After many years of watching students grow and develop, I've noticed that some experience a turnaround of feelings about playing the piano, and it can occur at any level of study from beginner to advanced. In some instances, the materials used by the teacher can dampen enthusiasm for learning, but more often, a complex set… Continue reading When love for the piano dies…and why
Today, I'll fly back to New York City for my mother's Memorial, and in a tight 4-day span I'll visit the edifice of my High School of Performing Arts, a designated landmark at 46th and 6th Avenue. Ironically, I recently unearthed a graduation photo that shows me holding a Music award in the presence of… Continue reading Musical memories of New York City, and my impending trip back home
Wake up call. At sundown this evening, the Jewish New Year is ushered in. It will have arrived just after my computer wisely shut itself down. The "card" for the fire wire cable IEEE1394 decided to expire at the right moment or perhaps its memory became self righteously corrupt, reminding me to be respectful on… Continue reading Feeling Disconnected at the Jewish New Year!
As I thumbed through a soft cover copy of Leonard B. Meyer's Emotion and Meaning in Music, a book required for an elective course I took at the City University of New York, I became thoroughly confused by the author's eclectic vocabulary of "absolute music," "theories of continuation," "tonal organization" and the rest. Yet, I… Continue reading Emotion and Meaning in Music with examples from Beethoven’s piano works (Videos)
One of the loudest protests I'd ever heard, came from a 13-year old piano student who screamed at the top of her lungs on the doorstep of my house. Her mother was trying to clip her overgrown fingernails on the eve of a Middle School dance, and the teen loathed the idea of losing her… Continue reading Piano lessons, long nails, and peer pressure
I couldn't resist writing a story board for a hypothetical Cable network sitcom about a webcam-enslaved piano teacher. Take One: 7:45 a.m. An adult student Skypes in from the Bay area. The camera angle is off. I can see teenage son's untidy room. He's under the covers, snoring. Turn down the Yeti mic volume. ***… Continue reading A “Glee”-fully Skyping Piano Teacher Sitcom
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGJ_4CS_c4M I continuously revisit compositions for a new perspective and in this endeavor, I usually check out You Tube performances of celebrated pianists. The "Moonlight Sonata," first movement is a piece that many students set their sights to play. On the surface the composition appears to be within musical and technical reach, but it's a… Continue reading Revisiting Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata, movement 1, “quasi una fantasia,” and comparing You Tube performances