Connecting Mind, Body, & Heart

  • Experience meaningful, integrated listening by learning how to make connections between knowledge, emotions, & breath with live demos at the piano.

  • Find your personal point-of-view on the character of the piece and learn how to offer evidence of the composer's intent from the musical material.

  • Explore unfamiliar material/ideas and engage complexity more fully by understanding multiple perspectives.

  • Enhance your health/wellness by recognizing emotions and controlling breathing through music to activate your parasympathetic nervous system.

Conscious Listening™

is the culmination of a lifetime of performing, teaching, and connecting mind, body, and heart. Whether the listening is in a concert hall, in the practice room, or on stage while performing, we can connect our emotions and physicality to our analytical minds. Musical intuition can grow in everybody, and through music we can be more alive. Happy listening!

Mission

To improve the quality of engagement with concert music, with other perspectives, and with ourselves.

How?

  • Small group cooperative fun in a safe space for slow, intergrated listening

  • Embody the music with breath, knowledge, & emotions

  • Listen intentionally to the elements of the music, for the purpose of engaging with the composer’s musical language.

  • Follow a guided 4-step listening method that grows musical intuition.

  • Practice aural skills with specific targets and discovering the character and emotions inside each moment.

  • Explore how your breath can interact with musical phrasing and other elements.

  • Acquire creative skills as you contribute ideas and make connections within the dynamic interplay of musical elements.

  • Join a community of inquisitive adults, both concert-goers and active performers, who want more out of the concert experience.

"I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed YOU - and your course! How grateful I am that I have participated with you! You really are a delightful, engaging teacher!"
- Lynn, counselor

Steinway Artist and former University of Colorado faculty member Hsing-ay Hsu developed her Conscious Listening™ method to guide audience listening inside each composer’s unique language across the genres of classical/concert music.

What is the Music Café?

Join our fun inquisitive group of concert music lovers for listening practice online!

WHO: Lifelong learners, College/high school students, Retired teachers, Amateur musicians, Audience members, College/high school students, Parents of music students, Good listeners. Open level- regular concert music listening is the only suggested pre-requisite.

NEXT INTERACTIVE PLAYTIME
: Saturday September 26 (4th Saturdays JAN-OCT)
12-12:40pm ET/9am PT/ 10am MT/ 11am CT. Followed by optional discussion. There are 3-4 people in each breakout room so you can get to share with and know your colleagues.

WHERE: A quiet room, reliable WIFI, and a device with decent speakers/headphones.

HOW: Register for your interactive Zoom link by emailing TheNutmegStudio@gmail.com. You can get a membership below right now. Want to meet us before becoming a member? Please tell me about yourself and I will invite you to your first meetup as my personal guest.

*One-year Café Membership

WHO is included? A primary member with sign-in privilege plus anyone in the household sharing the same screen.

WHEN: 4th Saturdays, JANUARY - OCTOBER. 12NoonET/9amPT/10amMT/11amCT

COST: Choose your own level of support, starting at $10/year. Your contribution makes possible the ongoing research, content preparation, and tech costs. Membership is included for current studio clients. Membership is non-refundable and non-transferable.

HOW:
1. Complete Agreement Form. You have the option to gift this to a friend.
2. Choose your level of membership below. Credit/debit cards are accepted, or use Zelle or Paypal via your bank to TheNutmegStudio@gmail.com.

hotos clockwise: Online Café, Colorado Music Festival, Denver School of the Arts, International Odyssiad Festival

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What People Are Saying

"I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed YOU - and your course! How grateful I am that I have participated with you! You really are a delightful, engaging teacher!" - Lynn, counselor

Spending time in your [webinars] helps me to be centered, intentional, and elegant. - Lilly, international business woman

Fascinating and engaging: creative programming, generous sharing of skills /colors /philosophic communications, all done with your unique & graceful style, always growing from your experiences, visionary performances; wow!! - Tamara, concert pianist

More testimonials continued below.

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Book a Seminar/House Concert

Please email me at TheNutmegStudio@gmail.com.

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More Seminar Topics

The Nutmeg Studio Approach: Seminars for Advanced Pianists (series)

A series of 14 rotating topics, ideally paired with masterclass for application demonstration. (sample brochure below.)

1. Foundations: “3 step listening”, “3 levels of understanding”, “Elements of the Music”2. The Miracle of the Breath 3. Stepping outside the comfort zone (how to absorb new information)4. Strategic Timeline (from week to week)5. 3-2-1 Action: Performance Strategy6. Fluid Technique7. Harmonic Colors & Energy Levels8. Building Blocks (Structure) & Pacing9. Preventing Injury (dynamic stretch, breath, static stretch)10. Practice Applications (making the most of every hour)11. Memorizing12. Methods of Voicing13. Overview of Contemporary Piano Music14. Listen & ReviewNutmeg spice: a symbol of vivacity and enthusiasm

Beyond Your Fingertips: Imprinting Emotional Well-Being (series)

How do we as complex human beings fulfill our emotional and psychological needs in the midst of artistic pressures? These five workshops address difficult questions through multiple lenses with applicable exercises and interactive participation. 1.Mental Practicing- group practice workshop2.Practicing Feeling- using emotional awareness to maximize effective practice3.Rising Above Performance Anxiety- customizing your own approach4.Cultural Values in Teaching Styles: American and Chinese Perspectives5.Finding Our Values- discovering personal values to drive your career. Finding where what you love intersects with what you’re good at.

Communications Make-Overs for Young Artists (series)

Have you ever wondered how some people always light up the room wherever they are? Do you want the audience, even the first-timers, to connect with you? Would you like to be confident in making a lasting impression? Can you be honest with your teacher and parents about your struggles? Teachers and parents, how might we use our precious one-on-one time to encourage our young professionals to succeed in the real world? Concert-goers, share your voice and suggestions in this session.Come interact in this one-of-a-kind discussion. Receive invaluable ideas and tips on communication skills for building a lasting career. Let's discuss how our communication skills can help us find the right partners and friends in our life journey.

Seminars for Music Appreciation

Inside the Orchestra: From a Composer's View (series)

Guided Music Listening- What Do You Hear? (series)

How do musicians listen to concert music? How do diverse instruments combine to create spectacular music and the rich tapestry of orchestral color? Steinway Artist and university faculty Hsing-ay Hsu developed her Conscious Listening™ method to guide audience listening for each composer’s unique language. With discussions, keyboard demos, and a group outing to Thursday’s concert, interact with new friends and listen like a pro for the dynamic interplay of musical elements. These seminars are designed for the inquisitive music-lover or active performer.

Foundations- Open Level

“3 step listening”, “3 levels of understanding”, “Elements of the Music”.

"Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt." ~Shakespeare

Tonal Analysis for Performers

Would you like to enhance your performance by understanding and communicating the harmonic language? We will review listening & analysis skills on a wide range of styles, in order to improve aspects of performance, such as phrasing, timing, and memory. Our repertoire will include orchestral, chamber, and solo works. This is an advanced level course, open to all instruments. Working knowledge of basic theory is required. Limited to 10 participants. Happy Listening!Session1Introduction-Weekly Listening Acuity: CadencesPreparation using Tonal AnalysisCase StudySession 2:Weekly Listening Acuity: Cadences"Finding Structure by using cadences"“Listening for Leading Tones”“Modulations to get lost in”“Pacing of change” Session 3:Weekly Listening Acuity: Cadences“Patterns”“Pivot Chords” "Ambiguity""Phrasing without Relying on Timing"Session 4:Weekly Listening Acuity: Cadences“Chord Qualities” “Orchestral Colors”“Complex Chords” “Significant vs. Passing”“Inferred Tonal Centers”

Additional Topics:

Chamber Music Skills/MasterclassAural Training through Great Repertoire

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What people are saying (continued)
"Thank you Hsing-ay. It's been marvelous! I feel refreshed after your lessons; I can't believe how much I've learned. I've been applying your teachings to my students and it is fascinating how even the very young are eager to pay attention to detail, and how fast they can learn from the very start to play 'meaningfully', no matter how simple the music is. I feel motivated to practice and work on new pieces. Thanks!"

“Thanks for a superb class! You made it very interesting by your upbeat personality and obvious piano excellence… "

"You helped rekindle my passion for teaching - thank you! Your approach is helping me know how to put difficult concepts into words. I also like how you ask questions and let people try to put their thoughts into words- it is one of the most effective ways of teaching."

"You have a very thoughtful approach that has something for all levels of experience."

"I’m sure that lots of teachers will be referring to your handout when they return to their studios after this conference."