Steven Pinker – The Language Instinct

I’ve added Steven Pinker’s The Language Instinct to my recommended readings. The premise is simple: “Language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution.” This may seem like common sense, but its consequences challenge many of our commonly held beliefs about language and expression. One of these beliefs is that words determine thoughts.  […]

Lesson #6: There Are No Undergraduate Degrees in Hockey

This post is part of a series I’m writing about lessons that Music-in-Canada can learn from Hockey-in-Canada. Lesson #1: Hockey Brings People Together Lesson #2: Hockey is Anytime, Anywhere! Lesson #3: Hockey is Spontaneous Lesson #4: Hockey is Simply Structured Lesson #5: Hockey Creates Feedback Loops Lesson #6: There are No Undergraduate Degrees in Hockey Lesson […]

Lesson #4: Hockey is Simply Structured

This post is part of a series I’m writing about lessons that Music-in-Canada can learn from Hockey-in-Canada. Lesson #1: Hockey Brings People Together Lesson #2: Hockey is Anytime, Anywhere! Lesson #3: Hockey is Spontaneous Lesson #4: Hockey is Simply Structured Lesson #5: Hockey Creates Feedback Loops Lesson #6: There are No Undergraduate Degrees in Hockey Lesson […]

Lesson #2: Hockey is Anytime, Anywhere!

This post is part of a series I’m writing about lessons that Music-in-Canada can learn from Hockey-in-Canada. Lesson #1: Hockey Brings People Together Lesson #2: Hockey is Anytime, Anywhere! Lesson #3: Hockey is Spontaneous Lesson #4: Hockey is Simply Structured Lesson #5: Hockey Creates Feedback Loops Lesson #6: There are No Undergraduate Degrees in Hockey Lesson […]

Lessons Music-in-Canada Can Learn From Hockey-in-Canada

Canadians love to celebrate hockey. Most would agree that hockey culture is embedded deep within us.  We’re pretty good at it too!  The Canadian music community can learn lots from the hockey community; many parallels can be drawn – especially where it concerns education and the maintenance of a strong cultural presence. (Not that music […]

Why Did You Learn to Play the Spoons?

Many people ask. Two simple reasons: 1) Because I’m a horrible singer and 2) because without a piano, I realized I couldn’t play music.  Music shouldn’t be dependant on having access to a big wooden box with strings. (Can’t see the video? Click here.  Music from Sheesham and Lotus)

Ten Albums, Ten (Local) Heroes

I recently wrote a piece for italia.allaboutjazz.com.  It was originally going to be about the 10 CD’s I’m currently listening to.  I decided to do something slightly different.  Below is what I wrote: – – – – It is a pleasure to share with you 10 albums that had a significant influence on my music! […]

Talking vs. Playing in the Classroom

Something occurred to me the other day. If you recorded and analyzed how I spend time during lessons, you would see that most time is spent talking and discussing.  Very little time is spent playing. When I compare this to how my university piano teachers conducted my lessons, the results are the same: lots of […]

Achieving Hand Independence – More Patterns (Part 4/4)

In the previous posts, I laid a foundation for practicing hand independence.  The exercises I gave were fairly basic, though they’re crucial to understanding the learning process.  Each new, consecutive pattern is derived in some way from a previous pattern, but made slightly more difficult. This way, I’m always maintaining an optimal level of difficulty. […]

Achieving Hand Independence – Increasing Complexity (Part 3/4)

In the previous post, I laid a foundation for practicing hand independence.  The exercises I gave were fairly basic, though they’re crucial to understanding the learning process.  Each new, consecutive pattern is derived in some way from a previous pattern, but made slightly more difficult. This way, I’m always maintaining an optimal level of difficulty. […]