Oakridge Park Piano Competition


Oakridge Park Piano Competition September 18th, 2021 Thank you to everyone who attended the Oakridge Park Piano Competition last month. Showcase, alongside Westbank and QuadReal, were thrilled to host 21 talented pianists to compete in the junior and senior finals. The Jurors Our renowned jurors for the event were Ken Hsieh, Patrick May and Noel McRobbie.  Conductor Kenneth Hsieh, has gained widespread attention for his vibrant performances, making him one of the most exciting and versatile young conductors on the international stage today. The 2020-2021 season marks his 18th year as Music Director of the Vancouver [...]

Oakridge Park Piano Competition2021-10-18T08:58:45-07:00

Performance Anxiety & How To Manage It


What Is Performance Anxiety & How Do You Manage It? What is performance anxiety? Stage fright has many faces and every musician has faced it. Pavarotti didn’t wish it upon his worst enemy. Birgit Nilsson wished for a small accident on the premiere night so she didn’t have to be on stage. Leopold Godowsky, who was famed for his pianistic abilities, was often found backstage white as a sheet, claiming he don’t remember a single note, and Sviatoslav Richter, one of the most celebrated pianists of the 20th century, needed a plastic lobster to be able to perform. [...]

Performance Anxiety & How To Manage It2021-10-08T09:45:34-07:00

What is the most difficult piano piece to play?


What is the most difficult piano piece to play? I am frequently asked, "What is the most difficult piano piece to play?" To me this honestly feels like a strange question. Each piece has its own difficulties. Even the simplest piece has challenges which need to be solved for a convincing rendition.  What is difficult? There are various kinds of difficulties amongst pieces: lyrical, rhythmic, polyphonic, polyrhythmic and technical (Everything you are doing when you are performing is technically...well, technical).  However, when someone asks any musician this question about the most "difficult" piece, they will rarely think [...]

What is the most difficult piano piece to play?2021-03-05T14:38:02-08:00

Building proper preparations for playing difficult pieces


Building proper preparations for playing difficult pieces. Practice!  There are fewer words that sound like profanity to the ears of many children. It feels like a breach of privacy—when the first sweet and gentle mom asks you to practice quickly turns red and scary when she senses that her suggestion is trivialized. It isn’t long before we sense urgency in her voice.  PRACTICE!!!  She screams! Ignoring it is futile as you are about to learn that it is better to listen to your parents. There is no secret to improving besides more practice, but just exactly how and [...]

Building proper preparations for playing difficult pieces2021-02-05T11:31:34-08:00

Reflections on Interpretation


Reflections on Interpretation When being a musician, you are foremost a fearless human being. You are not afraid to show your emotions to anyone as you always strive to touch the listener, deeply, presenting a different reality or times long gone. When you are performing, you are transforming yourself into an actor, telling the listener a story. How you will recite the narrative partly depends on why the chosen piece came to be, but you must always use your imagination to phrase everything in the most convincing way you can. However, even though you will express a piece in [...]

Reflections on Interpretation2021-01-04T18:06:47-08:00

Neuroscience and Music


Neuroscience and Music Just exactly how important is music to our minds, emotions, and overall health? Should the education system consider it to be an arts subject and therefore not as prioritized? What if I say that music is more powerful than you give it credit for — but thanks to the men and women who actively work in the fields of research — we now have the hard evidence to prove the above. In an article published by National Geographic, neuropsychologist Brenda Hanna-Pladdy at Emory University in Atlanta, writes that “musical training can have a profound and [...]

Neuroscience and Music2020-12-03T11:26:09-08:00

The Etudes of Friedrich Burgmüller


The easy etudes for beginners of Friedrich Burgmüller The Canadian RCM system for piano is very well-rounded and introduces young pianists to a wide range of wonderful composers and fantastic piano pieces. Advanced students and beginners alike have a wide array of pieces to choose from for their exams.  Alas, no system is perfect and I do believe there are some items lacking in the syllabus. I would go out on a limb to say accurate etudes are not present enough.  When we hear the words “technical piano practice” we tend to think about Charles-Louis Hanon’s boring [...]

The Etudes of Friedrich Burgmüller2020-12-03T11:26:04-08:00

How to Think Like a Composer


How to think like a composer Any musical composition begins with sound. A melody is nothing more than a "community of coexisting sounds". Such a "community of sounds", perceived and comprehended by human consciousness, marks the beginning of a musical idea. Thus, any piece of music is the focus of musical ideas. Such ideas can be very simple or very complex, but, in essence, they all come down to a set of sounds that are perceived by the human mind as a melody, or, in their higher development, as music. In this way, composer's thinking basically assumes the [...]

How to Think Like a Composer2020-07-10T09:56:50-07:00

Music is magic we can all access.


Music is magic we can all access. “Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone Music is a magic we can all access, whether it be through singing, playing, or simply listening.  J.K.Rowling must have written this based on experience. You see – music has a very special way of touching our heart and soul. It even has restorative healing properties for the mind, body, and soul. We can’t see music, but we can certainly feel music when it touches us and release feelings [...]

Music is magic we can all access.2020-04-10T21:46:33-07:00

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