Category Archives: Inspirational

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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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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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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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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Don’t motivate. Inspire.

“I need you to motivate my daughter.” Red flag. Big Red flag. “She won’t practice. And she keeps telling me she won’t.” I accepted the student. I needed the money.  “She’s 13 and more interested in sports than music.” I’m … Continue reading

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The only calibration that counts

“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they … Continue reading

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The Back Room

It was a small war-time house with white wood siding and red trim. A few metres away sat a garage. The door was nearly falling off the hinges, barely protecting the navy blue VW bug inside. In June mature lilac … Continue reading

Posted in Inspirational, Music Videos, Performance, Piano pedagogy, Pianos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

“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

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“One note follows another with complete inevitability”

Leonard Bernstein plays through – on piano and with an orchestra – some fragments and sketches that Beethoven rejected when composing his Fifth Symphony. It’s a fascinating look at what might have been. Or might not have been. And it … 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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Joyous Goldbergs

A warm August morning. The foothills of southern Alberta still green, the majestic Rocky Mountains just ahead. It was a lovely, lonely stretch of highway. I was driving the car; my husband was just ahead of me cycling up the … Continue reading

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Clean. Simple. Deep.

We all do it from time to time. Attempt to rein in the stuff of life that has become clutter – physically, spiritually, professionally, emotionally. We need to. On the heels of last week’s comments about apps (and especially after reading … Continue reading

Posted in Business of Teaching, Inspirational, Studio News | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments