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Intro: Dragon Mom versus Tiger mo

4 Jan

The Dragon, a universal creature that is emblazoned in both European and Asian cultures. Moms in both European & Asian culture both try to prepare their children for the battles in life. However, being the first generation in a USA culture that discriminates regardless of lies that are told, the Tiger mom’s methods are out. Most of the mothers who come from foreign or “exotic” cultures had plenty of self confirmation. Many of the moms grew up with friends who had similar experiences to them in their motherlands. If they had TV and media, these mothers were frequently inundated with cultural images of their parent culture. The amount of criticism they received was likened to that of people who were like them in their motherland.

Now, these mothers enter their new realm USA. Parents of the 1st generation can be subject to major identity crisis. They are singled out. And, many parents who typically lie to hide a common social problem, don’t understand just quite how deep an emotional and psychological ravine their children  fall into. Many of these children grow into adults who need to try and “verify” their own image in early adulthood by travelling to Asian countries. Sometimes, this is such an emotionally and psychologically intense experience that the once successful child that the Dragon mom pinned to her ego ceases to live. Mostly, due to frequently high suicide rates among Asians & Asian-Americans who strive for success in the USA. There is little acceptance by the Dragon mom or parents as to why their children did not successfully complete college, university, or their PHD program when it is within a week away. Some outwardly blame their own children and mock them to maintain status in the USA community, rather than take on the blatant responsibility to protect their children through early adulthood.

Sometimes this protection involves participation in the young adult’s life past the age of 18. And, it still involves calling the College or University where their son or daughter attends to keep things in line, yet at a distance. Being a minority “ethnic” group in the USA is another thing that many Dragon mom’s don’t understand or want to accept. Sometimes this will unfortunately include unnecessary and costly legal battles to get their children through higher educational institutions safely. Many minority families can’t afford these battles and so usually the child of the Dragon mom is left to fed for themselves in an unrelenting pit of discrimination, abuse, and being taken advantage of (including assault or pushed to the brink with suicide). Competitive majority & USA domestic dorm mates can also score automatic 4.0gpa if their dorm mate commits suicide.  Being a Dragon and hovering over the child even in early adulthood is of prime importance for success.

Many children of these parents usually begin to do soul searching by the time they reach their mid 20’s. For others looking for answers, this stage happens later and sometimes in the midst of a pressing professional life.

To be continued… and revised 1/4/2012 – 11/23/2016

Cat ready to Travel!

29 Dec I-GO2 Escort


Cat ready for Shopping, Bank, Next trip to Maui, more...



I-GO2 Escort

Erai's "Suitcase" arrived just after Xmas. All ready for next trip. She got too big for my tote bags!

My “classic” looking cat has been hopping in my totes before I go since she was adopted. She’s really part bengal. I haven’t been able to take her out in months due to her weight & since she just crossed over the 1 year mark. And, she’s been looking at me from my inside my “carryon” suitcase.  This was ordered from and is big enough for her with some room. Plenty of mesh windows too! I-GO2 Escort from PetGear  5-in-1. We tried it outside and the backpack works great and is more comfortable than expected. The roller/wheels work fine, and it comes with handle and extra shoulder strap, as well as a “cushion” that velcros into the bottom. Side pockets for food too.


Student Fundraiser Recitals

25 Oct

It’s a joy when a piano instructor has students who love to perform. Now, let’s add to the skill set of the compassionate intellectual artists and make the recital a fundraiser. I like choosing a good US-based International Organization so that the children especially can also learn about the world outside of the USA. One that I chose for my students at the time the Thailand Tsunami happened was WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals). One of the first things I did was contact WSPA and they kindly sent materials (age appropriate) for my students to read and watch. This opened their world to the interrelationship of sick and multiplying animal populations abroad, and how it affects human populations. Maybe a bit heavy, but a good topic in my mind.

I created some  fundraiser drive sheets for the students. They had two options and could either collect donations in practice hours or as a flat donation. The next thing, was of course practicing. Meanwhile I went to some local businesses & product sales reps to seek out prize donations and contributions for the students efforts. When it was time for the recital, and I had secured all the basic recital necessities, I had the students vote democratically on making the event public or private. I felt this was important so that if they wanted to have their efforts noticed locally, they had the control.

The fundraiser recital was a bit more humble & fun than a more dressy event. I baked a super healthy vegan apple cake with fresh berries that vanished quickly. All of the students played well and seemed to have a great time. I handed out the prize awards for their efforts at different donation levels, and the donations were totalled in front of the group. The check was sent to WSPA who later sent a nice letter of thanks to all of my students, which I distributed amongst them.

Many of the children in this area where I have taught since I was a teenager are very proactive about putting on their own events. So, my hope is that some of these students will venture out as musicians later in their lives with a mission to help others.   Within 2 months of this recital fundraiser, I was busy on my own independent project affording, organizing, & coordinating teaching 20+ Chinese exchange students as through PeopleLink for August in the Doylestown Area.  more later…

E- cat’s piece

25 Oct

I posted Erai cat’s first piece. She played it again today. This time, instead of balancing on the block at the left end of the keyboard and then turning (balanced on the black key clusters for the last 2 intervals front then back paws off the keyboard to the ground), she tackled the intervals from a leap down from above the keyboard (on the upright). I know this will be difficult to capture on video cam. One day I’ll catch her performance …. I hope.

Other Cats in my life….

Though she isn’t my other Franklin, who felt the hammers hitting the strings were a toy for a game of catch. He would endlessly jump on the keys and then to catch the hammers back and forth in and out of the piano….until we shut the lid on the grand for fear of a broken string.

Chubacca’s first performance was of a seated (on the bench) gracenote, neat and tidy.

Poco’s performances were usually a flying leap from the stairs crashing on the keys sideways.

200 years of Franz Liszt on Oct. 22

19 Oct

Liszt  birthday concerts & available tickets are posted here to celebrate the Father of the Solo grand piano concert.


I recollect that I was at Faust Harrison for some “blooming” hammer trial and was taken to a restored later 19th century Steinway. I decided trying yes, that Un Sospiro would be fitting for the instrument. And, yes it sounded more beautiful than I ever imagined it could, and got an immediate grasp of an entirely different piano sound. It was stunningly beautiful and I felt it belonged on the period instrument. Throughout my “competitive” childhood I used to love listening to the Transcendental Etudes. I felt they put Chopin’s etudes to shame. And, one teacher said to me at a lesson after I explored the Chopin Etudes;- so how do you like them? I said “not really”. He told me (pre internet era) “you’ll find some other ones you’ll like someday” (Godowsky reference). I used to sit with the book and recording, too afraid to touch the pieces on the piano most of the time. I think I set my fingers into the Wild Jagd or Chasse Neige as my first exploration in Liszt’s repertoire and then left it for lack of time. I dabbled in the Hungarian Rhapsodies when I could pull a book aside. My mother was strict about what she heard coming from me at the piano (lesson material only for fear I would be called Lazy again). I never really spent time on Liszt, even in adulthood. Most of it thrown together for the first time, as a reading. I’ve worked casually on about 10 pages of the Liszt Sonata (the past week or so) after giving it a complete reading some 8-9 years ago. Today, I’m rusty from life in Hawaii. I miss the real piano world, the one that kept me inspired to keep going with my music endeavors. (All this reminds me that I’ve been chased out of my life in the USA to this Hawaiian water park.)

Lang Lang will be performing in Philadelphia. I know, it’s not a place I can go safely;- despite Philadelphia area being my home for over a quarter century. Eugene Albulescu, a former Grand Prix du Liszt winner, was residing in the Lehigh Valley before I left nearly 3 years ago. I’m sure there will be some splendid concerts this week/weekend. I wish everyone the best.

Cat Music

11 Oct

I’ve added Errai Arrau Milo’s (cat) 20 second composition from last night at the piano. And deleted some things to make room, and updated with a page of Cat Music. Cat Music will be dedicated to the current cat who resides with me. And, when I capture her at the piano;- I will post her musings for anyone who cares to hear her.

Still, my apologies for the slow loading website in flash. It is cost effective for me, and houses documents and recordings. So, it remains relatively unchanged.


Honu – Hawaiian for Sea Turtle

29 Sep
by Angela M. Kneale

these three honu snuck up on me behind my back and were swimming together as if they were playing ring-around-the-rosie

Green Sea Turtle; Oahu, HI
This is one of three sea turtles who snuck up on me at the beach today.At Haliewa, three sea turtles snuck up on me as I was washing sand off. Honu is the Hawaiian word for Sea turtle. And Honu represent a happy and prosperous long life

The real pianist Cat

26 Sep
Erai Arrau Milo

Checks out the sonata monster this morning

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