Music and Vision homepage


Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

More on music books,
including Misha Stefanuk's 'Jazz Piano for the Young Beginner',
with Classical Music Agony Aunt ALICE McVEIGH


Brava for your spot-on review of Blair Tindell's book, Mozart in the Jungle. I found much of it to be poignant, as I too, entered my 30s wondering where my real life was outside of music. As you say, we musicians are late-bloomers in the area of our personal lives. Now as I enter my 50s, I have a reawakened love for making music within the context of my fairly 'mainstream' existence.

Thank you!


Ask Alice

Dear Alice:

Please pass on to guitarist that the book Mozart in the Jungle is rubbish. It's one person's memoir of a dysfunctional life. Most of the musicians I know are a happy lot.

a pianist

Dear Suzanna and 'pianist',

I guess Tindall's is just one of those books that ring bells of recognition for some of us and seem completely at odds with the experience of others. The fact that the pianist IS a pianist, however (don't know what instrument Suzanna plays) may have some relevance here. Unless one of the rare orchestral pianists, such players don't have the same cameraderie/personal traumas that orchestral players have to deal with. They are self-sufficient not only musically but often personally. That's a much safer recipe for personal happiness than the imbroglios, character clashes etc of the rest of us. Or is the grass always greener? Surely pianists must get lonelier than most ...

Any other pianists out there have a view on this?


Ask Alice


Can you recommend a beginner piano book (my girl is six)?

C G, Staffordshire

Dear C G,

Well, can't claim to be an expert (perhaps any pianists responding to the previous comments might have an idea??) but my almost-eight-year-old was given Jazz Piano for the young beginner (written by Misha V Stefanuk, Mel Bay 0786670282 is the ISBN) and absolutely LOVES IT!!! Starts off with the left hand simply repeating the same chord throughout the bar and is very clear and easy to use. Also I think possibly a bit more fun for kids than Twinkle, twinkle. By the end of the book, it's really pretty jazzy!!!

Jazz Piano for the Young Beginner, by Misha V Stefanuk

I then went out and bought Piano Lesson Made Easy (by Lina Ng, published by Rhythm MP, ISBN 9679853616) and she likes it too, though not quite so much. Ng gives loads of help with rhythm, and cannily inserts finger exercises between the short pieces.


Copyright © 22 July 2005 Alice McVeigh, Kent, UK

Ask Alice



 << M&V home              Alice's previous columns >>