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Classical Musician and insomniac
Recent Activity
Hi Piano Blog readers. I want to sell you on visiting and supporting If you know me at all, you already know about this organization - Austin Piano Festival - that brings pianists from all over the country to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2014 at Piano Blog
Those of us over at Austin Piano Festival are busy working on a really exciting lineup for this season's piano concerts in late May. (You can read all about it here.) To celebrate, we're offering a pair of free tickets... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at Piano Blog
One fascinating thing that comes to the fore after lots of teaching-especially concerning adult students- is that some people possess a personality that is optimally suited for learning. This isn't a matter of intelligence, which is overrated anyway, but rather... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2014 at Piano Blog
The most obvious benefit of metronome work is, of course, that it emphasizes accurate counting and a regular beat. And more, there is truly something unique about that consistent, even aggravating, click that lends itself so well to woodshedding -... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Piano Blog
Hello Pianoblog readers. If you're wondering where I've been these last several weeks I apologize. The truth is that I've been hard at work on something REALLY exciting in the Austin area. It's called The Austin Piano Festival and its... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2013 at Piano Blog
One of my earliest, and still very vivid, musical memories was a commercial for set of Van Cliburn cassette tapes. I didn't know I was hearing the opening chords of Tchaikovsky 1 at the time, or who Van Cliburn was,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2013 at Piano Blog
In every task, the subconscious and conscious mind have specific roles to play, and a confusion of these roles can lead to less-than-optimal results. In ideal piano playing--where there is effortless flow-- the simplest way I can state it is... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2013 at Piano Blog
A teacher once told me that the reason we repeat ourselves so much is the hope that someday our students will listen. Perhaps this isn't the most creative teaching technique, but anyone who has been teaching for a long time... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2012 at Piano Blog
I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating: all other things the same, daily participation in your child's practice is the number one predictor of music lesson success. What does it mean to practice with a child? The... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2012 at Piano Blog
Competition, as we are all told, is as old as music itself; found even in the myths of antiquity like that of the competition between Apollo and the satyr Marsyas. Like Pan, Marsyas lost this ancient duel, and was punished... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2012 at Piano Blog
"What do I do when my child doesn't want to practice? " Piano teachers hear this question a lot. I think it implies a more fundamental question: What is the nature of a child's wants and desires? The answer to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2011 at Piano Blog
Regarding my last post on repetition, it's good to know that even Aristotle agrees with me: "It is from the same causes and by the same means that every excellence is both produced and destroyed, and similarly every art; for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2011 at Piano Blog
Hi Declan -- Thanks for your comment. I agree it's important for students to play something they enjoy. I always find in my teaching that past the very first lessons, students enjoy moving their pieces around the keyboard quite a bit. Hope you enjoy the blog!
Hi Arshiya -- Thanks so much! Please let me know if you have anything you'd like me to write about or anything piano questions you have. Come back and visit us often and make sure you sign up to receive e-mail updates :-)
Toggle Commented Oct 26, 2011 on New Old Anton Nel Videos at Piano Blog
Playing a musical instrument is a complex task. Almost anyone could practice on a daily basis. But without guidance, there's a good chance this practice won't be beneficial in the long run. When a child learns to walk, for instance,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2011 at Piano Blog
Now for some shameless self-promotion! Over the last few years, I've been asked the same question over and over: How do I get started in my own teaching business? I can really empathise with this question. I know firsthand how... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2011 at Piano Blog
Why am I such a mean teacher? One of my favorite things to do is have my students transpose small pieces and exercises into different keys. This is usually met with a fair amount of resistance. But, I insist, it... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2011 at Piano Blog
Thanks Daniel!
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2011 on There is No Middle of the Road in Art at Piano Blog
Thank you for your comments Immortal! I hope you come back for more or add me to your blog rss feed.
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2011 on There is No Middle of the Road in Art at Piano Blog
James - Thats right. The devil is in the details. Thanks for your comments!
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2011 on Back to Basics at Piano Blog
Hi Candice - I'm glad you like the posts. If there are any particular questions you have please let me know. Maybe I'll even post on one. If you feel overwhelmed, remember slow and steady wins the race. :-)
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2011 on Mastery - A Prerequisite at Piano Blog
There are no quick worthwhile results. Extreme amounts of repetition are necessary. Poor execution causes more harm than good. A stupid approach means years of frustration and wasted time. Each session is best planned in advance. Showing off is detrimental... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2011 at Piano Blog
I know that many of my readers are fans of the pianist Anton Nel. Two recent videos of him from his childhood in South Africa were just added to youtube. Enjoy! Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2011 at Piano Blog
I promised a post on mastery tonight, but I probably shouldn't write it. Instead here is my best try at getting out of said promise. (Don't worry I'm still writing one!) George Leonard's master is someone almost serene; focused on... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2011 at Piano Blog
I'm currently re-reading an excellent little book by George Leonard called Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment. I've read it several times now and have a few short posts coming up on it. I highly recommend this book... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2011 at Piano Blog