Category Archives: The Happy Professor’s Bavarcations

Comments and moments of inspiration which provoked me to create this site.

Choosing a Piano Teacher

Choosing a teacher for your child  … or for yourself … is the single most important decision you’ll ever make to assure you’ll learn quickly and correctly.  And above all, that music will become a permanent joy in your child’s … Continue reading

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For Career Music Teachers … Fair Fees and Rules

When I opened my piano studio twenty-five years ago in Honolulu  shortly after immigrating to the USA, I was immediately confronted with the problem of deciding what fees I should charge for lessons.  I had stellar qualifications with three degrees … Continue reading

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Piano Exercises … Yes or No

Scales and arpeggios.   Schmitt, Plaidy, Pischna, and Hanon …  the list is a daunting one and almost every teacher is familiar with the task of administering this “medicine” to all her students.  Those fingers must be strengthened and evenness … Continue reading

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My Juilliard Debut … Lip Syncing

. “Of  course you had great talent.   You were a piano prodigy! ” my mother insisted again and again over the years whenever I pointed out that my musical talents were limited and that it was mostly love of … Continue reading

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Zee Ped-ALL … Take zee foot off zee PedALL

. Get zee foot off zee ped-all   … Zee Ped-ALL   …  Too much Ped-ALL … In over a decade of studying music, under a panoply of instructors, ranging from my first gentle and encouraging teacher, to the dynamic and often … Continue reading

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The Classical Typewriter

. . This is a delightful bit of whimsy.  The music was originally written in 1950 by Leroy Anderson as an orchestral score but gained huge popularity after Jerry Lewis’s brilliant and wickedly funny pantomimed performance in  “Who’s Minding the Store” … Continue reading

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Little Katy …. The Second Lesson

Like so many of life’s lessons, the one taught to me by the little marihuana plant didn’t come to fruition until later.   About three years later. When my marriage ended, I returned to Montreal and my little condo.  Shaken by the upheaval … Continue reading

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Little Marijuana Plant …. The First Lesson

 I met “Ermawn” in Montreal over twenty years ago.   And also met my first marihuana plant a couple of weeks later in his condo “grow room”. I was home for my annual summer break from the sweltering hot and oppressive … Continue reading

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Victor Borge … “The Page-Turner” … Classy Classic Comedy

 Victor Borge   “I only know two pieces;  one is Clair de Lune and the other one isn’t” Victor Borge is probably one of the most beloved comedians of the twentieth century.  He was born in 1909 in Copenhagen where his … Continue reading

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“You Vill Zank me Zomeday”

It was the Banff scholarship which finally ended my father’s promise to match the value of any award I  won.   It was a six-week summer session at the Banff School of Fine Arts and included everything but the plane fare.   … Continue reading

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The Best Learning Trick Ever!

I’m going to share my best learning secret for piano students right here.   It’s a simple trick which works on two basic principles. ♥   The first is that the brain is a computer which operates with amazing precision. ♥   The second … Continue reading

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Teaching … the Sacred Path

I remember the day the piano was delivered to our home.   Two husky men hauled it into our living room and unwrapped yards of brown canvas to reveal a shiny brown Willis upright which Mom later informed me had cost an … Continue reading

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“Chicken Dance” … Putting the Fun Into Rameau

Okay ….  I have to come clean here.   I’m a specialist in Baroque music and to say I’m an afficionado of music of that era is understating the fact.   A few moments of beautifully rendered Bach, Rameau or Zipoli is enough … Continue reading

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Hallelujah … A Heart-Warmer

   Sometimes something moves one to tears.   A fragment of beauty or a moment of pure sweetness.   This YouTube clip is one such event.   Filmed by a teacher in Quinhagaka, a small village school in Alaska, it encompasses all my dreams … Continue reading

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Upcoming links

Just an update on the progress of this site.   My goal here is twofold.   First to encourage both teachers and students of piano with the ultimate goal of bringing the love of good music to as many people as my … Continue reading

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“America the Beautiful”

     In some twenty years of teaching piano, I encountered only two students who refused to learn to read the notes.  The first one was a precociously pretty teenager with perfectly manicured nails which she clicked on the keys like castanets.  She … Continue reading

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A tale of two girls

This is a true story.   And it is a sad story which every teacher should read and remember before they walk into a classroom or studio.   It’s also an inspiring story. Over thirty years ago, there were two teenage girls in the … Continue reading

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The Accidental ” Accidentals”

 Accidental Accidents      Magdalena was one of my first students after I moved to Hawaii. And she quickly became one of my favorites. A tiny little Eurasian girl with a quiet twinkle in her eyes, she was a model of … Continue reading

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