Note by Note – Inspiration at the Library

Taking an occasional stroll down the public library aisles can be a fruitful (and free) way to discover fresh inspiration.

Here’s one for anyone involved in the music learning process: Note by Note – A Celebration of the Piano Lesson, written by Tricia Tunstall, ©2008.


Source: Hamilton County Public Library. CLICK IMAGE for YouTube interview of Tricia Tunstall.

The context is PIANO. But readers need not be piano students, teachers or classical music enthusiasts to savor the author’s musical passion, insights and intellect. Her observations transcend to learning and loving any instrument.

Tricia Tunstall shares many stories on the ritual of lessons and the teacher/student relationship; diverse student personalities and learning styles; the discipline required to master skills and classical works; interesting examples on deciphering and respecting the complexities (and simplicities) in today’s pop culture music; persevering through recital performance; creating original works and improvisation.

She describes her advanced students (pp 126) as those making a discovery about themselves: “They are in this because of an attraction to the act of playing that is compelling, deep and inarguable. They have experienced the sheer physical pleasure of technical facility and soul-stirring elation of expressive power, and they have discovered that these satisfactions are somehow essential to their lives … it comes entirely from within.” Universal for any form of musicianship.

The book goes beyond reflections on music pedagogy. Tricia wraps it up with a very personal and tragic aspect within her own family life. But don’t jump ahead! The book’s 214 pages are an easy, engaging and rewarding read.

Wanna’ PLAY or PLEDGE a FLEA® ukulele? Visit to learn more plus connect to Amazon and eBay listings. Purchases are convenient, secure, delivered FREE (continental USA) and backed by Buyer Protection Programs on these two well established e-commerce stores.

Email me at if you would like to sponsor a donation of one or more FLEA ukuleles to the music therapy program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It’s easy and will certainly bring joy to your heart as well as many kids spending their holidays in a hospital.

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