Great experiences working and learning from great vocalists and the concert. Many thanks to the mentors and talented vocalists and I am happily back in NY resuming weekly obligation.
Now, the repertoire for the final concert has been set - besides playing for the singers' lessons, additional rehearsals start! It is actually my first open air concert (never performed "outside" - solo piano recitals are almost always in indoors. Excited! Collaborative piano performance and its preparation are so much more fun than just working on the solo stuff... Also it is so useful/ applicable to my work as a music director relating to choir rehearsals, their repertoires and preparation. Another half way to go!
Just arrived in outskirt of Florence to be a part of Casentino Voice - a wonderful master classes, lesson/coaching and performance series run by my dear soprano colleague and mentor, Valerie Girard. I am so excited to work with those fabulous singers and observe some coaching tips during the course. I truly love summer when I am allowed to have some extra time to spare for my performance enhancing projects to maintain my pianistic (especially on collaborating with singers) skills. So look forward to a week full of music! Despite of the jetlag, I feel so energized!!!
Summer is the time to squeeze in extra performances and learning new repertoires to make some "reserve" to keep up with my pianistic capabilities besides working as a music director at St. Andrew's and also as a piano teacher. Pianistically speaking, though I still enjoy working on the solo repertoire, I love working with singers for the amazing experiences what we could create together as one performing entity. The time also is an issue - for solo repertoire, it takes a lot more time to be fully ready whereas collaborative piano repertoire takes less time for preparation (but more time for rehearsals).
It is interesting to note that if things are a part of routine (preparing for weekly Mass, doing search and work for new and more liturgically interesting pieces on both piano and organ, prepping choir pieces, etc), it becomes "the norm" and it does not stand as a challenge much these days. On the contrary, the additional repertoire for non-routine performances (i.e. additional vocal repertoire, new solo programs, etc) becomes something which require extra effort and hard practice to feel ready for performance quality. It is a little funny that until I became the music director (as my main work now) at St. A's, the feel was the total opposite, practicing for solo and collaborative piano repertoires was a part of routine and I felt it was more of a challenge to search and consistently incorporate the new liturgically meaningful pieces either on the piano and/or on the organ on weekly basis.
I suppose it is all relative - the more comfortable and regularly "performed" repertoire or genre of music becomes more instantaneous/ implicit per se. I have about a week more to go left to get ready for a vocal workshop. It is truly energizing experiences to extend my expertise as a musician/pianist and, though it could be a challenge at times due to time management, I hope to keep up with any genres of music I cherish.
As for teaching, "Project Ipsilon" is a spin-off project in progress using my teaching experiences as a piano teacher, which I also enjoy and cherish as a part of my career. Performing is great, yet I also believe music has a great power to nurture people, especially children as a part of their life experiences and education. Hope to be able use my tips of effective learning and music's influence in cognitive development and its optimization to contribute back to the society! It is almost like the collaborative piano performance, teaching is always a teamwork with the student to make the best out of his/her capability together. During summer, it is rather more relaxed and I am more performance oriented, yet this will be back to one of my main topics to face in fall semester.
Hope I have more than 24hrs a day to get to all those I love to do...!!!
It has been very busy month, each week passed by as if in a snap of fingers....
Yet it has been great pleasure to have a huge step forward with creating our Muspuzzle (music reading program using imagery and its processing) app wireframe! Many thanks to our technology specialist for his patience and suggestions.
We hope to officially launch our first app in next months! Please stay tuned!
I have been actively teaching and accompanying as a pianist in past years besides my work as a music director in the greater NYC area. I am finally putting things together with my 10+ years of piano teaching with the focus on cognitive skills for optimizing the learning experiences, especially those who have active learning life styles. I have been trained as a solo pianist all these times and connecting my teaching experiences with medical/ scientific aspects of learning has been a bit of challenge, though I must say it has been a wonderful and fun adventure. I feel I have been very lucky to have great observation skills in terms of analyzing personalities and one's cognitive skills at the piano and all became integrated together to form this teaching/ learning method.
Those who are interested in studying the piano playing, please feel free to reach me for any advice before actually committing yourselves to the lessons!
Those who are interested in using my method as a measurement for cognitive assessments (for eye tracking and comprehension/ decision making, visual processing in relation with spatial processing), please use the "contact us" page to reach me for further communication. I am interested of the possibilities of music in medical and scientific field and would love to see what we can work together with.
Thank you for your attention and wish you a wonderful learning experiences through piano playing!