Sunday, August 17, 2014

What I've Been Up To Lately

The exam room in Calgary SW last week. How appropriate!
This summer is one of those times where so many projects are in development and coming up to completion that it can be difficult to take stock of exactly how things fit in perspective. Here's a short list of my current and recent projects:
  • Finishing up a tour of duty examining in southern Alberta this month, after previous trips to Vancouver, Surrey, Trail, and Nelson in BC this June. 
  • Working as Artistic Consultant alongside producer Anton Kwiatkowski for the recordings for the upcoming 2015 Piano Syllabus of the Royal Conservatory. Pianists performing on the series include Li Wang, Lang Ning Liu, Robert Kortgaard, Peter Longworth, Michael Esch, Ben Smith, and Janet Lopinski.
  • In collaboration with RCM Senior Academic Director Janet Lopinski, rewriting the technical requirements for the 2015 Piano Syllabus, as well as expanding the scope of the technique books for the next edition.
  • Finishing up the work compiling the repertoire lists for the 2015 Piano Syllabus.
  • OK, this is one of the coolest ones - performing the musical samples for the online component of the Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Training series, 2015 edition. This includes playing intervals, chords, chord progressions, clapbacks, and playbacks which will be available online for anyone who buys the book. The online component will be awesome!
  • Finally, I made my podcasting debut in June in conversation with Andrea Dow for Teach Piano Today. Have a listen to Episode 18, where I talk to Andrea about teaching and learning collaborative piano, careers in music, using technology, and being in the curriculum creation business.
Being a foodie in Vancouver.
Picture credit: Karen Lee-Morlang
And that's not even the projects I've got on deck for the fall (more later)...

So this summer has been a fascinating time of taking stock of projects about to finish as well as planning new ones for the fall. At the same time, I've been thinking about how I aim to approach this blog in light of how busy I've been lately. Much of my blog output seems to be in fits and spurts in between busy project times. 

I've been receiving a lot of email from people eager to get press and reviews for their products. It seems that this is a weird time, with traditional press no longer reviewing CDs the way they used to. There's an arms race going on with education apps, with the big winners being the teachers (and their students) who are able to fit these apps and their workflows into their teaching and practice. 

I'm particularly fascinated by the way technology fits into the teaching and practice process, not just as cool new things to amaze teachers at conferences, but as a way of utilizing these apps and devices to integrate seamlessly into the learning process. That's the kind of approach I would like to be taking in my articles in the next while.

And of course there will be giveaways as well. But now it's time for me to take a well-deserved break on a Sunday evening, with two full days of examining in Alberta remaining before I return to Toronto on Wednesday evening. 

The view from the Prince's Island pedestrian bridge last week in Calgary


  1. Really enjoy your blog. As I write I am enjoying listening to a very fine British collaborative pianist, Andrew Matthews-Owen, on a new Naxos disc of world premiere song cycles by leading British opera composer Jonathan Dove. The singers, Claire Booth, Patricia Bardon and Nicky Spence are first class, but the pianist makes it. As always! Samples here:
    Enjoy kindred spirits!

    1. Thanks John. There weren't any samples that I could find on that link. However, you can email if you want to send me a few for a reader giveaway on the blog.

  2. Hi! If you click on 'Listen' link on that page, you should be able to access each track for a minute long sample. Did that work?

    1. John, the listen tab on that page isn't linked to any sound files.

  3. At last here is one that will work when sent from here (UK) to North America:

  4. Enjoy kindred spirits !