HISTORY BEHIND MAKING MUSIC FUN
Sometimes inspiration strikes when you least expect it.
For Jane Harrison Calder, that was certainly the case in the summer of 1992. Jane, who had been teaching piano lessons for more than four decades, was helping a 10-year-old student play a B Major scale. This particular student, Mary Jo, was very bright by nature, but simply had a hard time with sharps and flats.
In a flash of inspiration, Jane took Mary Jo’s scale book, grabbed a nearby marker, and made all the notes to be sharped red. She explained what she had done, handed the scale book back to Mary Jo, and remarkably this young student played the scale flawlessly.
In that moment Jane realized there might be other young piano students that have this same problem, and that if such a simple step had helped Mary Jo, surely it could help others.
And so began the task of creating a scale book that contained all the major scales and their three relative minors, arpeggios, inversions and chord progressions. In addition, in this revolutionary book - “Scales and Stuff” - the scales first appear in black and white, but then appear again with the notes to be sharped or flatted in red.
From there, several small miracles happened that helped Jane launch her music business that has been known as Making Music Fun the past two decades.
“It’s been a very amazing journey to this point,” Jane says of her music business. “There were so many things that fell into place as I was getting the business started. Really, I have to attribute much of my success to powers from above.
After her initial inspiration while teaching Mary Jo in 1992, a few months passed by as Jane pondered how to get her business off the ground. First she had to find a printer. A particular printer was recommended and she paid him a visit. The printer looked at her items and gave her a bid on a piece of paper. Somehow the bid ended up on her piano. Later that day a singer she accompanied dropped by to practice for a performance. As she sang she picked up the piece of paper with the bid and examined it. When the song ended she asked what the bid was for. After Jane explained, the singer said that the printing business was her “day” job and she could tell her just where to go. A little later Jane was at a party at a friend’s house when another of her friends innocently asked what she was doing these days. She told the friend that she had recently written a scale book and was trying to get it and some games published, when the friend said, “Let me lend you the money.” Shortly thereafter Jane, accompanied by her sister Suzanne, went to her very first National Music Teachers’ (MTNA) convention in Spokane, Washington. Things have been happily rolling along ever since.
From that one scale book and five games, Making Music Fun has blossomed into a company that offers music teachers a plethora of fun, innovative, motivating teaching aids, games and books which will greatly help even the highly challenged student understand the basics of music. Many prominent music teachers and composers are using these teaching aids, games and books from Making Music Fun in their own studios.