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PA Posts by Month & Year

SuiteLinks: April 19

chains-347689-sIn this SuiteLinks: Kovacevich endures, Steinway via Montblanc, Randomnopédie, Creativity & jazz players, Participation vs presentation, and more!


Kovacevich endures

Cage: rules for students and teachers

Patron of Art, Steinway via Montblanc

Being a professional

Multi-media exchange platform introduced

Participation vs presentation

Archive recording = record fundraiser

Piano Man attends tribute concert by elementary school kids

Inside an instrument

Creativity and jazz players



PA Shorts: Finding Waldo

waldo web“You need to find Waldo,” I said. It was true. Maggie was working on polishing the Bartok Sonatina and it needed character, action, detail, and nuance to truly come to life.

We talked about how there are so many details in each Waldo illustration that tell the story of exactly where Waldo is. There is always a sense of action. There are Egyptian slaves lifting up pyramids to sweep the dust under them, waiters spilling drinks on customers, umbrellas collapsing on people, cattle escaping from steam trains, museum paintings coming to life, Roman lions climbing into the stands, and cave men riding bucking broncos.

The coolest thing about the Waldo books is that when you just look for Waldo it is often impossible to find him, but, when you allow yourself to get lost in all the wonderful and silly details, he practically jumps off the page.

What if we looked at our music like that???


SuiteLinks: April 12

In this SuiteLinks: Chasing pianos, Wang & Hough talk, On creativity & talent, Concerto debut at 51, and more!

Wang on piano, conductors, & laundry

Talent hotbeds

Lisitsa: Chasing Pianos

10 Reasons to Hug Your Accompanist

Concerto debut at 51

What creative people do

Hough on playing, programming, & life

Get Saavy Workshop

New piano . . . → Read More: SuiteLinks: April 12


Great Finds: Rhythm Cups, On Staff, & Jelly Note

Rhythm Cup Explorations: Wendy Stevens There’s a cup craze going around and Wendy Stevens is, as usual, using a craze to her advantage—this time to reinforce rhythms. Expect a great deal of laughter and silliness with these activities. They are great one on one or in groups. And, if you don’t know her Rhythm Menagerie . . . → Read More: Great Finds: Rhythm Cups, On Staff, & Jelly Note


SuiteLinks: April 5

In this SuiteLinks: How many cyclists does it take to haul a piano?, Mad pianist John Ogden, Machine of Dreams exhibition, Myra Hess & the duty of artists, and more!

Honorary doctorate for Lang Lang

How many cyclists does it take to haul a piano?

Music essay gets student into every Ivy League school

Slow . . . → Read More: SuiteLinks: April 5


Those Awkward Disappointments

Zack Rosenblatt / Arizona Daily Star

Last Saturday night, after our Wildcats lost to San Diego by a single point in overtime, there was a scuffle between students and police. Bottles were thrown. Words were exchanged. It made the national news. Awkward.

The “riot” was the talk of the town and the next day, . . . → Read More: Those Awkward Disappointments


SuiteLinks: March 29

In this SuiteLinks: Pianists as super-athletes, The Schindler of music, St Paul’s announces first female organist appt., New piano faculty at Juilliard, How a homeless student got to Carnegie Hall, Backyard soundproof piano shack, The case against music rubrics, and more!

How a homeless student got to Carnegie Hall

An afternoon of Puzzlers

1st female . . . → Read More: SuiteLinks: March 29


Remix: Earthquakes, Bright and Shiny Objects, One Speed Ponies, & Time Travel

Pieces have been chosen. Dates have been set. Arrangements have been made. Yep, we are working toward spring masterclasses, recitals, and end of the year piano exams all right. In the last few months, nearly everyone who has walked in the studio door has had issues with rhythm. Cosmic unity? Sunspots? The after effects of . . . → Read More: Remix: Earthquakes, Bright and Shiny Objects, One Speed Ponies, & Time Travel


SuiteLinks: March 23

In this SuiteLinks: Broadway re-imaginings, Dueling pianos via hologram, It’s All About Piano 2014, Benefits of teaching chamber music, Bloggers vs. critic, and more!

Broadway re-imaginings

Bloggers vs. critic

Politically correct warning labels

Eviction notice to beach piano man

10 worst things about being a pianist

Dueling pianos via hologram

Bringing classical piano to life

. . . → Read More: SuiteLinks: March 23


Letting Distraction Go

There are times when all of us are easily distracted by bright and shiny objects—diamonds, texts, emails, the slip of a finger, the person sitting in the front row, your next blog post… Have you ever woken up in the middle of a practice session and found that suddenly you have no idea how the . . . → Read More: Letting Distraction Go


SuiteLinks: March 15

In this SuiteLinks: Glazer at 99, Montero speaks out for country, Piano store owner survives blast, The Bach Machine, and more!

Interview with Frank Glazer at 99 (video)

Piano store owner survives blast

The lyrical Alexeev

Missing portrait of Bach seen again

Beatles’ piano to fetch handsome price

Piano transcription & orchestral versions contrasted

Montero . . . → Read More: SuiteLinks: March 15


Artist Portrait: Ola Gjeilo

Say hello to composer and pianist Ola Gjeilo. Ola’s concert works are performed all over the world and he recently finished a residency with the Phoenix Chorale. Both of his piano albums have been recognized for a wonderful spontaniety contrasted with contemplative melodic lines and rich harmonies. We audio chatted over Skype to bring you . . . → Read More: Artist Portrait: Ola Gjeilo


SuiteLinks: March 8

In this SuiteLinks: Musical hair from Old Spice, Wooden treasure chests, Lots of piano and sports, Response from Japan’s deaf composer, How Oscar winning movie on Herz-Sommer came about, and more!

Musical Hair does keyboard requests (only with Old Spice)

Almost a great?

French musicians: heroes or collaborators?

Pianists as athletes

Trifonov caresses and thunders

. . . → Read More: SuiteLinks: March 8


Taking My Own Medicine

Last Wednesday evening I played a recital with Soprano Cynthia Sanner. It was a privilege to play the repertoire she had chosen—some works were new to me and others I had played before. I enjoyed looking at familiar pieces with new eyes and viewpoints and delving into the unfamiliar. The major highlight for me was . . . → Read More: Taking My Own Medicine


SuiteLinks: March 1

In this SuiteLinks: Hear the Van Cliburn memorial concert, Oppens at 70, On the uses of piano benches, Cliburn memorial replay, Meet Blind Boone, and more!

Oppens at 70

The big deal about Horowitz

Taking time to play

Late musical testaments

On the uses of piano benches

Suite for healing

Embracing jazz piano

Van . . . → Read More: SuiteLinks: March 1


PA Shorts: On Forging A Personal Musical Connection

I’m always encouraging students to find something personal in their music—something from their own lives and experience. Often, they look at me like I have lobsters crawling out of my ears. But, I made this practice chart, they say. Should I use my third finger here? Why doesn’t (name your pianist here) follow the dynamics . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: On Forging A Personal Musical Connection

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