Whew!  We’re back from an amazing, inspiring weekend!  We attended that PMTA (Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association) annual conference at IUP, Friday through Sunday.  And each day was PACKED with fun and informative presentations and performances.  We’re SO excited about all the new ideas we got from our colleagues at this conference!

We hope to tell you about a few different exciting things at this conference in separate posts in the near future. But today, we’ll show you the Performance highlight of the entire weekend!  We were treated to a full piano recital by Mei-Ting Sun, an absolutely amazing world-class pianist!  And we were able to talk to him and share musical stories after his performance.   We were especially happy to hear that he doesn’t like to play pieces that are virtuosic just for the sake of virtuosity – it only interests him if it is musically interesting and moving, not just “impressive”.  That’s how we feel about piano-playing too, so it was great to hear it from someone as amazing as him!  He also gave a couple really interesting presentations, about the physiology of piano playing, and a photo-tour he did in which he followed Beethoven’s footsteps through Europe.

To get a small taste of what we experienced, please enjoy this performance by Mei-Ting that we found on youtube.  It is of one of our favorite Chopin Etudes, Opus 25 number 11.  It is named “Winter Wind”, and you can really hear that in the music!  First there’s the calm before the storm, and then you can practically SEE the swirling, snow-filled wind just by listening to this piece!

We would love for all our students to see this performance – and please draw their attention to how RELAXED his hands are!  Such amazing speed and agility is only possible with relaxed hands and arms, and he can do this now because he’s practiced relaxing his hands and arms at the piano since he was still in the elementary levels.  So for all our students, this is why relaxing is so important to piano playing – it allows your hands the freedom to accomplish greater and greater things as you progress!  The next piece, #12, is included in this clip.  And for students who wonder why we torture them with scales and arpeggios…Here’s why!  Enjoy!

And here is the piece that he played as an encore at his performance.  His performance was so powerful and emotional, and flawless!  He told us after the recital that he hadn’t played this piece since this performance in 2010!  Now that’s a good memory!  And we think his performance in person was even more amazing than this one.  Enjoy!

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