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Mrs. Austin on music and teaching…


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Share I have been teaching private piano lessons for about forty years.  Sometimes, I ask  myself, “What has kept me at this job for so long?”  I don’t receive monetary bonuses or paid vacations, and I teach alone most of the time.  So, what keeps me coming backing year after year?  First, developing my craft.  I am challenged to practice and learn the literature because it sharpens and enhances my own pianistic skills not only for my own teaching but also for my own self as well. Teaching is about change.  Every time a student comes in the door he or she is different.  To meet...

Josh and John Lennon


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Share Seeing the cigarette burn on the far edge of a piano – John Lennon’s piano – was the beginning of a surreal experience that would change Josh Goldberg forever. At the edge of the Steinway upright on which Lennon composed his iconic pop classic, Imagine, was evidence that this was not just any piano. It was THE piano where Lennon sat, smoking a cigarette and occasionally putting it down on the edge of the keyboard as he worked out the simple chords and idealistic lyrics that would create a song for the ages. In his senior year, Josh won the opportunity to perform on John...

Dr. Dobrin: A Life in Music and Teaching


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In this installment we reflect on a life of music and teaching. Perhaps more than any other subject or discipline, teaching music affords the student much more than learning to play an instrument. A good music teacher will integrate the relevance of historical and political perspective, social attitudes and analytical thinking as it pertains to the music they are teaching. For the student, this well-rounded approach enhances and deepens their musical understanding. In addition, students learn an awareness of how music is an essential part of our world. This is the essence of “educating...

Tiger Darrow: Musical Chameleon


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Share Next, in the continuing series of follow-up articles for the What Music Means to Me Project, we turn our focus to Tiger Darrow. Usually, the last names of the participants are not revealed in order to help protect their privacy and because, in context of the project, their last name is not important to know. In this case, however, and as you will see, Tiger’s name is everywhere. And for good reason.   In the WMMTM Project, Tiger wrote that music is her sanctuary. She describes beautifully the sound of her cello resonating in the air as “wrapping me up in a blanket, comforting...

Lewis: Music as Joy…and a little cooking.


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There is no better way to begin a conversation about music than to begin it with Lewis. His personal statement in What Music Means to Me is an evocation of the pure joy of making music and sharing it with others. Lewis wrote his statement for this project at the young age of twelve, somewhere between the ambiguity of youthful exuberance and maturing perception. His testimony shows exuberance, wisdom and mystifying curiosity joined together. He has often been described by his teachers as an “old soul”, as a person who has a deep understanding of music and the world around him well beyond...

What Music Means to Me – the book!


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What Music Means to Me, the book, is now published through Hal Leonard Corporation. Attractively priced at $29.99, this 13X11 coffee-table, hardbound book is beautifully laid out in fullcolor with over 40 testimonials and stunning photographs. What Music Means to Me will available at your local music stores, Barnes & Noble, and online with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders on February 15th. Recently, What Music Means to Me was selected for the “Best In Show” session at the 2011 National Association of Music Merchants Convention in Anaheim, California. About the...

About the What Music Means to Me Project


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The What Music Means to Me Project celebrates the value of music in education and in the quality of life.  Portions of this book are showcased here to introduce you to interesting and fascinating people whose stories about what music means to them will move you and inspire you. The purpose of the What Music Means to Me Project is to raise public awareness of the benefits of music making using photographic images and personal statements. In an emotionally palpable way, this project illustrates the intangible benefits of music through first-hand accounts and compelling stories: saving a...

About Riley & Where is she now?


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Among the many inspiring stories that are a part of What Music Means to Me, Riley’s is perhaps one of the most uplifting. With startling courage, Riley writes about her struggle with anorexia nervosa, how it chose her at the early age of seven, how she “kept so many secrets and told so many lies.” Those who are afflicted with an eating disorder know that the process of healing is long and filled with a labyrinth of stumbles and setbacks. Even when a person  grasps intellectually that they are really not how they see themselves, the disfigured feelings that contradict all logic can...

A New Look for the New Year 2011


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Welcome to the newly designed website for What Music Means to Me. This new and interactive site will feature many of the extraordinary people who participated in the original What Music Means to Me Project. In addition to their timeless stories, you will also read their backstory on how they came to the project and an update on where they are now. Feature stories will include new testimonials about music and education. Over the past several months, I have been busy finding new people who have generously shared their feelings about teaching music and how it has touched their lives and the...

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Kalie: Music is My H... Posted by author icon Richard Dec 4th, 2016 | no responses

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Patrick: Music will ... Posted by author icon Richard May 10th, 2016 | one response

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What Music Means to ... Posted by author icon Richard Sep 29th, 2015 | no responses
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