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Why music and piano? The question has come up many times over the years, asked by relatives, teachers and mentors, and people in business who clearly thought I needed a real job. When I was younger, I used to answer, as in the Lincoln commercial, “I just like it.” I myself have asked many students that question and mostly they give me similar answers.

Liking music, feeling great when you play, getting away from your troubles, etc. are great reasons to pursue an instrument, or create any form of art if you are not a professional. But, if you are pursuing a musical career then there is more to it.

Researcher Leonid Perlovsky theorizes that one of the primary purposes of music making evolved in in humans is to overcome contradictions. Humans are good at suppressing opposing beliefs that cause anxiety and confusion (cognitive dissonance).

“While language splits the world into detailed, distinct pieces, music unifies the world into a whole.” (Leonid Perlovsky)

I have known throughout my career that artists reveal truths. I have tried to do this in my teaching by helping students delve into the deeper meanings in their repertoire and connect it to their lives. But, I had recently begun to worry how I. who really can no longer perform, could now possibly have a musical candle to light.

Then, I got an email from the Musical Instrument Museum, the world’s only global instrument museum. They had heard about my arrangements of music from around the world and wanted to carry them in their gift shop.

I was so busy preparing the first volume that it took about 10 days before I realized that this opportunity was the very candle I was afraid I had lost.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

 

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