Monday, June 30, 2008

Music and Passion

I've watched another TED video, this time with Benjamin Zander (author of The Art of Possibility which I also highly recommend).

Benjamin Zander on Music & Passion

If you've ever thought you might not like classical music, watch this 20 minute treat. If you like classical music, watch it anyway.

And if you ever thought you might be tone deaf, Benjamin Zander will explain why you're probably not.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

I've discovered a great website:

Here is Sir Ken Robinson suggesting that school may kill creativity.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Doors open & doors close

Doors open, and doors close.

At the end of this week, I will no longer own my beloved Kindermusik studio.

I began my Kindermusik studio in February 2000, with a class of 3 children. Now there are more than 100.

One family has been with me throughout that period - we're on bub number 3 - so I have watched this entire family grow up.

Some of my original Kindermusik babies are now 8-10 years old, and learning piano or guitar with us. Some are in children's choirs. Some play soccer or do ballet. The music they learned helped them get where they are today.

My fabulous administrator, Leesa, will be going with the Kindermusik studio to the new owner. We have worked together for the past six years. She'll be working across the corridor, but I will miss working with her. (I'm not so convinced she will miss working with me... it can be chaos central!)

It's wonderful. It's sad. It's exciting. It's overwhelming. So, just another day in the life.

I continue to teach piano to both children and adults. I continue to love teaching. I never get tired of watching students realise, "I can do it!"

I am developing new short courses for those who are too time-poor to come for regular weekly lessons. I am writing a book. One of these days I may even get some rest.

Doors open, and doors close.

I wish you all the best with your week.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Learning to let yourself create

I'm re-reading Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way: . (This is an excellent book if you feel you could be creative, but aren't sure how to start.)

Judging your early artistic efforts is artist abuse. This happens in any number of ways: beginning work is measured against the masterworks of other artists; beginning work is exposed to premature criticism, shown to overly critical friends. In short, the fledgling artist behaves with well-practiced masochism.... Mistakes are necessary! Stumbles are normal. These are baby steps. Progress, not perfection is what we should be asking of ourselves....There will be many times when we won't look good - to ourselves or anyone else. We need to stop demanding that we do. It is impossible to get better and look good at the same time.
Remember that in order to recover as an artist, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself prmission to be a beginner. By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one.

I may have to frame this. Most of my students suffer from this in one form or another. This week they can play a little Mozart piece - great! But why can't they play Rachmaninof? (After maybe 20 lessons.)

We don't have to set the world on fire. We do need to set our own hearts on fire, by playing at music with the same serious intensity of a young child learning to walk. The new toddler will fall down a hundred times, but she or he keeps on getting up and having another go.