Piano and Baking

What am I talking about? Has she lost her mind? Is the blood sugar level a little low these days?(Always, I like to think)

Well, anyone who knows me, knows that I, Debbie Gruber, love to bake and I love music. As a matter of fact, when I teach my piano classes and singing classes, I use baking metaphor's all the time. I bet you never thought of the relationship between baking and piano, but I'm here to educate the uninformed.

Alrighty, now for those of you who think, what does Debbie know about baking, isn't she just a piano teacher? I have to humbly say that I won the Bake-Off in my town just 3 weeks ago with my Gingerbread Cake so I have some experience here. Did you also know that when I was 14 years old (just 10 years ago, ha ha), I ran a bake shop out of my house. I was thrilled to make $100 for the summer (which my father promptly reminded me was much less than the cost of electricity.)

So what's the deal? Well, when you play the piano by reading chords, you wanna make your own delectable arrangement. Alter those chords, add some 9ths, add cool rhythms, voicings, introductions, endings, rolls, 13ths, cascades, runs, turns. Just playing the chord in the left hand and melody in the right hand is not going to cut it. The same is true for baking. N

Now,there are so many yummy spices out there. You can take a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe and add Dove Chocolates slice up instead of the traditional chips. Or when you make truffles using oreo cookies (I have a super simple amazing recipe if you want it), use the mint oreos, or roll in melted peanut butter chips instead of semi-sweet chocoate chips. If your bran muffin recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar, switch to brown sugar or molasses. Instead of raisins, add dates or apricots. Switch it up! Do the same in your piano playing.

Make those songs your own. Listen, listen, listen just like to taste your food. Be adventuresome. Don't be afraid of making a mistake. I use the velcro method. Try an idea out and see if it sticks.

That's it from here. Try the Playing With Style program for lots of ideas of how to shake things up with your charts.

Playing With Style
Bon Appetit,

Debbie Gruber, B.M., M.M.

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