How do I learn a new piece?

This week I introduce the idea of reading and learning piano music. How do we approach a piece of music, how do we read the symbols known as notes? Next Monday, August 10th at 7PM, I am starting a Zoom meeting where we students, teachers, and music aficionados alike can discuss topics relating to playing the piano. Next week we will discuss how to learn a piece. In subsequent weeks we may discuss memorization, stage fright, or stylistic differences among composers. One day we might do Chopin Mazurkas, another a topic of someone’s suggestion?

Topic: Adam’s Music House’s Zoom Discussion Time: Aug 10, 2020 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/93665797699?pwd=NzNuS2UxbG12R0hKeDVjV2F6eWZXdz09

Meeting ID: 936 6579 7699 Passcode: 834687

Carbon and Parfum: Baudelaire through Debussy

This week Dr. Tobin makes a connection between two very special pieces, the prelude from book one, «Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir» (“The sounds and fragrances swirl through the evening air”) 1909, and  Les Soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon (Evenings Lit by the Burning Coals). 1918. Debussy was inspired in both cases by poetry of Charles Baudelaire, listen to the presentation to see how that worked! A special treat at the end is Dr. Tobin’s performance of “parfums” on Debussy’s 1905 Bluethner piano in Brive la Gaillarde France.

Debussy Film and Preludes Event

Dr. Anthony Tobin, Music Director of Adam’s Music House, gave a double treat to a full house this past Sunday. Not only did he perform the first book of Claude Debussy’s Preludes for Piano, he also screened his short film “Le piano du reve”.

Dr. Tobin’s playing brought to life the shimmering world of Debussy’s pieces. From the majestic opening Danseuses de Delphes (Dancers of Delphi) to the playful Minstrels his control of sound and clarity held us all spellbound. Indeed, it felt as if we were experiencing  a only vague representation of our normal senses hearing La cathédrale engloutie (The Engulfed Cathedral) and the ethereal De pas sur la neige (Footsteps in the Snow)My personal favorite, La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with Flaxen Hair), left me simply breathless. The sound of the seven foot Bösendorfer that was just recently returned to the performance space rang with a true, rich tone that Dr. Tobin took every advantage of.

In “Le piano du reve” Dr. Tobin demonstrates how the construction of Debussy’s Bleuthner piano inspired him to create the sound-scapes in the Preludes. Not merely theorizing about this possibility from a distance, Dr. Tobin gained access to the Bleuthner now housed in the Musee Labenche in Brive la-Gaillarde. The film frames the period in Debussy’s life when he married a second time, became a father, purchased the Bleuthner, and wrote both books of the Preludes. Playing on both a modern piano and Debussy’s, Dr. Tobin demonstrates the sound quality and keyboard response the Bleuthner opened for the composer. The film closes with Dr. Tobin’s performance of the virtuosic Feux d’artifice on the instrument it was imagined upon.

Thank you to all who came to our event and we look forward to seeing you again at Adam’s Music House. 

Adam’s Music House Fellowship 2019

Adam’s Music House is pleased to announce the second annual Adam’s Music House Piano Fellowship, September 2019-Early December 2019.
Auditions to be held during April 2019

Selection Requirements:
Complete an interview/audition at Adam’s Music House Prepare two substantial works of contrasting style and musical period.
Examples include a Sonata by Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev, a larger work like a Chopin Scherzo or Ballade, a set of Rachmaninoff Preludes, works by Debussy, Liszt, Ravel, Schumann, Brahms, a multi-movement work by Bach.

Fellowship Requirements:
1-Prepare a 30 minute recital of pieces by Max Reger and a 30 minute lecture discussing the pieces chosen. Music will be chosen from the collection at Adam’s Music House.

2-The presentation of both will be in early December at Adam’s Music House, 6007 Belfast, Austin TX. 78723. (www.adamsmusichouse.org)

3-Appear at a reception in mid-September, perform a short program of two contrasting works, discuss plans for the recital and lecture.
4-During September, October, and November attend 2 sessions per month with pianist Dr. Anthony Tobin (www.anthonytobin.net) to work on pieces and the lecture. 

This is to ensure that progress is made toward the recital and lecture and to help make the process one of discovery and thoughtful consideration.

Eligibility:
Advanced students from high school through adults.
We especially encourage advanced high school students and serious adults.

Ability to self-motivate to prepare a 30 minute program and 30 minute lecture that illuminates the music and composer for a general audience with some knowledge of classical music.
Desire to work with the music and space at Adam’s Music House.
Desire and ability to meet with the public to describe the work done for the Adam’s Music House Fellowship.

Benefits:
$3000 stipend, $1500 to be paid in September 2019 and $1500 upon completion of the lecture recital in December 2019.
Ability to work with the musical collection and pianos at Adam’s Music House.
Guidance and suggestions from pianist Dr. Anthony Tobin and the Adam’s Music House community.

The first fellowship recipient, Enrique Rangel, performed Mednter’s Opus 38.
Listen to his performance of the Sonata from that set:
https://adamsmusichouse.org/2019/01/11/enrique-rangel-performs-forgotten-melodies-op-38-no-1-sonata-reminiscenza/

To learn more about Adams Music House visit: https://adamsmusichouse.org/
To hear the December 2018 KMFA Radio interview with Joe Bratcher and Dr. Anthony Tobin visit:
https://www.kmfa.org/programs/6-classical-austin/episodes/3502-adam-s-music-house-fellowship-concert?fbclid=IwAR3Q4mN9VKyaEu_VcGTiHnPFNnz-940rpH5C_-0o1nN2Vx-4smgUoVPz_Eo