Sometimes you hear a real gem on the radio. Some years ago while driving on holiday with the car radio on, I heard Aung San Suu Kyi, the then Burmese Pro-Democracy leader, give an interview to Eddie Mair on PM on Radio 4. Speaking as a piano teacher, I couldn’t get over how lucky we all were to receive such a gift of encouragement to take the chance to learn an instrument when young, and all done with such a light touch. Few presenters have Eddie Mair’s knack of creating informal conversations Continue reading A Gift from The Lady
I used to teach piano in schools. At the start of each new school year, I would speak to a class, or all the classes in a school year, or perhaps a whole school, to tell them about the piano and piano lessons. The idea was to recruit new pupils. Usually, I took the opportunity to tell the children something about music in general, and how music worked on the piano in particular.
Goodness! What a year of momentous change in the world! While some welcome the chance for new voices to be heard and new paths to be followed, others despair of the direction the world seems to be taking. The message of Christmas embraces the idea of light in the world and hope for the future; though many do not align themselves with the tenets of Christianity, the importance that people place on being with family and loved ones at this time suggests where the hope for the future lies. Our world and our lives are lit up by the connection we make and experience with those around us. The hope for the future does not rest with world statesmen or the media who tell us about them, but with all of us and how we manage our dealings with those we encounter.
I’d like to share a unique concert given just before Christmas in 1985 by the pianist/composer Ronald Stevenson who died in 2015. Ronald was our friend for many years and, though a musician and intellectual of huge standing, a more humble, charming man would be hard to find.
Continue reading Christmas message 2016