MUSIC HISTORY | The National Anthem

Happy 4th of July to you all! I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying this wonderful day with family and friends. I thought considering the holiday, I would give you a fun little music history post on our wonderful National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The lyrics for our anthem are actually from a poem called “Defence of Fort M’Henry” written in 1814 by a young amateur poet named Francis Scott Key. He wrote the poem after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British during the war of 1812.

The poem was later set to the popular British tune called “The Anacreontic Song” by John Stafford Smith. The funny part was the tune was actually written for the Anacreontic Society which was a men’s social club comprised of a bunch of amateur musicians.

The poem actually has 4 stanzas though only the first one is used when sung. Most would say it’s due to the length the anthem would be if sung in it’s entirety. I say it’s because it’s one of the most difficult pieces to sing! It has a range of one octave plus one fifth! That is an entire semitone more than an octave and a half which is out of the comfort zone of most people when singing. Maybe that’s the reason why it took over 100 years to make it the National Anthem of the United States of America.

That’s right! It was officially recognized for use by the U.S. Navy in 1889 and then 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, but wasn’t signed as our official anthem until President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional resolution on March 3rd, 1931. Before that “Hail Columbia” and “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” served as the de facto anthem during official functions.

Well that’s all I have for your little bit of history today. Have a wonderful 4th of July and go and enjoy some fireworks tonight!

NEWSLETTER | July 2014

July is here! I can’t even believe we are half way through 2014. Oh, how the time flies! This month there are a few updates, but overall this is going to be a short newsletter for the studio.

1. Fall schedules will all be set the last week of July for August through December. Even though August is still summer, school goes back in session as soon as the first week of the month for a good chunk of the studio, so it’s best to get everyone’s days and times settled ahead of time. This will be discussed in each lesson, but make sure to think about days and time slots over the next week or so.

2. The 2014-2015 Studio Policies have been updated on the website, so please take the time to view them. As a member of this studio, each of us have rules we need to follow in order to ensure the best musical and educational experience for your student.

3. I will be switching to a digital form of communication for practice assignments, billing, and lesson information with MyMusicStaff. Parents and students will get an individual log-in. Parents will see everything, students will only see what is pertinent to them. Every week you will be updated on your child’s lesson and be able to see their assignment. This way everyone can be on the same page with your child’s progress. (This will be great for those of you who are unable to be at your child’s lesson!)

4. The website should be ready by the 20th of the month! (Let’s cross our fingers.) I’m still looking for a professional web designer, so if you know of anyone, please send them my way.

Well, that is all folks! Like I said, this month was a super short newsletter. I hope everyone is enjoying this absolutely beautiful Georgian weather. (I know I am!) And I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July!