Inspiration and claiming your passion


Bringing Joni Mitchell into a Chopin Nocturne

An impromptu sing-along to Joni Mitchell helps this classical piano student find voice, emotion and fluidity when practicing the Chopin Nocturne in E Minor. »


Prelude in E Minor, a Poem

During a performance of the Chopin Prelude in E Minor, the feeling of fear brought poet Mary Jo Balistreri’s memory back to a childhood drowning incident. »


Happy Fingers: An Oscar Winner

After playing piano for a century, Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer looks back on her life in the Oscar-winning short documentary The Lady in Number 6. »


Ditching Debussy for the Day

Practicing the Debussy Clair de Lune just doesn't fit one day, so although this piano student only has an hour to play, she sight-reads a new piece instead. »


A Good Enough Tempo for a Flute and Piano Duet

After an adult music student agrees to play a flute and piano duet with a friend, insecurities bubble up, especially when she learns of the expected tempo. »


Portraying What Cannot Be Seen

Abstract painter and amateur pianist Leya Evelyn keeps representational images out of her art in order to explore deeper qualities of the human experience. »


Patience, Preparation, and a Pencil

With only one hour of piano practice a week, Joanna Eng wonders how she'll learn the Debussy Clair de Lune, but these three P's have her holding onto hope. »


Piano Performance Tips from Veteran Gregg Kallor

After playing on 88 different Sing for Hope pianos around New York City for his video, veteran pianist Gregg Kallor offers his piano performance tips here. »


My First Year Back

Having recently returned to piano practice, Joanna Eng delves into the history of her childhood lessons and what she missed most during her 10-year hiatus. »


A Contemporary Romantic

Watercolor artist Annika Connor, whose work has enhanced essays and poems on this site, explains why she considers herself a Contemporary Romantic painter. »


Back to Piano Practice

Committing to learn the Debussy Clair de Lune is an important step for this amateur who hasn't practiced regularly in a decade and doesn't even own a piano. »


Fantasy Impromptu, a Poem

In her poem Fantasy Impromptu, Mary Jo Balistreri writes of playing Chopin on the piano as temporary relief from the pain of loneliness, envy, and longing. »


My Teacher Made Me Practice… DURING My Lesson

Nancy M. Williams saw adult piano lessons as a time to show off her progress; humiliation set in when her teacher made her practice right in front of him. »


Adult Music Lessons Brought Out the Child in Me

Flute lessons bring out the inner child in this adult music student, who's jealous of the attention her teacher gives a blonde, seven-year-old star pupil. »


Beethoven’s Menacing Bust

Robin Sloane Seibert went from loathing piano lessons and being frightened of a menacing bust of Beethoven to voluntarily learning the Beethoven Bagatelles. »


How to Break Bad Habits in Piano Practice

To break bad habits in piano practice, Charles Duhigg suggests first identifying the cue or trigger as well as the reward that your brain is really seeking. »


The Beethoven Pathetique as Companion through Illness

Relearning the Beethoven Pathetique helps Emily Sun live a full life while battling cancer. In this open letter, she vows to keep learning new piano pieces. »


The Minute Waltz, a Poem

Hearing Chopin's Minute Waltz on the piano was the poet Mary Jo Balistreri's first experience, at 9 years old, of music as more than just pleasant sounds. »


What Happened When I Forgot My Music

Frazzled after forgetting her sheet music for a planned session at a Sing for Hope Piano in Central Park, Nancy M. Williams switches tacks and finds calm. »


Piano Gone Missing

A news story about a missing grand piano brings to mind August Wilson's 1990 play The Piano Lesson, about a family's complex relationship with their piano. »

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