music history news

Google Doodle on Bernstein!

Reprinted from Google Doodles:

Happy 100th birthday to American music icon Leonard Bernstein! The youngest conductor ever to lead the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, he was also the first U.S. conductor to gain international renown, leading a 1953 performance of ‘Medea’ at La Scala in Milan, Italy’s foremost opera house.

The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Bernstein discovered music around age 10 and overcame his parents’ resistance to his passion for the arts. His creativity and talent spilled over from one artform to the next, and throughout his life, the most persistent criticisms of his work were that he did too much. “I want to conduct,” he wrote late in life. “I want to play the piano. I want to write for Hollywood. I want to write symphonic music. I want to keep on trying to be, in the full sense of that wonderful word, a musician. I also want to teach. I want to write books and poetry. And I think I can still do justice to them all.”

Today’s Doodle celebrates Bernstein’s life set to one of his  most iconic works—the score to West Side Story. The tale, following the turf war between two rival gangs and star-crossed lovers in the west side of Manhattan, was brought to life through Bernstein’s gripping score. The original 1957 production was nominated for six Tony Awards including Best Musical. Explore the history and legacy of the iconic musical by visiting Google Arts & Culture.

A larger-than-life personality, Bernstein held the baton with emphatic mannerisms, reacting to the emotion of the music mid-performance. As Director of the New York Philharmonic, he exposed generations of young people to musical programming on television. Before Bernstein’s tenure, no widely-aired television show existed to educate youth through musical performances. In this way, and as a popular commentator about music on radio and TV, he made intellectual culture more accessible to the public at large.

Bernstein was also a skilled lecturer—winning a Grammy in 1961 for Best Documentary or Spoken Word Recording (other than comedy). He published books about music and lectured on poetry at Harvard University.

His legacy endures as a musical polymath, a creator of culture, and an example that sometimes more is more.

Happy Birthday, Leonard Bernstein!

Here are some articles celebrating Bernstein from around the web:

Life With Leonard Bernstein

Jamie Bernstein watches her father, Leonard Bernstein, conduct the New York Philharmonic at a rehearsal for one of his Young People’s …

Here’s a fun example of Bernstein’s compositions performed by Kristin Chenowith:

Here’s an example of Bernstein as both a conductor and pianist:

And here is an example of Bernstein as an educator:



Announcement! More free resources now available.

I’ve been slowly working on my website the past few weeks and decided that I no longer needed a password protected page just for my students.

So now, if you follow this link, you will find online exercises, recommended supplies, worksheets, and more for your leisurely perusal.





My Piano Studio Is Raising Money for a sexual violence aid and advocacy organization for #ADayWithoutAWoman. Join us!

My piano studio is raising money to donate to a local organization called S.T.A.R. or Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response.  It’s this great organization that provides no cost counseling, support, and legal aid to survivors of sexual violence and also raises awareness of the unique challenges and issues facing survivors.

I decided to do this after realizing that on March 8, 2017, when the feminists and allies of this country are organizing a strike called A Day Without A Woman, which is officially described as:

On International Women’s Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.

Putting aside whatever issues there may be with the planned strike (only accessible to privileged, etc), I thought about it and realized it was impractical for me to refuse to teach lessons on Wednesday because all but one of my students that day are women!  Rather than punishing a bunch of women for women’s rights, I decided instead to fundraise for an organization devoted to women’s issues.  Thus, I chose S.T.A.R.

To incentivize donations, I’m offering free or discounted piano lessons to donors at certain levels.

I realize that I’m in a traditionally gendered career (teacher of music), but I want to show that even those who do work not considered exceptionally valuable by society can make an economic impact through her actions.  Ladies, we have more tools available to us than we may think, so, to quote Queen Bey, “get in formation.”

To donate, follow this link.

To learn more about S.T.A.R., please follow this link.



To contact me about starting a similar campaign or give your thoughts, follow this link or fill out this form:







news Uncategorized vocal performances

Operalia Competition Final Round Available to Stream for free!


Renowned tenor, Placido Domingo’s opera competition designed to encourage rising young singers, held its final round over the weekend in Verona.  Presumably, youweren’t there (and neither was I), but never fear, we can watch the entire final round online!

For the entire performance and a list of the results, click here (via medicitv).

For info about the competition, click here.

Curiously, I wasn’t able to find competitor bios.  If you happen to stumble upon them, please share!

Here’s photos of the 1st prize winners, soprano Aida Garifullina and bass-baritone Ao Li.

Ao Li, bass-baritone from China
Ao Li, bass-baritone from China
Aida Garifullina, soprano from Russia
Aida Garifullina, soprano from Russia

Another invadeNOLA article featuring yours truly

New post up. Please check it out at



New Article in InvadeNOLA’s current magazine issue!


Hey everyone!

Please check out my new article in InvadeNOLA’s newest issue.  I’m this month’s Music Contributor.  You can find it by following the link here.


Check Me Out on InvadeNOLA

Piano teachers like popular music too!  Check out this article I published over at InvadeNOLA on local artist Julie Odell.  She’s great!