BECOMING BETTER

Jean Croker Petke


Category: music

Opulence and Disarray

Opulence and Disarray

Last week I explored the summer cottages in Newport, Rhode Island — mansions created by America’s wealthiest during the Gilded Age of the late 19th century. These mansions depict an unimaginable life of wealth and culture. For the original inhabitants, this was the only life they knew. And for most of them, these houses were […]

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Nothing of Importance

Nothing of Importance

In The Art of Possibility Ben Zander recounts the South American concert tour of the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic. After performances in prestigious concert halls and endless hours of bus travel, they arrived in the small town of Rosario. Concerned about their fatigue and anticipating a perfunctory performance, Zander asked the students to rearrange […]

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The Third Annual Piano Recital

It seems just a few months ago I wrote about my first piano recital: how I’d never done it before, how I’d overcome a life of nervousness, and how it felt like jumping off a cliff. And I wrote that I survived the event. Actually that first recital was April 2015. I only invited a few people, […]

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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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