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Do kids learn music faster than adults?

“I’ve heard that kids learn music faster than adults,” said one of my adult students. My own observations from teaching piano are the contrary.* Adults quickly catch on to concepts that grade schoolers take years to mount. 

But the kids…

Routine is magic

Routine is magic. When daughter first started piano lessons, practice happened when Mama said so, and when Mama said so, daughter’s shoulders slumped and her inward being released a plaintive groan to heaven. 

But when practice happened after schoolwork and…

There were hits before radio

Hit songs are hits for a reason. There’s a combination of catchiness, uniqueness, and lyricism that wins so much loyalty that the song becomes self-propelling. 

The very idea of a hit song seems to begin with radio and vinyl records…

Turning thunder into song

My father surprised me one night by telling me he liked thunder. I didn't like thunder. Thunder made me feel like unseen powers were about to crush my bedroom between their hands. Thunder made me rise and go to my…

Wrapping up winter break

The collective wisdom of successful songwriters and producers seems to be quantity. Make stuff. You’ve got to craft stuff to craft better. I also once read an exchange that went something like this:

“I have some ideas that would make

Capturing a piece of life in the Indiana EP

I'm still testing out this analogy, but I often think that life is like a vine. Beauty - the delight and interpretation we derive from life - is the wine, extracted from the vine in a process of violence and…

Another song from the hospital

There is a carol whose music you have heard, but I doubt you have ever sung in a congregation. 

"The Coventry Carol" is a commemoration of the children who perished at Herod’s order.  

Those children were victims of an ancient…

Songs from the hospital

A hospital stay impressed a deep love for Christmas music in this writer’s heart. The hospital was also the beginning of another person’s practice of music. About the year 1930, ten-year-old Alfred Burt received a cornet as a reward for…

Soundtrack of a yesteryear: a Thanksgiving tribute

It must have been twenty years ago. At a November youth group meeting, we divided into little circles and said or prayed something we were thankful for.  

I looked down at my hands. One of them had scars on both…