Do you just practice your music, or is your practice musical as well? Does your practice feel like just a jumble of notes?
I couldn’t begin to estimate the number of times I have told a student, “Good. Now play it musically.”
In my mind, my words are reminding the student that musical expression needs to be a constant consideration, a regular part of learning music.
The holiday music season is in high gear!
Black Friday is not only the beginning of the holiday shopping season; it’s the start of the holiday music season. There are church programs, student recitals, parties, concerts, music gatherings of all kinds. The holidays are a special time and what makes that festive gathering extra special? Live music.
And what makes live music? It’s not...
Skype is truly a marvel for our 21st century global community. It brings strangers closer together and keeps families connected. And it has become part of the way that today’s musicians study and learn.
But does that mean it is always the right tool for music study? When and how does it help and when does it just get in the way?
Like anyone else, I have my own ideas on the subject; your...
Get new ears? You might need them.
Have you ever been surprised by a comment from someone else about your playing?
Maybe it was an audience member who paid you a lovely compliment, making you wonder just what performance they were listening to.
Maybe it was your teacher who pointed out something you completely missed in your practice.
Did you ever wonder about why they were able to hear that...
Ready to stress out?
It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to…MUST GET READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS!! It feels like we are holding our breath, waiting on the starting block for the race to Christmas to begin.
Home furnishings and decoration sales soar as people get their homes ready for the holidays. And musicians slip into high gear too, preparing for parties, church...
The word always reminds of that amazing moment in the eye doctor’s office when he adjusts the machine in front of my eyes and everything comes into focus. I’m extremely near-sighted, so the change from my unaided eyes to the corrective lenses is startling and almost profound. The world is transformed from an impressionistic blur into well-defined reality.
“What stop please?”
When I was growing up in Philadelphia, I used to love to ride the public transit. I was too young to drive, and I needed to go from the suburbs into the city each week for my harp lesson. Each way my trip required one bus, one elevated train and one underground trolley, plus a nice six block walk. I felt so grown-up and free being able to negotiate the transit...
Transitions make the difference.
In life, we admire those who appear to glide easily from one phase of life to the next.
In music, we applaud artists whose seamless performances create a musical momentum that carries us along its path.
How we handle the transitions we face is the difference between success and stress, flying through the notes or flubbing them.
Whether we are...
Does practicing your études drive you crazy?
Maybe you feel like it’s a waste of your valuable or limited practice time. Maybe you don’t see the point. Or maybe you’d just rather be playing something else.
I remember dreading the études I was assigned to practice on the piano and the harp. I didn’t really understand why I needed them. It seemed more like a...