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
This semester, I have been tutoring a foreign graduate student. He is struggling with English and with his practice skills. I think that his main problem has been this: He knows how to be taught but not how to learn. He knows how to do what he is told but not how to take what . . . → Read More: Not Harder, Just More Complicated
“You’re a romantic!” said my teacher in a surprised voice, as though this explained everything he found perplexing about me. I had never been accused of being anything but a pianist—romantic or no. I can’t remember what I was playing and it wasn’t necessarily meant as a compliment, though for some reason I felt a . . . → Read More: Vintage Post: A Romantic Accusation
Last Wednesday evening, while my class piano students were working on their improvs for the midterm, I suddenly found myself saying, “You don’t need to apologize! Maybe in your world there’s a happy little tree right there.”
The funny thing was that absolutely everybody (from teenagers to 60+) got it. They all knew the late . . . → Read More: Happy Little Trees
Lately, cyberspace has been full of posts and articles dealing with practice and perfection. Together, they have all got me thinking hard about both myself and my students. We can all get so involved in our beloved work that we don’t notice when we begin to merely walk the walk or talk the talk.
When . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Practice, Perfection, & Personality
It’s that time of year again—time for the college fall recital. We always try to do something unique and different (put on a show) so that the audience is glad they came and the performers have something to focus on besides just getting the notes right.
In the past, our programs have included dueling piano . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Sound Images
Hearing Emily tell me a passage of fingering in her Chopin Waltz was Stupid, tell me why, and give a crackerjack way to fix it.
Listening to some awesome Beethoven from Andrew who had made a sudden connection to inner voices and what he had been learning in AP class. This was a real breakthrough for . . . → Read More: Lately, Some Things Have Made Me Smile
My students are awesome! Last night was piano recital night at our college and it went wonderfully. This was the first time, since I have been teaching there, that we have had a piano recital to ourselves without sharing with vocalists or strings. While I miss the chance to plan with my colleagues and support . . . → Read More: A New Tribal Mantra