Sep 122017

Whether you are using a book, video, a real live human, or online lessons, keep these pointers in mind to get the most out our your studies.

1. Complete and master each section before moving on to the next. As you work through your lessons, make sure you have each new technique or idea conquered before moving on to the next. Lessons are planned to build upon each other and trying to rush through without fully understanding one will just lead to frustration and wasted efforts.

2. Study your music lesson as if you were in school. Do some homework, aka practice, every night. If all you have is 15 minutes, then use those 15 minutes. If you do not have time to read/watch and apply, then implement the concepts of your last lesson or drills such as scales and chords. Reading/watching and not having the opportunity to use immediately will usually mean you have to relearn your lesson. Take notes; especially if you are watching a video or working with a human. Also, don’t be afraid to write all over your workbooks and sheet music. Making short notes in your music will help you learn your music and facilitate in a successful music performance, audition, rehearsal or lesson.

3. Apply what you have learned. If it is a solo, play for others such as your church, your family, or if you play piano, that spare piano sitting in your favorite department store (be sure to ask first). If you play in an ensemble, be sure to apply what you have learned in your music lesson to the music you are playing with that group.

These tips work whether you are a child or an adult. Learning to play an instrument is an excellent and fulfilling activity.

Are you looking for an etude book for your music lessons? Check these books by clicking on these links or using the search box.



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Piano Adventures Level 1 – Lesson Book (2nd Edition)
Faber Piano Adventures®. Methods. Softcover. 64 pages. Faber Piano Adventures #FF1078. Published by Faber Piano Adventures (HL.420171).
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Alfred’s Adult All-in-One Course – Level 1 (Book)
Lesson * Theory * Technic. Method/Instruction; Piano – Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course; Technique Musicianship; Theory. Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course. Instructional. Instructional book. With introductory text, instructional text, illustrations and performance notes. 160 pages. Published by Alfred Music (AP.5753).
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You Can Teach Yourself Piano by Ear
Composed by Robin Jarman. Squareback saddle-stitched. You Can Teach Yourself. Contemporary, Method. Book and online audio/video. 56 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc (MB.94270M).
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40 Studies (High School of Cello Playing), Op. 73
Composed by David Popper (1843-1913). Edited by Stutch. Published by International Music Company (IM.811).
Sep 072017

People associate songs and music with events in their lives. Many songs hold special memories for them, and they fondly remember the songs that were playing when they went to their first dance. Maybe they remember the songs their school band performed during half time at their high school football games, the songs that they heard on our first date, or the songs they heard on the radio while driving their first car.

If you were a teenager, like my sister and brother or a child like me in the 1970’s, the music of this decade is probably the most impressive and most recognized of any other era. The artists of the 1970’s provided us with numerous songs we loved to dance and sing along. At that time most bands played their instruments and did not need to sequence part of it.

I remember how we used to listen to the music then? At first, we had eight track players in our cars; then we moved upward to cassette players. Vinyl records were the most popular way to listen to our favorite music. Every week you could go to your local variety or record store and pick up the new #1 song on a 45 record for under $1.00. Of course, there was always the radio to listen to – most of the popular channels were on am radio. We had many styles of music. Among these types include the bubble gum music of David Cassidy and the Partridge Family, soft rock of Barry Manilow, the great dance tunes of the Bee Gees and the Commodores, the rock of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin, the brass band sounds of Chicago, or the disco beat of Chic and Donna Summer.

The nostalgia of the 1970’s music lives on today. Can we listen to it on our local 70’s radio station, on CDs, on mp3, download it on our computer, and burn it onto CDs. For those of us who prefer records, we can still purchase them at record stores, antique or second-hand stores, or yard sales. Of course, many of us have held on to our record collections and record players and can pull them out at any time when we need to relive those nostalgic days of the 1970’s. Some bands are still performing after more than 30-40 years. There’s nothing like seeing your favorite 1970’s performers live in concert!

The music of the 1970’s is still popular with people of all ages, not just those who grew up with it. It never grows old. It only gets better with each passing decade.

Relive the days of the 1970’s by purchasing these music selections. Just click on the albums below.


Sep 062017
Originally composed by Jerome Kern, with lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II for the musical, Very Warm for May in 1939, All The Things You Are is a piece that is a jazz standard performed by many performers including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Parker, and Michael Jackson.
This arrangement for Horn Quartet is 3 minutes, 32 seconds long, and is an endurance challenge for the first part. It also should be played lyrically at quarter note equaling 120.
Sep 062017
Written by Richard and Robert Sherman and featured in the 1964 motion picture, Mary Poppins, Feed the Birds is a song that tells of an elderly beggar woman who sits on the steps of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.  As the birds gather around her, she sells bread crumbs to those who pass by for tuppence a bag.
With the duration of 3 minutes long, this arrangement of Feed the Birds is for six horns and is a great piece as far as phrasing, chamber ensemble playing and dynamic levels.
Sep 062017
The Hanging Tree is a composition written by James Newton Howard and featured in the 2014 film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 from the Hunger Games film series. This arrangement is for a British Style Brass Band by Lisa Lenke Sousa.
The brass band arrangement starts with a cornet solo and later joined by the solo horn. As the piece grows in dynamics, so does the instrumentation until it reaches a full band at a double forte. At the very end of the composition, the solo cornet returns with the melody and slows down at the end. It is a tiered piece with different dynamics that make the arrangement.
Sep 062017

This arrangement of No. 5 Pas de deux From Act I from the Ballet Swan Lake Op. 20 is a challenging piece for British Style Brass Band. It contains a full score including parts for 9 cornets ( 4 solo cornets, 2 second cornets and 3 3rd cornets), 1 Flugelhorn, 3 Tenor Horn parts, 2 Baritone, 2 Tenor Trombones, 1 Bass Trombone, 2 Euphoniums, 2 E flat Tubas, and 2 BB flat Tubas.  Please order this piece today!!


Feb 142017

Fingal’s Cave is a sea cave located on an island called Staffa in the Hebrides archipelago located off the west coast of Scotland. Formed from hexagonally jointed basalt columns within a Paleocene lava flow, the caves size and arched roof give the true atmosphere of a natural cathedral along with the sounds produced by the waves of the ocean.

Shortly after a tour of England, Felix Mendelssohn visited the Fingal’s Cave in 1829 and was inspired by the echoes that were produced by it. With that inspiration, a famous piece was born and named after the cave, Hebrides Overture (aka, Fingal’s Cave). The opening phrase was first jotted down on a postcard and sent to his family along with a note to his sister, Fanny that said, “To make you understand how extraordinarily The Hebrides affected me, I send you the following, which came into my head there.”

Hebrides Overture was completed December 16, 1830, and was originally entitled Die einsame Insel( The Lonely Island). Later, Mendelssohn revised the work and completed it by 20 June 1832 with a new name, Die Hebriden, or The Hebrides. Fingal’s Cave was another title that used. The piece premiered on May 14, 1832, in London and dedicated to the Crown Prince of Prussia, King Frederick William IV. William IV invited Mendelssohn to England shortly after the composer’s twentieth birthday in 1829, thus helping with the conception of the work.

Intended as a complete work itself the composition is labeled an overture, Hebrides Overture. The work also accompanies the Sibelius composition program as a demo piece, used in a scene in the cartoon “Race For Your Life Charlie Brown” and the ‘chase music’ in the radio serial “Challenge of the Yukon.”256px-Scotland-Staffa-Fingals-Cave-1900

Sep 212016

Looking for a piece of music for your woodwind quintet to play? My Woodwind Quintet No. 2 is now available to purchase. Written in 2016, Woodwind Quintet No. 2 is a joyful piece in Ab Major with a 6/8 meter. This 1 minute 58 second work can be used in small ensemble contests, concerts or other performances.  Click Here for more information. :)

Sep 212016

Excelsior! (1901), also known as The Prince of Magicians and The Magician and the Human Pump, is a short film by Georges Méliès. Music for this presentation is composed by Lisa Lenke Sousa. Excelsior is a Public Domain Film; however, the music, Woodwind Quintet No. 2 by Lisa Lenke Sousa, is not.  You can purchase this and other sheet music by Lisa through Sheet Music Plus. You can also support her through Patreon.

Mar 082016

Here is the music video from my latest composition. The film, Le Papillon Fantastique *The Spider and the Butterfly* is by Georges Mlis (from 1909) and it is  Public Domain.  The title of the music  composition is “Jonagold” from 2016. It is a joyful piece in 5/8 and features a string orchestra and an English horn solo.

Click Here to purchase and download Jonagold today!