Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Settlement students abroad

Piano students Cary Zhang and Serim An and faculty member Sandra Carlock have journeyed to the Finchcocks Musical Museum in England, home to a famed collection of historic and antique keyboard instruments. Throughout this week, we'll be sharing stories of their playing and overseas adventures.

Cary and Serim at Newark Liberty International Airport before departure


After landing from a long and crowded overnight flight, we made our way to passport control. Because so many flights landed at one time, it took us over an hour!!!

We were all relieved to be on our way to Finchcocks in our rental car after a tiring time at the airport. We arrived and were given a very warm welcome by the Burnetts, with a lovely lunch. We rushed through unpacking because we wanted to meet the pianos ASAP!

We went on a wonderful tour with Mr. Burnett and spent a marvelous hour playing the pianos. We tried out the 1826 Graf, the 1815 Fritz, the 1842 Pleyel, and the 1866 Erard.

They each have a unique and beautiful sound, which we loved. Yet, that and the feel were so different that playing on these pianos for the first time was a bit disorienting. We realized we had a lot of work to do before we could play the pianos very well.

We then had a delicious dinner and finished a long and memorable day, watching a concert with the phonofiddle and the musical saw. The phonofiddle is a mixture of a violin and the bell (i.e. "horn part") of a trumpet. The musical saw is basically a saw any carpenter would use. The bow of a cello or bass is drawn perpendicularly across the non-tooth edge of the saw to create sound. By bending the saw, different pitches are produced. It was the perfect end to a very exciting day!


  1. Are you able to post some photos of the pianos you tried out?

  2. Do you know there is a musical saw festival in New York? This is a video from the last festival: http://youtu.be/a1t-XKsCyes