Innovation Created From History

October 4, 2020

After hearing Joseph Szigeti perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonata for Solo Violin in g minor, Ysaÿe was inspired to compose six violin solo sonatas inspired by J.S. Bach, but representing a modern style. He dedicated each to a violinist he admired. An excellent violinist himself, he used Bach as a…

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It takes time to build castles…

September 21, 2020

tógann sé am caisleáin a thógáil … If you have the time, Aaron Copeland, Quiet City and The Promise of Living, beautiful works by Aaron Copland.

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Paradox of Private v. Public Life of Performers

September 17, 2020

As a performer, I have always struggled with the dichotomy of cherishing my private life, being able to practice and think, walking with dogs, riding horses, tending animals and gardens, and keeping my thoughts to myself versus the intense desire to perform, share knowledge and skill as a teacher, and…

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Music Crosses Cultural Boundaries

August 3, 2020

This week I had the pleasure to meet a lovely man from Nigeria. He made a delivery to my home, and he stepped back due to COVID. I told him not to worry, that I trusted my immune system if he did, and that I would greatly appreciate his help…

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July 25, 2020

I love teaching! Yesterday I was doing a Face Time lesson and going through scales, one new and difficult piece, and several review pieces emphasizing different techniques. Here’s the conversation: Me: Do you think it’s a reasonable goal to get the first half of the new piece perfect by next…

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July 9, 2020

TEACHING AND LEARNING… I value my education! Musical, academic, and life above all else, and I learn from every student I teach. It’s a joy to share knowledge and experience, and depending on the student, or students, or an ensemble that I coach or conduct, I modify the approach to…

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The Beauty of the Ballad

July 6, 2020

The beauty of the ballad is that whether through music, words, or visual art it tells a story, usually very personal to the creator. Bach, the Beatles, Esaye, Picasso, Piazzola Carson McCullers, and countless composers, writers, and artists have shared so much of their lives, their loves, their personal experience,…

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July 5, 2020

HISTORY, OLD WORLD AND NEW WORLD! The first part of this blog is about Antonin Dvořák, amazing Czechoslovakian musician, composer, father, and teacher, who not only made incredible and lasting contributions to music and art in his own country, but also in the United States. The second part describes my…

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Weeds Grow Faster Than Trees!

July 2, 2020

It’s amazing how easily weeds grow, and how much time it takes to remove them from gardens and flower beds. Trees, perennials, roses, vegetables, fruits, and herbs require months and years to cultivate. The old adage that most things worth doing take time rings true, not just with gardens, but…

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More About Bernstein…

June 29, 2020

As a teacher, and as someone who believes that good learning habits and practice techniques are established at a very young age, I truly love this video of Bernstein discussing Mahler, rehearsal techniques, the reason that Mahler wrote such extensive notes in his scores, and how meaningful they are to…

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