Fun at the July Potluck (with Photos and Video!)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 by Trevor Eisenman | Performances

Learning to play music is it's own reward; performing music for a crowd is a reward AND a thrill! Performing in public is important as it build perseverance, competence, encourages practicing more and a discipline that the show must go on - all of them important life skills. And performing can be lots of fun, too! 

With that in mind, increasing performance opportunities is of foremost importance at Fun Music School. In addition to 4 "official" recitals, we've started hosting open houses for students (and teachers!) inspired to share their gift with family, friends and neighbors. Casual fun in a casual setting! 

Sheila and Eric Zimmermann performed "A Million Dreams" from The Greatest Showman movie, and Ella W. had a special flute duet surprise for her dad, who didn't know she'd picked up flute recently, in addition to piano! In addition to being one of our most popular teachers, Sheila and her husband Eric have a wedding and event music company in Altadena, with a history of superb event/music services. 

Joshua Tate performed on piano and guitar, treating us to his unique (and amazing) covers of Coldplay, Adele and his original compositions. 

Special Guest Speaker

I'm all about added value! Life has a way of connecting the right people together, and I was excited to invite Amy Harms from the Chesterton School of Liberal Arts in Pasadena to come give us a brief introduction about this new school. America wouldn't be America without options, and considering how government school funding can skew the public school system's emphasis (and not onto the right areas), Chesterton brings a breath of fresh air to the educational community. Imagine a dedicated group of parents who step up to create the modern educational platform of their dreams, and you have the essence of Chesterton.  Parents were excited about what they heard, so don't miss them at the next potluck in August! 

NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: Fun Music School is the official music instruction service for Chesterton! We'll be starting music classes for them in the 2nd Semester (January 2019) as well as providing individual instruction, band, orchestra, etc. to collaborate bringing music back to a standard elementary and high school education. 

The next Open House & Potluck Performance will be at the end of August, on Friday the 24th, from 6-8pm. Existing students can register (if they want) on the school's online calendar. No RSVP needed, but please bring your favorite drink, snack, side dish or entree to share! 

Join us at the next potluck! 

Wishing you joy in music always, 

Trevor Eisenman
Managing Director

Potluck Still Photos

Flyer for July Potluck

Monday, July 23, 2018 by Trevor Eisenman | Performances

Featuring new Piano teacher Yumi Gardner and the vocal pyrotechnics of Joshua Tate (AKA Gericho)! Come join us for a great time, meet some of our teachers and enjoy the food and music. 

Why is a Piano Called a Piano?

Thursday, July 12, 2018 by Trevor Eisenman | Word History

The piano is said to be the most well-known and recognized instrument in the United States. But do you know why it is called a piano? Grand Piano by Yamaha

Most any musician will be able to tell you “piano” means soft in Italian. Well, ask any piano mover about pianos, and they will tell you a piano is anything but soft! They are big, heavy and made out of all kinds of wood - not Egyptian cotton. So why isn’t it called an “enormo-chord” or a “colossal-keyboard”?

Turns out, “piano” is the super-shortened name. The full name was pretty long: gravicembalo col piano e forte, or "harpsichord with soft and loud" ( this was back in the 1700’s), so “pianoforte” became the short name. In Italian, pianoforte translates literally to “soft-loud.” Eventually, as the piano evolved, the last half of the name was dropped off, but the instrument was still able to be loud and soft depending on the touch of the musician. This very practical name helped set apart the instrument from its ancestor, the harpsichord.

The harpsichord looks much like a piano, but the strings are plucked by a mechanism attached to the keys. So although the harpsichord look similar, the harpsichord is kind of like a table-top guitar and the piano is more like a percussion instrument. But due to this plucking action, the harpsichord was unable to play loudly or softly - it just had a consistent loudness. Not very dynamic! The pianoforte was able to be soft AND loud, which set it apart from earlier instruments.


Piano is an excellent foundational instrument for any musician, young or old! We have students as young as 3 or 4 who start with piano. Because the piano doesn’t require a lot of strength (unlike wind instruments such as trumpet or saxophone), and playing in tune doesn’t require extra skill (such as violins do), anyone can learn to play a song quickly. So it’s more fun! Learning music theory on a piano can usually be translated to another instrument so the investment of time is well worth it.

To register for a free introductory piano lesson, click HERE

Interested in another instrument or singing? We have experienced teachers for all instruments and ages. Flexible scheduling for lessons in our La Crescenta studios or choose the convenience of in-home lessons.