Have you ever dreamed of playing a Steinway grand piano? (I'm talking more than "Chopsticks".) Here are a few pictures from our spring recital where students got to do just that.
Infinite thanks to Pat Packard at the Old White Church and Saco River Theatre for hosting us! What a dream venue.
Listen up, and you could win a FREE KITTEN*.
How many times has a student declared somewhat sheepishly to me, usually at one of our first few lessons, "You know, I really don't have an ear for music!" And it's always the adults. The little ones, they don't even know what "having an ear" means. They see a super cool machine that makes noise (that's my piano) and they are IN. But adults, they get all apologetic. I could try to convince them that it's not true, that everyone has an ear for music, and probably they just never put in any time developing it. They won't listen, so instead of saying that, I like to say, "Play Happy Birthday for me." They look at me like I have two heads and say, "I don't know how to play Happy Birthday!" To which I reply, "Then figure it out. Start here."
"Here" is G. You can play Happy Birthday using only white notes if you just start on G. Don't know your G from your XYZ? Here is a picture for you.
So here is my CHALLENGE to you:
Get yourself to a piano or pull out that keyboard that has been in your closet since the 80s, find a G somewhere in the middle of the keyboard, and play Happy Birthday. You can do it! It may be slow going. You will hit LOTS of wrong notes (this is how you find the right ones). You are allowed to swear. But basically I am convinced that if you really try (imagine yourself at knifepoint if it is helpful) you can play this song that you have sung about a million times since childhood.
If you can't find a piano or a keyboard you can even do it online - search for "virtual piano" or "online piano" (e.g. virtualpiano.net). Now you have no excuses!
And if you TRY it and you DO it - I will take you at your word - then I will award you ONE FREE KITTEN*!
And then you won't be able to tell me you "don't have an ear". Because you do!
So come on, people! Take the Happy Birthday Kitten Challenge and let me know how it goes. I've got a lot of kittens here I need to get rid of.
* while supplies last
We had Piano Night last Sunday at my studio. This is just for my adult students: I lure them to my studio with promises of yummy food and drink (including wine and cheese balls), we hang out and shmooze a little and share some music. I want them to know that they are part of a truly amazing group of people - other adults taking piano lessons! It's weird, but they all happen to be brilliant and charming - coincidence, causation, or correlation?
ANYWAY. This Piano Night the stories started flowing. I would like to share one of those stories here.
At some point in her adult life, my student made the momentous move to get a piano. She was very excited. She went shopping, found a piano, and arranged for movers to deliver it to her home. Her two young children knew this was a big deal because she told them all about it, how this piano was coming to their home and how wonderful it was and how great it would be to have a piano in their very own home. Everyone waited with great anticipation for the day of its arrival. Finally the day came, and it was hot. I mean, it was HOT. Two gigantic men showed up with the piano, and as they struggled to move the giant instrument into its new home the two children watched wide eyed. Sweat poured off the men, but they finally succeeded with their task. "Mommy!" exclaimed the youngest child, as the men paused nearby catching their breath, "I didn't know getting a piano would smell so bad!"