Music Presentation Topics

One of my favorite things to do is share nuggets of music history with audiences large and small - living rooms to orchestral pre-concert presentations. I enjoy combining my piano skills with informative and stimulating demonstrations on a variety of musical topics. Below are some examples. Lectures can be customized to suit any venue or time parameters. I have my own portable equipment - projector, screen and keyboard - so any venue can be accommodated! Let me know if I can enhance your next musical gathering!

American Music: Our Roots and Heritage

 - from Part Song to Bebop

Did you ever wonder how music got started and devloped in our own country? Though we do not have the centuries of music history behind us like our neighbors across the pond, our American musical heritage is rich, varied, and uniquely American.

Rachmaninov....if you knew Sergei like I know Sergei....

Oh, whatta guy!

Many of us know the massive romantic piano concertos of Sergei Rachmaninov, but do you know some of his smaller pieces? His Preludes, Études-Tableaux and Sonata for Piano and Cello are some examples. This lecture includes performance of examples of some of those works, and gives the audience some insight on the life of Rachmaninov, the man.

Music, Art, and the Piano: The Impressionists

If you love Impressionism in art, you will love this lecture. There is a deep connection between art and music, and the Impressionist era is one of the most beautiful and fascinating in all history. This demonstration includes many slides of the art of Monet, Pisarro, Renoir, Degas and more, and performance of the piano works of Debussy and Ravel. 

Keyboard Confessions: Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann - A Passionate Friendship

This demonstration visits the controversial legend of the relationship between Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann. Brahms met the Schumanns when he was just the tender age of 20, but the friendship lasted a lifetime. Examples of music by all three are woven around this fascinating story.

Frederic Chopin - The Poet of the Piano

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In his short 39 years, Chopin wrote some of the most beautiful piano music to date, and forged his name at the top of the list of great piano composers with his own personal style. Though we think of Chopin as a the composer of gentle Nocturnes, his poetry at the piano is both tender and fiery. 

The History of American Jazz

Blues, Ragtime, Dixieland, Jazz, Swing, Bebop, Fusion

Jazz is our truly American music, and it has been around a lot longer than some may think. This demonstration traces jazz from its roots in cotton field spirituals and cajun flavors of New Orleans to present day jazz that is alive and vibrant today here in Kansas City! 

The Development of Keyboard Instruments - 1500 to the present

From the Psaltery to the Concert Grand

Where did the modern day piano come from? This demonstration illustrates in detail the construction of early keyboard instruments and how they improved through the centuries to culminate in the modern grand piano. 

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