The great pianists: Arthur Rubinstein

Arthur Rubinstein (1887–1982) 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:
00:19  Polonaise, Opus 44.
11:18  Impromptu, Opus 51.
16:30  Nocturne, Opus 27 N.º 2.
22:55  Waltz, Opus 34 N.º 2.
Schumann: 28:35  Des Abends, Opus 12 N.º 1.
Chopin: 33:02  Waltz, Opus 34 N.º 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—the 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.)

PBS Airs Episode of “Wild Affair” Featuring Founder of Our Elephant Rescue Organization!

Not to be missed!

Wild Affair: The Elephant Who Found a Mom airs tomorrow night, Wednesday, July 16, on PBS, at 8 pm.

Wild Affair is a new series about the bonds between humans and their animal companions, and the premiere episode is about Daphne Sheldrick, the founder of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, with whom we help foster orphaned elephants because of illegal poaching. I can’t wait to watch it! 🙂

About The Elephant Who Found a Mom

The story of Aisha, the baby elephant orphan, and Daphne Sheldrick, the woman who became her human foster parent. Their intense bond reaches a crisis point when Daphne leaves Aisha with a babysitter for a few days to attend her daughter’s wedding. Aisha believes she has lost Daphne for good and refuses to eat, leading to her death. Heartbroken, Daphne uses the lessons learned from Aisha’s short life to help her save more than 150 orphans over the next 40 years.

Here’s the link to the PBS info online:

Daphne Sheldrick and Aisha.



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. 😉

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!

Miss Julie’s Students Raise $270 for the Elephants!

My young piano students perform today in their Annual Spring Recital at 3 pm at the First Universalist Church of Essex. Click here for directions (it’s handicapped accessible).

The recital is free and open to the public, all are welcome to attend! My students will play pieces by Stravinsky and Bartók (natch!), and also Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Mussorgsky, and of course Beethoven!, as well as current popular and traditional music.

My piano kids practiced minutes to earn money from sponsors to foster baby elephants orphaned by the illegal poaching trade for ivory in Kenya. Visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Facebook for more info.

Piano practice for the elephants contest of piano instructor Penny Lazarus.

spring recital image002

Cape Ann Piano Studio Annual Spring Recital

My young piano students will be performing in their annual recital on Saturday, June 14, at 3 pm at the First Universalist Church of Essex.
It’s free and open to the public, all are welcome to attend! The church is also handicapped accessible.
My students will play original pieces by Stravinsky and Bartók (natch!), and arrangements of Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Haydn, and of course Beethoven, as well as popular and traditional music as well.
Come put a smile on your face watching young children share their music! 🙂

MG plays Mary Poppins medley for her school musical!

Martina is playing the Prelude to her show, Mary Poppins, at her school, which is today and tomorrow! I put together a medley for her to play, and she created this beautiful “cut and paste” score.

Below is the video of her playing it in her lesson. Way to go, Martina, break a leg! 🙂

Martina’s cut-and-pasted score of her Mary Poppins medley.


Practice for the Elephants Contest Begins April 8!

The Practice for the Elephants Contest starts again next week and runs for 6 weeks through May 23rd.

For my students new to piano this year:

Students practice and earn two cents for every minute practiced over the course of 6 weeks. At the end, we total up the funds we raise, and foster orphaned elephants, that is, we will continue to support the elephants we began to foster last year. If there are extra funds (it’s $50 a year for each elephant) we will foster another baby elephant. These elephants have been orphaned due to the illegal poaching of elephants for their ivory. The use of ivory for piano keys once contributed to the ivory trade. Of course, ivory is no longer used; polymers and mixtures of plastics are used instead for the key tops.

Printed handouts on the contest, as well as the practice sheets, are in the studio. Click here for the PDF with more details on contest, and and why we do it!

Here are our three adopted elephants, all doing well!, with updates:

Chemi Chemi: Keeper’s Diary update
Barsilinga: Keeper’s Diary update
Lominyek: There is no Keeper’s Diary update for Lominyek, as he is now, happily, living in the wild with other elephants in Tsavo East National Park in Kenya. Because he is, we will be transferring our donation to another younger orphan who needs us!

Click here for more information about the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This wonderful contest was created by fellow piano instructor, Penny Lazarus.

Want to sponsor a student? If you’re not a part of the studio, click here. If you are, let me know in the lessons and I’ll pair you up with a young student!

Barsilinga and Lemoyian playing in the puddle.
Barsilinga and Lemoyian playing in the puddle.
Chemi Chemi (left) playing with a friend.
Chemi Chemi (left) playing with a friend.
Lominyek with his keepers.
Lominyek with his keepers.

Cyber Monday Specials @ Cape Ann Piano Studio!

Give the Gift of Music!

  • Gift Certificates available for any number of lessons, either for 45- or 60-minute lessons.

  • Kids Only! Sign up for Winter Quarter with Julie Cleveland anytime this month and receive two lessons free!*

  • Adult Learners! Try out a piano lesson (30 minutes) for free then sign up for five 45-minute lessons and get one lesson free! (That’s 20% off!)**

All offers good until December 24th, 2013.

All gift certificates expire 2 months from date of purchase. Gift certificate rates based on a la carte lesson rates; go here, scroll to bottom of page, and see under RATES, Lessons A La Carte.
*Students may begin after the winter holidays in January. All rates prorated to week begun in current quarter. Tuition discount applies to quarterly payment plan only. Other studio policy rules apply. Contact Julie Cleveland for details.
**All five lessons are paid for in one payment. Prices based on regular weekly timeslot lesson rates; go here, scroll to bottom of page, and see under RATES, Regular Weekly Timeslot.

Contact Julie Cleveland here for more info and details on the Cyber Monday Specials!



Improvisation for Theremin and Piano

This week I took out my theremin for students to play during lessons. This improv with my 9-year-old student came out especially well; I think she’s a born thereminist! 🙂