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The Academy of Piano

Expressing Yourself Through The Art of Piano

Encouraging and Inspiring Notes

July 17, 2019

I love to play tennis! One of my favorite players has been Serena Williams. Her focus and determination is admirable. This year, Serena made it to the finals of the Wimbledon tournament. In recent years she has taken the title by storm.  I watched this great athlete compete against her opponent who was 10 years younger and less experienced. What took place was shocking. Time after time, Serena hit the ball into the net.  Her opponent was aggressive and full of explosive energy making shots that didn't seem possible. To my surprise, Simone Halep took the title.  Asking myself, "How can this be?" I listened to the commentators who enlightened me to the situation.  Ms. Williams didn't compete in as many tournaments this past year.  It appeared her efforts didn't support the title.

Life Lessons: Focus and determination are mandatory for succeeding in any area of life.  Once you have reached a certain pinnacle, you cannot sit back and rely on past success to carry you into the future. Whether it's piano or another passion, you have to put in the focused time and effort. No one else can do it for you!  What are you passionate about? What do you want?

July 4, 2019

The day was filled with festivities.  Good friends, food, hanging out at the lake together were precursors to watching the fireworks!  You hear it take off...but can't quite see it. Then, all of a sudden, with a loud boom, the sky lights up!  Being an independent piano instructor/composer is often similar.  Watching students grow in their journey of music begins slowly.  We build relationships, eat many treats after recitals, and spend many hours together working out fingering, rhythms and notes.  We watch and listen for progress each year, then all of a sudden they are seniors in high school and BOOM! They have exploded into a wonderful musician.  

Life Lessons:  As I continue to grow in my own journey of music, I'm taking all of this in. It takes time, friends and determination. Learning new technology and methods of sharing my own compositions has been quite an adventure. I may not see the progress as quickly as I would like, but with patience and time it will explode into a beautiful firework.  What fireworks are you waiting to see in your life?

June 24, 2019

Multiple times I kept relating my backpacking trip this past weekend with piano lessons.  When I take a new piano piece to learn I think it's going to be exciting and fun!  Then, the work begins and there are moments I think to myself, "What ever made me think I could do this?"  As an avid backpacker, I'm always on the lookout for a new destination.  It will be exciting and fun, I tell myself. Then, I begin hiking with a 35 lb. pack on my back.  The trail gets steep, real steep.  Miles and miles of relentless elevation gain.  Inclement weather stings my face. There are often slippery granite rocks to climb, treacherous cliffs that make me feel like a mountain goat. Yet, I continue to persevere, telling myself it will be worth it in the end.  

Life Lessons:  Yes, life is hard! At times, it's harder than others.  Learning new things can be difficult and challenging. Take short breaks to take in the view and breathe.  Continue to persevere with one foot in front of the other. Little by little you will get there and it will be worth it in the end.  The satisfaction you receive, will have you looking for the next destination or the next challenging piece of music. Whether it's an alpine lake or the latest piano piece, it is worth it! 

June 18, 2019

What are the basics?  These words are learned at the beginning of piano lessons.  As students embark on a new piece, I often ask them to list the basics for me.  Notes, fingering and rhythm, they respond.  Yes!  These three elements must be mastered before anything else.  Once the basics are mastered, then we can work to create a masterpiece with our sound.  Students are given tools to make educated decisions within their pieces.  

Life lesson:  When we become overwhelmed with life, we need to stop and get back to the basics.  Once our basics in life are mastered, there will be room for extras.  Once our basics are mastered we will be able to make better decisions in life.

Our First Blog Entry

June 11, 2019

One of my favorite quotes;  

A painter paints his pictures on canvas, but musicians paint their pictures on silence.  ~ Leopold Stokowski

I'm reminded I am an artist. Working to shape, chisel and create a certain sound on my instrument takes time.  Giving my listener an aural picture, mood or complete story is extremely satisfying for me.  As I work with students on a weekly basis, helping them to create a beautiful sound within their pieces, I often remind them to slow down.  When we slow down, we can grasp the details in a deeper understanding, allowing us to create a natural instinct in our final performance.  Great art is not haphazardly slapped together.  

Life lesson:  What are we creating within ourselves....within our relationships?  Society tells us to go...go...go! You can do it all! I'm saying  SLOW DOWN!....give yourself time.