Friday, June 29, 2012

Reading about Sight Reading

I've been doing a bunch of reading about sight reading lately (my that sentence parses awkwardly, doesn't it?). So I thought I'd put links to some of my reading materials here for future reference.

Here are a couple of theses/dissertations on the subject:
And here's some other long and scholarly articles:
(Please leave a comment if you know of more I can add to this list!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012


This has been an odd period in my piano life. A month and a half ago I found out that the therapist who had seen me through the last 2 years of momentous personal changes was leaving town. While my conscious mind accepted this philosophically, and worked toward tying up loose ends, my body felt all the angst. Two days after I got the news, I got a migraine, my first one in eight years, and the blasted thing has been coming and going for the past six weeks. 

Strangely enough, along with the migraine came a sudden, deep urge to play piano again. Unfortunately pianos make sounds, and when I have a migraine, each sound is like a nail driven into my skull. But whenever the migraine lifts, I've been playing piano, and experiencing a new passion and power in my relationship to the instrument. It's been amazing...

... until the migraine returns, and then sounds and lights are no longer my friends. The sound thing is frustrating because of the piano, of course, and the light thing is equally frustrating because it is my favorite season here, early spring, when the sun begins to return to the Pacific Northwest, and the world has the wonderful aroma of early blooming fruit trees. But instead of blossoming in the sun as I usually do, I've had to hide from it, because even on days that the migraine has abated, the damned thing is guaranteed to return if I get sun in my eyes. 

But when it fades out for a day or two, playing the piano is a joyous experience.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


It's amazing how much of the important stuff never gets written down, or ends up scattered across half-empty notebooks, dead laptops, and various internet forums.

A year and a half ago I was happily involved in learning piano, until I quit smoking, after which I suffered  a severe and persistent deficit of musical motivation. Even a year later, I was experiencing periods of active revulsion from my instrument.

Now, at last, I think I've finally gotten over it. Playing piano is fun again, in fact more fun than it's ever been before -- it's as much fun as I've always thought playing music would be (yet it never quite was...). My inner critic, who used to growl discouraging things like "This is hopeless, that doesn't even sound like music!" has changed his tune to quasi-positive comments like,  "Not bad, with a bit of polishing that might be worth recording :) "

Yes, you saw it. My inner critic even smiled at me.