Winter examinations are over and the festival “season” is beginning, but the one bright light at the moment is the annual spring break of 1-2 weeks that allows all of us catch our breath or sleep in! Anticipating a bit of free time, I have gathered together some books that have been collecting dust on the shelf and hope to get better acquainted with them. Some are very new and others have been around. One was just returned to me by an older adult beginner who was quite enthusiastic about – “Making Music for the Joy of It” by Stephanie Judy. She (and I) got particular pleasure out of the side-margin quotes included. Occasionally I have posted ones that are relevant to my studio and the students have always had some interesting comments. Probably the most popular one was by Pete Seeger – “Practice Doesn’t Really Make Perfect, but it sure as (Heck) Makes for Improvement”.

The most recent book, loaned me by a colleague, is called “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain” by Oliver Sacks. Accompanying it is a set of compact discs. The book deals with the therapeutic power of music and is explored through individual experiences.

“The Ways Children Learn Music” by Eric Bluestine discusses ideas in music education and goes into detail covering the work of Edwin Gordon and his development of Audiation.

A really practical book, “Making Money Teaching Music” is written by a husband-and-wife team, David and Barbara Newsam. One is a pianist and the other an instrumentalist. The chapter on teenagers is almost worth the price of the book.

Barry Green, in “The Mastery of Music”, outlines the various elements of being a musician in ten chapters through interviews with musicians and relates them to specific chapter topics such as Communication, Discipline, Fun, and Confidence. Each chapter also has a subtitle of one or more instruments that he feels represent the actual chapter’s elements.

Here is an “oldie” but a “goodie” – Abby Whiteside’s “Mastering the Chopin Etudes and Other Essays”. The title is misleading since the Etudes are never discussed! But Whiteside’s analysis of the physical act of playing and the production of tone on the piano is well worth revisiting.

Finally, thanks to Alice Enns, I have acquired an excellent book on Dalcroze activities to be used in the private studio. The title is “Rhythm: One on One” by Julia Schnebly-Black and Stephen F. Moore. It illustrates ways to use Eurythmics and encourages musicality and inspiration in the student.

One week is not enough! Well, summer is coming eventually, so I will plan accordingly.

Mary Tickner, Coordinator