One of the best things any music student can do is to record oneself. A recording reveals so many things. You hear if phrasing and articulations are being projected to the listener or are only felt by you the performer. You see and hear things that perhaps come across awkward or unpolished, and of course, poor technique, lack of a plan for piano fingering or vibraphone sticking, and lack of practice really shows.
This is a recording of my son Lucas, a 17-yr-old high school senior as he prepared a jazz vibraphone solo for an audition. A great extra benefit is that a recording like this can also be a confidence builder as one begins to feel better about their performance.
This was simply recorded with an iPhone. One doesn't need elaborate equipment to do it and the benefits are wonderful. Record yourself! Be encouraged and be challenged in your own playing!
O the Deep, Deep, Love of Jesus is another love song for the month of February. It was written by a London merchant, Samuel Trevor Francis. He uses the ocean to describe the character of God.
I wanted to bring out this vastness and depth through the use of the lower range of the piano and also through a slow driving pulse which drives forward, helps propel the us onward, leading homeward.
Here is the lyric: O the deep, deep love of Jesus, Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free! Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me! Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love Leading onward, leading homeward To Thy glorious rest above! O the deep, deep love of Jesus, Spread His praise from shore to shore! How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore! How He watches o'er His loved ones, Died to call them all His own; How for them He intercedeth, Watcheth o'er them from the throne! O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best! 'Tis an ocean vast of blessing, 'tis a haven sweet of rest! O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 'tis a heaven of heavens to me; And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!
A Song of Love will almost certainly put you in a romantic mood for the month of February. Josef Suk was a student of Antonin Dvorak and is a significant Czech composer. Not only was Suk very close to Dvorak as a pupil, he was close to him in his personal life and married Dvorak's daughter, Otilie. Josef and Otilie were deeply in love, and these happy times are reflected in his composition. Sadly, in a period of fourteen months around 1905, both his wife, Otilie, and her father and his mentor, Antonin passed away. Ivan Moravec is a Czech pianist who brings great passion to this piece. Enjoy this romantic gem!