Walk with Me

I am glad our paths have crossed. Let’s reminisce. How did we meet?  School? Band? Church, youth group, handbells or choir?  Did we meet at a conference? Were you a subscriber to a publication or did you come to one of my concerts? Maybe you have one of my books.  Are you (were you) one…

8 Steps to Great Lessons

Whether you are just about to embark on the wonderful journey of learning music, or are continuing your studies, there are some things you can do to help make sure you will be getting the very most out of your lessons. 1.  Find the right teacher.  Sounds easy, right?  Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. …

How It Began

I’ve been blessed.  Seriously.  Not everybody gets to love what they do as much as I do.  I’ve taught private music lessons (piano, organ, voice and theory) since 1972.  There have been many years — and I do mean many years — I’ve also served as a church musician.  I’ve been the organist, the pianist,…

The Eyes Have It

Are you a multi-tasker?  You certainly are when reading music while playing the piano.  Let’s take a look <insert knee slap>  at what your eyes are doing.    Are you supposed to watch the music?  Or your hands?  Or some of each?  Are you getting dizzy from nodding your head back and forth between the…

February 16, 1848: Chopin’s Final Concert

Born in the Duchy of Warsaw (present-day Poland) and raised in Warsaw, Frederick Chopin (1810-1849) settled in Paris by the time he was 21 years old.  His musical compositions are primarily for solo piano and remain among the most popular selections for students, artists, and audiences.  While admired for his technical virtuosity at the piano, he was generally…

Selecting a Portable Keyboard

There are so many wonderful keyboards and digital pianos on the market that to choose one can feel overwhelming.  The question is really, “What kind of keyboard do I need to begin piano studies?” In an ideal world, we would all have pianos with 88 weighted keys. While the debate between preferring acoustic or digital/electronic…

Bunte Blätter, Opus 99, by Robert Schumann

Between 1838 to 1841, German composer Robert Schumann wrote the fourteen piano pieces which later became collectively known as Opus 99, Bunte Blätter (Colorful Leaves).  It is an unusual collection, consisting of Stücklein III (Three Small Pieces), five untitled Albumblätter (Album Leaves), and six individual piano pieces. Schumann was first a composer for solo piano. …

A Great Recital

What a wonderful musical afternoon we had!   Twelve students of piano and voice gave outstanding performances of teaching pieces, popular, sacred and classical music.  Everyone performed one or two solos, and some also played duets.  Were there are few performance jitters?   Naturally.  But everyone was so very well prepared that every song sounded marvelous.  I…