Ethan Hawke, Ethan Hawke documentary, piano blog, piano blogging, piano teaching, Seymour Bernstein, Seymour: An Introduction

Run! to see Seymour: An Introduction, Ethan Hawke’s film masterpiece

I went! I cried! I applauded! Those of us immersed in the arts as students and teachers, felt especially validated. On the East Coast, harpsichordist, Elaine Comparone was riveted to the Big Screen just as I nestled into a snug seat at the Albany, California Landmark Twin theater. (East Bay, California) She perfectly summed up… Continue reading Run! to see Seymour: An Introduction, Ethan Hawke’s film masterpiece

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The Emotionally Abusive Piano Teacher and Suggested Rehab

Over the years my ears have been pinned back by stories from students who experienced emotionally abusive teachers. One who transferred to my studio from another, described her head having been shoved into the music after striking a wrong note. In biographies of well-known performers, strands of anecdotes about foot-pounding, screaming master instructors remind readers… Continue reading The Emotionally Abusive Piano Teacher and Suggested Rehab

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Taking Piano Lessons: Skimming the surface or getting deeply involved?

I often think about a prevailing atmosphere of depersonalization these days fostered by cell phones, text messaging, being on the periphery of things, touching bases, not really getting deeply connected to any one subject. Social networking, video games, compulsive school testing, and a dearth of hands-on learning experiences keep many children at bay, floating from… Continue reading Taking Piano Lessons: Skimming the surface or getting deeply involved?

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Letting my hair down with a snatch of “Let It Be!” (VIDEO)

The piano room was a mess yesterday with music strewn about. Two '60-'70's era Beatles albums were excavated from a pile of sheet music, hard bound theory texts, and Urtext editions of Beethoven's sonatas. Foraging a big carton of stuff like this was a trip down memory lane. My very old Yamaha guitar, a prized… Continue reading Letting my hair down with a snatch of “Let It Be!” (VIDEO)

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What can you do with a Performance-Piano Degree?

Face the music! Most new Conservatory grads with fancy Bachelor of Music, Performance-Piano Degrees bound in leather must improvise when catapulted into the competitive job market. With only a tiny space on the world stage reserved for budding soloists, many aspiring concert pianists will teach privately, wait tables, babysit, or become high school choir accompanists.… Continue reading What can you do with a Performance-Piano Degree?

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Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.

I remember Art Linkletter's show, "Kids Say the Darndest Things," which made me think of a few adult piano students and their hauntingly memorable words. Yesterday, for example, I was forewarned by a 70-year old pupil, that I should expect a call from her during the night about the key of "F# minor." What impending… Continue reading Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.

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On the Meat Rack of used pianos: One that Never Left Its Home

I received a phone call on a June morning from a man who inquired about my piano-finding services. He sounded like he might be from India, but I wasn’t sure. “Do you help with selling a piano?” he inquired. "On occasion, I do," I replied. "It depends on the quality of the instrument." I could… Continue reading On the Meat Rack of used pianos: One that Never Left Its Home