You Oughta Be In Pictures

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Flaming June, c.1895
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This bright tune was introduced in Paramount's 1941 motion picture "New York Town," which starred Mary Martin and Fred MacMurray. In 1951 it was revived by Doris Day in Warner's movie musical "Starlift." Written in 1934, words by Edward Heyman and music by Dana Suesse.

From the show "Ziegfield Follies Of 1934"

Little Jack Little & His Orch. - 1934
Rudy Vallee & His Connecticut Yankees - 1934 
The Boswell Sisters - 1934
Also recorded by: Ray Conniff Singers; Sammy Kaye & His Orch.; Roy Fox & His Orch.; Eddie Miller & His Orch.

This arrangement is so easy to play.
Here's the chord chart I have, arranged by Phil Gaberman in the Key of C.
 C                               F#dim
You oughta be in pictures, 
 Dm7    G
You’re wonderful to see, 
 Dm   G
You oughta be in pictures, 
 C                   Dmsus4    G7+5
Oh what a hit you would be! 
 C                                  C   F#dim
Your voice would thrill a nation, 
 Dm7  G
Your face would be adored, 
You’d make a great sensation 
 C                                Baug     B7
with wealth and fame your reward; 
 Em  G+                Em          G+
And if you should kiss the way you kiss, 
 Em           G+    A9
When we’re alone, 
 G     Em              Am9     D7
You’d make ev’ry girl and man 
         Am9            D7               G7
A fan worshiping at your throne. 
 C                                       F#dim
You oughta shine as brightly 
 Dm7  G
As Jupiter and Mars; 
 Dm7   G             Dm
You oughta be in pictures, 
 G7  Dm  G7  C
My star of stars. 
As 2012 nears the end, I wanted to wish you and yours Joy for the new year. I hope it's a year of praise!
With Love, 

"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Merry Christmas!

It's been a wonderful year, sharing songs with you. Wishing you the best in taking your piano playing to the next level. Have a Merry Christmas!

Just in case you need some last minute music sheets, here are some links for free Christmas music downloads, for those who read music notes. For others, just looking at the key signature will help you determine the chord progressions. Those playing by ear will listen for the tonal note, that dominant key note they hear being sung throughout a song. In any case, fill your lives with music. It just makes you feel good!

Thanks to Pianoanne:

Still Still Still / Away in a Manger
Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella / Good Christian Men Rejoice
Ding Dong Merrily on High / Deck the Halls
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / O Come O Come Emmanuel

And, Christmas lead sheets for teens

Thanks to Color In My Piano:

List of free Christmas music for students on the web

Many of you have asked for future posts on music theory instruction, altered chords, modulation and video tutorials from me. Thank you all for your many emails and encouraging comments. Stay tuned for an exciting New Year ahead!


"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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7 Ways Every Child Can Benefit From Music Lessons

piano lessons

Guest post by Carol Watson of

 As public school systems slash budgets and eliminate musical education programs around the country, more and more parents are forced to find private musical instruction for their children. For parents who aren’t sure if the benefits of musical lessons justify the added expense and hassle, here are seven of the scientifically-proven benefits of music education.
  1. Enhanced Abstract Reasoning Skills – Abstract reasoning skills, which play a crucial role in the development of mathematical and scientific aptitude, are markedly enhanced by musical instruction, according to a 1997 study stating that early childhood music education has a positive physiological impact. Children who actively participate in band or orchestra, or who have pursued private musical instruction, also tend to have higher math and science scores in adolescent and teenage years.
  2. Stronger Cognitive Processes – A Henrich Heine University study reported findings that exposure to music enhances the cognitive process, boosting language and reasoning abilities. After studying the undergraduate majors of medical school students, noted physician and biologist Lewis Thomas also discovered that 66% of music majors who applied to medical school went on to be accepted, the highest percentage of any group.
  3. Higher Standardized Testing Scores – On average, students with musical instruction and performance experience scored up to 57 points higher on verbal portions of the SAT and 41 points higher on the math portion than their peers with no musical background, according to the College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001.
  4. Increased Likelihood of Finishing High School and Attending College – Several studies, including one conducted in Florida in 1990, indicated that music, art and drama programs in public schools helped children to feel more involved with their school, and fostered a sense of community with like-minded fellow students that positively influenced their decision to stay in school. Similarly, a 2007 Harris Interactive poll suggests that 88% of those holding graduate degrees have a background in music education.
  5. Reduced Likelihood of Drug and Alcohol Abuse – The 1998 Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report revealed that secondary students who were actively involved with band or orchestra reported the lowest current and lifetime rates of drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has also issued a list of factors they believe could reduce the risk of adolescent and teen substance abuse; among them was success in school and involvement with school organizations. Children who are active participants in band, orchestra and other musical activities may face a significantly lower risk of addiction.
  6. Greater Self-Discipline – A paper entitled “Music Linked to Reduced Criminality”, which was released by MuSICA Research Notes in 2000, examined a group of Rhode Island natives from infancy to age 30. The study discovered a significantly diminished arrest rate among those who had been involved in music and musical education. The dedication, determination and willingness to sacrifice free time for practice and performance fosters a strong sense of self-discipline in a child, which may lead to a lower likelihood of anti-social behavior.
  7. Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem – Developing and mastering new skills dramatically boosts kids’ confidence and self-esteem. Through musical instruction, children are constantly learning new skills, improving them, and sharpening them to excellence.
Whether your child is enrolled in private music instruction, or is fortunate enough to attend a school that still offers a music program, the benefits of a music education are undeniable.

Thanks Carol for the valuable information from your article.

Piano Diana will be taking a break next Monday, Christmas Eve, but wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and many blessings for the New Year! 

Keep playing those beautiful Christmas songs, posts from my other blog,

Do You Hear What I Hear

O Come All Ye Faithful

Joy To The World

Away in the Manger

Angels We Have Heard On High


"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Silent Night: Jazz Piano

Tejas Nair Photography Silent Night
Tejas Nair Photography Silent Night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found a great artist through Neil A. Kjos Music Company. Larry Minsky published some great music, Jazz Impressions Of Christmas. In this particular book that was written in 1997, he's listed 6 songs for Level Five. I thought I'd share the easiest song to learn first, Silent Night.

First, let me tell you a bit about the composer.

Larry Minsky attended Queens College in New York and received his B.A. in political science. During this time his interest turned toward music and he studied theory and composition with Sol Berkowitz at the Aaron Copland Music School in New York. After graduation he made music his choice of career.

Larry's active professional career included performing in many rock bands, jazz bands, and in restaurants and clubs as a soloist. In addition to performing at famous New York restaurants and hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, Larry also performed with his own band called "Rhapsody." Concurrently, he continued to study both jazz and classical music with top New York instructors.

Larry lives near Orlando, Florida, where he teaches private students and continues to perform. His article on teaching jazz piano was published in the December 1993 issue of Clavier. His books Language of Jazz, Shades of Jazz, Impressions of Jazz, Reflections of Jazz, and Images of Jazz are published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company.

So, here are the chord progressions to Silent Night.

Silent night, holy night
G13            C6/9
All is calm, All is bright
F6/9                 C6/9   
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child
F6/9              C6/9
Holy Infant so Tender and mild,
G13                 C6/9
Sleep in heavenly peace,
C6        G13     Abmaj7  Dbmaj7   Cmaj7
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Let's take a look at these chords and see what you're playing here.

L.H. / R.H.

C6/9 = EGAD/G

G13 = FABE/D

C6/9 = EGAD/G

F6/9 = F/ACDG

C6/9 = EGAD/G

F6/9 = ACDG/A

C6/9 = EGAD/G

G13 = FABE/D

C6/9 = EGAD/C

C6 = A/EGC

G13 = GF/BEG

Abmaj7 = AbEb/GC

Dbmaj7 = DbAb/FC

Cmaj7 = CG/EGB

Enjoy playing this great song at this special time of year!


"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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History of German Music

A six-part fugue from The Musical Offering, in...
A six-part fugue from The Musical Offering, in the hand of Johann Sebastian Bach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 At Christmas time, I often listen to Handel in the background while writing posts. I have always loved all genres of music, especially jazz but I find classical music so relaxing while I'm typing. Now, some of you have asked me about German composers, so I thought I would talk about that here.

Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Wagner wrote some of the most famous classical music. Even people who are not musicians recognize their melodies - like the theme from Beethoven's 5th Symphony or Moonlight Sonata. For centuries, composers all over Europe learned from the music of these great German masters.

Early German Music

One of the first German composers that we know about is Hildegard von Bingen, a nun, who lived in the 1100s and composed mainly church hymns that had one line of music (this is called monophonic music).

During the Medieval times, Germany had singing poets called Minnesingers. They sang about love, and were like the French troubadours. Starting in the 14th century, the Meistersingers took over the tradition of singing poetry and even started poetry-singing schools across the country.

A new style of music called polyphony became popular in Germany during the early 1500s (the Renaissance period), mostly in church music. Martin Luther led a movement called the Reformation, which created a split with the Roman Catholic church and a big change in German music. Professional choirs usually sang in the catholic church services, while the congregation would sing hymns in Protestant church services. These hymns had beautiful, easy to sing melodies. Some of them were even based on folk tunes. This was also when the organ became an important instrument.


German baroque composers were often influenced by Italian music. German baroque composer Heinrich Schultz studied in Venice for two years and brought back many Italian musical styles. He wrote the first German opera Dafne as well as lots of church music. Georg Philipp Telemann and Johann Sebastian Bach were two other important Baroque composers in Germany. Although they did not travel to Italy to learn composition, they studied works of Italian masters and were inspired by their style. George Frideric Handel was born in Germany although he later went to Italy and England.

1700 and 1800s

During the 1700s C.P.E. Bach (one of the sons of J.S. Bach) helped German music change from the Baroque to Classical style. He was the author of an important book on keyboard technique, and Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven were all influenced by his ideas.

Ludwig van Beethoven wrote some of the most famous German melodies, including the Moonlight Sonata, Fur Elise, Symphony No. 5, and the Ode to Joy in his Symphony No.9. Beethoven's music shows the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era. His early works are Classical in style, while later compositions are Classical in style, while later compositions use more Romantic ideas. Many composers were influenced by Beethoven's magnificent symphonies and other works.

The Romantic Period produced many great German composers. Their music is emotional and full of lyrical themes and more complex harmonies. Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, all wrote piano, instrumental, chamber and vocal music and symphonies.

20th Century

At the turn of the 20th century Richard Strauss (no relation to Johann) was popular. Strauss wrote orchestral tone poems in a style influenced by Wagner, and Mahler composed intricate symphonies. Other important composers of the 1900s were Paul Hindemith, Carl Orff, and Kurt Weill.

monophony: music with only one line - a melody with no accompaniment.

polyphony: music with two or more melody lines. (Used in Medieval and Renaissance music.)

Eras in Music: dates are approximate

Medieval Period: 500-1450
Renaissance Period: 1450-1600
Baroque Period: 1600- 1750
Classical Period: 1750-1820
Romantic Period: 1820-1900

You may be interested in,

George Frederick Handel - Hallelujah Chorus - from Messiah - Sheet Music (Digital Download)

Johann Sebastian Bach - Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring: A Christmas or Easter Anthem (from Cantata B.W.V. 147) - Music Book

Beethoven - Ode to Joy

All Time Classical Christmas Music

Free ode-to-joy Sheet Music

Free midi and sheet music to Ode To Joy

Also, wanted to share an awesome giveaway to my friends!

Kind regards,

"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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