Giving back and finding faith


Happy Fingers: An Oscar Winner

After playing piano for a century, Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer looks back on her life in the Oscar-winning short documentary The Lady in Number 6. »


Piano Performance Tips from Veteran Gregg Kallor

After playing on 88 different Sing for Hope pianos around New York City for his video, veteran pianist Gregg Kallor offers his piano performance tips here. »


What Happened When I Forgot My Music

Frazzled after forgetting her sheet music for a planned session at a Sing for Hope Piano in Central Park, Nancy M. Williams switches tacks and finds calm. »


Piano Gone Missing

A news story about a missing grand piano brings to mind August Wilson's 1990 play The Piano Lesson, about a family's complex relationship with their piano. »


Playing Outside on an Octopus Piano

Sing for Hope Pianos, all over New York in June 2013, gave songwriter Steven Turner the chance to perform his original compositions outside in Central Park. »

Juilliard Students Perform to Save a Life

When Julliard students performed to raise funds for a young Georgian actor with leukemia, the Beethoven sonata seemed to echo his vulnerability and pain. »

Appoggiaturas and Donating Stem Cells

Emily Sun, mother and pianist, needs stem cell donation from an Asian donor to survive; the author, playing Schubert's appoggiaturas, realizes how to help. »

The Gift of Mercy Mild

The Gift of Mercy Mild

A personal essay by Nancy M. Williams about how the memory of her father teaching her the words to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" helped her find mercy. »

The Gift of O Holy Night

The Gift of O Holy Night

Barry Alexander sings O Holy Night. The first time I heard Barry Alexander sing was in a master class on performance I took from him and Cosmo Buono, a concert pianist. In the class were five amateur ... »

Giving Back During the Holidays at a Halfway House

Giving Back During the Holidays at a Halfway House

On Christmas, baritone Barry Alexander sings for residents of a halfway house. He finds giving back during the holidays one of the best ways to perform. »

Amateur pianist Joanna Eng on performing Schubert’s Fantasia in F Minor with her brother.

On the Hook to Play at My Brother’s Wedding

Preparing for a performance at her brother's wedding propelled amateur pianist Joanna Eng from feeling depressed about the piano to finding purpose. »

Carnegie Hall

Visualization for Carnegie Hall

After walking the spiritual Labyrinth at church, Nancy M. Williams comes up with a visualization strategy for her upcoming piano recital at Carnegie Hall. »

A Classical Piano Music Sit-Down Comedienne

I picked up the sheet music from the floor and said, “Whoops! Sorry about that,” and the audience was hysterical: Shirley Gruenhut's adventures performing. »

Lent’s Thirds in Clair de Lune

Committed to an act of justice each day during Lent, an amateur pianist begins to understand what it all means while practicing the thirds in Clair de Lune. »

Pianos Pop-Up for Classical Piano Music (and Jazz and Soul and Rock and Pop too)

Pianos Pop-Up for Classical Piano Music (and Jazz and Soul and Rock and Pop too)

In the summer of 2011, I learned Debussy’s First Arabesque. The ending—arpeggios waxing and waning, placid whole notes edging towards a healing E-flat—transported me. I did not know that at the same t... »


Giving Back at the Cadillac Hotel

Ria Carlo, a recording pianist, decides to give back by playing a free concert in the Tenderloin district, and finds an enthusiastic, appreciative audience. »