Verbal Transformations

Our minds and our behavior are influenced by what we say and hear, the words give us direction and make us change track, affecting our thoughts and actions. One of the techniques that can be used to influence student’s behavior in a positive way is to make them rethink about the way they speak and act. One day one of my students asked me how many etudes had written Carl Czerny in that book that he was practicing. I told him a number and he came out with a” That’s nuts. ” I could have let him express that way. … Continue reading Verbal Transformations

Impressions of SXSW from Far Away, Getting Farther

Originally posted on Topics of Capricorn:
A long time ago, I really liked music. Actually that’s still true today. I like music more than I like almost everything. Yesterday I told Julie (who is someone I probably like more than music) that if I had to choose between Andy Warhol’s work and the song “Roadrunner” by the Modern Lovers, I would kiss those screen prints and Brillo Boxes goodbye in a second. That’s a pretty tricky thought experiment though, because the way most people tell the history of the Modern Lovers involves Andy Warhol somehow. This is an oversimplification, since… Continue reading Impressions of SXSW from Far Away, Getting Farther

School Masterpiece

Originally posted on Me, Myself et Moi:
When you are child, you dream, you ponder, you create. Without a care in the world, you splash a drab of paint here with a few sequins scattered there, entirely absorbed in the art of your creation. You follow your intuition, your irrationality, your movement; not an ounce of second thought can hinder your masterpiece. You pin your work up in the hallway, full of pride, knowing that everybody can see it there. When September comes around, you are taken into a world filled with other young people, equally curious but each entirely… Continue reading School Masterpiece

Originally posted on According To Hoyt:
Recently I came across a news article estimating that 80% of NYC graduates cannot read and write and are functionally illiterate.  I’d bet those numbers are not far off across the country, and it wasn’t a surprise.  What was a surprise was what my son told me when I discussed the matter with him. Five years ago, those numbers would have shocked me.  Then my blog got invaded by “children” in the eleventh grade of a gifted and internationally respected program in the high school my son was attending.  They seemed to have erratic… Continue reading

Merciless Judgments

Many musicians believe that they can judge the musicality in others, look into the future, and be able to criticize colleagues or students. Would not it be much more honest to provide instead a constructive criticism to them? How can I say to someone who WANTS to play that I am sure this will never happen? Who am I to say that? Will is power. Beyond the technical and obvious elements, which then depend on enough practice time and ways of practicing, how can we, musicians, be sure that everything else is right then? Often the subtleties in arts depend … Continue reading Merciless Judgments

Child prodigy’s recipe

“Hello?” “Hi,I am looking for piano lessons for my son: he is very talented and should become a pianist to accompany his older sisters, who are very talented violinists”, “Excuse me,but… how old is your son?” “2”. This is more or less what happened about 7 years ago to me. I cannot forget that dialogue and what followed and I recalled all that situation in these days, as I saw the older daughter of this lady that called me, acclaimed as a “child prodigy” because she won an international competition for… actually for young adults and she is 13! I … Continue reading Child prodigy’s recipe