How to Practice Anything (especially the piano)

This blog post by a fellow piano teacher is wonderful, I can say that her advice here is invaluable.¬†(Beta-tested it this summer.) ūüėČ

This is wonderful reading for not only parents, but for older students, too. And piano teachers!

Here is the link. You can also download it here as a PDF to print it out to read it again and again.

How to Practice Anything
by Regina Ngo
http://rmslearning.me/how-to-practice-anything/

Regina Ngo
Regina’s Music Studio, S. Pasadena, CA
Website: http://rmslearning.me

Adult Piano Students’ Soir√©e

Every few months my adult students and I gather together and have a Piano Soir√©e; we just had one last Friday night here in Gloucester. Here’s one of my adult students¬†playing Send in the Clowns, by Stephen Sondheim. Absolutely¬†beautiful. ūüôā

Gordon College Piano Sale Next Weekend!

Calling all parents, adult students, and anyone else who wants a great deal on basically a new piano!

(on loan to music dept for one year at Gordon, then they have the sale)

Gordon College is having their annual sale of Kawai pianos, which Kawai loans to music department for one year, then they have the sale. Two of my students have purchased a piano at these sales and they are very¬†happy!¬†They’re mainly Kawai pianos in brand-new condition, but there’s also other brands, new and used, incredible deals: read more about it here at the Gordon College Dept of Music site.

And be sure and tell them I sent you! ūüôā

 

I’ll be performing this Saturday as part of Trident Gallery Live Art Series

I’m excited to be doing a collaborative performing arts piece with dancer Carl Thomsen at the Trident Gallery in Gloucester this Saturday night, Jan. 31, at 7:30 pm. We’re calling it a “structured improvisational” work.¬† ¬†ūüôā

Details below‚ÄĒif you plan on coming,¬†email or call now, seating is¬†very¬†limited!

Trident Gallery Live Art Series Present Stone Stairway Stories
Photo of Julie Cleveland: Sheila Roberts Orlando.

 

From the Trident Gallery website:
“Stone Stairway Stories” is a performance piece by Carl Thomsen (dance) and Julie Cleveland (digital piano/synthesizer). Continuing Thomsen‚Äôs decades-long exploration of the interface between dance, music, and storytelling. In this performance the storytelling will come from the audience. The dance and music will reflect and respond to the experiences and memories of the audience itself, elicited through a series of questions, answers, gestures, and movements offered by those in attendance.

The performance is free, with donations to the artists appreciated. Seating is limited, so please reserve early to ensure a seat by emailing events@tridentgallery.com or by visiting the Facebook event page.

The great pianists: Arthur Rubinstein

Arthur Rubinstein (1887‚Äď1982) was one of the greatest concert pianists who ever lived, and we are very lucky to have so many clips of his playing and concerts on YouTube. He was considered one of, if not, the¬†best interpreter¬†of the music of Frederic Chopin. Fortunately for us, there are many YouTube clips of his playing, including concerts he gave.

This YouTube clip is from a live concert he performed in Moscow (in Russia) in 1964. This clip is not the whole concert but near the end of his concert, plus many encores. An encore is when a performer plays more pieces at the end of his or her concert that are not written in the program. That’s why people in the audience¬†cheer “Encore! Encore!” at the ends of concerts, they want the performer to come out and play more music for them!

At 22:30 is a very famous waltz by Frederic Chopin, you may recognize the tune!

At 28:30 is a piece by Robert Schumann called Des Abends (which means “In the Evening” in German)

At 37:10 Ondine (from his Preludes, Book II) by Claude Debussy, a French composer.

At 41:40 O Polichinelo (“The Punch”) by Hector¬†Villa-Lobos (a composer from Brazil)
You will not believe how fast his fingers go!

Kids, you know how I am always bugging you about your posture, playing with arm weight and loose, flexible wrists? Watch Arthur Rubinstein play and you will see all of these in action; when I watch him play I just cannot take my eyes off of his incredible technique (or my ears away from the sound!)

Complete list of pieces and where they occur in the video:
Chopin:
00:19  Polonaise, Opus 44.
11:18  Impromptu, Opus 51.
16:30 ¬†Nocturne, Opus 27 N.¬ļ 2.
22:55 ¬†Waltz, Opus 34 N.¬ļ 2.
Schumann: 28:35 ¬†Des Abends, Opus 12 N.¬ļ 1.
Chopin:¬†33:02 ¬†Waltz, Opus 34 N.¬ļ 1.
Debussy: 37:36  Ondine ( Preludes, Book II ).
Villa-Lobos: 41:50  O Polichinello.

Here is a photo of him when he was 19 years old.

Arthur Rubinstein in 1906.
Arthur Rubinstein in 1906.

 

Captain Broccoli Explains Music Theory!

Ok, Monday morning music geek here…

Captain Broccoli explains music theory on YouTube!

A¬†bit advanced for beginner students‚ÄĒthe first video starts with¬†diatonic triads. But check it out, fun!
(The playlist is actually a good review for those of us rusty, say, on figured bass and secondary dominants.)

I’ll be playing at the Rockport Town Reunion this Saturday

Hey there!

I’ll be playing at¬†the Rockport Town Reunion¬†this Saturday, @ 12:30 pm. The event runs from noon to 9 pm, rain or shine, details are at their¬†website. If you’re an ole Rockporter (like me), it’s at Evans Field, and I know for sure the beverage du jour will be Twin Lights. ūüėČ

They’re also on¬†Facebook, and there’s a very informative blog post on event over at¬†GoodMorningGloucester.

Hope to see some of you there!

That's me playing the Rockport Acoustic Festival, back in 1991!
That’s me playing at the Rockport Acoustic Festival, back in 1991!