Michael's Blog

10 subtle signs you are NOT trusting yourself while practicing

Should you trust yourself while you practice? There might be some benefits. But, you will not even know how unless you pay attention to signs that it is not happening. To get you started, here's a list of ten such indications: Playing a wrong note twice, trying to fix it the second time. Trying to make sure you play the right dynamics, fingering, phrasing, etc. (you think you know what's so important, don't you?). Realizing you...

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Can you embrace your faults?

As a musician, how often do you take a stance of acceptance towards yourself? I see in my students and colleagues (and certainly myself) constant battles, efforts at correcting or running away from our faults. What if those faults don't need to be chased away? Could we even embrace them?

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What if there were no way to do it wrong?

All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. — J.S. Bach We all know that you're supposed to play classical music right. There are just so many things to get wrong, aren't there? Wrong notes, wrong rhythms, wrong dynamics, wrong phrasing, wrong articulation, wrong attitude. What if there were no way to do it wrong? Are there benefits to getting rid of the concept of...

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Three unconvincing reasons not to use a metronome

I am tempted to say that if you don't use a metronome regularly in your practicing You're Doing it Wrong, but I'm sure that would be unfair.

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Stress is easy

Here's a challenge for you: can you just let go of your difficulties?

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Control, avoidance, acceptance

As a musician, how often do you take a stance of acceptance towards yourself? I see in my students and colleagues constant battles, efforts at correcting or running away from our flaws. What if those flaws don't need to be chased away? Is it possible to even embrace them?

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Interpreting poems

As someone who plays a lot of art songs, I am constantly faced with issues of poetic interpretation. Is there a right or wrong interpretation of a poem? What would it mean for an interpretation to be right or wrong?

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Why musicians should have opinions

As artists, should we always have opinions? Why do some people have opinions and some don't? Should everyone have an opinion, or should we leave opinions to those who have enough knowledge and evidence to back up those opinions? Are those opinions ever right or wrong?

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Why you should have a lesson even if you didn't practice

It is not an uncommon occurance for a student to wish to cancel their lesson because they didn't practice that week. Apparently, this seems to be a reasonable attitude. After all, if the student hasn't practiced, what is there to do in the lesson, beyond just repeat whatever was done last week? The teacher will just chastise the student for not practicing, and nothing will really get done, because the student and the teacher will...

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July 10 Recital with Allison Holst-Grubbe

Hearts All WholePERFORMED BY SOPRANO ALLISON HOLST-GRUBBE AND PIANIST MICHAEL KORMANExploring themes of love as found in nature through German and American art songs of the 19th and 20th centuries. Date: July 10, 2011 at 3:00 PM. Location: New Britain Museum of American Art Free with museum admission.This will be an exciting program featuring songs by Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt, Ned Rorem, Charles Ives, Samuel Barber, and William Bolcom, as well...

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