I went to San Diego last weekend to visit family. A friend of my daughter’s, who also happens to be a world class photographer, saw that I was wearing a turquoise heart and immediately took his own necklace off and put it around my neck. He told me that the stone is sacred to the . . . → Read More: Pa Shorts: A Lesson in Perfection
Last Thursday, film critic Roger Ebert lost his long battle with cancer. I was listening to a Fresh Air interview by Terry Gross and was struck by the following:
I went to see “La Dolce Vita” by Fellini, and that movie has been a touchstone for me, because when I saw it in 1960, there . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: As Time Goes By
I was perusing a discussion on one of the social media groups I belong to and was struck by a comment on resilience. The discussion concerned judges and whether certain types of comments are appropriate. One person was adamant that students needed to develop enough resilience not to be devastated by comments—even those that might . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Resilience
Last Saturday, I had the privilege of adjudicating for a piano competition about a 90 minute drive from here. The format was pretty much what you would expect: four divisions from elementary to advanced repertoire and 1st, 2nd, & 3rd prizes. The competition was open format with the pianists sitting together with the audience. But . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Competition With A Twist
I want to thank all you readers for perusing this blog and for putting up with and even encouraging my ramblings. I thought I’d list the top posts from 2012 and some cool things about where PA folks are from.
Top Posts (in no particular order)
Happy Little Trees
Thoughts on an Upcoming Competition
Duty . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Thanks For The Great Year!
Here are a few gems to help your days stay merry & bright. Thanks for reading and for your support and encouragement. I know pianists are always busy during the days leading up to Christmas. I hope you enjoy sitting back, watching, and listening to someone else do all the work.
Gabriela Montero improvs
How . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Merry 12 Days
When I was in middle school I was asked to play a solo in the winter program. It was a big honor. My teacher and I worked hard on my piece until it was the best it could be. I looked forward to the event with the feverishness of a 13 year old during the . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: How Charlie Brown Helped My Career
Last week, legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck passed away. In tribute I am posting links to some interesting things about his life and music that you may not already know.
My colleague, Janice Jarrett shared this treasured memory of the Brubecks:
I met Dave & Iola Brubeck when I was a road manager for a . . . → Read More: RIP Dave Brubeck
My husband sent me a link to an article by Ta-Nehisi Coates entitled, Learning a Foreign Language is Like Learning a Sport: The long road to not sucking at French.
It immediately resonated with me. After all, music is a language without words.
…I think people should be encouraged to continue their “Physical Education” throughout . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Substitute… Musical Education
The judge’s comment sheet read: “I’m sorry but the left pedal is not used for color. Good try anyway.” I read it again. It still said the same thing. What do you do when a judge is really far off base? Michael Gurt was short and to the point years ago when a teacher asked . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Say Whaaat???
Now that fall semester is really underway, we have reached that certain point (school started mid-August here) when I need a dose of silliness. So here is a dose of classic ridiculousness from Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and The Goon Show gang. The first video is a slapstick detective story and the second involves moving . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Just For Fun
Remember my story wherein Teacher 42 became so uncomfortable with musical choices that she finally said, “You mean there’s no right way?” I concluded that I had given that teacher more doubt and uncertainty than she could handle. (PA Shorts: 42)
Well, I read an article, Helping Students Deal With Uncertainty In The Classroom, on Edutopia . . . → Read More: Vintage PA: The Uncertainty Principle
Since I have been convalescing and forbidden to do anything particularly physical, I have had a lot of time to read. Two tidbits struck my fancy this week. The first concerns the ignition of talent and the second the fact that we never know where or when our influence will actually come to bear.
. . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Ignition – Blast Off!
We musicians are creative people. We are used to pushing boundaries and thinking for ourselves. We generally object to rules and regulations on principle. So, I decided to share some stories (and a tweet) of pianists who have found ways to… found ways to… Ok, cheat!
When In Doubt, Strip!
My undergraduate teacher told the . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Working the System
Time for some musical humor to clear the air after all the end of year hoopla. Enjoy!
A# and Bb (check out all the comments here too:)
A quarter note walks into a bar
Dana Carvey piano clip
You broke a wire
Chopin Liszt . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: A Quarter Note Walks Into A Bar
One of my Facebook friends recently shared a few words of advice to aspiring musicians by pianist, singer, songwriter, and producer, Ben Folds. This earthy collection of thoughts struck a chord with me. Also, I find it entertaining and awesome that he wrote it while on a flight to Boston.
The advice applies to . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Opportunity Knocks