How to remember music intervals and why

Anyone who wants to sing a song by reading music notes will need to be able to identify the intervals (i.e. distance between notes) and how they should sound. Unless you have perfect, a.k.a. absolute, pitch, you will need to reference the sound of the second note from the first pitch (sound of the first note).

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More than teaching piano

I specialize in teaching adults how to play piano. More and more adults are learning to play the piano as a way to relax, exercise their mind and body coordination, and play songs they like. Adults learn quickly, but they are also self-critical.

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Happy Thai Girl on Thai Cooking Made Easy

When June, my friend from high school, announced on Facebook that she had published her cook book “Happy Thai Girl” I suddenly remembered all those Sundays in Okinawa when I woke her up to cook for me.

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9/11 piano concert on Maui

In my quest to give concerts for every occasion and purpose, I have long wanted to pay a musical tribute to September 11, 2001. It was a day that changed my life, for I was in Manhattan for a morning staff meeting that got sidetracked by the fall of the twin towers. I documented my journey in consecutive Bon Journal entries and referred and acknowledged in subsequent years.

How does one select the music for 9/11? Continue reading

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Teaching from the gut

Long ago I posted a blog on Bon Journal called “Teaching from the Gut.” By the title, I meant teaching a subject you know so intimately that it feels as though it’s coming out of your gut. You’re so confident of the subject that you don’t need to do additional research to make sure you got it right.

That’s how I felt about teaching math, piano, and now, Mandarin.

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Kubasaki High School Reunion Cruise: part four

In the final part of this four-part blog post about my high school reunion, I reflect upon why my high school classmates should and would want to attend the next reunion. I write this because I struggled against my own reservations (part one) to attend this particular reunion and had years earlier come up with rational excuses for not attending previous reunions.

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Kubasaki High School Reunion Cruise: part three

It’s nearly two weeks after the reunion. Yet as I type this blog post, my friends are still  uploading photos and videos, tagging each other, and commenting on Facebook. Rebecca’s “Is anyone else having Dragon withdrawal?” ignited a chain reaction.

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Kubasaki High School Reunion Cruise: part two

Funny, every time I type “Kubasaki” WordPress autocorrects it to “Kabuki.” What does Kubasaki mean? I told a stranger that the word came from my last name. He believed me. Continue reading

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Kubasaki High School Reunion Cruise: part one

My high school reunion cruise of July 10-13, 2015 in the Caribbean was a much anticipated event. Thanks to Julie, one of the organizers who reminded me to pay the $200 deposit by December and the remaining amount in April, I eventually did reserve a cabin and book my flights and attend this reunion. I say “thanks” because I had great reservations. Continue reading

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Utrecht: the Roman city of cyclists

In 2006, I moved to Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, eager to join the cyclists on the streets of cobblestones. For the previous two years I was commuting from Bussum, a village of 10,000, by train to Utrecht and by foot to Utrecht Conservatory. Continue reading

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