Richard Devens

Richard Devens

Richard Devens - Motivational Speaker

A Politically Incorrect, Mind-Mutating, Pianist/Philosopher

Reasons and strategies for persevering even in the face of overwhelming odds; how to live a "self-directed, " as opposed to "other-directed" life; how to use setbacks, rejection, frustration, "failure" and criticism to our advantage.

Fee Range: $500 - $1,000
Travels from New York City, NY (US)

For more information about booking Richard Devens, visit
https://www.speakermatch.com/profile/RichardDevens

Or call SpeakerMatch at 1-866-372-8768.

Richard Devens
Richard Devens - Motivational Speaker

A Politically Incorrect, Mind-Mutating, Pianist/Philosopher

Reasons and strategies for persevering even in the face of overwhelming odds; how to live a "self-directed, " as opposed to "other-directed" life; how to use setbacks, rejection, frustration, "failure" and criticism to our advantage.

Fee Range: $500 - $1,000
Travels from New York City, NY

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Richard Devens

A Politically Incorrect, Mind-Mutating, Pianist/Philosopher

Reasons and strategies for persevering even in the face of overwhelming odds; how to live a "self-directed, " as opposed to "other-directed" life; how to use setbacks, rejection, frustration, "failure" and criticism to our advantage.

Fee Range: $500 - $1,000
Travels from: New York City, NY

For more information about booking Richard Devens,
Visit https://www.speakermatch.com/profile/RichardDevens/
Or call SpeakerMatch at 1-866-372-8768.

Blog Postings

Piano Lessons for Beginners: Should Piano Students Play for Others?

​A very important aspect of piano lessons for beginners, as well as for intermediate and advanced students, is to play for other people, whether in a recital format or informally. Playing on the stage has always been a source of terror, even for some famous concert pianists. The prospect of having all eyes (and ears) on you, has caused pianists' hands to physically shake, and has resulted in sweaty palms. Some piano players have even been known to throw up. Our heartbeats speed up, [...] ...

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Why Should People Who Learn to Play the Piano Play Duets?

​As you learn to play the piano, one of the things that will be discussed is duets. This is the name for when two players are performing a piece together and additionally refers to a piano player accompanying another instrument or a singer. At the piano, duets are also referred to as piano four hands music. There is music written for two pianos, as well. These pieces could technically be classified as duets, but are not called four hand music.  ​Benefits of Four Hands Mu [...] ...

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A Classical Piano Player’s View: The Anatomy of Stage Fright

​Someone once said to me that in one respect, performers are not as lucky as painters who can erase. A performance is as it happens. The same can be said about writers. I write much better than I speak, because when I write, I can construct my sentences as precisely as I want to through a lot of re-writings and experimentation.  Performers, especially classical piano players, are perpetually walking on a tightrope without a net. A Performer Looks at Psychoanalysis In “C [...] ...

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Learn to Play the Piano Series: What is Interpretation?

When someone first starts to learn to play the piano, they learn that notes on specific lines and spaces of the two staves represent specific notes; they learn that these notes have specific note values; they learn that certain pieces are "in 3" or "in 4", depending on where the accents fall. A waltz, a polonaise, or a mazurka are dances which have to be "in 3." They would not work "in 4." In addition, there are dynamic indications (which tell us how loud or how soft to play), as well as [...] ...

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Learn Piano Series: Is Force the Right Course?

Learn Piano Series: Is Force the Right Course? Should a child be forced to learn piano? There is no definitive right or wrong answer to this question. It often depends on the individual child.  What Does “Force” Mean? ​Force is kind of a harsh word, but aren't children forced to go to school, even when they don't want to? Whether or not forcing someone to do things against their will is "wrong," what would the alternative be? Unless they are being home schooled, [...] ...

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How Does One Choose a Piano Teacher?

How Does One Choose a Piano Teacher? Once upon a time, when I was an undergrad music performance major at Brooklyn College, one of the professors (who was an opera conductor and worked with singers), told us that when singers came to him with all of their credentials, he would say "Don't show me your degrees, certificates, awards, or credentials. Do you see this music here? Sing!" I always remembered that little anecdote, as it said a lot. Anyone can make themselves look good "on pa [...] ...

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Is it Important to Practice Exercises in Order to Learn Piano?

People have been studying, playing and teaching the piano for many years. Although music lends itself to individuality and interpretation, some things are immutable. For example, an eighth note must be an eighth note, and a steady beat must be kept. But often we find that highly respected teachers are diametrically opposed regarding the practice of scales and exercises when we learn piano. Some teachers feel so strongly about a comprehensive technical regimen, that in Russia, if a student [...] ...

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Learn Piano Series: What is Talent?

Learn Piano Series: What is Talent? Whether you want to learn piano or any other skill, talent can be defined as a predisposition to excel in a certain area. Many believe that some people are born with this predisposition, or "natural" ability, and I agree that there is truth in this. Hard work and perseverance are certainly important factors in achieving any worthwhile goal, but when you're discussing the amazing ability of a Michael Jordan (almost unanimously considered to be the great [...] ...

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Am I Too Old to Learn to Play the Piano?

​I am asked “Am I too old to learn to play the piano?” all the time by adults. The simplistic answer would be "No," but since this is such a common question, I feel that the answer requires more of an explanation.  Am I Too Old to Learn to Play the Piano? ​All other things being equal, the younger a person is, the faster they will learn something. Think of a three-year-old who already speaks a difficult language like Chinese fluently... or a seven-year-old w [...] ...

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​Learn Piano: Can Piano Playing Ward off Alzheimer's Disease?

People are motivated to learn piano by many different things, but a reason I recently heard caught me a bit off guard. Someone at the conservatory where I teach told me that piano players don't get Alzheimer's Disease.  I would guess that this is not true, and don't know if it would be possible for statistics to be compiled to verify the veracity of that statement. But as a piano player, I would certainly hope it's true. But if not, I would hope that at the very least, it could ward [...] ...

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