Writing Lesson in Music Class

As mentioned in my last post, I’m taking piano lessons. With five kids, my immigrant parents couldn’t afford them. Now that I have lots of time on my hands, I’m treating myself to something I’ve always wanted to do.

In the last while, I’ve attended quite a few musical performances. Some of astonishing virtuosity. Others…not so much.

One virtuoso we were privileged to hear is Thomas Pandolfi. Totally blew me away. Between pieces, Thomas chatted about his work with Chopin’s études.

An etude is a study, or exercise, composed to develop a particular  technical skill like moving one hand over the other. Thomas also mentioned studies by Hanon. In 1873, Charles Louis Hanon wrote a book of finger exercises for beginners like me.

Recently, my piano teacher assigned me some studies written by  Carl Czerny (1791 – 1857). Beethoven was Czerny’s teacher. Czerny in turn taught Franz Liszt who went on the write some real finger-twisting studies.

The music I’m using now has been studied by countless students before me and will likely be played by countless more after me. Though Thomas is a genius, he likely played them, too. The continuity is awe-inspiring and comforting.

Everybody starts in the same place.

So what’s all this got to do with writing?

Jane Austen, Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are familiar names to writers of romance, paranormal and mystery genres.

It doesn’t matter if a book is issued in vellum, parchment, paper, or bytes, all writers are part of the continuity of the story.

And whether that story is told in music or words, we all start in the same place–with a wish in our hearts to entertain.

© Joan Leacott 2012x-posted at Voices from the Heart

7 Comments on “Writing Lesson in Music Class

  1. Wow, this takes me back… I loved Czerny and Hanon as a student (and still).. Very relaxing and definitely made it easier to determine where the hitchs in my fingers giddy up were, because they’re so repetitive. Actually Mozarts twinke twinkle little star was a bit like that, only harder… 🙂


  2. Loved the music. amazing. and the thought that we all started in the same place is life changing. Why are they classics? Because they kept at it and they worked. thanks


    • Chopin and Pandolfi: a recipe for joy. Success may start with the gift of talent, but it goes nowhere without the support of long hours of hard work and a pinch of luck. Thanks for stopping by Louise.


  3. We all started at the same place. Bingo. Thanks for pointing that out, Joan, because it is so simple, yet so easy to lose sight of.