Inspiration and claiming your passion

How I Learned to Count at 49

How I Learned to Count at 49

Okay, all you pianists out there, I admit it. As a flutist, I had a bit of a superiority complex: an inflated or “influted” ego, so to speak. Unlike pianos, flutes are portable and easy to assemble, and all that breath control is good for our lungs.

How to Create Good Habits for Piano Practice

How to Create Good Habits for Piano Practice

The word “piano” doesn’t appear once in The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Random House, 2012). Yet this engaging book by New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg offers a useful perspective on how to create good habits for piano practice.

This Mother’s Day, a Concert Grand Piano

This Mother’s Day, a Concert Grand Piano

For Mother’s Day this year, don’t bother presenting Mom with a bouquet of plump peonies, gangly irises, and svelte tulips. Hold off on the box of dark chocolate truffles. Don’t even think about the simple gold necklace dangling with a charm.

Stamping Out Perfectionism in Adult Piano Lessons

Stamping Out Perfectionism in Adult Piano Lessons

For 2012, the piano teacher and concert organizer Catherine Shefski, disenchanted with how little she played the piano, resolved to upload to SoundCloud a new classical piano music recording each week.

A Piano Teacher Reclaims the Piano

A Piano Teacher Reclaims the Piano

January is the month of resolutions, and in January of 2012, Catherine Shefski resolved to reclaim the piano by recording classical piano music, one piece each week for a year.

Expression Is the Need of My Soul

Expression Is the Need of My Soul

I have often walked by my piano, even though I know that when I play I solve problems better, I am more peaceful, and I have a sense of positive fullness.

When An Adult Saw a Piano for the First Time

When An Adult Saw a Piano for the First Time

Indusekhar Menon hails from Pune, India, a city known as the Oxford of the East. In his early 30s, after looking upon a grand piano for the first time, he joined the global community of people with a passion for classical piano music.

Lent’s Thirds in Clair de Lune

Lent’s Thirds in Clair de Lune

Three weeks into Lent, I saw her slumped on a side staircase at Penn Station, her face set with weariness although she was fast asleep.

A Piano Teacher Takes Adult Piano Lessons

A Piano Teacher Takes Adult Piano Lessons

In his early 30s, Matthew Harre felt disenchanted with his piano technique. So this graduate of composition from American University and a teacher of adult pianists enrolled himself in adult piano lessons.

Hope for Adult Piano Lessons

Hope for Adult Piano Lessons

In a one-bedroom apartment of Manhattan’s Morningside Heights, a 1925 antique Steinway grand was the living room’s sole furniture save a small table and two chairs. Perhaps this piano would be the one? I wondered. I asked the owner, Nikolaos Laaris, to play while my husband and I listened.

Pianists Show Up in the Most Unexpected Places

Pianists Show Up in the Most Unexpected Places

The neon sign in the dark, second-floor window at the corner of 61st and Lexington simply read “Eyebrows.” Getting my eyebrows done had never failed to lift my spirits, and on that particular rainy Tuesday evening my spirits needed lifting.

Feeling Is First in the Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp Minor

Feeling Is First in the Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp Minor

Around a year ago, when I began studying the Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, I felt awed by how Chopin had packed in the notes a plaintive sadness. In contrast, in my childhood home, although Mom never articulated a rule on the matter, feelings were prohibited.

My Debut of Chopin’s C-sharp Minor Nocturne

My Debut of Chopin’s C-sharp Minor Nocturne

When I awoke this past Sunday morning, I could feel a familiar clipped breathing and tight chest from performance anxiety.  I was scheduled to play the Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp minor in public for the first time, at a mid-morning service at my church.

Red Light in Adult Piano Lessons

Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp Minor is a signature piece of my piano teacher, Stephen Wu. At his wedding reception at the Montclair Art Museum earlier this year, the lights dimmed as Stephen sat down at the mahogany Steinway, where he played a piece of his own composition he had written for his new wife, Meredith.