Mitsuko Uchida plays Mozart

Holy gorgeous, royal, big full sound and beautiful technique. Her passages are DIVINE

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How To Distract Your 2nd Grade Piano Students and Undermine All of Their Future Music Teachers

I somehow got into talking about this piece by John Cage during a “twinned” lesson a few weeks ago (two 2nd grade boys who share a piano lesson). I don’t regret introducing the topic because I was able to wrap it around into: “What is music? A: Music is organized sound – so stop hitting the piano and making ugly noises!” They loved the story but it did give them an opportunity to waste time. And I’m also sure a lot of conservative members of the broader music/art communities would prefer the youth learn only about the Classical greats such as Beethoven and Bach.

(It pains me to say this was the first work experience which has directly utilized my degree in Philosophy of Art… sigh)

Untraditional Classical Piano


Pianist Rudolf Budginas, Guitarist Kenny Lee Lewis, and Steve Miller Band

Found this video through my piano teacher’s facebook, I guess she knows him! What a cool performance!

If you need any help convincing a child that piano is FUN or COOL or whatever… this is a good video. Skip to the 4:40 area, the Liszt stuff is pretty flashy and the following Brubeck (5:15) is just cool and sultry – and they’ll get to hear Lewis jam a bit on the guitar.

Example of a Tight Band & Great Hammond Soloing

This is a great example to show early learners of what to strive for. Watch her sense of inner rhythm, her passion, her power. Listen to how tight the band is! And how they’re clearly listening to each other, taking turns soloing. Look at how much fun they’re having!

As soon as I saw that B3 sitting there, after the lights revealed the band, I felt apprehensive and excited. For me, there’s nothing better than a chick who can rock a solo – I’m truly inspired by this recording. And I love her brazen tambourine.

Everything about this performance felt polished but raw (or pure somehow?).

Inspiration from American Idol

I haven’t watched American Idol since I was in high school, but my parents got me hooked on this season. Nearly every single contestant in the final rounds has been wonderful talent.

This performance last Wednesday, cradled by the commentary, spoke to me.

Elise Testone sings Led Zeppelin

A. She killed this performance – Steven Tyler and Stevie Nicks were impressed & further complimented her by saying Robert Plant would be proud.
B. She is 28 years old  (I’ve been worried that I’m too old for a musical breakthrough.)  Somebody (Randy? Jimmy?) said that she’s the perfect age to produce her first record – Stevie hadn’t until age 26, he named another famous artist..(which I can’t remember now).
C. She was this good when she was back at home singing Led Zeppelin with her bands – the only difference now is the singing competition, i.e. exposure. That is nuts! Think for a while on this distinction.