Category Archives: Lessons

What The Students Hear

There’s a million people trying to fit through a small opening, that’s how it is. If you still want to try and fit through that small opening be my guest, I don’t think you shouldn’t try, but beware the odds.

Forget about making cds or records, for now it’s over. People get it online. If you must just do 50 at a time.

The nature of networking isn’t to send cold call messages on Linkedin or Facebook but to actually work with people. You will be surprised where they end up in 5 years or 10 years and knowing them earlier might later pay unexpected dividends.

Say yes to every request of your musicianship if you can find a way to afford the trouble of doing it. (unless it’s Ken Finkleman)

Make videos for as many songs as possible. Youtube is the radio.

Every city has a college/ community radio station you can liaise with to promote your show. Don’t worry about playing the entire country unless other people are putting up the money.  Focus on playing Southern Ontario (and Montreal)  if you are staying in Canada. Keep your job and try to play in all those cities on weekends.

the guidance counsellor’s office

I reviewed your history and would like to call your attention to some facts

  • you start laughing if people take serious things you don’t think serious and
  • you’re don’t mind taking the long way even when there is a short cut and
  • you used to change cigarette brands based on packaging colours and
  • you don’t diligently follow recipes when cooking and
  • you don’t need to freak out if things are a little out of tune and
  • you think it’s ok to play the set list in a random sequence
  • you changed high schools every year

I recommend a career in freely improvised music.

That will be $400 plus HST.

It’s not funny that’s my service please pay your bill. Please stop smirking. Do you think that’s funny? Are you hearing me?

the cn tower ledge

For a certain type of musician whatever they can do isn’t good enough.

New people to piano have difficulty playing hands together. One forgets how real a complication that is in the early days. Their faces look at me like I’m asking them to step onto the ledge of the CN tower.

The interesting thing is when they do get there, when they can play hands together, they already moved on.  I might say hey look you can do it! They don’t care now they’re on fire about what I did in my right hand or my left hand or a record they heard and want to know how it was done.

The brain works like that. It’s as though it always wants to compare where you are with where you wish you were.

Some people realize the great lesson learned from this. They know whatever they set their sights on they can learn, they know to be patient and stay the course and maybe there’s another lesson in there too.