Monthly Archives: October 2014

Inbox Delight

I came home from a long day yesterday to find a lovely present in my e-mail inbox – the accompaniment tracks I asked my pianist sister to record for me!  Of course I played my violin before I dealt with e-mail last night, so I didn’t play with them yesterday.  How lovely will it be […]

Reading Music

I’ve been thinking about reading music the past couple of days, and about the Suzuki method and how it works.  I have a missing piece – or, rather, the opposite of that – in my ability to evaluate the Suzuki method.  Unlike most Suzuki beginners, I did learn to read music many years ago.  Way […]

Two Weddings: to “Happy”

Another wedding (sort of) last night brought my second encounter (according to Michael) with what might be the first pop song that I’ve noticed in years.  The song is so popular anyone reading this will already know it – Pharrell has over a billion YouTube views – over 500 million of them for this song, […]

A Pesky Triplet

I’m plugging away at Paganini – The Witch’s Dance is fun and challenging.  I have only worked with teacher on the piece in one lesson, however, and while we played it through and I understood the broad-strokes, the devil is always in the details (that reminds me; I need to write about Paganini and the […]

Le Streghe, by Paganini

Paganini’s Opus 8, Le Streghe, is the source of The Witch’s Dance, my new song. A Wikipedia article on his fifth concerto notes that the melody also makes an appearance in that piece’s first movement – I must admit that while somewhat familiar with the fifth concerto, as I’ve started playing the theme I utterly […]

I’m Playing This?

When I got home from work last night I gushed to Michael about beginning Paganini in my morning lesson (I also gushed to co-workers all day long about beginning Paganini in my morning lesson).  It occurred to me to think back to my start with Teacher and the Suzuki method, and to consider my expectations […]

Practice Makes Better

Unlike my horrible week prior, this past week I got in enough practice sessions, so I’m looking forward to today’s lesson.  Perhaps I’m looking forward to it a little more than usual – The Witch’s Dance, by Paganini, is my next song, and it’s likely that today is the day I’ll start it.  I’m not […]

Maestro, by David Donnely

The orchestra is in decline.  Apparently this decline has been conventional wisdom since at least 1969.  I don’t know much about this disaster, nor do I know if ½ of orchestras went out of business between 1969 and 1973, as so glumly predicted;  I suspect not.  Alarmism is alive and well in all fields.  But […]


I started re-reading The Black Swan yesterday, a 2007 book by Nassim Taleb (updated in 2012 after the events of 9/11).  The book is brilliant; it’s an exposition on the problems, beauty, and impact of the highly improbable.  Taleb is not exploring improbability in the absurd but brilliant way that Douglas Adams did with the […]

Bowing and Grooves

This past two weeks has been quite busy for me at work, and my practicing has suffered.  So of course in yesterday’s lesson I had to confess to Teacher – she’d know anyway.  It’s not that I’ve made no progress, but another week will be helpful on my newest piece.  I’ve now written two posts […]