256 pages, 8.65 × 5.79 × 0.98 in
October 12, 2010
St. Martin's Press
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0312646283
ISBN - 13: 9780312646288
Read from the Book
Piano Lessons Chapter 1. BachIt was my grandfather who found her. He pronounced her name with an extravagant French accent that spoke of her mystery, her glamour.Mrs Siv-an.She had recently arrived in Adelaide with her husband and teenage son and was teaching piano at a western-suburbs high school. My grandfather was a regional director of the Education Department, and he had chanced upon one of her lessons during a routine inspection.‘He was true gentleman, of course, very charming,’ she told me later, ‘but with a natural authority.’ She furrowed her brow and pointed her finger: ‘You will teach my granddaughter.’I was nine years old and learning piano from a local jazz muso. After our lessons, he liked to join my parents in the kitchen, roll strange-smelling cigarettes and talk about Stevie Wonder. My father had for many years resisted my grandfather’s natural authority, and saw no reason for this arrangement to change, until one afternoon the jazz muso rolled a cigarette and announced it was time for me to move on.‘She got an A for First Grade, man! Where to from here?’It was no longer only my grandfather’s idea: my father could safely take it up.‘Mrs Sivan is from Russia,’ he told me that night at dinner. ‘She’s on the Liszt list.’‘What’s the list list?’‘The Liszt list. Liszt taught the teacher of her teacher’s teacher.’‘Who’s Liszt?’He gave me one of his looks. ‘A very famous composer.’I liked the sound of that. If I learned piano from Mrs Sivan, then I too would be on t
From the Publisher
Anna Goldsworthy was nine years old when she met Eleanora Sivan, the charismatic Russian émigré and world-class pianist who became her piano teacher. Piano Lessons is the story of what Mrs. Sivan brought to Anna's lessons: a love of music, a respect for life, a generous spirit, and the courage to embrace a musical life.
Beautifully written and strikingly honest, Piano Lessons takes the reader on a journey into the heart and meaning of music. As Anna discovers passion and ambition, confronts doubt and disappointment, and learns about much more than tone and technique, Mrs. Sivan's wisdom guides her:
"We are not teaching piano playing. We are teaching philosophy and life and music digested." "What is intuition? Knowledge that has come inside."
"My darling, we must sit and work."
Piano Lessons reminds us all how an extraordinary teacher can change a life completely. A work that will appeal to all music lovers and anyone who has ever taken a music lesson, Piano Lessons will also touch the heart of anyone who has ever loved a teacher.
About the Author
ANNA GOLDSWORTHY is an award-winning pianist who travels and performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. Her debut solo CD, "Come With Us," was recently released by ABC Classics. Her writing has appeared in The Monthly and Best Australian Essays, among others.
The wise words connect with anyone who can remember the pangs of adolescence, and the joy of being taken under the wing of a generous mentor.