I couldn't resist an opportunity to immerse myself in an engaging dialog with Israel Stein, RPT, as he was tuning my piano. Regaled far and wide by a community of pianists and teachers as he amasses awards bestowed by his peers at the National Piano Technician's Guild, Stein remains thoroughly dedicated to what seems like… Continue reading A Conversation about machine and ear tuning (and more) with Israel Stein, Registered Piano Technician
A slew of oddball Linkedin endorsements instantly boosted MY KLOUT score. A measurement of belly punches on the web , it's the latest Internet boxing arena with referees weighing in the world over. Example: After I posted a Facebook LINK to pianist, Murray Perahia’s interview in Israel, 5 Arab cross-over “connections” clicked “PERCUSSION,” drastically boosting… Continue reading KLOUT??
Piano “Competitions”–Do we need them?
The word "competition" in the realm of music-making doesn't work for me. Those who serve the poetry of music and view technique, not as athletically driven, but as a means to a higher artistic end can be offended by glitzy, media-hyped productions that show young Asian, American, Russian, etc. flowers of youth posing for thumbnail… Continue reading Piano “Competitions”–Do we need them?
Technique is creatively woven into the piano learning environment from the very beginning of study
A discussion is intensifying on Facebook's "The Art of Piano Pedagogy" about teaching technique as a separate sphere of learning, versus an inseparable part of the total music-making process. I tend to embrace a style of teaching that fuses all ingredients together. This bias does not rule out quality time I assign students to practice… Continue reading Technique is creatively woven into the piano learning environment from the very beginning of study
Bias against Black Notes stopped me in my tracks!
I would have been leg pressing at the gym but for my detour to Nancy Williams's Facebook Page. Here's what I found: "Those bloody sharps and flats--those endless calamities of the personal past. Bah! I disown them from the rest of my life, in which I mean to rest." From "Grass" by Mary Oliver. My… Continue reading Bias against Black Notes stopped me in my tracks!
A long distance Chopin Nocturne Makeover that might help others
It's amazing that at 3 a.m. in the morning, I'd be fussing around with the Chopin Nocturne in E minor (Op. 72, No. 1) that I'd previously embedded in a blog about revisiting old repertoire. Either my kind neighbors love classical music, or they've managed to double pack their ears with spongy stopples. (These can… Continue reading A long distance Chopin Nocturne Makeover that might help others
Nikolai Lugansky, pianist, plays chess and loves poetry
The nearly 7-minute You Tube interview was telling. Luganksy waxed poetic about poetry, and recited one of his favorites by Boris Pasternak. It was in Russian, but it's lyrical lines stole the show. No translation needed. He was seated beside a conductor named Petrenko, and both were being queried by the first bassist of the… Continue reading Nikolai Lugansky, pianist, plays chess and loves poetry
Memoir: Shuffling through old Class pictures
An old cardboard box that yielded my New York City High of Performing Arts Yearbook and a flood of memories, revealed my portrait. I looked innocent enough, with a riveting quote beneath: "I know what is missing in the barrel rather than what is there." Perhaps it was a time-honored insecurity that adolescents might disclose… Continue reading Memoir: Shuffling through old Class pictures
Facebook Friends, Google + Circle turnarounds, and other soap opera scenarios
Cry your heart out! If you're a music teacher getting rid of the dead wood instead of inviting an aromatic Christmas pine into your living room that will eat up the small space reserved for your cat, then you might as well check your FB Friends list to pine away even more. A colleague bemoans… Continue reading Facebook Friends, Google + Circle turnarounds, and other soap opera scenarios
Digital Piano Review continued: On Location at Best Buy in Fresno CA (6 videos)
This was such a smooth experience. Matthew Wheeler was found playing drums and keyboard in Best Buy's atrium, for want of a better name, and he stopped what he was doing to film me sampling digitals. These were console models: Roland F110, Casio 830, and Yamaha Arius YDP 141. There are six videos, including a… Continue reading Digital Piano Review continued: On Location at Best Buy in Fresno CA (6 videos)