Archives for 22 Jan,2009

You are browsing the site archives by date.


For Christmas, I bought my husband a set of Conga drums. He was really excited, since this is something he has always wanted to do. The catch is that he is not a musician, and I agreed to teach him. Let me tell you it is hard to teach your family! I’ve only tried this once long, long ago with my sister and it was a disaster. It is so easy to show your frustration in this situation both as a teacher and a student. Luckily, I had that experience with my sister in my memory when we had our first lesson. Sure enough, he became super impatient super fast. Much faster than most of my students. I wasn’t surprised. He is very comfortable with me, so it makes sense that he would be comfortable letting his frustrations be known. The most important thing for me to do was to take several (quiet) deep breaths and tell myself over and over again that it’s hard to be in such a vulnerable position in front of someone you love. This helped me to stay patient with him. I will admit, it was very annoying at first, but once he became confident on a drum beat I showed him, we were able to jam out a song while I played the piano! What a great way to spend time together! If you have a close friend or family member who wants lessons, try it out, but just mentally prepare yourself of all the annoying things that are going to happen. There is no way around it and you are going to have to take the lead as the patient one in the duo. Good luck!

Read More

My studio has been decorated with a beautiful collection of paper snowflakes with wintery musical accompaniments! Each unique paper sculpture was lovingly created by one of my students. The collection started with one lonely snowflake, and gradually grew into a populous cluster that dangles from the ceiling, over the end of the grand piano.

What a rewarding activity this turned out to be…the students were immediately drawn in upon entering the studio and seeing the snowflakes created by the others. Within minutes they were cutting out their own unique snowflakes, and shortly thereafter, recreating their snowflakes in sound. This is fun and easy to do, even if you have had very little experience in teaching improvisation! [···]

Read More