Category Archives: General

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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Go away. I’m practising.

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

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I’m home. We’re home.

My husband and I were welcomed as New Members at the Anglican Cathedral Church of the Redeemer this morning. I feel settled now. It’s been such a long round-about journey and finally, finally, I’m settled. My family and faith background … Continue reading

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When to apply for a piano exam

Apply for an exam when the student is ready.  Of course. But is this how we really operate? I know I usually do things backwards. We – teacher/student/parent – decide at the beginning of the year that we’ll plan on … Continue reading

Posted in Business of Teaching, Examinations, General, Piano pedagogy, Studio News | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Back to where I started. Kind of.

I didn’t mean to take things this far. It started when a friend sent me a list of top apps – some of which were for teaching music. I wrote about my take on apps and the direction I seem … Continue reading

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“You think about the music … how lucky you are to be performing it”

There was an amusing interview with pianist Mitsuko Uchida in The Guardian last month. I happily discovered I share a couple of non-piano passions with her – the Tour de France and sudoku (“It keeps your mind alert but with … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, General, Inspirational, Performance, Quotes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Music from the head

“The new kind of music seems to create not from the heart but from the head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity to make their works exalt – they meditate, protest, analyze, reason, calculate and … Continue reading

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The silence and the sound

Sadness gives depth.  Happiness gives height.  Sadness gives roots.  Happiness gives branches.  Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth.  Both are needed, and the … Continue reading

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I emerge along with the bats

“I tend to follow a very nocturnal sort of existence, mainly because I don’t much care for sunlight. Bright colours of any kind depress me, in fact, and my moods are more or less inversely related to the clarity of … Continue reading

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Zero to (grade) 6 in 34 (months)

Three years minus two months. From no knowledge of the keyboard to the successful completion of Grade 6. August, 2010 – a call from a mom looking for a history teacher for her 15-year-old daughter, who was working on grade … Continue reading

Posted in General, Piano pedagogy, Sight Reading, Studio News | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

The brain zaps; the spirit soars.

Exposure. It’s all about exposure. And knowledge. Expose your ears, your eyes, your brain, your heart to new stuff. Then things happen. The music, the art, the literature, the architecture all become less unfamiliar. You see and hear the patterns. … Continue reading

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