When I was growing up, we had to go to the library to hear various recordings of our pieces. With technology, it is much easier to access various performances of pieces - but only some pieces. I have decided to record my exploration through student repertoire that hasn't received as much screen time (or any at all)...First up: Conservatory Canada's Pre-Grade 1 repertoire.
With more of my students moving up to the upper intermediate and advanced grades, I myself need to get back into shape. Sure, I know their pieces well enough to teach them, but they are by no means polished. Nor do they need to be, but what better way to get my solo piano polishing skills back up than by starting with my students' pieces?
Last weekend, some of my studio families, friends and I took a beginner taiko drumming workshop. It might sound like an unusual activity for a piano studio, but music is music, regardless of instrument. Besides, nothing challenges your sense of rhythm and coordination like playing percussion in a group.
Several months ago, one of my fellow iaidoka (AKA, “The Tiny Samurai”) posed a question to Kim Taylor sensei of Sei Do Kai with regards to beats and budo. Taylor sensei shared some of his thoughts here, then made a reference to me (AKA, “The Tinier Samurai”) to try tackling the question.
When I first began my Iai journey in the mid 2000s, I recognized immediately the many shared themes between music and martial arts. Beats and budo, now this is something that I have been grappling with since Day One.
The theme at last week’s group classes was becoming a bulletproof musician. The idea has been percolating in my mind ever since I discovered Dr. Noa Kageyama’s blog on performance anxiety and mindful practice, called The Bulletproof Musician.