My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Inspired by an inspiring award!

A few weeks ago I received the most surprising and humbling comment on my blog by a wonderful pianist, teacher, and social media friend, LaDona.  In it she informed me that she had nominated me for a "Very Inspiring Blogger Award" which, according to the badge that accompanies the nomination, has been created to keep "the blogosphere a beautiful place."  I think it's pretty obvious by now that I have fallen in love with blogs, not only writing them, but also reading them.  I am constantly inspired by a stream of incredible ideas and creativity that I see in these online journals that no longer just pepper the internet, but seem to fuel it.  To hear from a reader and colleague that this blog inspires her is such an encouragement to me.  So many, many thanks, LaDona.  It is an honor to be listed among those that you also nominated.  (To see a list of the excellent blogs she mentions, click here.)  So now to "accept" my award I'm asked to do several things:

  • Thank and link back to the person who nominated me
  • Post the award image to your page
  • Tell seven random facts about myself
  • Nominate 10 other blogs
  • Let them know they are nominated

Let's start with the random facts...hmmm...
  1. I love knitting and cross-stitching even though I rarely have time to do it anymore.
  2. I took sewing class in school.  And no, I'm not that old.  I just went to a bit of an old-fashioned girls' school.  I was the last person to take that class and I'm proud of it.
  3. I had to go to dancing school in middle school donning white gloves and patent leather shoes. It was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life.
  4. The cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, picked me up off the stage of Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco and asked me to sit next to him in the audience during an open masterclass.  I will never forget that moment though I have showered since then.  I wasn't so sure I was going to.
  5. We have a pet lovebird named Pistachio.
  6. I can play a flamenco piece on the guitar...sort of.  
  7. I love poems, both reading and writing them.  My favorite poets?  Rainer Maria Rilke and Eavan Boland.

And now to nominate some fabulous bloggers that inspire me on a regular basis:

  1. Alexis Del Palazzo's "The Sensible Flutist" - Alexis shares many of my same philosophies about music-making, holistic playing, and the importance of building community wherever you are
  2. Astrid Baumgardner - Ms. Baumgardner is always a wonderful source of inspiration about life for creative souls
  3. Jazz pianist Ron Davis - Ron is on a bit of a blogging hiatus right now but when he writes, he writes beautifully with lots of wonderful things to say about music and literature.  He also happens to like Rainer Maria Rilke's writing. 
  4. Music educator and psychologist Robert Woody's, "Being musical. Being human." - Dr. Woody writes all the time about inspiration he receives through his teaching and research and is a good place to go to read about recent studies in the music psychology world.
  5. Cellist Emily Wright's "The Stark Raving Cello" blog - Emily doesn't actually seem to be raving very much of the time but instead provides honest, thoughtful posts about life both musical and otherwise.  She is also incredible at coming up with amusing stick-figure drawings that say just as much as a blog post can.
  6. Pianist and educator Michael Monroe's "MMmusing" blog - where wit and music come together into posts that usually leave me giggling.  He is amazing at putting together word puzzles, images with funny captions, classical music mash-ups, and videos.  Truly a place to be entertained while learning something.
  7. Clarinetist Marion Harrington - Marion is someone that has inspired me from day one of knowing her.  Living in Spain, she gave up a successful career in business to return to music and is sharing her journey one step at a time, the highs and the lows but always with a sense of humor and determination to live above it all.
  8. Guitarist Patrick Smith's "A Journeyman's Way Home" - Patrick blogs just about every day and to me they are like little meditations that shine a light into my own life.  He is truly a poetic soul.
  9. Music psychologist and coach Noa Kageyama's "The Bulletproof Musician" - Dr. Kageyama writes inspiring, practical posts to help any musician in the practice room and on the stage.  
  10. Pianist and teacher Catherine Shefski's "Go Play Project" - Cathy started a fascinating project at the beginning of the year to learn, record, and post on this blog a new piece every week during the 2012 year.  It's a source of inspiration to me every week and has put a bug in my mind that I want to do this too...someday. 
The thing I don't like about making any sort of list is knowing that I will probably leave something or someone out.  If you know I regularly read your blog but have not listed you here, please don't think anything of it and forgive me instead!  

Thank you again, LaDona, for giving me a chance to sit down and to think of all the wonderful people I have in my life via the internet.  It has been an honor.

Long live the inspiring blogosphere!


  1. I think the award has accomplished its purpose here, Erica. I'm not familiar with a number of blogs that you mentioned - looking forward to checking them out!

    1. I hope you enjoy them! They'll definitely keep you busy :-)


  2. Congrats!
    Well deserved!

    And i enjoy the way you spread the love!!!

    1. Kim! Ah, see!! You're one of those people I should have included. Aargh!!!! OK, everyone that happens to read this:

      11) Conductor Kim Diehnelt's blog, "Maestra Kim" at

      I love your posts - they too are a great source of inspiration for me. I feel you're a kindred spirit in so many ways. My hope is that someday our paths will cross in person and that maybe, just maybe, we'd have the opportunity to play music together.

      Thank you for the congrats and the kind words. I really appreciate them.

      All the best,