Jean Croker Petke

Category: music

Half Speed

Sometimes I think I’m jinxed. The last few times I’ve played Beethoven’s sonata (opus 109) at my lesson, the music has fallen apart. I make clumsy mistakes. I have memory lapses. Why can I play it well at home and so disastrously at my lesson? Dr. B is much kinder and more patient with me […]

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The Death of Dickens

I killed Dickens. Last week. On a warm spring afternoon. I hit delete and he was gone from my life. You see, I read him once in high school. A Tale of Two Cities. I didn’t like it much then but it was required reading. In recent years, as I’ve added classics to my regular reading, I’ve often […]

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Live Performance

Recently I’ve attended several musical performances: a 19-year-old pianist in the local Young Pianist Concert Series, an up-and-coming organist, a visiting Russian pianist, a faculty recital at a nearby university, and the combined men’s choruses of two local universities. Each performer or conductor discussed their music with the audience before they played or sang. The concerts were […]

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Standards of Play

During the academic year I frequently attend recitals and concerts at the university. Many are given by students in fulfillment of their graduation requirements. Faculty and guest artists also perform throughout the year. This week I heard two pianists – both with impressive credentials. Nikita Fitenko, a native of Russia, played an entire program of Russian […]

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When Hard Work Shows Up

I’ve often written on this blog about doing our work, doing our practice, taking small steps, one after the other. Our small, consistent efforts accumulate over time. Eventually we can see the difference. In 2015 I began learning Beethoven’s sonata, opus 109. Since then I’ve learned and memorized both the first and second movements. I was hoping to skip […]

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