‘I want to play The Phantom of the Opera’ says young piano student

  • Crystal Tallman, 11 is learning to read music with free lessons at the Frazier Park LIbrary, taught by Karen Anthony. [photo by Patric Hedlund]

    Crystal Tallman, 11 is learning to read music with free lessons at the Frazier Park LIbrary, taught by Karen Anthony. [photo by Patric Hedlund]

Free piano lessons at library begin second session

By Patric Hedlund

Crystal Tallman, 11 was eager to bring out her music folder this week, to show it to a visitor to her family’s cozy Pine Mountain country cottage. The family is new to the Mountain Communities, but this Saturday, Crystal will already have her fourth free piano lesson at the Frazier Park Library.

While we admired the tomatoes and peppers growing in pots on the family’s front deck, Crystal began talking about the class: “I usually ask to use the music sheet for the next lesson so I can practice at home ahead of class,” the homeschooler said as she pulled out her music and class notes.

She walked to a small electronic keyboard and began bubbling with discoveries: “Recently I was learning the bass clef with the left hand and I’m working on ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.’ I’ve learned ‘repeats’ with dots…and I’ve learned ties—tying two notes together, so it is double, like a full note and a full note together equals double the amount of time you hold it,” she grinned.

Dad Grant Tallman can’t help but feel proud: “Crystal likes music and wanted to read notes. This is a way to get started.”

“The teaching approach is good,” Tallman adds. “Her teacher [Karen Anthony] starts out with the very basics, like ‘Where is middle C?’ And then she goes through the keyboard. Crystal has progressed fairly quickly. The class gave her the basics on finger placement, what keys are what notes, how to read notes and maybe write a small piece herself.”

While we were visiting, Crystal launched into two of her favorite new tunes.

The second summer session of free Beginner Piano lessons at the library is July 20 to August 10 from 9-9:30 a.m. The four-week session introduces children over the age of 6 to fingering, note names and rhythms, then to playing simple songs. To sign up, call instructor Karen Anthony at 661-245-1189.

Anthony explains that the limited number of keyboards require “first-come, first-served” enrollment. Students unable to attend second session can sign up for third session, August 17 to September 7.

“Any student missing a class rotates out, but may sign up for the next four-week session if space permits,” Anthony said, adding, “commitment is essential.”

Young Crystal is clearly committed: “I can finally play the kind of music I like and I know how to read it and how to sing it…like Phantom of the Opera’s ‘Masquerade!’”

To register for Beginning Piano, call 661-245-1189

This is part of the July 12, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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