Entries by Andrew

The Jouney Interrupted, a Voice Silenced

This is a post I hardly expected to write. About 6 months ago I closed my 8,000 sq ft piano retail and rebuilding shop. I shrunk and moved my business back home; planning on an idyllic semi-retired life. I planned on working about a half of a day and getting back to all the practicing […]

A Fellow Traveler

Recently I was visiting with a fellow traveler in the piano world. He is one of the few people I have met in my life who has traveled a nearly parallel road as mine. He is a piano tuner and rebuilder, teacher, and has a similar education as my own. What a treat! In the […]

Rule #3 Different Perspecitves

Ask anybody whose job involves a significant amount of problem solving and one of their most important techniques is to look at the problem from as many different perspectives as possible. Sometimes it is only after taking a fresh and different perspective can we find an answer. In music learning this can take the form […]

Commandment #4 Thou Shalt Use Both Hands at all Times

As a young piano student my piano teacher insisted I learn each hand individually before I put them together. I found this very frustrating because I never felt the work I did with my hands individually did anything to prepare me for playing with both hands simultaneously. Learning to play one hand at a time, […]

Commandment #3 Thou Shalt Not Look at Thy Hands

Cognitive scientists will tell us that interrupting the visual flow if information is a significant determent to learning. Looking from the score to your hands and back to the score breaks up the information flow into your memory, creating a garbled mess. It is critical for the mastery of playing, that the fingers and arms […]

Practice Rule #2 Limited Material

As someone whose eyes have always been larger than my ability or time available, I have had to learn the value of limiting the amount of material I work on at a time. I also discovered through my cognitive psychological research that there are some pretty strong scientific reasons for limiting the amount of material […]

Commandment #2 Thou Shalt Know and Love They Beat

The most important thing in music is rhythm, the most important thing to rhythm is the beat, and the most important thing to the beat is its steadiness. I can play a familiar melody such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and make it completely unrecognizable by radically changing the rhythm. However, it is still […]

Rule #1 Limited Time Frame

We have all heard the axiom “A job expands to fill the time allowed.” This can be expressed differently: “Limit the time to do the work and the work may still get done.” One of the inherent flaws in the weekly lesson template we all use and grew up with is the lack of tight […]