Love in the Wabe

We fell in love on the internet. Well, maybe that’s a teensy bit of an overstatement. Still, it feels like one of those miracle relationships that is only made possible by the magic of the internet. We met online, we collaborated, we helped each other, we visited each other and met each other’s families. He recorded a lot of my music.

This week, I was truly touched by his kindness. Jason Sifford, the brilliant composer and hilarious nonconformist of the piano pedagogy world dedicated a piece to me.

I present In the Wabe, one of a set of eight piano pieces called Beware the Jabberwock. These brilliant pieces inspired by the poem Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland.

Mine, as Jason so kindly pointed out, is in the key of Mashed Potatoes. Life doesn’t get any better.


And buy lots of copies of Beware the Jabberwock so he’ll keep writing more fantastic music.

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Mean Little Monsters

Mean Little Monsters Table of Contents

I needed something unexpected. Funny. A little mischievous. A lot dramatic.

I've always wanted to have some Attention Grabber Halloween pieces, and this is the suite of three pieces I wrote to fill that niche. I've taught it to almost all of my students in the past few weeks and every one of them loved it. I have no idea what will happen on the Halloween recital. It may come to blows. Will someone try to Jinx it? Will someone use Belladonna? Will it be a Calamity?

Those, of course, are the titles of the three pieces in the Suite. 

Do you need something fresh and out-of-the-ordinary? Do you like my Attention Grabbers?

Mean Little Monsters (Studio License) is available for instant download here. Enjoy!

Watch me play the entire suite below:

Team Janet: Part Five Cliburn Amateur



"You stay where I put you!" Janet said to the notes of her Prokofiev. Not out loud, of course. But when questioned this morning on the veranda, she described her Prokofiev performance last night as akin to a game of Whack-a-Mole. Swearing may have been involved.

On the back veranda having morning tea and coffee before it gets too hot to even consider being outside. 

On the back veranda having morning tea and coffee before it gets too hot to even consider being outside. 

Accompanying me on this trip is my adult student and dear friend, Kara. 

Janet has a great draw - her times are ideal. She played last night in the final group of competitors. We had time to go out for a chopped salad at The Cheesecake Factory across the street from Van Cliburn Hall while we waited for the results.  

They announced them "in no particular order" which added to the drama. Janet's name was announced 18th (I was counting) out of the 30 Quarterfinaists. Whew. 

Pre-performance shopping distraction in the Cliburn boutique. 

Pre-performance shopping distraction in the Cliburn boutique. 

We're staying in the gorgeous home of a friend of a friend in a small gated community in the Fort Worth suburbs. Our host has arranged practice time on a beautiful grand piano down the street, so Janet doesn't have to practice on the uprights pianos downtown provided by the competition. This means she doesn't have to see or listen to the other competitors practice.  

Kara whips up dinner.

Kara whips up dinner.

Yesterday at precisely 4:30 pm, Kara, (a gourmet chef) served up a delicious pre-performance dinner of sauteed salmon, brown rice and broccoli.

Even after all my visits to Fort Worth over the years, I was nervous enough to put the wrong address into my iPhone. We had a slight detour until I figured out we were three miles from downtown. Good thing we'd allowed extra time to get there.

Janet plays her next round on Wednesday, June 22nd at 8 pm Central Time. (6 pm on the west coast and 9 pm on the east coast. You Aussies will have to figure it out yourselves :) 

Detail from the front of Bass Hall at night. 

Detail from the front of Bass Hall at night. 

Waiting in the hall for the judge's decision after the Preliminary rounds.

Waiting in the hall for the judge's decision after the Preliminary rounds.

She'll be playing the 2nd and 3rd movements of the Beethoven Sonata 81a, "Les Adieux" and the "Romeo Bids Juliet Farewell" from the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet - my personal favorite in this round.

You can watch the previous performances as well as watch Janet play live at Take the time to vote for your audience favorite. 

After Wednesday night's performances, stay tuned for the exciting announcement of the twelve semi-finalists. No matter what happens there will be beautiful music. My fingers are crossed.