Growing out your thumbnails: an ode to mbira 

August 2016

Today at the University of Cape Town (UTC), we learned a song on mbira! The mbira (pictured above) is a traditional African musical instrument consisting of tuned metal tines that are attached to a wooden board. It’s sometimes called a finger piano. As you can see in the photo, there is a big bowl around the wooden board. This bowl is meant to serve as a megaphone for the mbira, amplifying and projecting the gentle, mellow sound. Continue reading Growing out your thumbnails: an ode to mbira 


I refuse to leave school…Hello University of Cape Town

August 2016

Hey friends,

Today is my first day at the South African School of Music, The University of Cape Town, to check out the UCT Ibuyambo Orchestra. The orchestra members are college musicians at the school of music. As a student, you are required to take a certain amount of core classes, like general music history, theory, secondary piano, and traditional African music. So yes, some of these people in the ensemble are studying traditional African music; however, most of them are studying to be jazz musicians, opera singers, dancers, and classical instrumentalists. The ensemble has been nice enough to let me attend all of their classes and rehearsals for the remaining time that I am here in Cape Town, to experience how they prepare for an upcoming performance. Continue reading I refuse to leave school…Hello University of Cape Town

Welcome to Cape Town!

August 2016

Hey everyone! Sorry it has taken so long for me to set up my blog, but I’ve been in northern Italy for the past six weeks. Wi-Fi has not made it to that small village in the Dolomites. Italy was an absolutely amazing experience! Even though the music festival was not all that I imagined, I met some great musicians and played repertoire I’ve always wanted to play live. Continue reading Welcome to Cape Town!