Monthly Archives: February 2011

Let’s Pretend

Susan Griesdale, author of the Rhythm Practice booklet that I wrote about last week, has written quite a number of collections of piano pieces. Let’s Pretend is a book of 14 enchanting piano solos that captures the storytelling spirit of … Continue reading

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Those wretched finger numbers… Some questions in hindsight.

For years I diligently whited out finger numbers from the early method books, aside from the starting finger, thinking I was forcing my students to read the notes better. There is probably some validity in this, but my chickens have … Continue reading

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Rhythm Practice

The timing could not have been better. Two of my students (brother and sister) are arriving in an hour, eager to start the metronome exercises that I promised them at the last lesson. I was mulling over the worksheets I … Continue reading

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APTA Workshop

A good crowd of piano teachers braved the frigid February weather to attend an APTA workshop this morning. Katrina Thompson Fost, a teacher here in Calgary, ¬†gave a well-organized, thoughtful, well-presented session titled “Miles in Minutes.” She discussed the planning … Continue reading

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From The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin, subtitled J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece. The great Mstislav Rostropovich, late in his career, with reluctance finally recorded all six of Bach’s cello suites. He explained his … Continue reading

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My Thoughts on Examinations

In Canada we have a deeply entrenched music examination system, as I know other countries do. It’s a system I’m on the whole quite thankful for but it does have its drawbacks for both the student and the teacher. Learning … Continue reading

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Artistry Update

I am continuing in my exploration of the Artistry at the Piano series. In recent weeks I’ve read some of the Pedagogy Manual (download) and watched one of Mary Gae George’s DVDs (Teaching MUSIC… not notes). I’ve mentioned one student … Continue reading

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The Inventor and other Canadian Music

Last night we went to see Calgary Opera’s premiere production of The Inventor, a new Canadian opera. We are so fortunate to have an opera company that takes risks and promotes new works, especially by Canadians. This was the third … Continue reading

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Fourteen hours a day

“For 37 years I’ve practiced 14 hours a day, and now they call me a genius.” ~Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist and composer Image: a composers thoughts

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The Most Sublime Music

Bach composed and reharmonised pre-existing hymn melodies for the Lutheran church services. These 4-part choral harmonizations (371 of them) form a wonderful collection of hymns that speak to the soul. Usually found in the context of a cantata, they are … Continue reading

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