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Fancy a sunny day out at the beach? Well, if you re in Amsterdam, you don t have to travel out to Zandvoort or Bloemendaal any more. Amsterdam is quite well-off in the trendy beaches sector. Beaches like Blijburg, Amsterdam Plage and the brand-new Strand West are all in Amsterdam itself. Apart from beaches Amsterdam also has other amazing places where one can kick back and sunbathe during summer without getting so much as a grain of sand between the toes.

Blijburg aan Zee is a sandy beach on the new IJburg island complex. Not only does Blijburg have a pleasant beach, it also has a beach caf?? with a bar and an open kitchen. Every Sunday there is a performance

Amsterdam s newest stylist city beach is Strand West. It s a wide sandy beach with a panoramic view over the waters of the IJ. One can laze in a hammock or beanbag, drink a cocktail, eat tapas or play beach volleyball with friends and colleagues. Children can ride on the giant stride or enjoy the view from the mini big wheel. When the weather is good, there are barbecues or paellas.

Last year the Amsterdam Plage beach at Stenen Hoofd, to the west of the Central Station, was a huge success. This beach, right next to the Silodam, was laid on the age-old dike that projects far out into the IJ. It is smaller than Strand West but more popular because of its intimacy.

Another beach is Strand-Zuid, located at the back of the RAI Congress Centre, just south of the centre of Amsterdam. It has 2,000 m2 of sand, chairs, terraces, a beach volleyball field and there are showers. One can go there

Towering above Amsterdam is the Green Boat designed

Memorization in Piano Performance

American Music Teacher , April-May, 2005 by Andrew Cooperstock

Memorization in Piano Performance (DVD), by Stewart Gordon. Alfred Publishing Company, Inc. (16380 Roscoe Blvd., P.O. Box 10003, Van Nuys, CA 91410), 2004. 64 rains.

"Fear before every performance is the price I must pay for the marvelous life I lead," quotes pianist Stewart Gordon about Arthur Rubinstein. One of the biggest fears in performance is that of forgetting the music, and Gordon, lecturing to piano teachers in Kansas, has shed new light on this often elusive topic. The result is the 1995 SH Productions video re-release on digital videodisc, adding to Alfred`s growing DVD library. The layout of the disc is clear and attractive, and the menu is easy to use. At a length of sixty-four minutes, the DVD is short enough to view in one sitting, yet substantive enough to provide value.

An active pedagogue, Gordon is well known as chair of keyboard studies at the University of Southern California and is co-author along with Marienne Uszler of The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher and creator of A History of Keyboard Literature: Music for the Piano and Its Forerunners. In the present lecture (offered apparently from memory and preceded and followed by short memorized piano performances), he tackles the topic of memorizing through five subdivisions--motor memory, visual memory, aural memory, analytical memory, spatial memory--and concludes with some useful memory exercises. Additional work with a student assistant helps clarify particular points.

Gordon makes a good case for the value of performing from memory and truly "owning" a piece. He also makes an interesting point of comparing pianists with most other instrumentalists or singers, who must, in order to derive correct pitch, "hear" notes in advance, thereby allowing the ear to lead as much as the fingers and producing a more natural mindfulness.

Gordon`s style is familiar and easygoing, and he addresses points that may be a concern for piano teachers and students who aren`t able to verbalize their concerns. Emphasizing a multi-sensory approach, supplemented with careful analysis and strengthened with several exercises for "over-learning," Gordon does a good job of clarifying the process of committing to memory. While proper preparation certainly is crucial, extra emphasis on what one should do during a performance, in terms of maintaining focus, recovering from a memory slip or sustaining continuity, would be beneficial. That said, this is a noteworthy DVD that should be of value to performers at any level. Reviewed by Andrew Cooperstock, Boulder, Colorado.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Music Teachers National Association, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

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