From now until December 20, the Cape Ann Piano Studio is offering a 20% discount off of the remaining Winter Quarter at the studio for school-age children (10 45-minute lessons). This offer applies to both beginner and transfer students. Lessons begin January 7.*
This Sunday, four of my students will be taking part in the annual North Shore Piano Teachers’ Guild Shalin Liu Piano Recitals. The Guild holds three recitals in one afternoon each spring at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, in which students of piano teachers from around the North Shore participate. Each recital is about 50 minutes long. Three of my students are performing in the 1:00 pm recital, and one in the 2:30 pm recital. Very very proud of how hard these students have worked for this performance. 🙂
Here’s one of my students who participated in last year’s Shalin recitals:
North Shore Piano Teachers’ Guild Piano Recitals
Sunday, April 8, 3 recitals: 1, 2:30 and 4 pm
Shalin Liu Performance Center
Free and Open to the Public
Tomorrow is the Annual Spring Recital of all of my piano students, and all are welcome! Come and listen to students play pieces from Michael Jackson to Igor Stravinsky! Then hang out for juice or coffee and treats downstairs.
Cape Ann Piano Studio Annual Spring Recital Saturday, June 17, 4 p.m. First Universalist Church of Essex. Free and open to the public, handicapped accessible.
For more info, call (978) 491-1658
And this year the students practiced 9,227 minutes and raised nearly $400 for the elephant orphans, so we will be fostering 8 babies, rescued and cared for by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Learn more about the vital and dedicated work that they do at their Facebook page, where you will find wonderful videos about all that the Trust does: today’s video is all about the orphan babies and what their days are like!
The Practice for the Elephants Contest begins today and runs for 4 weeks through May 27th.
What Is the Practice for the Elephants Contest?
Students practice and earn two cents for every minute practiced over the course of 4 weeks. At the end, students total up the funds they raise, which is used to foster 10 orphaned elephants, 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 donate them to be used by the Trust where most needed. Printed handouts on the contest, as well as the practice sheets and contest rules, are in the studio.
These African 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.
Click here for the PDF with more details on contest, and and why we do it!
Click here for more information about the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
This contest was created by friend and fellow piano instructor, Penny Lazarus.
Want to be a matching donor for a piano student practicing for the elephants? Contact me here. If you’re part of the studio, let me know in lessons and I’ll pair you up with a young student!
A few weeks ago a young student currently in love with Tchaikovsky (yes!!), who was learning an arrangement of Theme from Piano Concerto No. 1 from one of her method books, told me she wanted more pieces like this one (yes!!). I picked out an arrangement that I found of Tchaikovsky’s Theme from Romeo and Juliet, a personal favorite symphony of mine. It was all set to go for her lesson. While on my break, waiting for them to arrive, I thumbed through the book I’d found the Romeo and Juliet theme in, and came upon Theme from C Minor Concerto by Rachmaninoff and sightread through it, thinking this is lovely, I’ll play it for her, but she’ll want the Tchaikovsky one, I know.
Wrong! She practically raced to the piano to sightread through it, after I played only the first several measures. She loved it.
After the lesson I looked up orchestra versions on YouTube to send to her to listen to, and this one came up on the top of the list. I had not listened to this concerto in a very long time. Although I had errands to run, I decided to stop what I was doing and take the half hour to listen to this most gorgeous piece of music.
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.
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. 🙂
Details below—if you plan on coming, email or call now, seating is very limited!
From the Trident Gallery website:
“Stone Stairway Stories” is a performance piece by Carl Thomsen (dance) and Julie Cleveland (digital piano/synthesizer). Continuing Thomsen’s 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the Facebook event page.
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.
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.)