a mobile tablet.  Check out this post for more notes, and go here for a tutorial of a free, easy app to draw on worksheets with several mobile devices. According to the developer, the app works on an iPad, Android tablet, Kindle Fire, and Windows tablet, which is pretty amazing. [Disclosure: I am not affiliated with this app in any way and I discovered it by accident a few year ago.]

My iPad page is a work in progress.  If you are successfully using any of my material on your tablet, please email me with some feedback. Pictures are great, too!

Subscribe to this blog, “like” my page on Facebook, or follow me on Pinterest to keep up with new material.

Let’s Draw Dotted Half Notes

Let’s Draw Eighth Notes

Lets Draw 16th Notes

Let’s Draw Upside Down Notes

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Filed under iPad Ideas, Rhythm

Made for the iPad: Drawing Rhythm Notes

Made_For_iPad

In my last post, I showed you one way to use worksheets on your tablet device, such as an iPad, Kindle Fire, Android, or Windows tablet. Today I am giving you some pages to practice drawing notes on your tablet in a piano lesson. I will be posting more pages in this series, so check back. [Edited: Here is the link where I list all my iPad resources including dotted half notes, eighth notes, 16th notes, stem down notes, and more. I will also be adding rests very soon.]

Lets-Draw-Treble-Clef

Let’s Draw a Treble Clef

Lets-Draw-Bass-Clef

Lets Draw a Bass Clef

Lets-Draw-Whole-Notes

Lets Draw a Whole Note

Lets-Draw-HalfNote

Lets Draw a Half Note

Lets-Draw-QuarterNotes

 Lets Draw a Quarter Note

When I teach students how to draw notes, I like to start with the whole note and then show how to add lines to make it a half note. Fill in a half note and it becomes a quarter note. This way students see that every note has a note head the same size as a whole note. If I don’t do that, I usually have little teeny quarter and eighth notes and giant, bloated whole notes! I’ve also seen students waste time in ear training by, for example, erasing half notes, when all they need to do is fill in the half note to make it a quarter note.

One reason I like to make worksheets for a mobile device is because I can use lots of color and not worry about the cost of printing. That being said, teachers can print one of each, put into sheet protectors, and used with a dry erase pen. I do not recommend printing these for a student binder unless  you have a special student.

[For my UK & Down Under readers, I know you would like these with the correct rhythm terms, so I’ll be working on that as time permits. When I finish, I’ll add it to the UK page. For now, maybe you can just write over the North American terms.]

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Filed under iPad Ideas, Rhythm

MetaMoji Note – an app for writing on the iPad and other tablets

Today I want to share MetaMoji Note Lite (also known as Note Anytime). This PDF annotator is a snap to use and it has versions for the iPad, Kindle Fire, Windows, and Android tablets. On the MetaMoji site there is a list of the features that are in each version.

This app is great for anyone who wants to draw on a document, photo, or blank page. I particularly like how easy it is to open a PDF document in a lesson.

This tutorial is for the free iPad version.  [Disclosure: I received no  compensation for this review, I was not furnished the app, I have not communicated with the company, and these are my personal opinions.]

1. Download the app from iTunes on your iPad. You can also download it to your iPhone.

2. On today’s post, select this PDF file, Let’s Draw a Treble Clef, and open it on your iPad or iPhone.

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3. At the top right corner there will appear the words “Open in iBooks” and beside that, there will be the words “Open In…

Select  “Open In” and below that a tab will open up icons of all the apps on your iPad that can open PDF documents. Remember, just because your iPad lists all the apps that will open a PDF for you to read, it doesn’t mean that you can also write on the PDF. Scroll across until you get to the one that says “Open in Note” and select it.

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4. Now you will see a window that says “Import“.  Select “As New Note” and then select “Done“. The graphic below shows my PDF opened in MetaMoji Note Lite. Use the pinch gesture to drag the worksheet to make it larger.

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5. At the top you will see an icon that looks like a pencil. Select it and the lines that appear are the pen settings for the lines you will draw with your stylus or finger. Select one and hold it. Another small window will open and you can choose the color and thickness of your line. I chose the calligraphy pen with the two-tone color. Select “done”. Below you can see the lines I drew with the calligraphy pen using different colors.

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Now you are ready for your student to write on the worksheet!

When you finish, you can select the box with the arrow pointing up to see ways you can save this PDF. I usually don’t save my student’s work, but I do save the PDF to use again with another student. To see your saved PDF’s, select the folder in the top left of the tool bar.

Another great thing about this app is that you can open multi page PDF documents. There are not too many free PDF annotators that will do that.

MetaMoji_2

In the graphic above, I have labeled the tool bar, but it is really simple to use. The screen lock keeps the PDF from being written on. If you have an impulsive student who wants to start writing before you have explained something, keep the screen locked. The pencil tool is  for drawing and writing by hand. The eraser will erase all of your markings, but will not erase the original PDF. The lasso tool allows you to select something you have drawn and move it around the screen. This comes in handy if you have a PDF of a music staff  and you want to draw a note and move it around the screen. Your PDF will remain unchanged. The undo button will clear your PDF so you can use it again.

If you want a white board to write on without a PDF, select the save tool on the top left, and open a blank document. Then you can practice drawing any musical symbol without using paper. Click the + tool to see some pre-made art you can select. I used the heart icon on a blank staff as a note, and we moved it around naming the “note.”

What a PDF annotator will not do is allow you to cut and paste the original PDF.

There is a wrist guard on the bottom right of the screen that keep students from making accidental markings with their wrists. Simply grab it from the corner to enlarge it or flip it around.

This app has many other features that I am not going into. There are even more extra features in the paid version. At their website, you can view several short video tutorials to get started. I found this app so easy that I didn’t need the help features, but if you can get all kinds of support at their website. And you can always ask your students for help because they always seem to know how to use anything on the iPad!

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