The piano and the pianist have a relationship. It’s different from the violinist who cradles the instrument under his chin or the cellist whose body enfolds the instrument. It’s different from the woodwind or brass player who constantly breathes the life of music through the instrument. It’s certainly different from the singer who is their instrument. The piano is big... Read more →
Welcome to Musical Fossils
Learning to play the piano is exciting, frustrating, fun, boring, exhilarating and sometimes depressing. This is true whether one is an adult or a child.
After teaching adults for over 40 years, I find these students enthusiastic, resourceful and dedicated. Many piano teachers feel "fossil" is the apt description for adult beginning and intermediate piano students. I use the term mockingly because I know better. I know they can be fluid, flexible, and adventurous if only we will encourage them to be. This site is designed to help both adult students and their teachers find these qualities of freedom in their piano study.
What I’ve learned from my adult students is that the bruises they suffered in their education as children and young adults interfere with their learning to play the piano much more than any problems of an aging mind or body. What I’ve learned to do for my students who are children is to try to do no harm. I don’t... Read more →
Getting the body settled at the piano is easy compared with getting the mind settled. The mind flies off in all directions when we practice. Concentration, the word used to indicate someone is thinking, is not a word I like. In our youth we heard parents and teachers say: “You’re not concentrating.” “If only you’d concentrate, you could do so... Read more →
Practicing is the most difficult, day-to-day issue of playing the piano. Like any regular discipline, some people find it easier to practice than others do. Some days are easier to practice than others and sometimes it seems like nothing works, even when the quality of the practice is good. In this chapter, I want to discuss the difficulty of actually... Read more →