Monthly Archives: July 2016

Mind the Gap

As I move my fingers around the strings, I have a tendency to lift them way up high and then pound them back down. Such behavior has some consequences.  For one, simply being way up in the air over the strings with my fingers means that it takes time to get back down to the […]


Good teachers know a lot.  At mine’s suggestion, during my practice session yesterday I tried to play with abandon, just like we talked about in our Tuesday lesson.  Play joyfully!  Don’t worry about the notes!  Get my heart into it! Just let go!  We were talking about a concerto, after all, not an etude.  The […]

Joy – Getting to the Point

Teacher continued to hammer musicality yesterday in our lesson – I’m working this Seitz concerto hard, and it’s time to let the relentless pursuit of mechanics go and just feel the music.  There’s so much tough stuff going on in this piece that it’s hard for me to do that.  I want every note to […]

Nigerian Soul in Chicago

Millennium Park, one of Chicago’s downtown public space jewels, hosts free concerts on Monday and Thursday nights during the summertime.  They take place at the Pritzker Pavilion, a landmark Frank Gehry designed bandshell.  I should go more often – it’s a real treat to sit out on a blanket snacking and watching music with friends.  […]

Carter and a Kora

Regina Carter is a violinist, classically trained, who has become famous for her overall talent and her innovative musical explorations.  I’ve known of her for a while.  She tours widely – in fact she’ll be playing with the Grant Park Symphony down at the Pritzker Pavilion here in Chicago this weekend, a program of Duke […]

Perlman at the Opera House

I’m going to see Itzhak Perlman – the recital is 9 months away – April 23 – but, as I told my partners in the excursion, the best violinist in the world has to plan ahead.  He will be 71 years old at the time of the show.  He’s playing the Civic Opera House, home […]

Learn, Teach

I don’t have a lesson today – Teacher is away at an Irish fiddle camp in one of the Carolinas (I can’t ever keep the Carolinas straight – apologies to the good people who call them home).  I was interested in her preparation for the expedition – she has been playing her fiddle for the […]

Mauro Giuliani: Guitarist, Composer

Mauro Giuliani was a classical era composer and one of the finest guitarists in the world.  Prior to yesterday, I don’t think I’d ever heard of him; for whatever reason I have not thought much about the guitar as a classical musical instrument at all.  Giuliani began his musical life on the cello, and was […]

Revisiting Beethoven

Beethoven is represented exactly once in the Suzuki repertoire in Books One through Four – his famous “Minuet in G” in Book Two.  I loved it when I learned it, but recently I haven’t given it much attention at all. In some ways it’s a tough one – there’s a position shift down and it’s […]

Perlman and Stern and Me

I’ve been slowly getting around to all nine of the CDs in the Perlman collection that my parents gave me for my birthday back in May – I’ve been taking them wildly out of order, but this morning I loaded up the first CD from the collection into iTunes.  It opens with the Bach Concerto […]