top of page

Hello:  My name is Ann Grogan

           A Philosophy and Aspiration

I'd like to connect with people, experiences, things - and music - that make my body come alive, my bones shake with laughter, my mind understand, and my soul and creativity take flight.  Why waste time on anything else?

I'm a dedicated, enthusiastic, amateur senior pianist, poet, feminist, and author of "Poetical Musings on Pianos, Music & Life--Volume I.."  My anthology of musical and philosophical poetry is AVAILABLE NOW at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback; ebook to come.

          My mission is to inspire anyone to take up the study of the piano,

         listen to more music, & pursue your creative muse - at any age!

My heart is often aflame in the pure delight of playing on "Rhapsody-Arabesque, DMB (The Duchess of Music & Bliss)" (a rebuilt and refinished Golden Age 1928 Steinway Model M), or discovering new or remembered Romantic era compositions (both early and late periods in the impressionistic style) by composers whom I deeply respect and admire. On some special occasions I have the great good fortune to attend our local San Francisco Symphony, as I did June 2, 2023 to hear Beatrice Rana (pictured right on the marquee) play my favorite piece by my favorite composer Rachmaninoff, "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini." I was inspired! Even if you are not a pianist, I hope you will take any opportunity to hear music as is possible and joyful for you!


My hope resides in another day, a new song, and perhaps you ---- a new friend to join online or in San Francisco, the inspirational Music Tribe I have met during my recent journey back to music!


Please visit my section links (or scroll down) to wonderful resources, especially those inclusive of women in music (with featured stunning or unique compositions), and poems and blogs where I'll include thoughts about my pianistic, life, and poetic journeys. I welcome your response, and suggestions for musical additions.:

CURRENT GUEST BLOG: When Less is More (6.4.23)

FEATURED WOMAN COMPOSER: Tekla Bądarzewska-Baranowska.tHtE

Thanks to writer Frances Wilson for pointing to my blog and experience in leaving a piano teacher.


So, where am I now?

          "    Where am I now? Home I think,
              And waiting there all these years,
              The tears I never cried from missing...
              What? I do not know. I only know,
              I’ve found it now, lost no more
              But wrapped in shimmering,

                    silver tissue wings,

              Aloft, in flight, rising up, in love,
              In music."

 -- HAPPY PIANO DAY MARCH 29, 2023 --
New Year's Resolution: 88 keys  -  10 fingers
                   " NO PROBLEM! "

Home page 6.5.23.jpg
                              From   Readers of "Poetical Musings"

"Ann's book is a testament to the power of saying yes to the call of creativity."  Elyse Shafarman, MA, Alexander Technique teacher
Ann poems will inspire you to learn more, seek out more, and play more music!"  Janine Borchgrevink, piano teacher, artist, and architect

"Ann's clever word play lifts the soul taking you on a journey through music filled with excitement and laughter."    Lisa Johnson, CMT, Reiki Master, Chi Nei Tsang practitioner

"A heartfelt journey of rekindled love for the piano, blending playfulness with attentive study and unequivocal permission to pursue one's passions at any age."  Cary Ann Rosko, LMFT, mezzo-soprano

"I teach guitar to youths who are delightfully inquisitive and open-minded. In my current cycle of teaching, we focus on learning about the process of manifestation and how to better connect their musical expression with their thoughts, beliefs, and values. After reading your poetry, I decided at the end of classes to select and read a poem that might offer my students insight into their personal musical journeys and inspire them to continue."   Tung Vu, Classical Guitarist, composer, and guitar teacher

                       From   Those   Who   Love   Poetry   About    Pianos   &   Music
Gaili Schoen - I was so happy to discover this remarkable, accomplished composer (film scores for Festival in Cannes and Deja Vu) and piano teacher, who has a special, loving focus on us older amateur pianists. She has published many books devoted to this pianisitc cohort, and through her generous spirit, posts free scores each month. She sponsors piano and poetry parties that offer her students a showcase for both reading poetry and sharing a piano piece, rather than a "recital"! She has useful Youtube videos on various techniques (I love this one because II am working diligently on learning how to bring out the melody line).

From a piano technician, Frank Brenner, and Catelijne, his wife (flautist) from the Netherlands, with a dedicated poetry page on pianos, prepared by Mrs. Brenner's father:

        The Full Monte (3.26.23)

Don’t offer me a bone when I want a full steak.
Don’t give me some sprinkles when I ordered a cake.
Don’t grant me a nod or a sideways glance
when I want the "full Monte* if you’ll just take the chance.
Don’t dance me a pavanne then hold me at bay
when what I yearn for is a tango today.
I’ve little time left to dilly about,
and no time to waste in muffling my shout
not speaking my piece in fair weather or foul:
for outrageous fun I’m always on the prowl.
So join me–or not, it’s your choice to make --
but for the rest of my life? I’ll choose the whole cake !!


* The most common theory for the origin of this phrase is that a purchase (especially that of a full
three-piece suit) from Montague Maurice Burton (1885–1952), founder of Burton Menswear, was
known as a "full Monty.

     Some of my favorite poems & themes

               Additional published & unpublished poems appear in blogs and will be featured here on a rotating basis.
                "Poetry, God forgive me, should always be a little silly."  -- Pushkin

          May I Smile?

Is music so serious
that I can’t be deliriously happy

when I play
or listen to the music that rings
from YouTube and like things?
Will someone insist I keep my face
in a serious place
and make it stay that way?

But how can I, when there exist
such lovely souls so bold,
like Danny Kaye
holding sway over
the Philharmonic?*
That sweet maniac leaves the stage
to allow his orchestra to meet the test
of playing best, or just as well
as anyone could tell with Kaye on stage!

What about Palmer,** a quite devilish tease
who makes poor Tchaikovsky

turn in his grave
with her cute antics playing

his concerto at hand?
She makes me laugh with intentional gaffs
and breaks us all up in smiles.

Then there’s Peter the Schickele***
of South North Dakota fame,
The “Professor of Musical Pathology,”
yet from Julliard he came!

So clever this devil
who beguiles as he conducts
an orchestra of instruments

including whistles, pans, and pots,

duck calls and all

loosed upon the land.

We smile as his special music rings


“P.D.Q. Bach,” the 21st son (he claims)

of 20 that there were

(of that we are aware),

or at least he said

with a perfectly straight face,

putting elitists squarely in their place!

*“An Evening with Danny Kaye” and the New York

Philharmonic;**Amanda Palmer is an

American singer, songwriter,musician, and performance

artist; see her hilarious“Cell Phone Interruption;”

***Peter Schickele is a composer-musician known for

his musical satire;


      Food for Thought

  I’d like to be arpeggiated,
  perhaps even massiagiated,
  definitely satiated and
  maybe even marinated?

  I’d like some rubato.
on my hamburger, a tomato,
  possibly a baked potato,
  and certainly a legato.

  Study me an etude,
  dance me a pavanne,
  circle me a rondo,
  then feed me a flan.

  Nothing’s better than music
  to feed the soul
  or when eating whipped cream
  as a concerto unfolds.


Like a free-range chicken

I will not be contained,
or cajoled or dissuaded or even rearranged,
I’m not an avian creature

just subject to your whims,
and not often inclined to easily give in.
I’m a person with opinions

no matter “wrong” or “right”
but they’re mine to hold, no need for a fight.

I’ve lived a long life

and applied careful thought
to things that I’ll do

and things that I’ll not,
such as accept any label

to ease your confusion
or help you along to an immutable conclusion
about who I am and who I am not,
or what music’s “best”

or how I lived or thought.

I hope you agree to live free of constraints
of spirit-killing “shoulds”

or even church saints.
I hope you will dance to the song in your dreams
and seize all the joy

that this lifetime may bring,
and continue to feel deeply

and think broadly as well,
create, and love widely,

and of me not think ill.


Vol 1 available now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble; Vol 2 in preparation for publication later this year.

12.30.22 FRONT COVER PM VOL 2.jpg

Some Amusing Thoughts

I wonder if I shall petrify
before I get this right,
hand raised high in eternal hope
it’ll come down on the note?
I wonder if I’ll live to see
the very next Ice Age
before I mistress the right technique
to perform upon a stage?
I wonder if the cows will come home,
to happily chew their cud
before I put this Brahms to bed
without more piano blood?

*Humor is a way I often get through practice,

well understood by an accomplished cellist,

Janet Horvath;


-funny-moments/?utm_source=mailpoet &utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter_22_Jul_2022


     Andante or Lento?

I like andante.
I relate.
Life at my stage
moves with all deliberate speed
as appropriate to my age.
All so good! I would continue,
noting how fast the days of allegro go
(not to mention vivacissimo),
My first movement, now past.
Nothing lasts. The lesson of tempo
just about learned, more than an inkling
staring me in the face
(for any pace from grave to presto),
what matters now
is what I always said
when embarking on dreams that I had:

If least, I’m “Go!”


Should a rubato be robotic

or a leader be despotic,

a scientist quixotic

or an aria non-melodic?


Should a tempo be untimely

or a joke be told sublimely?

Should a concerto have no apogee

or a rock band no devotee?


Should a rainbow have no color

or a unicorn no horn?

Should a crown never be worn

or a sheep never be shorn?


Should a lion have no roar

or a campfire no s’more,

a composer, no lined score

or a room without a door?


Should the morning have no dew,

or a cow enjoy no moo?

Should a carwash have no drive-through—

or I ever be without you?


The poor piano will give up,
lay down its arms, after a pianist
wreaks harm on its keys.
The Bataan Death March has nothing on this piece!
Obviously overwrought, Liszt sought
to overwhelm us with variations
on “Dies Irae,” so they say.

Call her “Liszt-ica”

one person says of Lisitsa,
Russian virtuosa of pianistic fame
who engenders “Brava!”
as her hands flow like lava over keys
in “Totentanz,” a dance of death.

But I prefer Pace, whose hands disappear
below the keys in roaring opening chords
of this insane piece.
His ability need I defend?
Can you resist his call to attend?
Emilio compels on his journey through hell
as the music ebbs and swells.
So listen at leisure, but plan not to sleep;
there’s no rest in store when his company you keep!

On How Music Enthralls

Music, like sex,
Builds excitement
And perhaps will perplex

By not giving us
What we normally expect.
Syncopation raises tension,
And I’m sure there are ample
Other clear examples.
My point here being
That music and a lover,
As we are now seeing,
Are one and the same,
Not two, but one game!

      The Parade

Some think the parade has
   passed them by
but I ’m here to tell you that’s
  “The Big Lie,”
not the one about who “stole the election”
or who’s to blame ‘cuz he lost his erection.

No parade leaves without us present
if we show up as is our bent,
falling in with our comrades
to make our music the best we can.
So get up, get dressed,
put your makeup on
or shave that beard and carry on.
If you sit and lament
what you could have done,
your life will pass thus, ‘til the setting sun.

Today's New Poem

    No Limit   (5.9.23)

We grow when we let go.
It never works if we fret

and get exhausted
from effort or worry if
we will “get.”

What we ask or even think,
, or believe we need,
we don’t.

If we heed what we know is real,
do not deny the truth within,
raise the curtain to look behind
without delay, then we will see
the gift that is ours to receive.

If we believe new eyes that will not deceive,
then we are blessed.

The only test of truth and proof of grace
comes from trust there is no limit to love
if we let go.

Anchor 1

Far Beyond an Ornament:
Women in Music

To Fanny Hensel (Felix Mendelssohn's sister), their father said: "Music will perhaps become [Felix’s] profession, whilst for you it can and must only be an ornament, never the root of your being and doing.” Cecile Chaminade's father would not permit her to attend the Paris Conservatory. Amy Beach's husband thought it inappropriate for women to take to the stage so Beach concentrated on composition. And yet the women prevailed in music as composers and pianists of note! (statement of intent by US Senator Elizabeth Warren!)

I am increasingly heartened to have opened my eyes to the substantial world of Women In Music (including transwomen). I hope you, too, will join me in promoting the voices of women composers, musicians, and feminist musicology scholars; one or two is never enough representation! Please consider joining me in writing a letter to the music director of your local symphony asking that more compositions by women and women virtuosas be included in their next season, or bringing pieces you find by women to your piano teacher for inclusion in lessons.

In this section I provide links to my favorite female voices, and to those of our pro-feminist male friends and supporters, who are pianists, composers, or academicians who play, conduct, or write about women composers.  As this new web section develops, I would like to add minority and trans composers and their romantic compositions, with my thanks and appreciation for a devotion that we share to the inclusion of women in the Romantic tradition, past and present.
Featured pianist Sara Buechner performing Rudolph Friml's sweet waltz "Festival of Roses." and selected pieces. Buechner also performs on stage "Of Pigs and Pianos" which debuted in 2021 as her "new autobiographical theater show, detailing my journey through music and life as a transgender woman coming of age in New York City at the end of the 20th century." She has an elegant, delicate touch with relaxed phrasing in music suitable to calm our troubled minds in these politically turbulent times in the US and abroad.
Featured sound compilation by Jana Winderen, "Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone," Norwegian artist whose has deep concern about environmental destruction. She accurately records melting ice, cracking glaciers, and other natural sounds. I was compelled to write this poem immediately after listening to this impactful recording of nature. It raises the question of what is "music" and how can music inspire and connect us all to care more about and protect our gorgeous world?
           Strange Songs That Belong to Us

                                  Is failing ice a new song,
                                  a music of some style,
                                  a modern tone poem for this
                                  that comes along once in a while?

                                  In music inheres the concept of movement,
hen some say rhythm is the next
element that distinguishes music
in the arts from all the rest.    

The planet moves just like music,
                            in rhythms that calve and crack,
                                  then rumbles are heard from deep below
                                  as ice melts from the snow it lacks.

                                  The timbre shifts, the shapes transform,
                                  the wind adds to mass ca
                                  cold kettle drums foretell the final act
                                  while the gulls scream in agony.

                                  No longer ignorant, we yet ignore
                                  a certain path to destruction.
                                  Now a shone light reveals it all,
                                  while ice music foretells our extinction.
Featured composition by Cecile Chaminade Etude No. 35 "Autumn" played by Anna Shelest, Ukrainian pianist (SLAVA UKRAINI!). Heart-felt interpretation of an incredibly beautiful composition that is one of my all-time favorite lyrical Romantic-era pieces by this well-regarded French composer. Anna's delicate touch, tone, musicality, and love for the composition shines through to feature a stunning, simple melody and a passionate, yet contained, drama. Anna is an advocate for many women composers of this era. Her commitment to bring forward the voices of women in music reflects in Donna Voce (Woman’s Voice), a virtuostic piano program that puts listeners up close and personal with many female composers of the last three centuries. By sharing their compelling life stories and wide ranging oeuvre, Anna makes the case for the power of this music to capture the hearts and minds of today’s listeners. Of special note in support of the courageous people and wonderful musicians past and present of Ukraine, she and her husband Dimitri at their Carnegie hall debut in 2018, introduced us to the Ukrainian composer Alexander Zhuk, in his lyrical Ukrainian Rhapsody.
Featured composition by Maria Szymanowsky (Polish pianist, contemporary of Chopin) Nocturne in Bb Major played by Natasha Stojanovska, Macedonian pianist and composer.  My favorite interpretation with deft and delicate touch on a superb piano! Her debut CD Album is “Uncommon Voices” exploring music by Eastern European Women Composers with Navona Records, PARMA Recording. "Uncommon Voices, Part II: American Women Composers” is due for release in December, 2023.
Featured composition by Amy Beach "Dreaming Op. 35
No.3" played by Evgenia Nekrasova. A lovely interpretation with
some higher waves and gentle passion expressed in a nice tempo. In her program
"Women Compose" she presents works by Fanny Hensel, Clara Schumann,
Amy Beach, Elfrida André, Nadia and Lili Boulanger. On this page is my January
2023 recording (after learning for the first time the day before to implement
phrasing) playing Beach's lilting and interesting Waltz Op 36. No. 3 from
The Children's Album.
Featured composition by Professor Jennifer Jolley, "March".
One of the most compelling modern pieces I have heard! Not from my preferred romantic style of music,
but I cannot turn away and have listened to it multiple times. Like me, you might hear an obvious musical
allegory of two possible futures: one a chilling robotic patriarchy vs. a vibrant human, caring community. Dr. Jolley teaches at the Texas Tech School of Music.
Piano Music She Wrote  Pianists Sandra Mogensen and Erica Sipes decided in 2020 to pursue their shared interest in helping people explore the world of piano music composed by women. They have published two volumes of pieces they arranged, for beginning and early intermediate level pianists. You may hear each piece on YouTube. The also offer ($15) a directory of hundreds of pieces by women composers, clearly a huge labor of love.
Louise Farrenc (French composer and pianist)  From  I am learning Op 50 No. 15, the sweetest one-page waltz etude in F# minor!

Donne  Italian for "women." Project of opera singer Gabriella di Laccio whose mission is to make more visible the prodigious contribution of women to music. She reports the astounding and devastating fact that, in October, 2022, almost nine out of ten pieces played by orchestras around the world were composed by Caucasian men. She provides a list of more than 5,000 women composers, and offers program consultation services to music directors who are committed to the inclusion of women, including minority and LGBQT women, to achieve a more just musical world.

Feminine Endings: music, gender, & sexuality  by Dr. Susan McClary (Case Western Reserve University) The seminal 1995 book that brought feminist analysis of musicology throughout history to the present day, into the academy; a must read!

The Future is Female - is a performance available by prolific, talented pianist, writer, and producer Sarah Cahill featuring more than 70 compositions by women around the globe, from the Baroque to the present day, including new commissioned works. Cahill performs regularly in the Bay Area and leans toward modern and experimental music, has a fabulous website and leads a musical radio program on Sunday evenings at 8 - 10 pm live streamed on YouTube.

National Music by Women Festival at the Mississippi University for Women, Founder & Executive Director, 2016–Present. The annual conference brings together a diverse, inclusive group of women composers and performers.  Dr. Julia Mortyakova has a prodigious background in music and leadership in both academia and the community. She currently serves as the Department of Music Chair at MUW and has fostered inclusivity in all aspects of music studies and performance.

What I Know About Music and My Piano

I’m so glad you share my love of music and the piano!  I want to celebrate that love and my recent journey back to music via former career paths through law and fashion corsetry. Shortly after a happy retirement in 2020, a creative muse took my hand after 63 years and chose to bring to life the musical sounds within my heart via poetry and returning to play my piano -- and she brought me fully to life again! 


"Touch me with care, and the gentlest of sounds!

The piano's the thing that lifts with no bounds."

Ann and Rhapsody-Arabesque.jpg

I'd love to hear from you!

San Francisco, CA



Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page