Give Thanks Piano

Posted by Piano Mother on 11/25/2021 to Popular Songs
As the year comes to a close, let us give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. While this past year may have been difficult for many of us, it is good to remember and express gratitude for the good things in our lives.

This Thanksgiving, I would like to share with you the song "Give Thanks (with a Grateful Heart)" by Henry Smith. Smith, in 1978, wrote the song after experiencing many difficulties in his life, particularly when finding work. Like Smith during the time of the song's conception, this past year may have been difficult for many of us, but, as the song title suggests, let us "[g]ive thanks with a grateful heart." Let us express gratitude for the many things we have been blessed with--our loved ones, our friends, the food we have on our tables, and the shelter over our heads. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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3 Comments

Peter Ma
Date: 11/25/2021
I seldom give online comments like this. But this time I feel obliged to do so, to thank you for perhaps incidentally & casually demonstrating how to do a run at the end of a phrase before moving on to the next, something I have always wanted to try doing yet without any concrete idea how to go about it, until today after viewing your performance. For information, I am doing it at normal tempo but double the time value for each note played (so less notes played per run). I guess that's OK as a start as long as the concept is grasped. Perhaps in future you can make a video on this subject at a slower tempo. Anyway, thanks again for having enlightened me, this time as well as during all those years in the past.
Marlene Brilz
Date: 11/25/2021
Yes, I feel the same. Maybe you could make a video on this subject at a slower tempo. I enjoyed that too. You have played this beautiful hymn very beautifully. Thanks.
Yoke
Date: 11/27/2021 11:24:15 AM
Thank you Peter and Marlene for your comments and suggestions. This video utilizes techniques that incorporate “Runs and Fillers”, dynamics, as well as “Rubato” playing (expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo of a piece). I am glad to see you are paying attentions to these techniques. With rubato playing, I usually pay less attention to the accuracy of the meter (4/4 in this case) but more in expressing my feeling and mood. You will notice I used crescendo (gradual increase in the loudness of a sound) and accelerando (gradually faster) at the beginning of my run. Toward the end of it I began to use ritardando (gradually decrease the tempo of the music) and decrescendo (gradual decrease in volume) to connect to the next musical phrase. Think of it as a train or locomotive power - it requires more force or inertia in the beginning to push and accelerate. It slows down toward the end of the passage. With the runs, I am applying notes or scale that belong to the key of the song. Since this song is played in the key of F major, I intentionally add in all the notes of F major scale, including Bb note which is a key differentiator between C major and F major. I think knowing your scale is a very important one when using runs and fillers. Here is a page that refresh our understanding of scales https://www.pianomother.com/major_scale.html. I think YouTube has a feature to let us slow down the video, it is shown on the top corner and you can adjust the speed to let it player slower or faster. Here is the link of this video: https://youtu.be/QufwLwX3Az0 Knowing this topic is of great interests to you, I will try to explain and articulate a bit more in the future videos. Have a great holiday seasons! Yoke
Peter Ma
Date: 12/3/2021
Thanks, Yoke, for the extra input. The expressive elements incorporated in this piece, including the changes in tempo & dynamics, were not noticed by me until explained in your response. In general, in written as well as performed music, there are so many aspects to take note of that a student may fail to notice everything at once. The material on major scales is not new to me. Especially useful is your tipping about the YouTube feature on playback speed. I can take advantage of it in future.

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