What do pianists do when they aren’t practicing?

November 4, 2013 Comments Off on What do pianists do when they aren’t practicing?

About the same time she started taking piano lessons from me, Sherry Green took up fencing. This October she was a member of the USA Veterans team and fenced in the World Championships in Varna, Bulgaria.

The team took the gold.

The USA Veterans' Team, after their win.

The USA Veterans’ Team, after their win.

This is the fourth time she has been a member of the USA Veterans team. In 2005 she came in fifth in the World Championships. In 2006 she was the top-ranked female sabre fencer in the 60+ category.

In 2007,  she was on the USA team that went to Sydney, Australia for the World Championships but was unable to compete. The night before the first match, while in line outside the famous Sidney Opera House, she tripped on a messed-up bit of sidewalk and broke her knee. Mad doesn’t even begin to describe her state of mind, as she had to forgo not just the fencing championships, but the opera as well.

Alllez, Sherrie!


What do my students do when they aren’t playing the piano?

April 14, 2012 Comments Off on What do my students do when they aren’t playing the piano?

Here’s the first in what I hope to be a continuing series on what pianists do in their spare time.

Saurav Sengupta, wonderful Chopin player, has produced  another game for the Android. Also available through Amazon for the Kindle Fire tablet.

A retro 2D side-scroller based on Indian mythology.

Avoid traps, fight enemies, and collect diamonds as you rescue your princess.  You can get it from the Google store here as well as read reviews and check out his other games.

What do YOU do when you aren’t making music?

Big Blue Bench

August 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

Several years ago I thought a street-side bench would transform the life and traffic on Dosch Road. If it were beautiful enough, people would go out of their way to visit it, sit awhile, maybe chat. Dog walkers would rest their dogs. Kids would sit and eat popsicles.  Tourist buses would climb the hill to gawk. Indy bands would show up to make their promo photos.

My friend Leslie Ariel, of Big Idea Studios, signed on. Public art that the public can sit on, walk through, play on or crawl over is what she’s all about. She designed what she  says it is a twisted, 3-D treble clef. Perfect for a piano teacher. I think it looks like a folded cello.  Other people think it looks like a sea mammal. What do you think it looks like?

It took the two of us most of one weekend to pour and finish the concrete. I take no credit for any of it-I just did the grunt work. Concrete is heavy and grunt is a literal transcription of what I did. Leslie did even more grunting plus all the meticulous finishing. She was out late into the evening, working by lamplight to get it just so before the concrete set up. I was inside, meticulously finishing a sandwich.

Leslie loves blue and the bench needed blue. But we didn’t know how to do it. The integral concrete stains would have just vaguely colored it. We didn’t want vague, we wanted True Blue.  Since the two of us have 6 kids altogether, we found some other things to do for a few years and the bench languished, gray and unused.

Until this summer. Thanks to the folks at Ecohaus I got some beautiful blue concrete stain and finished  off the bench as a surprise for Leslie. Now it really looks like sculpture. It is the best thing on Dosch Road.

And guess what? People are starting to sit on it. Dogs have been, well, dogging it. Traffic has slowed to a crawl.

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