Monday, 21 April 2008

A Concert pianist arrives at “pianomagic”

Hi Folks

I am so excited about this post and hope some of you find this interesting

As many of you know I have learned to play the piano by ear with Mike at and over the past four years there has been some exciting times for myself and for many of the other members over there.

However, about 4 weeks ago a quite famous “Classical concert pianist” joined! Yikes a proper, for real, living, breathing, walking, talking! CLASSICAL CONCERT PIANIST…what? join pianomagic? why????

I am sooooooo excited about this guy, I wrote to him to ask him if “it was okay to write about him in this blog?” and if "he would mind if I quoted him too?”

Itzhak wrote back and said it would be a pleasure for him to feature in this blog and quote whatever I wanted to.


First, he said hello to us all:-

“Hello everybody!! I'm Itzhak Solsky, a classical concert pianist from Israel, currently living in France

Click here to read a little about one of his CDs

Why would he join pianomagic? (Heck, we’re the ‘children of the corn’ LOL)

This is why in his own words:-

“I've been teaching piano for the last 12 years or so, and I've always been frustrated by a certain gap between my ability to play and my ability to teach. You see, I started playing the piano when I was 4. I could read music very well by the time I was 5, and on the other hand, at the age of 6 I could play by ear most everything in my father's vinyl library, and most everything that came up in the radio.

Later as an adult I won international prizes and played in many countries (I still do, of course), while amusing myself and many friends in parties and other occasions, playing and singing songs - which recently I also started doing in formal, paid performances - it's simply fun :-) I make my own arrangements, of course.

BUT - with my students, I was still more or less stuck with old, 'orthodox' methods.”

Alrighty then, this is exciting I thought. Ah yes but, not as excited as our new concert pianist was becoming about his new journey:-

“Exactly 12 days ago, in the introductory part of I found the answer. I consequently did a pilot on all of my students here - 100% success!!!! Everybody was so happy to learn 'the truth' about chords, to learn to play by ear, I found myself teaching many more things that I know, but never really knew how to teach, in short - the experience was so inspiring!!”

He then goes on to say,

“I had a BIG PROBLEM with beginners – especially with beginning adults who didn’t want to necessarily major in classics, but who wanted to learn to play songs. PM solves this problem with a vengeance!!!

But now, I also take the classical experts and lead them into a little ‘adventure’ of learning to understand and figure out music from within – everybody likes it, and I’m happier – and incidentally a lot busier as a teacher! :-)

In teaching, I like very much a light-hearted, simple approach. Also, playing should sound like that. Behind that, there are a lot of things to learn – and it’s up to the teacher to make it seem [easy] to the student who simply wants to acquire an easy, fun hobby. I’ve never seen it done before as convincingly as Michael puts it, and I really like it. :-)

Michael takes music theory (which he never learned formally, but which he actually knows way better than many ‘formalists’ whom I know) and puts it under a highly critical microscope. He carefully eliminates anything which may confuse or complicate someone too early, and either dispenses with it altogether, or postpones it until a more fitting moment, when the student knows and can do more.”

I have been reading along with Itzhak for the past 4 weeks and the way he is discovering things, the way he is seeing things so quickly and so clearly, the way pianomagic has opened up his eyes to see and understand how he played, the way he loved that Mike had found the simple secrets to learn to play by ear, how Mike could teach the pure basics and get people playing by ear straight away, the depth of Mikes knowledge was quite literally blowing his mind!

The way Itzhak writes so eloquently about the discoveries he has made so quickly himself and the discoveries he is making through interaction with his students has suddenly made me aware of something bigger too! I am not ready yet to share what this is in words but, you are going to hear it in my playing over the coming months so hold on to your hats because I’m having revelations by the day!! And you my friends are going to hear it here first!

In the mean time Itzhak recorded 4 short improvs for us all to hear over at pianomagic and he has kindly said that I can post them in my blog for y’all to hear too

ENJOY – the pure MAGIC of Itzhak Solsky playing by ear!:-

1. Improv 1 {click to hear}

2. Improv 2 {click to hear}

3. Improv 3 {click to hear}

4. Improv 4 {click to hear}

One day I’m going to play this good

I like them all and hope you do too but, my favourites are 2 and 3 (or maybe number 4?) let me know if you enjoyed listening and I'll pass your comments on to Itzhak

Finally {click here listen to Itzhak speak and play} in a new audio demostration regarding classical music and chords provided at - this guy is amazing!

For more info on Itzhak and his tour dates {click here}

Take care



Rosanna said...

Hey hey, Lee, I just noticed you kissing all the ladies - I mean from your picture. Way to go!

Seaside_Lee said...

Hi Rosanna,

Yes, I'm making progress :)

And hey, you have to use every resource available and next time the lady of my life (if there ever is another?) is going to seriously dig pianists!! ;0)


Anonymous said...

You can't be more attractive

Seaside_Lee said...

Hi nyama :)

I could you know, I could look a little more like "Brad Pitt!" LOL

thank you...I'm blushing

Lee x