In 2002, mutual friends introduced me to Alan Ford. I am very thankful for Alan being my mentor and friend. During the completion of my MAEd dissertation and projects, Alan assisted me.
Without his help, I would not have graduated. Talking to him in England sometimes for 5-6 hours, listening to his jokes made me laugh all the time. I always enjoyed hearing his stories about acting and how he prepared for roles (Figure 13).
Yes, MacDuff—I am here to help you! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (back off!) and bark, bark, bark—let me protect you!
If I see another person on a skateboard, you know I will bark. If you leave and pick up your car keys, I will make you take me for a ride. MacDuff has a tendency to just bounce around all over the place. He has a green eye and a blue eye, which is unique for a Scottish terrier, black and brindle. As MacDuff told me that in Scots Gaelic: May you always be in the palm of God’s hand.
I am not as dumb you all of you humans tend to think. I speak pretty well. It was kind of funny the other day I dreamed that MacDuff was talking to me in a dream. He met me at the door. Then he started to to tell me what to do.
Then I thought to myself—wait a minute—MacDuff is talking to me in plain English, ugh! This must be a dream. For a dog, he speaks quite well; no college education from Harvard University, except at dog school (MacDuff University).
I thought it was kind of funny. MacDuff also told me he really prefers a Whopper hamburger from BK with mayo on both sides, including a coke and onion rings (with zesty sauce); Figure 14.
Scottish terriers (Scotties for short) originate in the northern part of Great Britain. Scotland was an independent country originally with it’s own King and Queen, until a royal marriage united Scotland with England. Much of the Scottish countryside—though beautiful—is mountainous and wild.
The hardy Scottish dogs were capable of digging rabbits, rats and foxes out of burrows amongst the rocks and under thorn bushes where bigger dogs would be unable to go; Figures 15.1, 15.2, 15.3.
MacDuff told me in plain English, after a walk on Baker’s beach in San Francisco, California—I must have a hamburger. You know I am in charge. You must obey your dog. What could I say? If I do not cooperate, surely, I would get in trouble with MacDuff; Figure 15.1. MacDuff is in charge—I obey him!
San Francisco is one of the most beautiful places to live in the world—and I am super-duper (MacDuff told me to insert the word duper with super—super-duper MacDuff) grateful that I live in San Francisco. Also, I enjoy Palo Alto—very clean and beautiful city (MacDuff also enjoys Palo Alto and the Stanford Shopping Center, a Mall). MacDuff also likes walking around City Hall and downtown San Francisco; Figures 16.2, 16.3, 16.4.
This is where my Professor, Wanda Krasoff, gave her classical piano performance and was endorsed by Arthur Rubinstein, at his home in Los Angeles.
She related to me, as she showed me the photograph, what a splendid day she had with Arthur Rubinstein and gourmet lunch. Previously, she had given her Town Hall debut in New York, reviewed by Harold C. Schonberg, The New York Times. She also met his wife and his family; they had cocktails together and enjoyed a lovely dinner in the evening.
Sari Biro Plays Bach: Partita No. 2 in C Minor,
One of my excellent classical piano performance Professors, Sari Biro. I also studied with her classical piano performance assistant Professor—her encouragement was very excellent and prompted that I should continue on. She gave me a piece to learn, and I memorized it in one day (in a few hours) after practicing. It was already done prior to the next lesson.
I became very involved with learning and enjoying what I was doing, so I did not feel it was a burden to do my homework. I think it was her way of testing me, to see how I approached learning. Sari Biro graduated from the Liszt Academy, in 1930 with the Artist Diploma, and she made her debut in Carnegie Hall.
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli—Bach-Busoni—
Toccata & Fugue in D Minor
I have coached piano performance learners and concert pianists. It has been an excellent contribution to others that need advanced coaching in piano performance.
A photograph of my hands, practicing for a concert and doing piano performance (Bach, Hadyn, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Liszt), is shown below (age 19), including contour drawing of my hands (Figures 17 and 18).
A photo of Steven Heitman
practising for a concert, taken by
my mentor the violin professor.
An original ink contour drawing of hands,
drawn by Steven Heitman.