Archive for the ‘Spokane Piano Studio’ Category

Connecting to the Audiences

April 5, 2011

In the past few weeks, I have been preparing for several performances, putting together program notes, rehearsing and teaching quite a bit. As I prepare for this upcoming events, I often question myself, “Should I talk about the pieces I am going to play?” I think it’s important for the audience to know a little about the work so they will be able to connect with the performer, giving of course the appropriate circumstances of the performance. I usually like to prepare program notes with insights about the piece and/or the composer and whenever necessary, in addition to talking and adding a few other thoughts that weren’t mentioned in the program.

So, today I encountered a very interesting article that explains why it’s important for classical musicians to talk to their audiences. If  popular musicians do it all the time, why does classical music have to be different? Why does it have to set itself apart? At the end, it’s all about sharing ideas, experiences and entertaining other people.

We in the classical music world need to learn how to talk to audiences for two reasons:

1. It helps you connect with those who have come to see your performance. Let’s face it, the traditional concert situation is more than a little awkward these days, with a room full of audience members who may be largely uncomfortable with the experience of going to see music live and, to make matters worse, keep quiet all the way through. They often feel like they’re supposed to merely observe, although they’re not certain what they’re supposed to appreciate. When you speak to them, you can break through that distance right away, and if they find you engaging, you can start the process of winning them over before you’ve even played a note.

2. Audiences for the most part really, really want to like classical music, to understand and appreciate it. But since it’s not a part of current popular culture, many people feel a kind of distance between themselves and the music, and perhaps more than just a little intimidated around the high culture that allegedly goes with it. Finding the right tone and words to introduce a work of music (preferably without sounding the slightest bit high-minded) can reassure the audience that they may just have the ability to appreciate the music on your program and want to look further into the world of experience that classical music can provide.

Regarding what you’re actually going to say, it’s always best to find the words that come from a place of genuine connection rather than what you feel you’re supposed to say. It might even be a worthwhile idea to talk about your own personal journey and how as a performer you connect with the music you’re about to play rather than throwing around complex musical terminology. Try it. Your audiences will thank you.

Click here to read the full article: “Why Talking To Audiences Is Essential When Playing Classical Music”

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Happy New Year! And I’m back blogging again!!!

January 9, 2011

OMG It’s been a very long time since my last post here! The last few months have been incredibly busy, but very rewarding too! I have been teaching at full speed, playing concerts, started taking piano lessons again, rehearsing lots of new pieces and preparing for upcoming auditions and music festivals. A great way to start the new year, I think!

One of my resolutions for the new year, include do some kind of sport (the only sport I do now is to tickle the ivories… ha ha), learn to play jazz (oh, yeah!!), get back to reading interesting books, keep sharing my passion for music and arts (of course!), blogging, and a gazillion other resolutions (I’ll be lucky if I get to half of them… lol)! But I think among all of them, I would definitely  include doing something back to the community! I think Spokane has a great potential and I really would love to help nurture the arts and music community in some way or another!

In 2011, it will be five years since I moved to Spokane. These past five years have been challenging, definitely, but so rewarding!!! I went from having no prospect at all with a career in music, having no piano to practice nor teach, no money for college and having all my family and friends in the other side of the world, to graduating from college, being granted  for a full year with a brand new beautiful piano that I could have never dreamed of (not even on my most remote dreams), started my own piano studio with amazing students, married my loving husband, and had a chance to meet some new great friends along the way!

As hard it may seemed at times, in retrospect, I’m so thankful for my time here in Spokane. Not many people can say they do what they love, and please, I don’t intend to brag about it at all!  And don’t get me wrong, a musician’s life is hard! It requires a lot of hours of daily practice just to keep up with your level of skills, plus lots of hard work on teaching, composing, performing, and studying music in general acquire more knowledge and understanding of music on a much deeper level.

Nonetheless, I have learned a lot in my time here and I just wanted to share some of my thoughts! I am very excited for the 2011 with lots of great projects coming up! I’ll keep you posted!

I wish an awesome New Year to all of you!!!!

Accompanist Clone! – Yes, Now You Can!

August 19, 2010

If you are a pianist/accompanist and you will totally relate to this video!

Really hilarious!

Danza Negra by Camargo Guarnieri

August 16, 2010

6 Easy Tips For Reading Music

August 7, 2010

Over the years of teaching and performing, I have encountered people who were often quite amazed how musicians are able to manage so many skills at once. “How can you understand all these black dots on the page? How do you know what they mean and what you are supposed to do?”, they asked.

Music reading may seem very difficult and intricate, but it is actually quite simple once you understand the nuts and bolts. It is certainly possible to play music without knowing how to read music, just like it is possible to speak without knowing how to read or write. However, musicians need to be very versatile in today’s world, and it is very important to know as many skills as possible. So, learning to read music should be definitely is on the top of the list.

If you are a musician at a professional or amateur level, learning to read sheet music can help you to be aware and identify music theory, help you to communicate your musical ideas to others on rehearsals and performances, allow you to play music you never heard before and even write your own music.

Music reading is a skill that could take sometime to master, but it is definitely doable and I’ll be covering some of the important foundations in a series of 5 blogs to get you started: “Staff”, Clefs“, “Keys Signatures“, “Time Signature“, “Pulse and Rhythm“, and “Grouping All Together“. Finally, I will be giving some further resources and websites you can use to find more information and practice your reading music skills.

Stay tune for the upcoming blogs!

My First Video Blog!

August 7, 2010

This is my very first video blog of many more coming soon! Once a week, I plan to post a video blog with different pieces for piano and hopefully some collaborations with musicians around Spokane! Please, feel free to subscribe and I hope you enjoy it! Thanks! =)

New Promo Video for Spokane Piano Studio

July 27, 2010

How Has Music Changed Your Life?

July 22, 2010

“One thing is to have a dream, the other is to act one it” – Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan

I never stop to be amazed by what the power of music is able to do and how it can influence and transform people’s lives. Recently, I heard an inspiring story about Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, an accomplished violist and founder of several music schools across Palestine and refugee camps.

He has been for the past few years, a great advocate for music across Palestine, where he has been able to change the lives of many children and aspiring musicians. He started playing the viola at a very young age, later receiving a scholarship to study in Conservatory in France. After leaving the Conservatory and his comfortable life in France, he was able to convince 15 other fellow musicians to come to the west bank in Palestine to get involve with the project and help establishing the music schools.

“Initially, they were scared and did not want to came, but we were able to collect music instruments, such as pianos, violins, and other instruments. and they decided to participate”, he says. They teach both european and arabic classical music and they were able to put a music summer camps, bringing people from all over europe to play and participate. “With music you can make negative energy to positive energy,  and this is the kind of positive energy he always dreamed of creating, the world of sound is the expression of the human soul, transforming their destinies”, he says.

I am a believer that music and the arts are capable of impacting people’s destinies and bettering their lives, and that when people come together to help others, they not only better one person but the whole community. Unfortunately, music and arts programs are the first ones to loose their funding in our schools. Nonetheless, as musicians and artists, we have to believe in what we do as hard as it may seem at times, and still be opened to share our passion with others.

So, inspired by this story, I decided to raise a question on how has music and arts changed the lives of the people in our Spokane’s community? Do you have any interesting story on how your or someone else’s life has changed because of the arts? Why are the they important in the first place? What else could we do in our daily lives to keep the arts alive and healthy in our community? Please, feel free to share your story here, no matter how big or small it may be!

I hope to hear your thoughts soon!

Click here to read the full article on Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan

Recording on a Digital Piano

July 22, 2010

Recently, I have been experimenting with a lot different ways to record piano music. As much as I love the sound of an acoustic piano, I decided to experiment with the digital piano to see what kind of sound I could get with it. A few weeks ago, I blogged on the 200th anniversary of Robert Schumann, which you can read more about here. So, this week I decided to record a little of Dreaming from Scenes of Childhood by Robert Schumann.

I hope you enjoy!

Listen to Dreaming by Schumann here

Music for Everyone

July 15, 2010

Technology in our today’s fast-paced world have brought us limitless possibilities and tools, expanding our communication, networking and much easier access to information. It “is a “fantastic bridge between what anybody is able to do and you might want to express”, says MIT Media Lab music professor, cellist and composer Tod Machover.

He is the creator of Hyperscore, a computer program that enable non-musicians to compose music by using lines and colors, so people basically “draw” music to create different sounds. He says the program “is pretty sophisticated, but easy to use.” As an accomplished cellist and composer, Tod Machover has written six operas, with the debut of Death and the Powers coming up in September of 2010. He believes that today’s technology and music are very integrated, but sometimes technology can’t replace music and the feelings that come with it. “I love my Iphone, but it’s not an instrument, (…) and it doesn’t feel and sound as good as the sound coming out of my cello”, he says.

On the other hand, he believes that music comes from all around us and this kind of technology will allow its access to everyone. “It’s democratizing music because it lets everybody make their own music”, he says. Art can be used as a wonderful tool to educate and change lives, however “it should be available and understandable to everybody. It should be serious but not elitist”, says Machover

The advancements in neuroscience of music and different technologies could bring people to experience music in such ways that one would be able to interact and respond to music individually. This could be used as a Music Therapy a tool to help treat depression patients. “Specialists who are partly psychiatrists and partly composers and partly neuroscientists could help create that music and prescribe it, then shape and tweak it during a listening experience for maximum impact. That might be a dream now, but it will soon be possible, and this seems an enormous change in the potential of music to reach us in the most powerful way”, he says.

Hyperscore Official Website

For more information, click here

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