Archive for February, 2012

That was easy

I’m sure you’re familiar with Staples’ “that was easy” button. I just got one, and it sits on top of the piano.

My students just played beautifully at a recital on the weekend, and now they are all ready for some wonderful new pieces. As we look over the new music, I point out the most difficult sections, and I ask, “How can you make this easy?”

While we discuss the best strategy to deal with the problem, I remind them that the practice section needs to be small enough and slow enough to be easy. The results have been amazing. Perfect note reading after one or two attempts. Perfect hands together after one attempt. Perfect fingering after two or three attempts. Confidence. Enthusiasm. Anticipation.


That was easy.

Let’s Rumble!

Turf wars in New York City between rival gangs Jets and Sharks.

A retelling of the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet.

West Side Story is a timeless masterpiece of American musical theatre. It was originally composed in 1957 by Leonard Bernstein (and was Stephen Sondheim’s first job as lyricist). The original production played 732 performances on Broadway.

A new Broadway production began previews at the Palace Theatre on Broadway Monday, February 23, 2009, and opened to critical acclaim. The production broke box office records running March 19, 2009 to January 2, 2011. The musical played 27 previews and 748 regular performances, making it the longest-running production of the groundbreaking musical in Broadway history.

The show is coming to NAC Southam Hall March 13-18, 2012. Get tickets here.


This is my life

I recently saw the play 2 PIanos, 4 Hands with Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt at the NAC.

The two-act play follows the arc from beginning student to serious student to career musician. Various caricatures appear of students, teachers, parents, and some of the other people we pianists meet along the path of music. I’ve been the student, the teacher, the parent, and the performer.

I laughed until I cried. And resonated with the bittersweet conclusion that a life in music doesn’t always go according to plan.