Category Archives: Piano

new clothes

I worked with an inspiring  pianist who’s body language was the opposite of mine. I squirm and contort. My legs and torso move in different directions and my head flings back and I close my eyes. I make weird sounds and I don’t mind any of this, I’m used to trying to not get in the way of what my body wants to do. It has it’s own instincts and I like the results.

But this other person was totally still. Feet still, spine erect, voice silent, eyes open. Sometimes when I was alone I imitated it and I had a completely new experience on the piano. I bet other people find it valuable to track whatever your body already does and then try to interfere with it, privately to see if anything is different in the music experience.

the mistake

people in concert play a “wrong” not while improvising or soloing, then a couple instant thoughts usually go through the brain.

one is to correct the note but then you are confirming for the listeners that you made mistake.

two is to play the bum note again 200 more times as if to say i did it on purpose and insinuate the listener was at fault for assuming that first time was a mistake. (very clever)

a third choice is to not give a shit about being judged (by yourself or the audience), (who’s response ultimately is just in your imagination).


Some people I teach are notation-reading-only-musicians and some have a similar story in their background being at parties where people are jamming and despite playing all their life they can’t play along and feel like an imposter musician.

I love working with those types. I push them overboard. It’s like they just told me they’ve been swimming all their life and we’re on a boat and so I get them in the water we both know they know how to swim.

“Life jacket!!” they scream

“Swim!!” I scream



And then I ask them to pay in advance for the next 4.

Ok not exactly.

But sort of.