Author Archives: LaDona's Music Studio

About LaDona's Music Studio

Musician, pianist, teacher, blogger.

The Great Exam Experiment

I’m a believer in the piano exam system. It’s a motivator, it keeps teachers on track, it ensures students learn a wide range of repertoire style and technical and musical skills (depending on the particular exam system). Not insignificantly, it’s … Continue reading

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Congratulations are due

My daughter was part of the winning choir in their category at Young Prague 2014 last month. The announcement that the winning choir was “all the way from Canada” set off a storm of excited screams. Congratulations to the William Aberhart High … Continue reading

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Blow up your blog

Or, in my case: Practice the piano. Regularly. So many reasons to do this. Read more. The Great Pianists. Memoirs of a Geisha. The Lost World of Genesis One. Spend time – lots more time – with family and friends. … Continue reading

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A very generous policy

I stumbled upon this studio policy by a local teacher from a few decades back. I’m struck by the generosity, which overrides an attempt to keep some sense of studio management. This is an inspiration. Perhaps some of us have … Continue reading

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No tortoisian ambling, please

“Slow practice can be a complete waste of time if the mind is not working quickly. Simply to trawl through passages like a contented tortoise is a waste of the felt on your piano’s hammers. Good slow practice is more … Continue reading

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The luckiest person alive

“Every day, life is beautiful… Music is a dream… I felt this is the only thing that helps me have hope. A sort of religion. Music is God.” (Alice Herz-Sommer) Here’s an inspirational video about the oldest Holocaust survivor still … Continue reading

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Was it the piano or the pianist?

I recently went to a recital given by last year’s Honens winner Pavel Kolesnikov. It was on the new C. Bechstein piano recently acquired by the University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts. This was the piano’s debut. My interest … Continue reading

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Practice and listen and practice and listen

… and win a Nobel prize along the way. Especially if bassoon is your instrument. In an interview with Thomas Südhof, Nobel prize winner for medicine and physiology, his bassoon teacher gets the credit for teaching him how to do something … Continue reading

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Don’t leave it to chance

I’m big on intervallic note-reading. Once the students get started, they’re away. But they need to get started. And sometimes restart mid-stream. At some point they need the ability to identify cold any given note on the grand staff. And … Continue reading

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Go away. I’m practising.

  Painting by Berthe Morisot (France, 1841-1895). Image via Amanda Clyne.  

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Joie de vivre

Joie de vivre (noun): a feeling of happiness or excitement about life Major=happy; minor=sad. It’s how we usually introduce the concepts to the students. But this is too simplistic. The harmonies are only part of the picture. It’s the rhythm … Continue reading

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How To Pedal Chopin’s Waltzes

Another great session at the recent APTA Conference was Allen Reiser’s Chopin in 3/4 Time. The Waltzes and Mazurkas. How they’re the same – and different – and a few tips on how to teach and play them. One topic … Continue reading

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