Desert Blooms


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So many times, when people approach me, they tell me they aren’t “musical.” While there’s an argument for DNA, as evidenced by the Bach family, many musicians sprang up out of what seems to be the desert. I’m one of those.

So, some of the preceding back story is for those of you who feel you aren’t “musical,” but there will be things more pointedly related to the study of piano and music, in general, as I go along.  There will also be a brief continuation of my personal music history…please try to stay awake.  🙂

Another reason for this blog is that, if you look at the “About” part of this website, you’ll see that I have a kind of creative, educational, and professional split personality.

When I was very young, I had a little dialog running in my head, “Am I a musician, or am I a writer?” I thought I had to dress the part, but I couldn’t figure out which costume to wear. Later, reality took over, and I had to make a living. There followed many years in public education, and I was assigned to positions depending on the needs of the district and the school.

Now, I’m retired from public education, so I have the time to pursue “my passion,” as some would put it.

I love giving piano lessons in a private setting, and I love reading and writing.
I’ve been having a wonderful time setting up this website and thinking about this blog. Since I don’t expect many people will read this at all, I feel the self-indulgence is fine: it keeps me busy, it gives me a writing focus, it lets interested parties know I want piano students, and it will be sort of educational.

The Beginning


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The title of this website, “Almost Nothing but Music,” is pretty straightforward, but there’s more to nothing than an absence of something.

When I thought up the title, it reminded me of a creative writing class assignment.  We were supposed to write about nothing.  The first temptation of anyone with a sense of irony would be to write nothing.  I wasn’t ironic enough for that, so I wrote that nothing could be like a soul consuming black hole, or what was in the refrigerator when my kids said there was nothing to eat: wilted lettuce, a few slices of dark edged balogna, bruised apples, or cheese turning translucent.

I intend for the nothing in this opus to be more of the lettuce variety.

There will be a lot about music.  Saying I love music is as redundant as saying I love my feet.  Music has been so tied up with the flow of my life that there’s no way to separate it.  It’s not that I came from a terribly musical family.  My main exposure, at first, was my mother’s singing.  My dad said she sang flat.  As far as I can recall, she probably did, but it didn’t make any difference to me.

Somewhere between being rocked to sleep at night and elementary school, I met a piano in a neighbor’s back porch/sunroom.  The neighbor didn’t have kids, but she let me come and visit her piano.  Sometimes she’d give me an Eskimo Pie.  The Eskimo Pies were nice, but it was the piano I was after.  Then we moved to a place in the country, and I could only visit the lone house down the gravel road behind us.   It was fun to watch the husband paint and sand texture dry wall or slather tar on trees, but they didn’t have a piano.  All they had was a cactus garden by the front door.