Spring (close enough) Cleaning

Greetings, all. My website (gailmasinda.com) and all associated Maestro Heights postings are getting a major overhaul and update. If I understand what I think I know (!) those of you who get email notifications when I publish a new post could get multiple notices as some items are converted from one format to another. Yeah,…

“Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”

Make a stand (idiom) definition – Adopt a firm position about an issue. Hold firm, as in hold the ground against an enemy. -Merriam-Webster In 1858, Dudley Atkins Tyng was a 29-year-old Episcopalian pastor and abolitionist. Not everyone in his Philadelphia church agreed with his straightforward doctrinal preaching and position against slavery and he resigned…

Practice Space

Finding time for music practice is tough. Finding space is equally tough but often overlooked. The oft-quoted real estate phrase of “location, location, location” has merit in selecting a space for music practice, too. My friends, I have heard far too many well-meaning-but-cringe-worthy stories about where my students practice. Some real-life examples: “We put the…

Music Room Skill Sets 1-5

The first five Music Room Skill Sets are now available! The story line running through the entire series is based on my actual students, past and present. Their questions, situations and gentle humor are very real making it easy for students to relate to the Music Room characters. I have lost track of how many…

Mini Course: The Story of the Pipe Organ

It’s the story of one of the oldest instruments and, until relatively recently, the mankind’s most complex machine. A great printable lesson is available. No previous music is needed for this unit study. A complete lesson plan is provided. Videos provide additional audio and visual support for the lesson and required to complete some of…

Mini-Course: How Do Organ Pipes Work?

“Why are there so many pipes?” “But how come you sit over here and the sound comes out over there?” “Why are those pipes so big?” “Why are those pipes so tiny?” “Why are some of the pipes made from metal and others are made from wood?” “How long do pipes last?” Right after the…

1912 M.P. Moller, Avon Federated Church, Avon, Illinois

The first settlers in Avon, Illinois, arrived in 1835. In just twenty years, the area grew enough to have a post office, changed its name twice, saw the building of a branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) and formed several churches. Among those fellowships were a Universalist Church and a Congregational Church….

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Paris Pipe Organ

The world watched in frozen horror as news broadcasts showed a fire blazing through the Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019. The fate of the historic building and its contents hung in the balance. The damage was extensive, yet somehow, miraculously even, some things survived. Among the remaining treasures in the cathedral is the…

1901 Hinners & Albertsen, First United Presbyterian, Knoxville, Illinois

Standing proudly in the small town of Knoxville, Illinois, is First United Presbyterian Church.  Founded in 1835, the congregation made their church home in other locations before erecting the current structure and moving into it, debt free, in 1899.   The Hinners & Albertsen organ was installed in 1901. Hinners Organ Perfection Manufactury was founded by John…

The Eyes Have It

Are you a multi-tasker?  You certainly are when reading music while playing the piano.  Let’s take a look <insert knee slap>  at what your eyes are doing.    Are you supposed to watch the music?  Or your hands?  Or some of each?  Are you getting dizzy from nodding your head back and forth between the…

“Let the Lower Lights Be Burning”

Philip Bliss, who wrote both the text and tune for this hymn, and his 19th century contemporary, Ira Sankey, are credited with founding the gospel song movement.  Both were part of the Dwight L. Moody evangelistic team, and both sang, led crusade singing, and authored many gospel songs.  Bliss was inspired to write this hymn…

February 16, 1848: Chopin’s Final Concert

Born in the Duchy of Warsaw (present-day Poland) and raised in Warsaw, Frederick Chopin (1810-1849) settled in Paris by the time he was 21 years old.  His musical compositions are primarily for solo piano and remain among the most popular selections for students, artists, and audiences.  While admired for his technical virtuosity at the piano, he was generally…