Sir Roger Moore, who played 007 in seven James Bond movies, has died. The instant I heard the unfortunate news I also heard the James Bond Theme in my head. Continue reading “James Bond Theme for ukulele”
I watched “La La Land” with my high school classmate June and two of her children, one of whom delighted in figuring out the songs on the keyboard — by ear.
The tunes from the movie La La Land are catchy and sticky. I daresay all songs are played on the piano, and as such pianists everywhere will feel emboldened to figure out the notes. I am positively sure that one of the songs will get an Oscar. [Feb 27: in fact, this song did win the 2017 Oscar for best song from a movie!] Continue reading “City of Stars from La La Land”
A trained soprano approached me recently about adapting a famous Buddhist song, arranged for four-part voice, for a 45-person amateur choir, pianist, cello, and saxophone. Continue reading “Case Study: adapting music for amateur choir”
This past January, I introduced myself in Joel Katz‘s intermediate ʻukulele class by announcing that I was downsizing from the nine foot grand piano to the less than two foot ʻukulele. People laughed.
Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t giving up the piano by any means. Rather, I was embracing the ʻukulele. It has my namesake after all: KU in ʻukulele.
In truth, I didn’t know what I was getting into. A few of my music students had shared their love of the instrument. One even gave me a hand-built ʻukulele stand as a parting gift. Eventually I succumbed to my usual thirst for novelty and variety.
Anne Ku arranged a version of the popular Sinatra song Fly Me to the Moon for easy piano with full fingering and chords — and free download of the 2-page sheet music.
2015 is a year many Sinatra lovers will celebrate with songs that he made famous. One of these is a favorite among my piano students. Each year, a new pianist will ask to play “Fly Me to the Moon.”
From BEGIN’s Hana to Kina’s Hana, Anne Ku is on a quest for nostalgic songs of Okinawa.
No sooner than finding sheet music to BEGIN’s Hana, my retired Japanese language professor friend in California introduced an even more nostalgic song from Okinawa. It’s also called Hana. The composer is Kina Shoukichi (喜納昌吉).
Inspired by the 2014 documentary “Alive Inside,” Anne Ku tries to create a playlist for elderly residents by sight-reading popular music from different eras, TV themes, broadway, movies, and the charts.
The 78-minute documentary “Alive Inside” is a fascinating account of the effect of familiar music on eliciting memory in the elderly, awakening them from their otherwise passive state of being. Released in 2014, the film “follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.”