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Posts Tagged ‘Old Fashioned Mom Hotel’

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At the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, grades 1, 4 and 7 from the Private Dutchess Day School created beautiful and extraordinarily elaborate Mexican Skulls and Skeletons for all to view.

Dia de los Muertos, which means Day of the Dead is an interesting Holiday celebrated in Central and Southern Mexico. The tradition honors the dead and celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties and activities the Dead enjoyed in life.

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Alison Rowland, the beloved Art Teacher at Dutchess Day School presented a lavish collection made by her students, under her talented and inspirational eye the children’s imaginations were free to soar with endless creativity exuding all the marvelous colors and textures that so capture the Mexican tradition of the celebrated Holiday.

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Hudson Heinemann and Derrick Rosse, both 4th graders displayed unique originality in their Skelton figures. “I really enjoyed making these clay skeletons and learning about this festive Holiday, there is so much to learn from other cultures. Ms. Rowland is an amazing Art Teacher and I look forward to all the Art Projects we participate in.” said Hudson Heinemann.

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Scholars trace the origins of the Modern Mexican Holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec Festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The Holiday has spread throughout the world, being absorbed within other deep traditions for honoring the dead. It has become a National Symbol and as such is taught for educational purposes in the Nations Schools. Many families celebrate “All Saints Day” associated with the Catholic Church.

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Delicious Pan de Muerto was served at the Exhibition, which is a sweetened soft bread shaped like a bun then decorated with bone shaped phalanges pieces and topped with sugar.

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A truly delightful Holiday!!

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Ithaa is the world’s first and only all glass undersea restaurant:  Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Hotel

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Enjoy cocktails, lunch or dinner at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

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Ithaa translates as ‘Mother of Pearl’ in the Maldivian language of Dhivehi.

Rated “the most beautiful restaurant in the world” by the New York Daily News, Ithaa sits five metres below the surface, offering 180-degree panoramic views of the vibrant coral gardens surrounding it. Ithaa (meaning ‘mother of pearl’ in the Maldivian language of Dihevi) serves contemporary European cuisine in a six-course set dinner menu. Expect indulgences such as caviar for dinner while the four-course lunch menu offers lighter fare. Also open for mid-morning cocktails and can be booked privately for breakfast, weddings or other special occasions.

The restaurant offers the largest wine cellar in the country and a spectacular beachside setting.

 

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By: Marie Telling…

Macaroons ~ What it is: Little almond-meringue cookies filled with flavored buttercream.

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Why it’s awesome: You can get them in basically every flavor you want. And when they’re done right, they’re like little bites of heaven melting in your mouth.
2. French Lemon Pie

 

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What it is: A buttery crust filled with lemon curd.
Why it’s awesome: It’s refreshing, sweet, and slightly less tangy than its American counterpart (but just as good).
3. Crème Brûlée

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What it is: A custard topped with a crisp caramel layer.
Why it’s awesome: There are few things in life as satisfying as cracking the caramel layer of a crème brûlée with the back of your spoon.
4. Crêpes

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What it is: Very thin pancakes filled with just about anything you can think of.
Why it’s awesome: They’re super fun to eat, and you can accommodate everybody’s tastes with all the different fillings — like Nutella, strawberries and cream, or maple syrup.
5. Chocolate Soufflé

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What it is: An ~ethereal~ chocolate cake with a crispy crust and a soft middle.
Why it’s awesome: It manages to be both light and rich. (And chocolate is involved, which is always a good thing.)

 

6. Madeleines

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What it is: Fluffy and delightful little buttery cakes.
Why it’s awesome: They’re simple yet addictive, and you can stray from the traditional recipe to create different flavors.
7. Chocolate Meringue

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What it is: A crunchy meringue with chocolate swirls and a slightly chewy inside.
Why it’s awesome: Meringue is already pretty amazing on its own, but add some chocolate to the equation and it’s even better.
8. Clafoutis

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What is it: A flan-like cake usually filled with cherries.
Why it’s awesome: Soft texture + tart cherries = a truly perfect summer bake.

 

9. Tarte Tatin

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What it is: An upside-down caramelized apple pie, basically.
Why it’s awesome: Caramelized apples and a crispy crust. What more do you need?
10. Chocolate Mousse

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What it is: I mean, it’s a chocolate mousse.
Why it’s awesome: It’s light, rich, fluffy, and chocolatey. (In other words, it’s pretty much perfect.)
11. Dacquoise

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What it is: A pastry made of layers of whipped cream and hazelnut meringue.
Why it’s awesome: The contrast between the crunch of the meringue and the softness of the cream? It’s next level.

 

12. Nougat

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What it is: A candy from Southern France made with honey, egg whites, and nuts.
Why it’s awesome: Variations of this specialty exist all around the Mediterranean Sea. The French version is soft and sweet — and might use pistachios, almonds, or hazelnuts.
13. Éclairs

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What it is: A pastry made with pâte à choux (or light dough), filled with flavored custard and topped with glossy icing.
Why it’s awesome: There’s something for everyone: Along with traditional chocolate and coffee éclairs, you can now often find many flavors — like raspberry and pistachios — in French bakeries.
14. French Chocolate Cake

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What it is: Chocolate cake. Enough said.
Why it’s awesome: Every French household has their own take on this classic. Three signs of a good one? Delicious chocolate, soft cake, and a crispy crust.
15. Crêpes Suzette

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What it is: Crêpes flambé in a sauce that’s made of butter, caramel, orange, and Grand Marnier.
Why it’s awesome: Because who doesn’t love setting a dessert on ~fire~?
16. Kouign-Amann

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What it is: A cake from the Brittany region made of sugar-crusted layers of dough and butter.
Why it’s awesome: Butter. Lots of it.
17. French Apple Pie

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What it is: A longtime favorite that French grandmas swear by.
Why it’s awesome: Compared to its American counterpart, French apple pies are always thin-crusted, open-faced, and only have one layer of apple slices. They’re equal parts straightforward and super satisfying.
18. Paris-Brest

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What it is: A cream puff sandwich stuffed with praline-flavored cream.
Why it’s awesome: I repeat: it’s a cream puff sandwich stuffed with praline-flavored cream.
19. Chocolate Pots de Crème

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What it is: Chocolate cream often served with some Chantilly.
Why it’s awesome: It’s creamy AND it’s chocolatey — aka everything that’s good in this world.

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I Love my Zwahlen Huni Ballet Slippers, made in Gstaad Switzerland. A must for daytime….so comfortable and extremely beautiful. They come in a variety of colors and are truly durable! I have had mine for over a year and they look fabulous.

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Zwahlen Huni has two locations, one in Gstaad and the other in Saanen. Both are magnificent, and purchasing clothes of the Austrian style is both chic and International.

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The boutiques carry a Couture Line ~ as well as other well known labels…Barbour, Vicomte A., Longchamp, Woolrich-John Rich and Brothers, Barutti, and Sasso are just a few.

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In Gstaad, visit Promenade 55…a beautiful store!

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Email: info@zwahlenhueni.ch

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Michelle-Marie Heinemann & Zwahlen Huni

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An International Polo Tournament in Gstaad.

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The international Polo Gold Cup tournament has established itself as an audience magnet. The “royal” game captivates the spectators every year with top-ranking players and very tough competition for the sought-after world ranking points.

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Program:
Thursday: Qualifikatons Games
Friday: 4.00 pm. Polo parade in Gstaad
Saturday: semifinals & Polo Night (CHF 380.– p.p.)
Sunday: finals
VIP Lunch SA & SU: CHF 340.– p.p.
Price : Free entry

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Polo Club Gstaad

Chalet les Arcades, Post Fach 419

www.polo-gstaad.ch

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My son is a devout Republican and staunch political aficionado….which lead us to the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trumps victory speech Tuesday night held at Trumps Briarcliff Manor Golf Club. I have always encouraged my children to be involved and independent with their thoughts as I support them entirely in whatever decisions and choices they make….

 

 

image1 (6) Michelle-Marie Heinemann & Mica Mosbacher

 

 

image2 (7)Evan Sims, Hudson Heinemann, Hyacinth Heinemann, Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Shannon Gilligan

 

 

 

image1 (9)Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Al Baldasaro, Hudson Heinemann, Evan Sims, Hyacinth Heinemann

 

 

The primary season is wrapping up with elections in New Jersey, California, and four other states. Trump told the relatively private crowd, “You’ve given me the honor to lead the Republican Party to victory this fall, and I am going to fight for you, the American people, like nobody has ever fought before. I am not a politician, I am just me. You’re going to see some real great things happen.”

 

 

image2 (6)Michelle-Marie Heinemann & Trump Supporters

 

 

 

 

My son, and his friend Evan Sims throughly enjoyed speaking with Al Baldasaro, who is the Chair of the State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs and a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. He promised to give a tour of the State House when my son is in New Hampshire for Camp this month….very excited was he!

 

 

image1 (8) Donald Trump

 
image2 (5) Michelle-Marie Heinemann

 
image2 (4) Hyacinth Heinemann, Hudson Heinemann, Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Evan Sims

 

image1 (7) Hyacinth Heinemann, Evan Sims, Hudson Heinemann, Michelle-Marie Heinemann

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Madame Tussaud pales in comparison to the Living Wax Museum, presented by the 3rd grade at the private Dutchess Day School. Students stood frozen with pride as they became one with their favorite famous American….citing “fun facts” and “historical trivia” in front of a giant paper backdrop.

 
Old Fashioned Fun was at work, as attendees had to push a button to hear the interesting information, and once pushed it was amazing to learn details of the famous Americans.

 
Hudson Cornelius Heinemann chose Duke Ellington, the composer, pianist and bandleader. In true Ellington style Hudson sported spectators by A. Testoni and a dapper Merlot wide stripped button down, for his Ellington look.

 
Ellington’s career spanned 50 years composing masterpieces like “It don’t mean anything, if it ain’t got that swing” and “Prelude to a kiss.” He was a 12 time Grammy award winner and really knew how to get the crowd moving with unique jazz melodies. The project was in true Old Fashioned Mom style as students had to pull a book out of the library and use an encyclopedia to learn about bibliographies.

 
The Head Mistress, Nancy Hathaway perused each wax figure while other notable Americans included: Amelia Earhart, Edger Allan Poe, Babe Ruth, Arthur Ashe, Betsey Ross, and Sacajawea. “This was a great project, I enjoyed making my backdrop and studying about Duke Ellington. I feel I became more connected with him, as opposed to just googling his name, definitely more interesting to go to the library.” said Hudson Heinemann.

 

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Hudson Heinemann

 

1934: American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader Duke Ellington (1899 - 1974) smiles as he holds a double bass on his shoulder and a flute in one hand, Hollywood, CA. He is wearing a fedora, a suit, and a scarf around his neck. Ellington and his band were in Hollywood to appear in director Mitchell Liesen's film, 'Murder at the Vanities.' (Photo by Frank Driggs/Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images)

Duke Ellington


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Head Mistress, Nancy Hathaway and 3rd grader Hudson Heinemann

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08:  New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

CEO, Michelle-Marie Heinemann of Old Fashioned Mom Magazine and HSH Prince Charles-Henri Lobkowicz, who is the Brand Ambassador for the exclusive line of Dewitt Watches, welcomed guests at Plaza Athenee to chat about the magnificent watch collection. 

The Lobkowicz Family dates back to the 14th century and is one of the oldest Bohemian Noble Families. Prince Charles Father was Prince Edouard de Lobkowicz and his Mother the Princess Francoise of Bourbon-Parma. 

Guests included: Anne Van Ness, Sharon Bush, Isaac Lazerson, Marie-Claire Gladstone, Ann Baker, Tanja Dreiding Wallace, Dr. Tamas Lorinczy, and Annamaria Bogyay.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Marie-Claire Gladstone and Ann Van Ness attend a Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Marie-Claire Gladstone and Ann Van Ness attend a Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz, Dr. Tamas Lorinczy, New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann and Ambassador Katalin Annamaria Bogyay attend New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz, Dr. Tamas Lorinczy, New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann and Ambassador Katalin Annamaria Bogyay attend New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) and Sharon Bush attend a Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) and Sharon Bush attend a Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) and Marie-Claire Gladstone attend a Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) and Marie-Claire Gladstone attend a Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: Dr. Tamas Lorinczy (L) and Ambassador Katalin Annamaria Bogyay attend New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: Dr. Tamas Lorinczy (L) and Ambassador Katalin Annamaria Bogyay attend New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (R) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (R) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz and Anne Baker attend a Luncheon At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz and Anne Baker attend a Luncheon At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (R) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (R) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (R) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (R) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (R) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (R) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz and Tanja Dreiding Wallace attend a Luncheon At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz and Tanja Dreiding Wallace attend a Luncheon At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz, New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann and Anne Baker attend a Luncheon At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz, New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann and Anne Baker attend a Luncheon At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann and Anne Baker attend a Luncheon for Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann and Anne Baker attend a Luncheon for Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (R) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (L) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (R) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann (L) Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz (R) At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: General view of atmopshere at New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz and Anne Baker attend a Luncheon At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz and Anne Baker attend a Luncheon At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 08: New York Socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann Hosts Luncheon For Prince Charles Henri Lobkowicz At Plaza Athenee on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Old Fashioned Mom Magazine)

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Best known as the multi-instrumentalist for the pop rock group Maroon 5, Jesse Carmichael surprised many when he took a two-year sabbatical from the wildly popular, multi-Grammy–winning group in 2012 to pursue studies of music and the healing arts. Carmichael spoke to Steinway & Sons about his passions and his instrument.

 
WHY WERE YOU DRAWN TO MUSIC?
I don’t even have a memory of choosing to go into music. I just know that it’s been with me since I was a kid. Mozart and Bach were big influences when I was little, and that’s when I started playing piano. Then I switched to guitar all throughout high school and then came back to the piano afterwards. Now I do both in my band, and I love both.

 

WHAT DREW YOU TO PIANO?
When I was around six or seven years old, my dad got me a keyboard. I would sit and play on it and maybe do things like just play all the black keys and enjoy the sound of that particular F-sharp pentatonic world. I loved listening to music by Mozart and Bach. I remember the first prelude from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, that was one of the first things I ever learned how to play.

 

IS MUSIC STILL A PART OF HOW YOU RELATE TO THE WORLD AT LARGE?
It’s such a deep part of how I experience the world. I think about the sounds I hear as I’m going throughout my day, and I almost always subconsciously organize them into sounds occurring in time. A car will pass by, and I’ll hear the pitch of it compared to the people talking next to me on the street and the sound of a phone ringing. I don’t have perfect pitch, but they all blend together in a nice way. I’m very sensitive to overlapping sounds. Luckily I’ve been getting more into atonal music lately.

 

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO INTERACT WITH THE STEINWAY?
It’s like picking up a really well-made tennis racket — your game immediately improves. Playing a Steinway makes me feel like a better piano player. For some reason I can just respond to the action in a way that makes me not think about the technical side of things and just be able to lose myself in the sound.

 

WHEN YOU’RE ABLE TO LET GO OF THE TECHNICAL SIDE AND LOSE YOURSELF IN THE SOUND, WHAT DOES THAT UNLEASH?

The best feeling I can have as a musician is to catch, for just a split second, the realization that I haven’t been doing the music playing: it’s just been happening. I’ve been experiencing it, almost out-of-body. I know that there’s a part of my brain that is controlling my hands, but those moments where I feel completely just carried along by the music — those are the moments that I really live for.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY MEMORIES OF THE FIRST TIME THAT YOU REALLY DISAPPEARED INTO PLAYING?
I remember always going into sort of like a meditative state when I would play piano. It’s always something that clears my mind and takes me away from thinking into just experiencing the sound of the instrument. As a kid, I would do that a lot, and still do, all the time! It’s such a nice feeling to be able get out of my head, to stop the thoughts from happening and just enjoy the sound of an instrument that’s as amazing as the Steinway — and lose myself in the tones that come out of it. Sometimes it’s sort of like going into a trance when I sit down and play. It clears my mind, and I can focus on the sound coming out of the piano. The sound that comes out of the Steinway is truly inspiring.

 

WHAT IS THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING IN THAT MUSIC STATE?
The feeling when music surrounds me and takes over and I have that kind of out of body experience, that’s very comfortable. There’s something about the physicality of the harmonies that come out of any instrument, the way that they can be felt all throughout your body. It’s just very soothing. It’s like an extension of this whole idea that everything has a vibration to it. Everything’s constantly moving in our whole world. For me, sound is an embodied form of that idea. You can experience it tangibly. In that sense it connects me to this deeper undercurrent of the whole universe, which sounds lofty and wild, but it’s true that the universe is vibrating. It’s nice to be able to really play around with those vibrations on an instrument like the Steinway.

 

WHY DO YOU PREFER TO PLAY ON A STEINWAY?
I think that if there’s a problem with a tuning on an instrument or one of the keys sticks it can be very distracting. To have all of those things taken care of by a quality-built instrument is really freeing. There’s a subtle difference between a specific type of touch or a specific type of articulation on any instrument, and that could be the difference between conveying the emotion you want to convey or missing the mark. I remember switching to a Steinway after the pianos that I’d been playing before and just how noticeable it was that the quality of this instrument was so impressive and so perfect. Playing an instrument that’s as well-made as this Steinway makes it easier to tap into the little nuances that lead me down the path of becoming a better musician.

 

HOW DID YOU DECIDE THAT YOU WERE GOING TO GET A STEINWAY?
It started when I watched the documentary Note by Note about the making of a Steinway piano. Then I decided to go take a tour of the factory in New York, and they were very nice. They took my mom, me, and a friend of mine out to look at every step of the piano-making process. I got to meet the people who did it. I got to help them bend one of the outside rims of the piano, turning some cranks on it. That was really cool.

I started to play pianos when I was out there at the factory, and I was just looking for a connection with a piano that would give me that intangible feeling of knowing this is the one that you want to have in your home. I played probably about twenty different pianos in New York and Los Angeles. Out in Pasadena I found one.

I had finally narrowed my choices down to a couple pianos out at the Pasadena showroom. I remember I was playing two of them, side by side, and they were off just by one serial from each other, so they were back to back in production. They were totally different. One was very bright, and one was very warm. I chose the warmer one because it just seemed like it would fit in my house and my personality.

 

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WHY DOES THAT FIT YOUR HOUSE AND YOUR PERSONALITY?
I’m very sensitive, and so I don’t like harsh things or things that are even further along on the spectrum towards bright. They tend to make my nerves react in a way that the warm pianos don’t. The warm pianos are very soothing. I was looking for something intangible in the pianos I was trying out. I didn’t know exactly what it was going to be until I heard it. I found it with the piano I eventually ended up buying.

 

TELL ME ABOUT THE DAY YOU BROUGHT YOUR STEINWAY HOME.
That was a great day. I took a bunch of photographs of the guys who were wheeling it in on the dollies and put it together in a little stop-motion movie. They brought it in, wrapped up in blankets like a beautiful Christmas present. We cleared a path from the front door into the living room and dining room areas. I went out with them, and we brought it off the truck and put it onto the dolly and wheeled it in. Then they unwrapped it and attached the legs and did their amazing process of flipping it upright onto its feet, and they brought in the piano bench. The first chord I played was just a C-Major triad chord right in the middle.

 

GOING FORWARD, WAS IT A GETTING-TO-KNOW-YOU PROCESS WITH THE INSTRUMENT?
I’d already played it a lot at the Pasadena showroom. At that time, I remember I was playing a couple pieces that I had written and the ending of Copeland’s Appalachian Spring, the “moderato like a prayer” section. I loved the way that chords rang out on this piano.

 

HOW DOES THE STEINWAY FIT INTO YOUR HOME?

I feel like it’s really integrated into my home. I’ve got electrical equipment that I play at the same time as I play the piano, sometimes looping sounds on a pedal. It fits into my dining room so that I have one half dedicated to food and the other half dedicated to music. It’s surrounded by works of art from friends of mine. I’ve got a cabinet behind me with incredible sheet music from the great masters. It’s just very inspiring to have this instrument in my home.

 

TALK TO ME ABOUT BEING ON TOUR. HOW DOES IT JUXTAPOSE WITH YOUR TIME AT HOME?
Juxtaposition is a good word, because my life at home is very oriented around the idea of a nurturing, grounded, stable, creative environment. Everything on the road is a lot more kinetic and spontaneous, and we’re in a different city every day. It’s very temporary. We bring our stuff into our hotel rooms and spend the night and pack it up in the morning and leave. We have these peak experiences every night with huge crowds of people, and then we’re gone from that city. I like to come home and decompress with that sort of very rooted vibe.

The Steinway is very heavy and is not practical to travel around with. So just by its very nature, the massing of it is very grounding, the color, tone. When I am home after all of that travel, and I sit down and I play, I feel the vibration coming from the piano through my body and into the house, it kind of physically connects me back to being home.

 

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WHAT DO YOU TRY TO DO DURING YOUR TIME BETWEEN TOURS?
I think about each chunk of time in between tours as a mini-sabbatical from the professional world of playing music for fans. It’s the time for me to go deeper into music, and it’s such a lifelong pursuit. I just treat every month that we have off as a training session, basically, for me to play myself deeper into music. I study with different teachers, and I’m taking orchestration lessons and piano and guitar lessons and tabla lessons and voice lessons. I structure my day almost like I’m at a school with specific times to work on different things, and then I have the free time to take what I’ve learned with those experiments and teachers and let it infuse its way into something that comes out of me naturally.

 

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT STUDYING?
I’m pretty methodical in terms of trying to break everything down to small modules. For the piano, I’ll work on specific types of technique. Touch and articulation. Then I’ll work on sight reading and notation. Then I’ll work on improvisation and songwriting and then work on repertoire with a new piece of sheet music. The same thing with guitar, and with the electronic recording world, and putting my studio together, and learning the technical side of engineering, microphones and outboard gear: there are a thousand different things that I’m pursuing right now. They’re all super fun, and I just feel so lucky to be able to spend my time learning about the things that I love.

 

ARE YOU STUDYING COMPOSERS IN AN EFFORT TO LOOK AT MUSIC OVER TIME?
With my orchestration teacher we’ve been real systematic in terms of looking back through the thread of composers passing along their inspiration to other composers. We treat Bach as the foundation for modern music in our studies, and then moving forward through time to Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, and then Stravinsky. Before that, around Wagner time, we’ve got Debussy and Ravel. Just looking at all the threads, and who started to branch out, Wagner and Liszt, into the world of atonality. Then Schoenberg comes along, and Stravinsky and Schoenberg have their split into tonal and atonal. Stravinsky’s doing wild things with polyrhythm and polytonality. Gustav Mahler’s a big hero of mine, and I love Philip Glass and Steve Reich and the whole world of hypnotic, minimalist music. It’s very inspiring to me. Then the film composers came along, because that’s what I see as a modern day extension of Mahler and Wagner. People like John Williams and Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer. These guys are my modern-day composer heroes.

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TRACING LINKS BETWEEN MUSICAL TRAINING AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTION — AND BOLSTERING THE CASE FOR MUSIC IN SCHOOLS

 

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If educators want to develop critical, creative thinkers who can set and accomplish their own goals — and who can use those skills to strengthen their math and reading skills — they may want to take another look inside the music room.

For a child to play an instrument, she needs to stick to her goals, pay sustained attention, and be flexible enough to switch back and forth between tempos and styles. These habits draw heavily on executive function (EF) skills, cognitive processes that include problem-solving, goal setting, and flexible thinking. A number of studies have found that EF skills contribute hugely to students’ success in math and reading.

But music doesn’t just require EF skills; it may be a pathway to building them. That’s according to findings by developmental psychologist Nadine Gaab, whose work shows that people who play a musical instrument regularly have higher executive function skills than non-musicians — a significant finding for educators.

THE RESEARCH

In a 2014 study, Gaab and her research team, including Jennifer Zuk, Ed.M.’10; Christopher Benjamin; and Arnold Kenyon, examined 30 adults between 18 and 35, and 27 children between 9 and 12. Half the participants were “musical”: The adult musicians either were seeking or had obtained a performance degree and practiced at least eight hours a week, and the children had been taking private instrumental lessons for an average of 5.2 years.

The researchers examined the participants as they performed various tasks measuring EF skills. In a “verbal fluency” test, for example, the participants had to name in one minute as many words as possible starting with an assigned letter, excluding people, places, or numbers. In a “trail making” test, they had to draw straight lines as quickly as possible connecting numbers and letters in numerical and chronological order, while switching between numbers and letters.

The children in the study also performed several “set shifting” tasks under an fMRI, in which they had to press different buttons depending on audio and visual stimuli.

The results?

Overall, the musical participants performed better on several, although not all, of the executive function tests.

  • Both adult and children musicians exhibited higher cognitive flexibility than non-musicians.
  • The adult musicians showed a more proficient working memory, and the child musicians exhibited faster processing speed, than their non-musician peers.
  • Most significant, the researchers found differences in brain activation between child musicians and non-musicians. “We had more activation in areas of the brain I often call the ‘CEO regions’” — the frontal regions associated with executive function — “in the children who had musical training compared to others,” says Gaab.

IMPLICATIONS FOR FAMILIES AND SCHOOLS

Practicing a musical instrument, it seems, is directly correlated with increased executive function. So should parents rush to sign up their children for private lessons? Should schools redouble their focus on music?

Possibly, says Gaab. Their study was not a longitudinal one, in which researchers would have analyzed a group of children before beginning their musical training and then again after they had been regularly practicing. Consequently, she cannot say with certainty if practicing music increases EF, or if it’s the other way around. “Kids and adults who have really good executive function skills might stick longer with music or might be more drawn toward music,” explains Gaab.

However, this research does answer a crucial question left open by other studies that have found a link between music and cognitive function. A child musician might have strong EF skills because a family that can afford private instrument lessons is likely providing other forms of enrichment too, such as a language-rich household or stimulating summer camps. Gaab’s study controlled for IQ and socioeconomic status, however, showing that musical training, not other experiences, is the factor linked to EF.

So while the exact causal connection between executive function and music remains unclear, the researchers still advise schools to take note. “Replacing music programs with reading or math instruction in our nation’s school curricula in order to boost standardized test scores,” they write, “may actually lead to deficient skills in other cognitive areas.”

Written By Leah Shafer