Monthly Archives: January 2013

The loneliness of the artist

In the Abbey de Cuxa in Prades, I spent several glorious hours with the master of the cello. Our rapport was instantaneous – he trusted me to carry his cherished instrument. I was so moved on listening to him play … Continue reading

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Go home and listen.

Go home and find a recording on Youtube. Just make sure it doesn’t say “this is me playing…”  It should be someone on a stage. Even better if it just shows an album cover with no video. My words to … Continue reading

Posted in Bach, Piano pedagogy, Pianos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Strike the head with a hammer.

I tell my students to make up a story for the pieces they play. There’s no right.  There’s no wrong. They might need a prompt. Engage the imagination and let them fly with it. No story any student comes up … Continue reading

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Too wild. Too free.

“The music of Africa is too wild, too free, too accustomed to death for romance. Africa is too crude a stage for the small scratching of the violin, too majestic for the piano. Africa is only right for drums. The … Continue reading

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Keep those tools sharp

So you want to be a better music teacher? A few suggestions: 1.Personal Renewal Attend a music education workshop, seminar, or conference Enroll in a university or college music course Private music study – with a teacher or on your … Continue reading

Posted in Piano pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

An ethical and practical choice. It defines us.

“Talent is the result of highly motivated, focused, relentless practice, expertly guided by a master, over a long period of time. Given sufficient amount of excellent practice, innate talent becomes indistinguishable from acquired talent… “The notion that talent has a … Continue reading

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“I want to play the Moonlight Sonata”

“As to choice in the study of your pieces, ask the advice of more experienced persons than yourself; by so doing, you will save much time.” ~Robert Schumann And then, for inspiration, listen to this. Listen – whether or not … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, Practice Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

YOU do the counting.

TTM: Talkative Teacher Mode. *Most teachers feel compelled to speak, as if explaining, defining, reminding, admonishing, outlining, encouraging, and a host of other “ings” were of paramount importance, all the time. It’s as if TTM… was a built-in feature of … Continue reading

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She laughed a lot.

She presided over the kitchen – the house – the whole farm. The wheat farm – acres and acres of rolling fields in Saskatchewan – where you can see forever. It seemed to me that Auntie Sylvia spent a lot … Continue reading

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A hidden sense of sorrows

“After playing Chopin,  I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own. Music always seems to me to produce that effect. “It creates for one … Continue reading

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Albinoni’s Adagio. A hoax.

Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751) did not write his famous Adagio in G Minor. He may or may not have written the fragment that was the inspiration for it. We’ll never know. Remo Giazotto spent his life (1910-1998) writing music, writing about music, … Continue reading

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You don’t have to understand music…

…to enjoy music. A warm, inspiring video about the enjoyment of music. A reminder to those of us who teach to not let the theoretical stuff crowd out the love and beauty and joy.  

Posted in Theory | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments