Edna Mae Burnam

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Edna Mae Burnam
Interview Date: July 14, 2003
Job Title: Composer
Company: Willis Music
Birthdate: September 15, 1907
Deceased: April 28, 2007

Edna Mae Burnam authored the now classic piano training books “A Dozen a Day” to help beginners learn in a fun and meaningful way. Her books have been critical to millions of young pianists around the world for over 60 years. Edna Mae wrote her first song back in 1935 but was more interested in teaching music than penning a top hit. While she continued to write pop songs she worked on her idea of providing very basic learning tools for those sitting down to the piano for the first time. Over the years she changed the way early piano books were written, which included her own drawling of stick figures acting out the sounds and titles of the exercises such as “Kicking Right Leg Up,” “Backward Bend” and “Skipping.” Her introduction to the idea of the books was simple, “Many people do exercises every morning before they go to work. Likewise – we should give our fingers exercises every day before we begin our practicing.” She followed her first series with several other method books including the “Step By Step” series and “Modern Sounds of Music.”

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