Local man playing piano outside on sidewalk

Public Piano Playing Phenomena of Piano. Push. Play.

You might be walking by the Portland Art Museum off Park Street in Portland sometime and hear piano music playing somewhere. The music might be so good (classical, jazz, blues) that you may be fooled into thinking that it is coming from a stereo or sound system but turn into the courtyard at the museum and you will see a young man or woman in street clothes playing passionately on a colorfully decorated old piano. Welcome to Portland and welcome to the work of Megan McGeorge, visionary and founder of Piano. Push. Play. Read more

Instructor Giving Man Piano Lessons

Benefits of Learning an Instrument as an Adult

Many parents help their children to enjoy all the benefits that a musical education can bring. However, there are also an increasing number of adults who either took lessons as a child and want to revisit music making after a hiatus or have never really played but have always wanted to. I have frequently made the observation that in all the many years that I have worked in music stores I have never heard one single adult complain that taking music lessons was a waste of time when they were a child. On the other hand, if I’ve heard one – I’ve heard fifty adults say that they wished they had learned to play as a child or wished that they had taken their musical education more seriously when they had the chance. Here are some benefits of learning an instrument as an adult. Read more

3 Simple Ways Parents Can Nurture Their Child’s Love for Music

There are a few simple ways to nurture your child’s love of music. By doing these things – even years before formal music lessons – you can cultivate an internal motivation and desire to learn within them, making future music instruction much more likely to be successful and enjoyable. Read more

Worldwide Success of Fazioli Pianos

Naples, Florida

$75,000 is nothing to sniff at. That is why it is noteworthy that on March 4, 2015 just prior to his final concert performance, seventeen -year old Erik Lu asked organizers to switch him from a Steinway to a Fazioli piano. Miami is home to the Chopin Foundation of the United States’ National Chopin Piano Competition. Every five years, for eight grueling days, contestants perform before a jury and members of the public. This is where Erik Lu broke the tradition. Read more

Rekindling the Joy of Performing Music

Here is a little anecdote that I shared on my violin site blog awhile back. My wife, who is also a fine musician, and I were watching a little piece on TV about famous, French-Chinese classical cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. This was a couple years ago when he had just completed a bluegrass album with some of the greatest bluegrass musicians in the world. You can imagine that switching over to play bluegrass was quite a genre bender for him but the music was interesting and enjoyable. In an interview, he waxed on enthusiastically about how much fun it was to work with these musicians and how nice they were to him personally. My wife and I both had to laugh. I think I turned to her and said, “that’s because they were bluegrass musicians.” Read more

How Dirk Nowitzki Motivated Me to Pursue My Passion

In 2011, the Dallas Mavericks won the National Basketball Association (NBA) Championship by defeating the Miami Heat in the final round of the playoffs. This is interesting because they were not considered a serious contender for the title at the start of the season. Bemoaning their aging stars, the Bleacher Report ranked them 9th out of 33 teams and urged them to begin rebuilding with younger players, declaring: “They need to forget about their championship window because it is all but shut.” Their aging star player, Dirk Nowitzki, was good on offense, but not great on defense and by his own admission was not a terrific athlete. 

What in the world does this have to do with playing piano? Read more

music-competition-trophy

The Iron Chef and Quantifying Art

I imagine that a lot of people have seen at least one episode of The Iron Chef. I was discussing this with a customer the other day and we decided that we liked the old Japanese version with dubbed English over the new American version (apologies to American moderator Alton Brown, who is great). The Japanese version seems more like a true food fight. All that is missing is Samurai Swords. If you haven’t seen the show, two world class chiefs face off in competition. One is a regular on the show (one of the Iron Chefs) and one is an upstart who wants to knock the resident chef off his or her throne. A panel of bona fide foodies get to enjoy the two meals and determine the winner. The show can be fun because the two contestants have to use a secret ingredient that they do not know about until the start of the show in every dish. If you are patient I will show you how I think this pertains to playing music without too much of a stretch. Read more