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Eighth Note Harmonic Intervals

posted by Robert Jontz   [ updated ]

We have some great resources here at the store to help students understand how music in constructed. The theory workbooks from Ultimate Music Theory are especially helpful if a student is taking the Royal Conservatory written exam. Don't forget to get the answer key, too. Enjoy the article below from Ultimate Music Theory.

Eighth Note Harmonic Intervals – 3 Rules & 4 Mistakes

It’s one thing to write Eighth Note Harmonic Intervals (one note directly above the other) but it’s a little different writing Eighth Note Harmonic Intervals when it’s a harmonic 2nd.

eighth note harmonic intervals - 2ndThere are 3 rules to learn that will help us avoid 4 common mistakes when writing Eighth Note Harmonic Intervals.

Rules change when writing harmonic 2nds using eighth notes.

Do your students ever get confused when writing Eighth Note Harmonic Intervals of a 2nd? You have to consider the flag and the stems and the noteheads.

Sounds like a song out of The Wizard of Oz – Flags and Stems and Noteheads, Oh My!

Writing Eighth Note Harmonic Intervals of a 2nd involves not only proper placement of the noteheads, it also involves proper placement of the flag and the stem.

So first, let’s learn the 3 Rules:

  • Rule #1 – Eighth Note Flag to the Right Rule

In Prep 1 Rudiments on Page 41, we learn:  An Eighth Note is written as a Quarter Note with a Flag. Follow the Stem Rules. The flag always goes to the right.

  • Rule #2 – Eight Note Stem Length Rule

In Prep 1 Rudiments on Page 41, we also learn: The end of the flag does not touch the notehead.

  • Rule #3 – Harmonic Second Notehead Placement Rule

In Prep 1 Rudiments on Page 87, we learn: An interval of a 2nd is a step. It is always written one note beside the next, space to line or line to space. The lowest note of a 2nd is written on the left, with the higher note written on the right.

Students learned these rules in Prep 1 Rudiments, so writing Eighth Note Harmonic Seconds should be simple, right? In my 35+ years of teaching, it is my experience that students like to ignore rules, especially when they have to consider more than one rule at the same time. (Anyone else have that experience?)

4 Mistakes – Writing Eighth Note Harmonic Intervals of a 2nd

harmonic interval 8th note flagsMistake #1 – A Stem Up is used for the Stem Up note and a Stem Down is used for the Stem Down note. When writing an Eighth Note Harmonic Second, the stem is written in the direction of the note furthest away from the middle line.

Mistake #2 – The Flag is on the left of the stem. When writing an Eighth Note Harmonic Second, the flag is always on the right of the stem. Always. No exceptions.eighth note harmonic 2nd - line to space

Mistake #3 – Two Stems and Two Flags are used on the Harmonic Second. The correct way to write an Eighth Note Harmonic Second is with one stem (in the middle of the two noteheads) and one flag (flying to the right of the stem).

Mistake #4 – The Flag touches the noteheads. When writing an Eighth Note Harmonic Second correctly, the flag must never touch either of the noteheads.

Yes, I know – in “printed music”, it often looks like the eighth note flag is touching the notehead. That is because the standard “printed” length of the stem with a flag is the same for a stem down and a stem up note. Unfortunately, when writing a stem down note, the flag ends up running into the notehead.

by Shelagh McKibbon-U’Ren, UMT

Music Theory

posted Mar 17, 2014, 2:12 PM by Robert Jontz

We have some great resources here at the store to help students understand how music in constructed. The theory workbooks from Ultimate Music Theory are especially helpful if a student is taking the Royal Conservatory written exam. Don't forget to get the answer key, too. Enjoy the article below from Ultimate Music Theory.

Dotted Notes – Harmonic Second Interval

dotted notes - harmonic half notesDotted notes – to dot or not to dot – that is the question.  Dotted notes used when writing an interval of a harmonic second do not not always follow the same rules as the placement of the dot after a note.  How do we figure out where to place the dot? Where is the correct placement of the dot on dotted notes?

To create Dotted Notes, we always write the dot in the space above the line for a line note – right? Wrong.

Yes, once again there is a special instance when we do not follow the Dot Placement Rule and that is when writing a Harmonic Second using dotted notes.

Dotted Notes

Dotted Notes are introduced in the Ultimate Music Theory Basic Rudiments Workbook and are required knowledge for the Basic Rudiments Theory Examination. In the Basic Rudiments Workbook on Page 17, we learn the Dot Placement Rule – the dot is written behind (after) the note in the same space for a space note and in the space above for a line note.
dotted notes - quarterUMT Tip: A dot placed after a note adds half the value of the note.

Dotted Notes – Harmonic Second Interval

The Harmonic Second Dot Placement is unique. When writing a Harmonic Second using Dotted Notes, each note must have a dot.

When the lower note of the Harmonic Second is in a space, the dot is written to the right of the notehead:

  • In the space beside the note for the lower space note.
  • In the space above the note for the upper line note.

dotted notes - space to line harmonic 2ndHere is where it gets tricky.

When the lower note of the Harmonic Second is on a line, the dot is written to the right of the note head:

  • In the space below the note for the lower line note.
  • In the space beside the note for the upper space note.

dotted notes - line note harmonic 2We cannot write both dots in the space above the notes. Why? Because two dots in the same space creates a Double Dotted Note – the first dot adds half the value of the note and the second dot adds half the value of the first dot.

Double Dotted Notes are introduced in the Ultimate Music Theory Intermediate Rudiments Workbook and are required knowledge for the Intermediate Rudiments Theory Examination.

So, as much as we want to have our students stand up, place their right hand on their heart and swear to always place their dots in the space above the note for a line note, we can’t. *Sigh*.

Have you ever had that special student who has looked at you and said “But Teacher, you told me that a dot after dotted notes always goes in the space above the note for a line note and now you are telling me that it doesn't? Were you lying to me?” Yes, that happened to me.

Do you ever feel like you have to add the caveat when introducing a theory concept and state “this is the rule for now, but we may learn of an exception to the rule as you get more advanced”? And Yes, I do add that caveat!

by Shelagh McKibbon-U’Ren, Ultimate Music Theory

Some Upcoming events

posted Jan 14, 2014, 1:09 PM by Robert Jontz   [ updated Jan 14, 2014, 1:10 PM ]

In sports, the team members practice and then play in the games or perform their skills on the ice, in the snow, in the water, etc. Musicians practice and train just like that. In the spring and summer, there are opportunities to perform. Here are a few of the events coming up.

The Music Development Program 
Registration opens on January the 14th. It will be at UCF on May 18/19.
It is for all levels, all instruments including voice. Talk to your teacher if you would like to participate. Go to for more information.
The Music Development Program is brought to you by The Royal Conservatory. The Royal Conservatory is based in Canada and has been around over 100 years. The Royal Conservatory is an international music school so the students are earning a music certification by participating. There are two parts to the exam. There is the practical exam where the student plays required music and is tested on scales, ear training, etc. There is also a separate theory exam called the academic assessment. We host the written exam at Music N More and is held on a day different than the practical.

The Guild 
Is for piano only. The Guild is brought to you by the American College of Musicians. We will host it here at Music N More sometime in June. Go to for more information. Sign up here with Nancy Jontz. We will announce when registration begins.

Summer Symphony 
We will have the first ever Music N More Summer Symphony meeting once a week over the summer. Stay tuned for more details. Contact Nancy Jontz if you are interested!

Shop Small November 30th

posted Nov 21, 2013, 9:45 AM by Robert Jontz   [ updated Nov 21, 2013, 9:45 AM ]

Don't miss this special offer from American Express.
Earn money when you Shop Small on Small Business Saturday:Nov. 30th with your American Express Card at Music N More!

Step 1. Register your eligible card at It opens 12am MST on Nov 24, 2013 and continues until 11:59 PM MST on Nov 30, 2013. Unless registration limit is reached sooner.

Step 2. Use the registered Card On Nov 30th to spend $10 or more in a single, in-store transaction at all business locations that appear on the Small Business Saturday Map. (That would be Music N More, especially! but other places, too) Online transactions do not qualify.

Step 3. Get a one-time $10 statement credit for that transaction from American Express within 90 days after Nov 30, 2013.

This would be a great time to stock up on music or instrument supplies!

As always, thanks for supporting you local music store!

Intro to piano

posted Sep 27, 2013, 1:28 PM by Robert Jontz

This video is from Bonnie Pantely, a local teacher, showing off a method book series for young kids. This method book series is one that Bonnie wrote herself. We sell this series as well as some helpful accessories here in the store.

Our New Teacher

posted Jul 19, 2013, 2:53 PM by Robert Jontz   [ updated Jul 19, 2013, 2:53 PM ]

Meet Melissa Meghdadi, a piano teacher and the latest addition to our staff.

Melissa Meghdadi , a native of Orlando, FL, earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano
Performance from the Mannes College of Music in New York, NY, and Master of Music in Piano Performance from Florida State University. Further studies were pursued at both the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow, Russia  and the Rachmaninov State Conservatory in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Melissa was a featured soloist with the Shreveport Symphony
 Orchestra, Shreveport, LA after placing in the finals at the Nina Wideman PianoCompetition. She has also placed as a finalist in many other competitions. Melissa has been teaching in Atlanta for many years and recently moved back to Florida to be near family.
Ms. Meghdadi specializes in teaching young children how to cultivate their musical skills through a patient and nurturing approach. Her greatest attribute is finding the music that excites her students and motivates them to practise. Most often this includes teaching current popular music, arrangements, adaptions, and the like. Many of her students have studied with her for the duration of their entire 12 years of schooling. She encourages her students to participate in recitals, festivals, and local competitions in which many of her students have received high ratings. Melissa  doesn’t push a performance if a student declines to do so, however. 

We are having so much fun around here!

posted Jun 10, 2013, 1:47 PM by Robert Jontz

An update from head teacher, Prof. Nancy:

We are having so much fun around here! The students are winning awards, playing for the public, playing for their families, playing for the school play, playing for the talent shows, and playing just for fun! 

How about that Piano Quartet! They won a State Federation award in Jacksonville for the second year in a row! Congrats to Alejandra, Kamiah, Brinda, and Safin!

Here are a few more items of note from this month:
  • My son, Michael, earned his Eagle with the Boy Scouts and graduated from High School. Proud of You!
  • Elias starred as “Roger”, in his school production of “101 Dalmatians”.  Great job on the piano!
  • Devante was accepted to the Osceola School of the Arts. Congrats!
  • Diego was accepted into the gifted program in Orange County. Congrats! But we knew you were gifted already :)
  • Saumya played piano at her school’s concert.
  • The students scored lots of Superiors at the Federation Festival in February. There were high marks in the National Guild Auditions and the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program.
  • some of the students performed at the Fashion Square Mall, Saturday, June 8
Coming up at the end of this month:
The students will be performing at the Orlando Science Center from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, June 22, 2013. The exhibit at the Science Center is the Blue Man Group. Visitors can play songs on those strange PVC pipe instruments and experiment with the Science of Sound. Our students will be performing and giving presentations on the Science of Sound with their own “Blue Man” spin on their performances.

Sneak Preview of the Science Center: 

See someone play the piano while doing a back bend over the bench….  A character from the Star Wars Trilogy playing the theme from “Star Wars” on the piano….. There are some incredible student presentations you will not want to miss.

Be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page or the events calendar for other updates and events.

The Teachers Continued...

posted Feb 1, 2013, 11:03 AM by Robert Jontz   [ updated Apr 10, 2014, 11:41 AM ]

Antonio is one of our piano teachers who has been working with us a long time, and we are proud to present some of his background information. 

Antonio Brett
    Antonio Brett was born and raised in Cuba, and started learning music in his early teens, the piano in particular. Antonio's love for music took him to study everything in music and after several years he graduated with a Masters degree in Piano Performance.
    Antonio worked as theory instructor in the Habana Conservatory and later as piano instructor. He gave piano recitals at different venues like the Habana University, the National Library, etc. Antonio has also worked at the National Concert Agency, the Superior Institute of Arts, and at the same time has composed and done music arrangements for the Cuban radio and TV ensembles.
    In 1994, Antonio came to the USA and since then has taught at the University of Central Florida, Valencia Community College, Music N More, as well as performed at Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel as part time piano soloist and other venues.
    In Cuba, Antonio was honored an award by the National Guild of Writers and Artists and in USA by the American Society of Composers and Publishers, the ASCAP.
    In recent years, He's been composing, most of the time on requests of fellow performers. This last semester, The Valencia Singers premiered a choral work of his titled “I’ve Known Rivers”, based on the famous poem by Langston Hughes.

Name Change for The Achievement Program

posted Jan 22, 2013, 8:57 AM by Robert Jontz

The following is from the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory press release on January 14, 2013.

National U.S. System of Music Study and Achievement To Be Called
The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, 
Beginning with Spring 2013 Assessment Session

(January 14, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada & New York, NY)—Carnegie Hall and The Royal Conservatory today jointly announced a change to the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program (The Achievement Program), the national system of music study and assessments created by the two organizations, establishing a national standard for musical achievement for people of all ages studying music privately in the United States. 

Since The Achievement Program’s launch two years ago, an enthusiastic community of more than 4,000 teachers and more than 150 Founding Schools has grown nationwide.  More than 6,000 Achievement Program assessments were taken by US students last year as they aspired to excellence, tracking their musical growth along with peers across the country.

With this standard now becoming established nationwide, starting immediately with the registration for the Spring 2013 assessment period, The Royal Conservatory will become solely responsible for the program, overseeing management and administration of assessments in the US.  The new name for the program will be The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. 

At the same time, Carnegie Hall will place increased focus on the expansion of a number of other national and international music education programs already in progress.  This includes major new young artist training initiatives such as the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, a program announced in 2012, now preparing to officially launch in summer 2013, and Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program, which provides free music education curriculum materials and other resources to a growing number of orchestras across the US and around the world, helping them to connect with students in their local schools.

Past participation and records for students and teachers in The Achievement Program will automatically transfer and be recognized by The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program and all operational and programmatic elements will remain the same. Registration for the May/June 2013 assessments will begin tomorrow, January 15, and will remain open through February 18.

“We’re all very proud of the growing participation in this program as students and teachers have embraced the value of having a national standard of musical achievement in the US,” said Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall.  “Since our launch, we have all achieved so much together.  We’re grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to advance this program across the country.” 

Dr. Peter Simon, President of the Royal Conservatory, stated “We believe in the transformative power of music and the many benefits to society that are derived by greater participation. Quality music education delivers profound value, not just in early childhood development, but also as a lifelong learning pursuit. We are committed to ensuring Americans have access to that education through The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. We thank Carnegie Hall for their partnership in this initial phase, and their support of this vital work.”

The Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program was launched in 2011 to provide a national standard for musical achievement, offering a sequential course of study from beginner through advanced levels for people of all ages studying music. Modeled on the acclaimed examination system of The Royal Conservatory in Canada, which assesses 100,000 students annually in communities across the country, the program was created in response to feedback from parents and teachers throughout the US, requesting a top-quality nationally-recognized system to track students’ musical progress and celebrate their accomplishments.

The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program will continue to be centered on regular assessments for students—one-on-one adjudicator-to-student performance evaluations that also function as valuable teaching and learning opportunities. In each performance assessment, a certified professional adjudicator evaluates a student’s performance of repertoire, studies (etudes), and musical proficiency skills. Assessments are offered for the majority of acoustic instruments; voice; and the academic subjects of music theory, music history, and pedagogy. Students of all ages can participate in the program in communities across the United States. 

Registration opens tomorrow for Spring 2013.  Information and location of assessment centers can be found on

Thanksgiving Week

posted Nov 16, 2012, 11:43 AM by Robert Jontz

Just a reminder that we will be closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday November 22nd. But we will be open Black Friday. We will be offering 20% off all sheetmusic, accessories, and gift items in stock on November 23rd only.

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