What People Are Saying About "Practicing for Love: A Memoir" by Nina Kennedy

“Concert pianist Nina Kennedy’s memoir, Practicing for Love, is a tour de force of wokeness. 
Nina Kennedy, an African American concert pianist who has lived and performed abroad, shares her unique challenges to success and survival in a matter-of-fact style that is at times provocative, informative—even shocking—to the uninitiated. She seems to have had a front row seat to history, meeting and mingling, being influenced and inspired by a veritable Who’s Who in the zeitgeist of the 20th and 21st centuries.
From Bernstein to Beyoncé, Nina’s Practicing for Love: A Memoir recounts her influential sources, chance encounters, and sixth degree connections with some of our artistic trendsetters in a way that almost channels Forrest Gump’s ‘in the right place at the right time’ phenomenon. You owe it to yourself to escape from the current pandemic to the vicarious exploits of a contemporary, unblinking connoisseur of our culture.”
                                                            - Car…

"Matthew Kennedy: One Man's Journey"

Matthew Kennedy: One Man's Journey From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Matthew Kennedy: One Man's Journey
DVD cover Directed byNina KennedyProduced byMatthew Kennedy Enterprises, IncorporatedWritten byNina KennedyStarringMatthew Kennedy Release date 2007 Running time 86 minutesCountryUnited StatesLanguageEnglishMatthew Kennedy: One Man's Journey is an American documentary film directed and written by Nina Kennedy. The film chronicles the life of concert pianist, professor, and choral director Matthew Kennedy.[1][2][3][4] Contents 1Synopsis2Production3Awards4Critical reception5Soundtrack6References

Metropolitan Opera: You're on Notice!

A friend said to me the other day, "With all of your talent and accomplishments, if you'd been born white and male, you'd be a billionaire by now!" I thought about it, and realized that she was right. I've had to contend with racism in some form or other every day of my life, to say nothing of the sexism. I've watched my white colleagues take advantage of having powerful family connections. I've watched as my Jewish friends have made influential contacts at their synagogues. I've read how powerful white male conductors have mentored and invited my young white male colleagues to fill life-changing appointments. White friends have been invited to fill faculty positions at conservatories and summer festivals, and no one seems to notice that these faculties are lily-white, or that they don't represent the racial diversity of our nation.

Now that most concerts and performances have been cancelled for the rest of the year, all of us are being forced to f…

"Practicing for Love" is Finally Here!

After months of anticipation, Nina Kennedy's first book of memoirs titled Practicing for Love is finally here and available for purchase. You may order the book on Amazon here, or order directly from the publisher RoseDog Books here. Or, last but not least, order from our own website at

The book offers a black woman's perspective on the music industry in general, and the classical music industry in particular. Nina includes much information on the history of Fisk University, where her parents served on the faculty. There are tales of bullying resulting from a segregated, dysfunctional public school system. This country's racism practically destroys Nina's mother, who turns to alcohol for comfort. This is the environment in which Nina's sexuality buds and eventually blossoms.

When she came to New York to study at Juilliard, Nina worked as a live-in babysitter and was faced with unreasonable expectations placed upon her by her wealthy, white emp…

"The Noshing with Nina Show" Goes to Fisk University

Last October, The Noshing with Nina Show hit the road to Nashville, Tennessee, where Nina was scheduled to perform in the Fisk Jubilee Singers Alumni Heritage Awards concert at Fisk University. The day after the concert, Nina and former Fisk Jubilee Singer George Cooper sat down for a lively discussion in Jubilee Hall, the first permanent structure built in the United States for the purpose of educating freed slaves, with the profits from concerts given by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. George had studied piano with Nina's father, Matthew Kennedy, and sang with the Jubilee Singers while he was director.

Cooper is also the founder of the Ella Sheppard School of Music in Chicago, where students from nineteen months to sixteen years old can have music lessons free of charge. During their conversation, George stresses how important it is for young children to be exposed to music education, and how it positively affects their cognitive skills.

George and Nina also discuss the history of the F…

An Excerpt from "Practicing for Love: A Memoir" by Nina Kennedy

In the wake of the widely publicized sexual-abuse claims brought by violinist Lara St. John against the late Jascha Brodsky, her violin teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music (read the article here), I decided that it was time to share my own story of abuse that took place when I was a student there. 

The kinds of abuse I endured there were verbal and emotional. The perpetrator was clearly a racist, but I did not have the skills at the time to handle such abuse. It was devastating when it became clear to me that my teacher was not going to help me pursue a career, because a concert career was all I had ever imagined for myself. It had been my parents’ dream for me, and their mothers’ dreams of both of them. Little did I know that this one racist, elderly white woman set out to crush their dreams, and to destroy me in the process.
The year I auditioned to enter the Curtis Institute of Music there were three openings in the piano department, and seventy-two pianists came to audition for…