Filtering by Category: Miscellaneous

Leavesden Studios

Added on by Greg Anderson.
Hey Greg!
I was just wondering if you knew if Leavesden Studios offered any work experience ? Thanks for your help!
 - Catherine

Hi Catherine,

During my residency at Leavesden Studios, I did see a few people "experiencing work," but I have no idea how they came by such work experience. I wish you the best, and I'm sorry I can't be of more assistance!

- Greg (August 12, 2009)

Harry Potter

Added on by Greg Anderson.
What was it like meeting Daniel Radcliffe? What was he like? What was Emma like? How long were you an intern for Goblet of Fire?
Harry Potter Fan

Dear Harry Potter Fan,

Are you really a piano student?? I've received many questions of this nature, and I'll remind you - I'd love to post the journals from my experience, but I'm under heavy confidentiality restrictions! Everyone was so nice to me during my stay at the Leavesden Studios - I'd rather not break their trust. Perhaps sometime soon I'll receive permission to post some of my journals from the experience. For now, I'll touch on these, but then I need to get back to practicing the piano!

- It was a surreal experience meeting Daniel Radcliffe - After seeing actors on huge, gigantic screens, it sometimes slips the mind that they are real people. Dan was so down-to-earth and friendly that it was hard for me to connect this person to the cinema. He seemed like he could have been my next-door neighbor! Actually, I think he's got to be one of the most intelligent, friendly, sincere, and unassuming 15-year-olds I will ever meet. Every time he saw me, on or off the sets, he'd make a point to say hello and give me a huge smile. On several occasions, he'd make his way over and we'd chat as if we'd known each other for years - I was completely amazed. Emma was exactly the same. They both were genuinely interested in everything BUT themselves - something pretty impressive, considering their position. While I'd be trying to talk with them about the movie, they'd be asking if I was having a good time, what I was up to, or how my flights went.

- I was in England for 10 days and I spent 5 days interning on the sets. I also saw Dan and Emma during the two MTV shows I did in New York and London.

- Greg

Orchestral Pianist

Added on by Greg Anderson.
Dear Greg,
First let me begin by saying that I discovered you and your musical brilliance via youtube and that extravagant video of you and your accompaniest's interpretaton of "The Blue Danube", an exceptionally well demonstrated piece of art I must say. Anyway in light of seeing your evidently incredibly skills I took some time to look at my own, and though I've only been playing piano for about three years (with rapid improvement due to my prior musical learning via the flute for about 6 years) I was interested in doing it as a career. I just want to know if I'm being realistic. I'm twenty years old now and working on building a repotoire to apply for an undergrad school (certainly nothing as prestigous as Juilliard, perhaps I could end up there for grad school). If my private teacher thinks I have the talent and technique to pursue it do you think it's unrealistic to fulfill my dreams of being a orchestral pianist? Am I just too old to start working towards a dream like that? I'm sure you get numerous variations of this question but any other answer than one specifically catered to my personal question just simply won't do. My sincerest thanks for your time in even bothering to answer. All the best in your own musical endeavours! Your are certainly a talented and devoted individual!
 - Lawrence Scanlan 

Dear Lawrence,

Wow. An orchestral pianist! That is a fantastic idea, but there are a few things you should know about the position:

  • Orchestral piano jobs are very hard to come by. There are few positions and the demand for them is high.
  • Orchestral piano jobs are usually part time. Most orchestral pianists I know have other jobs on the side.
  • Some orchestral pianists are also employed by the orchestra to play in chamber ensembles with other orchestral musicians -- they are expected to be multi-faceted musicians that can fit in whenever and wherever they are needed.
  • Orchestral piano jobs often come through "connections" -- in other words, current members of the orchestra often recommend pianists they like to fill this role.
  • Orchestral pianists MUST be able to count. The few orchestral piano playing jobs I've taken over the years have made significant demands on my ability to count empty bars (49 bars of rest +3 bars of 5/8 time +7.5 bars of prestissimo 3/4 time, then PLAY!)

Orchestral piano playing is a unique and fun universe! I wish you the best in your pursuits.

- Greg (Nov. 4, 2009)

L'escalier Du Diable

Added on by Greg Anderson.
Dear Greg,
I recently stumbled over your interpretation of "L'escalier du diable" on youtube and have to say that I love it. It´s better than any interpretation I heard before. I really would like to buy it in a high quality version. Is it somwhere available or can you make it available e.g. on iTunes. Thanks a lot!
 -Rainer
Dear Greg,
I saw your video of Ligety's "The Devil's staircase" and i loved it (i posted a comment in youtube). Do you have a record with this composition? Thank you in advance.
 - Eduardo Pola

Dear Rainer and Eduardo,

Thank you for your ultra kind and flattering comments! Unfortunately I have not yet professionally recorded the etude. I certainly hope to some day, but it may be a while; the album I am currently preparing does not include the etude.

Best!

- Greg (Nov. 4, 2009)

Enough Practice?

Added on by Greg Anderson.
Hi Greg,
First I would like to congratulate you on you amazing achievements at such a young age. I am a 54 year old mother and a true music lover. As a teenager I studies piano for about 4 years. When I fell in love (with my husband), he became the centre of my universe. There was no room in my life for my piano I thought. Sad to say after 30 years of marriage he vanished from my life (I believe forever). I was heart-broken. One day I found a used piano in a local furniture store. I bought it and started to practice. It was depressing at first. After 25 years (minimum) of not touching the piano I had forgotten everything. I could not even read notes past one octave. I struggled to say the least. It’s been exactly 1 ½ years now. I am happy to say that now I can sight-read quite well and I am playing at about grade 8 level. I practice 3 ½ - 4 hours per day. I want to become a meaningful and a very natural pianist. Please tell my how long will it take? Thanks a million notes.
 - Emma Votre Fan

Hi Emma,

First off, I am sorry for your troubled experiences, but I'm happy to learn that you found some respite in music.

At 3.5 to 4 hours of practice a day, I'd say you're well on your way to becoming a skilled pianist. Of course, it's impossible to answer such a subjective question -- how can I possibly articulate the definition of a "meaningful and natural pianist" and the hours necessary to become one??

My advice to you: forget how long it will take to become "good" or "better" -- instead, focus on having a wonderful time doing exactly what you are doing right now. Enjoy practicing the pieces you are currently learning and forget about what is yet to come. I've been playing the piano for over 20 years, but I've loved *every* day of it.

- Greg (Nov. 4, 2009)

Scales

Added on by Greg Anderson.
Hey Greg!
I love your website and your music. To study most standard literature, how fast should I be able to play scales? I understand that the quality of the scale is more important than the speed and that more speed will come with time and relxation. Thanks,
Josh

Hi Josh,

Oh goodness, you're asking the wrong person. I've never played scales -- not one day in my life -- never. I'd much rather play music than learn scales. ;-)

- Greg (Nov. 4, 2009)

Do What You Love

Added on by Greg Anderson.
Hi Greg,
I am a high school student who's been studying ARCT repertoire for 3-4 years now. I'm in an academically demanding program and I study hard. Nowadays I find that because of my studies I tend to practice piano less and less (AHHH!!). I only get to practice an hour a day at most- if I'm lucky. Last year, I entered a lot of competitions and played at nationals for one of them. Overall, I think I did relatively well (compared to the extremely limited number of practice hours I put in, that is). I love music, but I find that in the past I've been putting it aside just because I thought "what am I going to do in life with a music degree? Let's just be a doctor" haha. But I've just recently realized that I actually want to do what I really love to do. Do you think I should drop out of my academic program and devote myself fully to the piano? But what if I decide I want to go back..? Ahh :s
 - Confused

Dear Confused,

Wow! These are intense questions!

I'm obviously of the mentality that one should base one's career on what he or she loves to do. What may surprise you is that I also believe one can love to do a great many things. Job satisfaction comes from how you chose to respond to situations at work, not the situations themselves. How did I get through high school without going crazy? I made the most of my assignments -- I turned them into projects that interested me. A simple report became a full magazine spread; an essay became a passionate opinion piece; a science project became a wild and engaging museum piece. I filled speeches with appropriate magic tricks, and I found ways to insert music into everything. I may have created more work for myself, but because I was invested in what I was doing, it felt like less.

The point is: you can probably turn anything you do into something you love. It all depends on your approach. I honestly believe that you can drop out of your academic program or you can stay registered, and in either case, you can find ways to be happy.

And what if you want to go back? If you are truly determined, you'll find a way to make anything happen.

Good luck and HAVE FUN!

- Greg (Dec. 30, 08)

Self-Taught

Added on by Greg Anderson.

Hello Greg!
I've taken piano lessons when I was about 9 years old, but quit due to lack of money in the family. Ever since, I have been playing for fun and composing my own music. I'm 17 years old right now, and for the past year I have been teaching myself to read music because I wanted to learn classical pieces. An orchestra director at my school overheard me play Liebestraum by Liszt and said I was very talented, especially for someone who's self-taught. She actually didn't believe I could read music that difficult in one year. I want to become a pianist, and I finally realized it. My parents aren't supportive of my decision, they would rather I go to university for med school. Anyway, I've been doubtful about considering being a pianist because I started so late. Regardless of my passion for piano, I look at all the great virtuso pianists, and they all started at such an early age and went to prestigious conservatories. I'm just a regular, self-taught, seventeen year old girl. I'm not expecting to become a concert-level pianist or anything, but I do want to do this for a living, and I will put every ounce of willingness, dedication, and passion I have. Any advice for me? I'd appreciate it.
 - Irina

Dear Irina,

I'm impressed by your determination, but I can only give you the same advice I give to everyone. Whatever you do, please remember that no matter how good you are, the musical world is a fickle place. One can never truly predict his or her successes. As long as you choose to play the piano because you love it, you will be content with a musical career -- as a teacher, a concert director, a composer, an arranger, a critic, a writer, a concert pianist, an accompanist, a publisher, an entrepreneur, a conductor, or whatever else. If you choose to play the piano because you want to be a famous pianist or wealthy, you will very likely be disappointed with your choice.

Best wishes!

- Greg (Dec. 30, 08)