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PA Posts by Month & Year

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

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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

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Vintage PA: Amateur Exploration 2

Yesterday”s wonderful post on amateur pianism by Fran Wilson, More Than Hobbyists, deserves some extra airtime.

“…all the amateur pianists I have met and know play the piano because they love the instrument and its literature. Those of us who play at a semi-professional level, intermediate players, beginners, returners, “Sunday pianists” all share this . . . → Read More: Vintage PA: Amateur Exploration 2

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Resolutions: Salvage & Recycle

It happens to all of us. We set goals and start out with such good intentions. Then, the world gets in the way and, little by little, we lose our inspiration and our focus. I’ve put together some links to posts and sites that just might help you stick to your musical resolutions—or even inspire . . . → Read More: Resolutions: Salvage & Recycle

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The Anti-Masterclass

Antimatter: Any substance that, when combined with an equal amount of matter, results in the complete and direct conversion of all substance to energy. (WhatIs.com)

Anti-Masterclass: Any masterclass that, when combined with an equal part of input from all participants, results in the complete and direct conversion of all playing to energy and artistry.

I . . . → Read More: The Anti-Masterclass

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PA Shorts: Competition With A Twist

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

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What’s Up With This Memory Thing?

“What’s up with this memory thing?”, asked one of my new transfer students. We talked about different levels of knowing and understanding and the fact that committing something to memory allows us to interact with it on a deeper level. “You don’t necessarily have to perform it from memory”, I said, “but you need the . . . → Read More: What’s Up With This Memory Thing?

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Playing With Wolfgang: A Little Night Music

I’ll admit it. I’m a complete nerd for certain kinds of music. A while back, I was listening to a new album by Nils Anders Mortensen (look for more on this in an upcoming review). All the works on the CD are tied together by their connections to the outdoors. And yes, outdoor music would . . . → Read More: Playing With Wolfgang: A Little Night Music

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Duo for Harpsichord and Jackhammer

There was a situation during the rehearsal for our EAC keyboard recital last Tuesday.

We were premiering our new harpsichord in its solo capacity and so had both the concert grand and the harpsichord ready to rock and roll. I run open rehearsals so that the students can drop in for 30-45 minutes as their . . . → Read More: Duo for Harpsichord and Jackhammer

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Uh…

Last night on The Next Food Network Star, Alton Brown asked several contestants about the worst thing that could possibly happen during their demo. The answers were predictable- the equipment could fail, the oil might not come to temperature, the mic might not work, there might be a knife incident involving blood, etc. He shook . . . → Read More: Uh…

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Respect

Last week, I found myself in a heated discussion with a colleague over his perception that there was no one worth performing for or teaching any longer. In his view, everyone out there had completely forgotten how or did not care to behave as he thought they should.

Those who advocate healthy eating, talk a . . . → Read More: Respect

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Artist Portrait: Adam Gyorgy

Adam Gyorgy grinned as we began our Skyping. I could imagine that he had just bounded into the room. “ I’m sorry we are late. [we weren’t] I was at Carnegie Hall doing some pre-recording. We comb our hair, we look in the mirror. We want to adjust our playing we listen to ourselves. . . . → Read More: Artist Portrait: Adam Gyorgy

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One Year Later: What’s Your Policy?

Saturday January 8, 2011 was a sad day in Tucson and for the country. The massacre took place at the Safeway where my family shopped for many years. One of my fellow piano teachers and her husband were there when the shots rang out. Our Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and despite . . . → Read More: One Year Later: What’s Your Policy?

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PA Shorts: Ye Olde Rules

Whew! All the end of term and holiday recital craziness is past us.

Years ago I read a group of entertaining rules of performance etiquette in the style of Jolly Olde England. I have no idea what the original source was at this point. (Someone once told me that after 5 years of using an . . . → Read More: PA Shorts: Ye Olde Rules

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PA Shorts: Sound Images

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

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Playing With Wolfgang 1.1: Clara & Robert Sitting In A Tree

I have always secretly had it in for Clara Schumann. There was that Trio that I was forced to work on for an entire semester and then there is the fact that Clara was performing concerts from memory at the ripe old age of 9, the first person ever to do so. Later, she was . . . → Read More: Playing With Wolfgang 1.1: Clara & Robert Sitting In A Tree

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