Monthly Archives: April 2014


As I stepped out to drop the trash down the chute yesterday afternoon I ran into our neighbor across the hall, a generally nice veteran in his 80s who of course mentioned my violin playing.  He has complained to me before about noises on our floor, so I know he can be a bit sensitive […]

Your Brain on Music

My building’s laundry room has a swapping bookshelf – you can take or leave as many books as you want.  Of course I’ve done my share of both – my most recent find is “The New Brain,” by Richard Restak, M.D., a 2003 book published by Rodale on the changes wrought by modernity on the […]

Joyful Noise

About a block and a half from my condo there’s a tiny little one room church that rents space out of a building that also houses a convenience store and a hair salon.  Sometimes I go on a little walk on Sunday mornings, and I often see people entering the church – smiling young families […]

No Lesson

Teacher e-mailed me a few days ago and begged forgiveness for canceling this week’s lesson.  She’s got a gig in the far suburbs all week and has to be there early.  I haven’t really skipped any lesson weeks until now – we’ve moved days a few times, but have always managed to get one in. […]

Macy’s and Muzak

The music that accompanies us as we eat, as we shop, as we get our hair done – most of us probably don’t give a lot of thought to how it comes to be.  But some people give it a whole lot of thought. As I was shopping at Macy’s yesterday, I was reminded of […]

The Macdonald Viola

Antonio Stradivari is known for his violins, but he also produced other stringed instruments.  The 1719 Macdonald Viola is one of only ten complete extant violas by the master luthier, and the only one in playable condition from his Golden Period – apparently the Russian government owns the other one and it has fallen into […]

No New Music

My Austin long weekend kept me from too much practice last week, so my new song languished.  Of course we worked on it in yesterday’s lesson.  I’d been struggling to hear what the last couple of lines of my minuet are supposed to sound like, so the first thing I asked was for Teacher to […]