Music in Turbulent Times

Unless you live on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean you will be well aware of recent developments in American politics. I’ve been struggling to figure out what to make of it all. As a left-leaning, liberal artist it’s obvious how I’m reacting. Indeed, most of the people in my circle feel the same way. We share a collective anxiety about the future. A downside of being creative is that my imagination is on steroids most of the time. All that said, that’s not what I’m writing about today. The past 48 hours have reaffirmed for me why I do what I do.

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A Little Piano

Image: Mon Shop Vintage

Musicians don’t always come from musical families. My uncle Leif, on my mother’s side, was a trained baritone, guitarist, and music teacher, so I knew the music gene was in there somewhere. But my parents were not trained musicians, though they liked listening to Elvis, John Denver, and the 3 Tenors, and my mother did enjoy singing and playing the autoharp.

This fact didn’t hinder my dad, when they met with a new piano teacher who wanted to know more about the parents.

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In the Key of “Feeling”

During my mid teens, I remember performing Mozart’s Fantasia in D minor for the grade 9 piano category in Guelph Kiwanis Music Festival. There was a good handful of students in this class. I didn’t have a lot of experience performing in competition, so as with many young performers, my nerves got the best of me.

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My Very First “Piano Teacher”

Something that I don’t mention in my personal bio is my experience with my first piano teacher.

When I was 5 my parents enrolled me in a local music school which they had thought was an extension of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Though the name was similar it was everything but, as we discovered over the next couple of years.

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