Category Archives: Musical Motivation

Happy New Year! Beginnings, Concerts and Podcasts

Happy New Year!

It’s great to have these demarcations in our lives – times to reflect on past and future, and to dream about what might be possible, how we can realize our potential and contribute to the world in the coming 365 days. Obviously, this is just a date on the calendar – but most of us get a few days off to enjoy time with our friends and family and to catch up on our to-do list or make up for some missed sleep. . . We should really enjoy this rare opportunity to dream and relax.
Our New Year’s resolutions all have to do with change. On the one hand, nothing ever changes overnight; and on the other, everything always does change sooner or later. Set your goals for the year to gain focus, clarity, and to imagine what’s possible. Then come back to the present moment – living here and now is the greatest joy!

To begin the New Year, I am traveling for performances in Oregon, the Kennedy Center in Washington and back to the West Coast, this time Canada. Each concert includes completely different repertoire! Lots of variety to start 2012.

And to begin our Classical Minutes Podcasts for the year, Monday’s show touches briefly on New Year’s resolutions. Tuesday’s show asks “Are You Inspired?”, and on Wednesday you’ll hear about some new musical apps I’ve studied over the holidays. The constant question “Am I Prepared Enough” is on Thursday’s show, and to end the week I show you how to become your own audience… Have fun with these Minutes, enjoy the first few days of the year and stay in touch!

Second Week’s Shows Are Here! Monday 12/12 through Friday 12/16

What a fantastic week! Publishing the Classical Minutes podcasts on iTunes last weekend, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was just having fun coming up with thoughts and tips that listeners would find helpful and thinking how much I will enjoy giving people a new show every day. That made me happy in itself – and then, hearing from so many people with enthusiastic and positive feedback over the past week has been an excellent bonus!

I devoted this past week to continuing work on my cycle of performances of the complete 32 Beethoven Sonatas. The Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 31/3 has been on my practicing menu, getting ready for a performance in early January. Also, I began looking into a piano trio by Jennifer Higdon, an exciting work that my trio, Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio will be performing at the Kennedy Center next month. The titles of the movements are “Pale Yellow” and “Fiery Red” – fitting titles to the music, regardless of whether or not you have synesthesia – that blessing (or is it a curse?!) that makes you see specific colors in association with particular notes.

In between Beethoven and Higdon, I was on the phone yesterday with an interviewer for Strad Magazine, answering questions for their “Double Acts” feature. This is a monthly article studying two people who perform together over a long period of time, exploring their relationship both on and off stage… You can guess who my partner in this was… Mark Kaplan, violinist extraordinaire, member of our piano trio, husband, and – the first person who gets to listen to my new podcasts!

This week’s shows ask “How Well Do You Know Your Scores?”, “What Is the Best Time?” “Can You See the Big Picture?” and we also talk about the ability to measure your progress. My favorite is probably Thursday’s show, “Do You Really Love Music?”. This may seem like a surprising question – surely that is the one constant element that we all share?! However, we all do struggle sometimes, and discovering and reconnecting with our instinctive experience of music is often all that we need to get back on track. As always, you can find this and all other shows on iTunes, and please don’t forget to click the “Subscribe Free” button to download directly to your computer.

Looking forward to hearing from you here and at!