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PA Posts by Month & Year

Vintage PA: Piano Fail

I have done a lot of judging this spring. It is inspiring to hear young pianists who are doing their very best to make music and push their skills to the limit of their abilities. Sometimes, they shake so badly they can hardly let the music out. One year, a teenager looked at me at . . . → Read More: Vintage PA: Piano Fail


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


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


Pa Shorts: A Lesson in Perfection

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


PA Shorts: Substitute… Musical Education

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


Happy Little Trees

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


PA Shorts: Practice, Perfection, & Personality

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


A Shocking Discovery

My husband and I were in the car to make our weekly grocery run. Schumann- he said in response to the in progress piece on the radio. Fantasiestucke- I said. We were talking and not really listening but gradually I realized that there was, in the vernacular, a whole lotta note splitting goin’ on.

What . . . → Read More: A Shocking Discovery

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