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My mother was the first woman in the county in Indiana where we were born, in Jay County, to have a college degree. She was educated as a pianist and she wanted to concertize, but when the war came she was married, had a family, so she started teaching.
My mother adores singing and plays piano. My uncle was a phenomenal pianist. My brother John is a double bassist. I used to play the piano, badly, and cello. My brother Peter played violin.
There were two things I used to do to seduce girls: jokes and music. Since I'm not a great pianist, jokes were my thing.
I wanted to be a veterinarian until I saw a video of a vet performing surgery on a dog. Then I decided I wanted to be a pianist.
My only wish would be to have 10 more lives to live on this planet. If that were possible, I'd spend one lifetime each in embryology, genetics, physics, astronomy and geology. The other lifetimes would be as a pianist, backwoodsman, tennis player, or writer for the 'National Geographic.'
I'm by no means a pianist. I think that's safe to say, but the piano, for me, I would say it's the enabler. It gave me what I needed and gives me what I need in order to write a song. And I think playing or improvising on the piano is where I feel most liberated and sort of less conscious of all my insecurities or inadequacies.
Like a pianist runs her fingers over the keys, I'll search my mind for what to say. Now, the poem may want you to write it. And then sometimes you see a situation and think, 'I'd like to write about that.' Those are two different ways of being approached by a poem, or approaching a poem.
Once I understood Bach's music, I wanted to be a concert pianist. Bach made me dedicate my life to music, and it was that teacher who introduced me to his world.
In jazz, you listen to what the bass player is doing and what the drummer is doing, what the pianist and the guitarist is doing, and then you play something that compliments that, so you are thinking simultaneously and thinking ahead.
When I was very young, I remember my mother telling me about a friend of hers in Germany, a pianist who played a symphony that wasn't permitted, and the Germans came up on stage and broke every finger on her hands. I grew up with stories of Nazis breaking the fingers of Jews.
My father was a banker, but he was an independent spirit. He was a very good pianist and very much into music.
I consider myself to be an inept pianist, a bad singer, and a merely competent songwriter. What I do, in my opinion, is by no means extraordinary.
I couldn't say I ever dreamt of becoming a composer, a pianist, or anything else for that matter. I have the kind of brain where nothing is set in stone.
I want to be a lawyer, a dancer, an actress, a mother, a wife, a children's author, a distance runner, a poet, a pianist, a pet store owner, an astronaut, an environmental and humanitarian activist, a psychiatrist, a ballet teacher, and the first woman president.
I'm basically a cocktail jazz kind of pianist. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a very good keyboard player. People think I think I'm good. I think I'm a very poor piano player.
My family was musical on both sides. My father's family had a famous flautist and a classical pianist. My mother won a contest to be Shirley Temple's double - she was the diva of the family. At 8, I learned how to play guitar. I used to play songs from the '20s, '30s and '40s in the kitchen for my grandmother.
When I was studying... there weren't any black concert pianists. My choices were intuitive, and I had the technique to do it. People have heard my music and heard the classic in it, so I have become known as a black classical pianist.
When a pianist sits down and does a virtuoso performance he is in a technical sense transmitting more information to a machine than any other human activity involving machinery allows.
I don't think I'm even close to fulfilling my potential. And I think also that, unlike a pianist or a flutist, an actor has an instrument that is constantly changing.
Bill Evans is a real serious jazz pianist who, in my book, crossed over boundaries in terms of color. He used the piano as his canvas.
The people who raised me musically are my mother, who is a classically trained pianist, and my stepfather.
If you lock me in the room with a piano teacher for a year I might be able to knock out a rendition of 'Roll Out The Barrel,' but will I ever be a concert pianist? No.
It still amazes me how many musicians aren't really interested in engaging with their audience at all. Alfred Brendel, a pianist for whom I have the greatest respect, has described performance as a sacred communion between the artist and the composer. But what about the audience? Music is communication, a two-way street.
I took some lessons as a kid but trained myself by ear. I did it the way jazz musicians used to learn years ago, which is to play records and slow them down to figure out the notes. At first I tried to imitate Red Garland, who was my favorite jazz pianist.
I was much more interested in the orchestra than the piano, but I did become fairly proficient as a pianist and my teachers felt I had talent and wanted me to become a good concert pianist and earn my living that way.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
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