Monthly Archives: July 2014

Mischa Elman Plays Gavotte

The song I’ve been polishing the most remains Gavotte, by the French composer Gossec.  Teacher says it will remain the most technically challenging song in my repertoire until near the middle of Book 2.  I am continuing to greatly enjoy working with it. I found a YouTube of Mischa Elman playing the song – I […]

The 11 Year Old Pianist

“Hey E, you know I play the violin?” “No, I didn’t.” “I know you play the piano.” “Yeah.” “For how long?” “About 8 years.” “Wow!” “Yeah.” “I hear you’re pretty good.  Did you start with Suzuki or Yamaha?” “When I started I just had this little red piano.” (smiling and gesturing about 18 inches with […]


My new song is from an opera called Der Freischütz, by Carl Maria von Weber, a German composer born in 1786.  Wikipedia reports the opera, first performed in 1821, is widely considered to be the first major German Romantic opera.  The Hunter’s Chorus, my song, is a popular piece to excerpt from the work.  It’s […]

Are You Kidding Me with This?

In Musette, the final note is a D, which I’ve typically been playing on the A string because, well, that’s what the music would seem to indicate and that’s all I’ve known how to do.  I was thrown for a wonderful loop during my lesson yesterday when, the second time playing through the piece, Teacher […]

Lesson Day

It’s been two weeks since my last lesson, and I’ve had a four day weekend in the meantime as well.  We have stayed put all the while, so I’ve managed to get plenty of practice time in.  In fact, I feel I’ve had a very productive two weeks with my violin, despite still feeling my […]


Most people who love them learned to appreciate Erasure at least two decades ago.  Not me.  While my peers were appreciating the electronic greats of pop culture during the late 1980s, I was utterly oblivious and doing other things.  Mostly, when it comes to pop music, I still am.  I really could not tell you […]

Moving On, Yet Stuck

Well I can’t do it anymore – starting with Twinkle Twinkle and working through all my songs leaves me no time to practice my newer songs.  Yesterday I spent about 15 minutes warming up with scales and arpeggios and the G Major tunes in Book One that lead up to Gavotte.  I then spent about […]

A Musical Independence Day

As I lay in bed yesterday morning prior to getting up, I started thinking about music representative of American Independence Day, and immediately John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever popped into my head.  When I overcame the inertia of the bed, I grabbed coffee and made my way to the internet, where Google’s Independence […]

Self-Confidence?  Ego?

A colleague and I led a discussion last night on reconciling the concept of self-confidence with the Buddhist notion of anatta, or “no-self.”  Most of us, it’s safe to say, value self-confidence on some level, and those of us who’ve been lucky enough to come across some of the ideas embedded in Buddhism tend to […]

I Played II, and Errors

Yesterday’s practice session went much better than Sunday’s.  If you’re following my little saga, I’m fresh off of a bike crash, well, ten days ago, and I’m trying to get back into the groove of the things that keep me going – playing and physical exercise – while not doing any further damage to myself.  […]