Wynton Marsalis is a man that any one of us could learn and benefit from when it comes to practice tips. Whether you're practicing the trumpet, piano, or any instrument, this article is filled with some great ideas and inspiration. Click for the article.
Inon Zur is an Israeli composer who began writing for film and is now writing for video games. The final score for the video game is fully orchestrated but was created on the piano and that instrument plays a significant role throughout. Here is Zur performing the theme on solo piano.
For students in school, everything is new in September. New classes, new schedules... For my students, this is the time we focus in on new repertoire choices. Of course, pieces we are performing in the upcoming weeks and months of the fall are well underway, but there is much ahead that we need to think about for February, March, April and May. These can be busy with opportunities to perform. Setting goals for performances at Solo and Ensemble Festivals or recitals is a great way to encourage growth.
Performance of any type plays a significant role in helping us grow. There is a healthy pressure that challenges us when we perform and we grow differently and quicker than if we are simply playing for fun. As we choose repertoire, we try to find a balance between performing pieces that are required or on a festival list, performing pieces that are standard repertoire that every student should learn, and performing pieces that pique the student's interest.
As adults, we need to find ways to challenge ourselves in this way as well or our growth tends to level out and we lose much of our opportunity for progress. Of course, we are not going to have many of the opportunities younger students do, but we can find and create opportunities that work for us. Set goals for the year ahead. Set deadlines. When will you plan to have a piece prepared and ready to perform? Why are you choosing this piece? Who will you perform this piece for. Something as simple as making and posting a YouTube video can be a way to perform. It challenges. It makes us vulnerable to feedback. Setting goals and performing helps us to reach these goals, grow in maturity--both musically, and personally--as we become vulnerable and share what we are learning on the piano.
The year is 1742--the middle of the late baroque era. Society and the world are changing. There is a strong religious devotion on one side, but a growing interest in science on the other. The Ars Rhetorica of Aristotle (art of rhetoric) is the base of many art disciplines, both religious and secular. The understandings of the world around us are changing as Galileo, Kepler and Newton are laying the foundations for science as we know it. Clocks and time calculation have reached a high level of perfection. Is it any surprise that Bach would draw from these disciplines and in his own scientific and mathematical calculations compose music where every musical element is carefully placed to create a complexity of expression with a numerical perfection? It takes a complex mind to interpret this work and perform every nuance with finesse, precision, and intense emotion.Gould's masterpiece of performance is one every pianist should study.