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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.  […]

About My Blog

I hadn’t updated my “About My Blog” page since I created the blog, and at the time I wrote the original I was still in “my late thirties.”  Since that changed last week, the page needed to as well! So yesterday I wrote a new one.   I hope you’ll give it a read. Thank you so […]

The Pros and Me

Last night Michael asked me, in the sweetest way possible, what it is that Teacher and (since we were listening to the Suzuki CD) folks like William Preucils do that I can’t do that makes their playing sound so good.  My immediate reply, conjuring the unsupported-by-research figure of Malcolm Gladwell, was, “Thousands of hours of […]

A Bach Bourree Finish

Apparently I passed the Bach Gavotte in D Major – in yesterday’s lesson Teacher took us onto the final piece in book three, a bourree, also by Bach.  If I was enamored of the last Bach gavotte (and I am) then this new bourree is totally spectacular.  I’ve been looking forward to it since starting […]

A Little Movement

I’ve been doing my best to practice vibrato every day, but it’s been very slow going, dare I say frustrating?  But both Monday and Tuesday during practice I admit that I was making some progress.  Tiny, itty-bitty amounts of progress.  The movement is welcome – I’ve needed a little clue that I’m not on a […]

Fun Little Pieces

A friend recently gave me two books of violin music; he has stopped playing the violin to focus on the viola.  One of the books is scored for piano as well.  I’ve started playing a little bit out of the solos book that does not have accompaniment – I have to choose the songs wisely; […]

New Year’s 400

Happy New Year! This first post of 2016 is my 400th on Musical Me.  The blog continues to do its job, reinforcing the musical learning I’m doing as I pursue my instrument.  There’s no denying I’ve come a long way on the violin – a richness of detail now informs every practice session – short term goals, such […]

On Gratitude for My Bounty

I’m a day late with this decidedly non-musical Thanksgiving post – I wrote it yesterday morning but it ended up feeling a little curmudgeonly for T-Day proper.  Perhaps it’s even more relevant on Black Friday, consumerism’s own Grand Hajj.  Michael and I had a lovely Thanksgiving, and I hope you did too! Over the past few years, the […]

“She Played a Scale.”

My wonderfully musical sister sent me to a blog post on Saturday called Why I’d Spend a Lot More Time Practicing Scales If I Could Do It All Over Again.  In it, music performance psychologist Noa Kageyama discusses scales as the quintessential practice tool.  To sum up his thoughts, scales provide a structure within which […]

They Sound a Little Flat to Me

Writing in Huffington Post a week ago, Elizabeth Weinfield lauded a trend in music performance – that of tuning instruments to the frequencies that were more standard when older pieces of music were written and played.  A while back I wrote about learning of temperaments – different ways of tuning instruments to make them sound […]