Welcome to the tonebase Piano Community!
Hey everyone - this is Dominic from tonebase !
As the tonebase Piano LIVE director, it's such a pleasure to welcome you to the tonebase community. We would love to get to know you! Please introduce yourself in a post below with the following format:
- Where are you from and what's your favorite food from there? ;)
- What are you currently working on?
- What are you hoping to get out of this community?
I'll go first:
- I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and you better believe that I love my barbecue! It is hard to pick my favorite food between ribs, brisket, or a beautiful grilled steak, but if I have to decide...nothing beats a juicy, fall-off-the-bone rack of baby back ribs!
- Currently working on some old favorites of mine by Carl Vine (Piano Sonata No.1), Beethoven (Piano Concerto No.4) and Scriabin (Fantasy op.28) but also adding some great repertoire by H. Leslie Adams (Etude in A-flat minor Book 2), Laura Kaminsky (Alluvion), and Clara Schumann (Romanze in A minor Op.21 no.1)!
- I am hoping to getting to know and helping all of you achieve your musical and artistic goals. Let's have some fun and get to work!
Now over to you (after some participation from our tonebase team members!)
Thanks for helping kick off the new forums, Dominic !
I'm so excited for this community, especially in tandem with live events. OKAY, now let me introduce myself:
- I'm from Austin, Texas and the creamy jalepeno dip from Chuy's is my kryptonite.
- I'm "in between programs" as we pianists like to say when we're not really ready to perform anything. Lately I've been knocking on the door of the Shostakovich D Major Prelude and Fugue, which I find so simple and magical. Otherwise, I've been cracking open scores by Medtner, Scriabin, Chopin, and Schumann, searching for a program that inspires me.
- Personally, my favorite thing to do is to talk about music and ideas, whether that involves sharing my knowledge and experience in the field, or listening to and learning from others. I've found that it takes a village to really develop as a musician, and I hope we can create here is just such a community based on sharing, support, and reciprocal growth.
Can't wait to hear from all of you!
Dominic Cheli said:
Where are you from and what's your favorite food from there? ;)
What are you currently working on?
What are you hoping to get out of this community?
I am Denise.
I currently and have laid permanent roots in Chula Vista, CA, but am originally from Buffalo, NY. My favorite food from Buffalo? Well, umm... You might think it is wings -- and you might be right, but it is such a Mecca of great food. My favorite (at the moment) would have to be roast beef sandwiches on kimmelweck rolls AKA -"beef on weck" (German Kaiser rolls with rock salt and caraway seeds) - Truly a Buffalo delight.
I am currently working on Beethoven Sonata 25 Opus 79 all three movements, Bach Invention #3 D major - Just finished learning #14, also learning Schubert's Valses Sentimentales D779 Op 50 #12 and 13. Nothing too difficult - as I am not a concert pianist.
What do I hope to receive from this community? I have been playing piano since I was 5, with a break from 18-33 while in the Navy. When I was in HS, I played in honors recitals and loved the process of preparing for a performance. My teacher from HS wanted me to attend the summer programming at the Chautauqua Institute every summer, but my mother could not afford to send me. I wanted to major in music in college, but my family was very much against that. So I rebelled and joined the Navy! I transferred to SDSU and achieved my dream of a music degree in my late 30s, but I also realized then that my hiatus gave me terrible performance anxiety! No longer could I stomach playing in front of crowds, not to mention the difficulty I had with memorizing repertoire. I would have "white outs" when I had juries! (Not remembering what happened in the recital hall!) I hate bananas - not that they helped! (If you can relate.) I still have anxiety as I feel terrible inferiority to my significant other who is classically trained, attended USC and a professional pianist on the traditional Jazz circuit worldwide and also a regular at Disneyland (pre-covid). SO, my hopes are to grow comfortable in my own skin again. Over the years as a high school teacher (not music - math/special education) I have not spent as much time practicing as I should, and have 2 gorgeous pianos (Baldwin L Grand and Schulze-Pollmann 126 Professional Upright)! However, with the pandemic putting, I have utilized zoom to once again take lessons with my community college professor from Virginia from almost 20 years ago, not only to hone my "chops" and deal with my anxiety at the piano, but also improve my teaching skills with pedagogy tips. I have a small studio of 12 students and have budding late intermediate students that I want to continue to challenge. In a nutshell, I want to become a better musician not only for my own selfish reasons, but also so that I can continue to teach my students as the grow musically. I also LOVE hearing from concert pianists and can relate on my own level to just about every livestream I have watched. I love being reminded of theory and the academic side of music (thanks Ben for the crash course on theory) - as while I graduated cum laude with distinction, experience and time has allowed the knowledge to digest - making it more real and important. I share it with my students, something my early teachers NEVER really took the time to teach, sadly. I could go on and on... I belong to PianoWorld and PianoStreet, but there is something about ToneBase... I hope for continued success, as I am a lifetime member.
Oh, another hope - that I can use the tips and practice hints for counterpoint. I never FULLY "mastered" a Bach Fugue. Lame, huh? Hoping my refresher with a few "new" Inventions will get me ready. At 50 you're never too old to fire up those dormant brain cells!
Sorry for the novel... But I am glad to have found ToneBase!
Music is life.
Hey Denise , it's great to read your story and I appreciate the pieces you're working on. Difficulty is the emptiest metric by which to judge a piece, and yet it too often seems to define musical value in the classical world. The simpler pieces of the great composers are just as valuable, and often underrated. I'd much rather hear Beethoven Op. 79 played tastefully than another bad Appassionata :).
Glad you enjoyed my harmony crash course. Look at for a similar workshop on rhythm in a couple weeks!
Nice to meet you! See you around.
Thanks Ben! So kind of you to reply! I had a 2 hour 40 minute practice session today, of which 1 hour was spent on Bach's C minor Fugue - I broke it down into 8 bar sections and backward practiced. Perhaps my dream of playing a fugue may come to fruition... I definitely enjoyed the lesson on Tonebase by Evan Shinners. Jason, my partner, said I could always play a fugue... I just lacked confidence. I am more a vertical player, rather than horizontal... or so I'd like to believe.
Please PLEASE address polyrhythms in the workshop! I hope I can attend live, but I am in the classroom most days. Polyrhythms catch the death of me. One of my audition pieces for SDSU was Grieg's Nottorno, and although I nailed the polyrhythms, Beethoven's 79 ( 17 years later) is really pushing it. I also have a student who has encountered his first piece with polyrhythms, and he did a great job digesting. :-) Just need to stay ahead of him... a bit... ;-)
Again, thanks!! Looking forward to more Tonebase!
Hello everyone! I'm Sindre from Norway. I'm a pianist and piano-teacher, who has studied both jazz, classical and popular music.
1. My favorite food must be some vegetarian pasta. (Maybe not so local, but Italy and Norway are both in Europe ;))
2. My main focus now is Mozart sonata 2 and 3. I'm gonna move on to Nr 8 and 10 when these two are finished. I work on some other pieces as well. Haydn sonatas, Grieg lyric pieces, Chopin Nocturnes.
3. I really love being part of the Tonebase community, and are so grateful for this. It fills in a lot gaps I have in my classical training, and I just love conversing about it and deepening my understanding. Also it's cool to come together, so I really love the live-events.
Well, now I'm in - happy to be here and introduce myself:
- My name is Santiago. I'm from Cali, Colombia, but have been living in Germany for almost 6 years. Therefore, my culinary preferences are quite different. I really like Colombian "pandebonos" - a cheese bread made with yuca flour - but I definitively love German sausages.
- I'm actually re-starting playing piano after an almost 10 years break. I had the pleasure to join a great music education as I was a child - I played clarinet, piano and had a lot of theory lessons. Afterwards, as it sometimes happens in life, I decided to go another way (competitive sport) and didn't find the time to keep playing music. Now, at the beginning of this year and due to the pandemic and reduced social life, I experienced a renaissance of love for music and piano. One day, I spontaneously decided to look for a digital piano and the day after that, I already had one in my living room. I directly started working on relatively easy pieces (Bach Praeludium No. 1 in C major; Burgmüller Ballade op. 100/15; Händel Sarabande in D minor) and on technique (Czerny first tutor Op. 599). Now, I already studied my first Chopin (Prélude in E minor op. 28/4 - what a gorgeous piece) with the help of the tonebase lessons and I keep improving/searching for my own interpretation of the piece. I'm currently working on Chopin Waltz in A minor and Beethoven's moonlight sonata (first movement). And after yesterdays live session with Dominic (very inspiring), I'm very looking forward to my first contemporary piece - I have already ordered some scores :D
- I didn't know that I would find such a (now) little but great community at tonebase. I'm very happy that I took the decision to join the platform and really enjoy being part of the great community that is being built. I look forward to exchanging with you and think, that we could maybe create a space where we (hobby pianists) could present our work - for example in form of short live concerts from our living room - and get feedback from similar enthusiasts.
I wish you all the best!
Hi Sindre! I have to just say I LOVE Norway! Greig's Concerto in A Minor is what woke me up in my piano journey when I was 10 or 11 years old! I love the Lyric Pieces... I spent a month near Hell, Norway in February when I was in the US Navy... during a Cold Weather Joint Forces operation. Up near Trondheim. LOVED it! The Northern Lights were PHENOMENAL! Flying over the Fjords during the stark of winter was breathtaking. I would love to go back during gate summer months... I went to Norway in 2002. Glad to meet you! :-) I teach piano to 12 young students in my neighborhood, and my partner is a professional jazz pianist who travels world wide playing traditional 'prohibition' jazz. He studied at USC, but finished his degree elsewhere because of cost. I love listening to him practice. :-) ~Denise
I am so very jealous! Living in Germany must be a dream... I have been to Germany twice. Once, Jason (my other half) did a jazz gig in Bavaria, and we were able to tour Austria, Bavaria and partake in Oktoberfest while he played piano all over the countryside! Memories will last a life time! The second time was a solo trip of mine where I was able to tour Eastern block nations, highlighting many classical composer Meccas. I always say, if I could speak fluent German, I would move permanently.
I too took a long hiatus from playing piano. I joined the US Navy out of high school because my family did not agree with my desire to pursue music in Rochester, NY! I got out of dodge (Buffalo, NY!). I had a 14 year hiatus and achieved my dream of a music degree in my mid 30s. ON MY TERMS. :-) I can say, I probably would have been a much better pianist had I went to study music right out of high school, but I have a much deeper appreciation thank I would have. I think.
Life has it's different paths, but we are all drawn to our strengths. I really appreciate ToneBase. I am going through a pianistic "renaissance" of sorts at the moment. I am 50... so I hope I have enough years left to keep learning all I want to learn! Glad to meet you!
The picture is me when I was 5... 1976 on a Kimball upright, Buffalo, NY (Mom had broken her wrists and her doctor said she might regain use if she studied piano... and she absolutely did....) Kimball Spinet (my first best friend).
Hi Denise! Great to hear from you, and your appreciation for Norway! Sounds like you had some really cool adventures over here :) The A Minor Concert has inspired me too, and the lyric pieces was something my grandfather used to play a lot when I was a little boy, so they have been with me a long time.
It's cool to hear of your husband playing jazz and touring the world. That sounds fun! You are obviously a very musical couple. I have played a lot of jazz myself, but these last years I've been way more into classical.
So nice to get to know you. You have lovely energy. See you on the forum :) Sindre
Nice to meet you Santiago and Sindre !
Santiago, to respond to your hops for the forums in particular, we'll be developing community challenges soon where subscribers will have opportunities to send in their own work. As we continue to expand the forums, we expect the forums to be utilized just as you suggest - to share performances and practice sessions for feedback. Be on the lookout for new threads along these lines.
Hello everyone! Glad to have a community where we can get to share music and life :)
Let me introduce myself here, My name is Celine, I’m a piano teacher from Singapore. My hometown is actually in Malaysia, but have not been home since the lockdown.
Has anyone here been to any country in South east asia?
- I love anything soup and meat!! But the most favourite has to be Mom’s homecook food!
- I’m currently working on Beethoven Piano Sonata, have not been practicing much, my job are mostly teaching kids, been trying different ways (games and cards) to make the lessons more interesting for the young ones, oh and of course, been listening to way tooooo many exam pieces from kids that are preparing for piano examinations.
- I especially enjoyed LIVE workshops in tonebase, due to the timezone differences, I am not able to join LIVE (is usually 230am on my side)
Look forward to more music analysis, perhaps more Brahms? Or Schumann piano work in the future!
All the best everyone! :)
I have been to Singapore!! Beautiful and HOT! I enjoyed about a month and a half there in fall of 1997 while I was doing US Naval reserve time. I believe Malaysia had some terrible devastating fires, so the air quality was not so good. Two words... CHILI CRAB! OHHHHHHH MY! I keep telling Jason I have to take him there. The island nation is simply MAGICAL! I also remember the giant prawns at the hawker stands - the food was even more magical. My three adult children have an appreciation for seafood and anything Asian cuisine. My step-mom is from the Philippines and my father actually passed away while spending the winter in Asia a few years back. I always wanted to visit where his wife is from, but never have.
Which Beethoven Sonata are you working on? I am working on Opus 79, the full sonata. I have played single movements here and there. I am getting a good feel for the first movement, the second is quite simple, but the third movement is a struggle as I have never been adept at fast movements. But it’s been years. Back in the “swing” of developing my skills. Thank you Covid-19!
I too teach. I teach Math and Study Skills at a private high school and then at home I have a private piano studio with 13 students ranging in age from 6-15.
Nice to meet you!
Hi Denise, nice meeting you. HAHAHA!! Yes, Singapore is very hot!! Is especially hot and humid these few months!!
Glad that you enjoyed Chilli crab, hope is not too spicy for you.
Can’t wait for the world to be safe and normal, so we can travel the world again!
I’m working on Beethoven the whole set of Op.10, and been very inspired by Dominic Cheli discussion on Brahms. I played 118 no.2 a few years back and like what Dominic says, I found new things everytime I play the piece, it is really mind blowing!!
I really enjoy being a teacher, especially teaching kids, throughout the years we sort of grow and learn together.
Denise thanks for your answer! Great story! I really enjoy living in Germany. Is a paradise for musicians - and people like me, who just would love to be one . I ask myself frequently if I should have studied something related to music - for example piano
If you come to Germany again, please let me know! I would like to give you a short tour and interact with enthusiast like me. Let's do this community a great one! As we said in our team "You're not joining a great community. You're part of creating a great one!".
Have a great day,
What part of Germany are you calling home? I spent time in Bavaria when Jason toured with jazz all stars about ten years ago. Then summer of 2019 I flew into Frankfurt. Toured up to Berlin, all over... then into Poland, Czech, Prague and Hungary. I went solo with a tour and had a lovely time taking in the musical history and just the regional history too. :-) I am definitely a lucky girl!!