Monthly Archives: June 2013

Mortgage debacle caused by consumers with poor math skills?

In part, so says an article I read this morning  at Real Clear Science.  The author, Ross Pomeroy, claims that at least one reason for the mortgage meltdown and the high foreclosure rate are the poor math skills of the … Continue reading

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Learning the Piano: back to Synthesia

Stephanie Trick is a young woman who plays ragtime and 1920’s Jazz Piano professionally. Here is a You Tube screen shot of her version of James P. Johnson’s Harlem Strut. Note that one of the commentators complained that she was … Continue reading

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Learning the Piano: What George Gershwin did with a player piano

George Gershwin, the legendary composer of musicals, began studying music at the age of Ten. He began with three famous classical music teachers. His first teacher, Charles Hambitzer was also his mentor. He began as a song plugger in a … Continue reading

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Learning the Piano: What Duke Ellington learned from the player piano

The legendary Jazz musician, Duke Ellington, learned to play James P. Johnson’s Carolina Shout on a player piano. The Carolina Shout was the test you had to pass, the standard you had to meet, to be considered a real Harlem … Continue reading

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Learning the Piano: What is a piano roll?

As we saw in the last post, the player piano has a top roller that feeds the piano roll across the sensor bar to the pickup roll below. The piano roll was made of paper that was punched with holes. … Continue reading

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Learning the Piano: But First, What is a player piano?

It occurred to me today that in my last post, I assumed that people would know what a player piano and a piano roll were. So, first things first, here is a player piano on the left.  The two rollers, … Continue reading

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Learning the Piano: Combining the Old With the New with Synthesia

When I was on Facebook, I posted this video on what would have been my mother’s 103rd birthday.  It is from an old piano roll of the 1920’s popular song, Whispering.  It was one of her early favorites.  The piano … Continue reading

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Sometimes the Dog Trains the Owner: Reverse Fetch.

Games are the way animals and humans learn basic skills.  There are games of skill but also  games of psychology.  In this video, the owner and the bull terrier are engaged in a game of psychology. The owner tells her … Continue reading

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A Series about Learning Part 4: Putting the four elements together (Desire, Imagination, Mimicry, and Play)

In this post, we look at all of these elements in a boy my friend calls “Mozart in P.J.’s”  Tsung Tsung. Few children ever reach the level of ability of this young man in playing the piano.  But, desire, imagination, … Continue reading

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A Series about Learning, Part 3: mimicry and play

In the last video, we saw Tucker the dog trying to sing and play piano, trying to imitate what he had seen the humans do at the piano. Considering that he has no fingers to play chords with and can’t … Continue reading

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