Commute Jam

Listening to my own commute jams in 2013.

While walking thru the parking lot to my office this morning, I passed a flashy European sports car with the driver still inside, leaning back against his head rest, eyes closed, listening to Sarah McLachlan’s “Adia” at top volume all the way to the end before turning off his car, stepping out, and joining the herd into work.

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Hey, Lover

People have to leave their cell phones in a set of lockers by our office door, and it’s not unusual to hear a cacophony of alarms and ringtones go off throughout the day.

The other morning, however, as I walked in, all I heard was the smooth, soulful crooning of Boyz II Men as “Hey Lover” played from one of the phones. A lot of the people who come to our building are, um, older and higher-ranking, and it made me snicker to think one of ’em have this song as a ring-tone.

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My Little Piano Man

I got to sit in on Jaz’s piano lesson this evening. The three older kids all take music lessons in the same music school. This was the first time I was able to attend one of his classes, and meet his piano teacher.

She was so patient and kind with him. He was initially interested in the drum set in the room, and she went with it, explaining to him percussion and its role in music. Once they were  He was so focused and eager to show her what he practiced. Continue reading

Music Concert

Pre-concert jitters.


The girls performed in a spring music concert earlier this week. They attend the same music school, and it was the first time they BOTH were on stage to share their musical talents. Continue reading

A Night of Music

These two sisters are the reason I brought my girls to the Stuttgart Philharmonic this evening. 

Lidija & Sanja Bizjak played Poulenc’s “Concert for Two Pianos.” It was incredible to watch, the back-and-forth, and the trust! True artists and just gorgeous music.

My girls were so impressed. To see them so excited and to hear them chat about their own instruments and ways of playing…that was MY favorite part.performance this evening. Continue reading

Village May Fest

Our village celebrated “May Fest” today with a tent full of music, food, neighbors, and beer.

It was so much fun! We are so lucky to have such great neighbors, both American and German. My favorite moment was when we temporarily lost track of Jaz who was playing in the kids’ area. Just as we started to branch out and search for him, Lola yelled, “THERE HE IS!” and pointed to the village’s vintage fire truck, which was pulling away filled with children, to include Jaz who was sitting in the middle, perched on the lap of a beautiful young lady.

He and the young lady made eye contact with us, and waved as they drove away to drive around the neighborhood.

Life in Germany is fantastic.

Musetta’s Walz

Pulled out my old piano lesson books, and have been working my way through them. This was the last piece I was working on with my first piano teacher, Mr. Paul L, who was a true maestro. The date is August 13, 1993. He passed away a few weeks later at the age of 83. I continued on my lessons with others, but all the markings and comments in most of my books are his. All these years, and I can still get feedback from him.

First Beethoven Concert

My girl began violin lessons about ten weeks ago. The other day, her music teacher pulled Martin aside to tell him that Lola is displaying a level of commitment and passion he doesn’t usually see at this age. He said when he shows her something new, she comes back the following week ready to play it back to him, and it is clear she is practicing. He thinks she would do well if she wants to bump up her music training.

Last night, she and I attended the symphony for some Beethoven for a Girls Night that I planned weeks ago.

It became an opportunity to see if this is really her jam.

The night before, I surprised her with a gift box containing a new outfit and tickets to the concert. She was so excited. Ever since Google did a Doodle celebrating Beethoven’s birthday in December, she’s wanted to attend a Beethoven concert.

So, the next day, we got dressed up, went downtown for dinner, and then made our way to the concert hall where we enjoyed Beethoven’s 4th Symphony followed by Stravinsky’s Pulcinella.

Lola was impressed and captivated. If she wasn’t clutching my arm to whisper and point things out to me, she was sitting at the edge of her seat, tapping her foot to keep time along with the music.

During intermission and after the performance, we were approached by more than a few other attendees who were so tickled by her enthusiasm and joy.

“I could see her from my seat,” remarked one man in German. “It was very entertaining to watch her. She clearly really enjoyed the music.”

Yes, she did.

We had dinner at our favorite pizza and pasta place downtown.


We were so close to the stage! She was able to see all the musicians and even waved to the visiting opera singers.