How not to get to Carnegie Hall

No one taught me how to practice. Just do it, they said, which is how I honed my amazing ability to daydream while moving my fingers. I can play a Bach sonata and keep a running commentary in my head: what’s for dinner? I must send flowers to Aunt Margie (ooops! skipped a note!) Are my favorite jeans in the dryer? Get cat food!

I studied piano with Jessie DiGuilio of Albion, New York, starting at the age of six. I quit lessons in high school, then took it up again my senior year and in college and dropped it again after realizing I wasn’t taking it seriously enough. I had no fire. My college piano teacher once told a friend, “I don’t think Brenda ever listened to a word I said.” He’s probably right.

Despite my inability to focus, I have the privilege of serving as a part-time professional musician at a small town Episcopal church. For this I thank all my teachers and my parents. I had the good fortune of growing up in a family of musicians, and I was blessed (or cursed, depending on your point of view) with perfect pitch. But I still find it hard to practice. Maybe if my teachers had had resources such as Virtuoso TV, I might have worked my way up to Carnegie Hall.

Comments

MYSTERY PIECE FOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 2010

I believe that was "Reverie" by Claude Debussy. For a future mystery piece, why not use the second movement of Hector Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique," the "Ball" movement? And, to keep the Halloween theme going, you could also throw in some of the music that John Williams wrote for "Dracula," maybe the theme or the "Night Journeys" cue. It's a great score, though it might be a little too obscure for the general listener. Some listeners out there might recognize it, though!

Thanks for the suggestions

Mark,

I pulled out Un Ball for yesterday's mystery piece. Will use the others in November. Thank you for listening to Classical 91.5.