Friday, April 27, 2012


Man, as a teacher of music, the subject of mistakes ALWAYS come up! I have this terrible joke I recycle over and over again. And usually it wins laughs. It goes like this.... A student, at some point, will look at me all freaked out and say "What if I make a mistake???!!!" And I will say with a straight face... "Well then I will have to quite being your teacher." They always laugh when they realize I am joking and get it... that mistakes are not the end of the world. Well the other day I pulled this on a 7 year old guitar student and he started crying!!! I felt soooo bad!!! I must have given him 3 hugs to reassure him that I was totally joking! Oh man.. it is time to put that joke in the garbage can...

But seriously, the mistake thing comes up a lot. Today I was improvising on the piano with all of my windows open, because it's really hot here in Los Angeles right now. My neighborhood is busy, so I am certain people can hear me play. When I improvise alone, I make mistakes. A lot of them. When I thought about the windows being open and the thought that someone might hear, I got a little insecure. I thought, Oh no.. they are probably thinking, "She's a piano teacher?? Eww.." Then I thought "Screw it." You cannot invent new things without making a few mistakes. That's how you discover new possibilities.

So this weekend, when you create, make a ton of mistakes and let it lead to creating something awesome.

Adele - Set Fire To The Rain LIVE (Full HD)

I just started watching the live concert DVD of Adele. Aghhh!!!! She is so good she makes me want to just quit right now!! She is AMAZING!!! This has to be the best live concert video I have ever seen. You really get a good sense of how amazing it must have been to be there.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

You Were Always On My Mind

Oh dear readers-----> What can I say? I can't stay away from you! I have missed writing to you and sharing music with you. It seems everyday for the past two weeks I have been watching music videos on YouTube thinking "Oh I should post this to the blog!" Only to stop and go, "Oh--- that's right...."

So, I have to come back. I couldn't stay away. I miss talking about music with you. Just be patient with me. The posts may not be regular as in daily. I am not the type to say "Every Monday you can look forward to a post!" I tend to take one day at a time and write when the inspiration hits. I hope you will understand. So how have you been? What have you been listening to? I want to hear everything!

The video that really hooked me and made me regret leaving the blog was an interview with Bill Evans, the great Jazz pianist.

What I adore about this interview is Bill's story about learning how to improvise. He talks about learning how to play anything from sheet music, but not being able to create music spontaneously. Now imagine being an artist who can only copy works of Van Gogh or Picasso, but cannot create original, spontaneous works. Can you imagine the frustration and boredom?!

Music education has not been set up the way Art Education is set up. At least in American culture, you learn how to play music from reading notes first. Now how does that make any sense? Learning music with your eyes??? What I love about Jazz, and what I love about this interview with Bill Evans, is that you can see that there is a school of thought that believes in the importance of using the ears exclusively to play music.

This is a contentious subject in the world of music education. Some feel very strongly in the traditional classical model of teaching, where you start on page one of your method book, playing quarter notes and half notes, never once straying from the page. The radicals are the ones who question this approach, but it seems strange to think of it as radical.

Another obsession I have had since we last parted is Elton John.

I love the way he plays piano and I LOVE the way he sings. In this video, he's all alone, so you really get to see him show off his skills. Makes me want to play, so I'm gonna leave you at that.

It's so nice to be with you again! Talk to you very soon!