Growing Strong: The 2018 Christmas Recital

For the first time the studio needed to find a new space for its annual Christmas recital. The comfy family room area of my home was no longer able to fit everyone because we just keep on growing in size! (pun intended) Fortunately, a church well known for its rich musical community, Harcourt United Church near downtown Guelph, was happy to accommodate us in its lovely sanctuary. Students could breathe a sigh of relief and invite whomever they wished, no longer having to worry about limited space.

The concert was an all round positive experience for performers and audience members alike. Relishing the opportunity to play on a tuned-up Yamaha grand piano, all performers shined musically, playing with enhanced expression only a premium instrument and amazing acoustic space could offer.

The afternoon opened with an ornate, virtuosic arrangement of Carol of the Bells (arr. George Winston). It was an afternoon of first times: one player performed for her first time ever on piano; another woman performed for the first time in decades, playing a duet called Gentle Breeze (Heinrich Wohlfahrt), indeed a gentle way to ease back into playing before others again.

The program included a wide range of levels and styles. From well-known Christmas gems such as Jingle Bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Silent Night and Rudolph, to advanced Classical works such as Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude and the first movement of Mozart’s Sonata in F major, students and audience members were kept on their toes! To boot, we sang a couple of Christmas carols together at half-time and at the end of the show.

Students also had an opportunity to be exposed to some improvisation as my colleague, violinist Louisa Krátká and I performed a short off-the-cuff vocalise near the end.

I want to thank all students who came out to perform and who also chose to be there to support their colleagues. It’s a privilege to work with you and I’m so proud of your growth and dedication this year.

Ho, ho, hope you have a great holiday!

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Springtime Sounds

Today students from the studio congregated to share some of the pieces they’ve been learning this spring. With summer around the corner it was an opportunity to bask in the warm glow of beautiful piano music. From Yankee Doodle to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the audience was serenaded by music from many time periods and places.

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2017 A Year in Pictures

As some of you may know, one of my hobbies is photography. This past year was a major period of growth and experience in this endeavour. I upgraded from a smart phone to a real-deal camera; learned about lenses and techniques; and became an Instagram addict. Photography has been a healthy balance to my music. It certainly involves a lot more walking around. To cap off 2017 I thought, what better idea than to combine the two!

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A Very Laid Back Christmas Recital

On Sunday, December 10 2017 my studio held its very first recital in the comfort of our large walk-out basement area. With the fire roaring in the background early attendees sang Christmas carols as we broke out into a spontaneous singalong while waiting for everyone to arrive.

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Why All Pianists Should Learn the Basics of Piano Tuning

It was the dress rehearsal on the eve of my cousin’s wedding. We all gathered in the chapel to go over the ceremony. As the professional musician in the family I am sometimes the go-to person for these sorts of things. Happy to help out, all I asked was that there was a working piano there. I was assured there was…

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Before You Bang Your Head Against the Wall…Try These

You know that feeling when you’re practicing a piece of music and no matter how many times you go over a passage it never seems to improve? I can hear you nodding.

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So You Didn’t Practice…

Every so often a student will email me the day of their lesson and admit that they haven’t practiced since I last saw them. Perhaps they were sick or just too busy; whatever their reason they sometimes ask not to have a lesson because it would simply be a waste of time. Here you’ll discover that this couldn’t be further from the truth!

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