Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Kyung Wha Chung’s response to coughing

Posted by Susan Tomes on 4 December 2014 under Books, Concerts, Musings  •  Leave a comment

Lots of people have written to me today about coughing. Why? Because of a BBC News report about violinist Kyung-Wha Chung’s comeback recital at the Festival Hall in London. She was disturbed by a child coughing in the audience, and remonstrated with the parents. Her response to the coughing divided the audience. Some were shocked or […]




Different degrees of preparation

Posted by Susan Tomes on 21 November 2014 under Daily Life, Musings  •  4 Comments

The current series of ‘Masterchef Professionals’ has provoked quite a lot of interaction between musicians (mostly on Twitter) commenting on how unprepared the competitors seem to be for the cookery challenges which await them. Time after time, in the ‘technical challenge’ section, chefs are asked to do a standard restaurant task like de-bone a piece of meat, prepare a […]




Thinking back or planning ahead?

Posted by Susan Tomes on 18 October 2014 under Concerts, Musings, Teaching  •  1 Comment

An interesting discussion the other night with a bunch of student pianists. We were discussing the kind of situation where you have to perform several different pieces in a row without being able to leave the stage. This is sometimes the case in, for example, a competition, where the rules state that you must perform […]




‘Lost arts’

Posted by Susan Tomes on 28 August 2014 under Concerts, Musings  •  1 Comment

This morning I listened to a longish discussion on Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme about the technique of singing with a microphone.  Many singers today use headsets rather than microphones when they perform, because headsets allow them to have their hands free. To my astonishment, the technique of holding a microphone and singing into it was described […]




Music’s role in combating depression

Posted by Susan Tomes on 18 August 2014 under Daily Life, Musings  •  1 Comment

The other day the Guardian published a front-page article about the startling number of people of all ages who suffer from mental health problems, such as depression, without receiving any treatment. It was suggested that the cost of drug treatments and cognitive therapies, as well as a lack of trained counsellors in certain parts of the country, were factors in why […]