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Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland Paperback – September 22, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Spielberg's commitment to straightforward storytelling allows her to avoid the sentimentality sometimes found in other memoirs. She allows events to speak for themselves, and the book reads like a series of episodes--a well-paced, readable collection of anecdotes that delicately leaves gaps of time between its chapters...Spielberg reveals the perseverance, humility and self-awareness it takes to become a successful artist without becoming self-centered...A well-paced musical memoir about the value of perseverance." - KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Her book is full of funny narratives about a young woman who is not only passionate about her art but also about life...Indeed, this memoir is a must-read for all who are trying to find their place in the world. In the end, one cannot help but admire Spielberg's drive and determination, not only to reach the pinnacle of success but most especially to find the real measure of her triumphs."-Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

From the Back Cover

"Play hooky from work and curl up with Robin Spielberg's new memoir, an exquisitely woven tapestry of her life. You'll eagerly turn each page, not knowing whether to laugh, cry, perch on the edge of your chair, or all three. Robin is a mesmerizing storyteller.-Dr. Andrea Farbman, Executive Director, American Music Therapy Association

"Who does she think she is, anyway? She's Robin Spielberg, that's who! You'll bask in the glow of Spielberg's spotlight as you follow her gutsy journey from precocious New Jersey school girl to international piano star.-Robin Meloy Goldsby, author of "Piano Girl" and "Waltz of the Asparagus People"
"A wonderfully detailed portrait of the artist...captivating descriptions and beautifully paced flashes of humor and pathos..."-Marion Winik, author of "Highs in the Low Fifties"

"Whimsical and charming, Naked on the Bench reveals that an open heart and sense of humor are essential companions for living life and making art. Robin Spielberg's words are as inspiring as her music!"
-Jenn Gordon, Steinway & Sons, Concert & Artists Dept.

"Irreverent, brave, funny and heart-breaking, "Naked on the Bench" has the appeal of a page turner, the depth of an autobiography, and the lessons from a true artist. It's a wonderful lesson wrapped in a treat."
-Felicity Huffman, Oscar nominee/Emmy & Golden Globe-winning actress

Naked on the Bench chronicles Robin Spielberg's journey as accomplished pianist, composer, actor, entrepreneur, producer and touring musician. Her tales from childhood, years as an aspiring actress in New York City and travels as a musician alternate between poignant and hilariously absurd. Whether studying with David Mamet or performing for news anchor Peter Jennings, in her elusive quest for a measurement of success Robin stumbles upon the secret to her dreams in the most unlikely of places.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Spobs Music, Incorporated (September 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970563353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970563354
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robin Spielberg is a pianist, composer & recording artist with 16 albums to her credit and over a million recordings sold worldwide. Added to the prestigious Steinway Artist Roster in the mid 1990's, Spielberg has toured the USA (sometimes with Steinway in tow) and SE Asia, performing a blend of her melodic original piano solos with popular American standards & Americana classics.

Her memoir, "Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland"(2014 Readers' Favorite GOLD MEDAL WINNER) chronicles both hilarious and poignant stories of her life as piano student, aspiring actress and piano bar entertainer to her Carnegie Hall debut and life on the road as touring concert pianist.Always in search for a measurement of success, Spielberg reveals where she discovered it at last--in the most unlikely of places--away from the spotlight and off-stage.

Spielberg is a Celebrity Artist Spokesperson for The American Music Therapy Association. Her 2014 TedX on the transformative power of music can be found on youtube. Spielberg narrates the audiobook version of her book, available on iTunes and audible.com

Spielberg loves gardening, ping-pong, her cats and her family (not necessarily in that order)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This memoir is wonderful on so many levels! I tried unsuccessfully to pace myself in reading it because I didn't want it to end. First, this is a hilarious, touching, insightful story about growing up as an artist/musician, and being "different" from all the other boys and girls. Every artist/musician will be able to identify with that part of the book.

Next, a brutally honest look about what it means to try to turn a passion for the arts into a career...in this case acting. This book should be given to every young aspiring actor to see what it REALLY means to try to make a career in it.

Finally, as Robin learns to make a career out of music, what it REALLY means to be a professional performing artist. It breaks open imagined story book tales of glamour, and shows the nuts and bolts of what it's about.

Throughout she shares her experiences and what she learns with lots of humor (I literally LOLed...a lot!), with compassion, and incredible intimacy. She really lays bare her soul. If you're familiar with her music or have been to her concerts you will know what I mean. And if you're not, you're in for a treat as you discover this beautiful person who magnanimously shares her window on life with us...after all, isn't that what being an artist is about?
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Format: Paperback
"Naked On the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland" is the delightful memoir of pianist/composer Robin Spielberg, one of my favorite artists ever. Robin and I have been friends for many years, so although there were not a lot of surprises for me in the book, reading it was like getting to know Robin all over again. An extraordinarily positive and upbeat person, Robin tells her stories with humor, wisdom, and total honesty. The book is divided into six parts plus a prologue, so the stories aren't always in chronological order, but jumping back and forth in time allows the book to read like a compelling collection of short stories grouped by common themes.

The book begins with a recurring childhood dream where Robin discovers secret rooms inside her piano and is able to meet regularly with a grandfather she had never met and to hear him play. From those magical moments, we travel through the life of a budding artist from her hyperactive childhood thinking everyone must have an orchestra playing in their heads like she did to the poised and polished concert artist she is now. Quite a few chapters recount the years in New York City when Robin played in upscale piano rooms during much of the day and acted in theater productions by night. One of the founding members of the Atlantic Theater Company, she was able to juggle her pianist and acting selves for an impressive period of time, and many of those stories are enlightening, laugh-out-loud funny, and tear-jerking - some all at the same time! Robin also tells her very human stories of love lost, true love found, and the miracle of her daughter, Valerie.
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Format: Paperback
The review here is excellent and all inclusive. I only wish to add my unbiased opinion that this book is great. I enjoyed reading it as much as any book I have ever read and at age 82 I have read many. I love Robin's music and after reading her book I feel like I really know this great artist. Listen to her music and I believe you will buy her book. Gerald Holbrook
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Format: Paperback
When I first heard that Robin Speilberg was writing a memoir, I wondered how someone so young could come up with enough interesting experiences to share in an entire book. Well, now I understand. Robin's story is as interesting, and ultimately as beautiful and heartfelt as her music.

Without being too much of a spoiler, I can tell you there were many moments I laughted out loud, several times I cried (once really sobbing), and a few times I shook my head at the absurd situations Robin's been in, during this thoroughly engaging read.

As a fan of Robin Speilberg's music, and a pianist myself, I found a lot of enjoyment in getting to know her better as a person, and a lot to connect with as an artist. Lots of surprises too. Who would have thought her biggest influence as a pianist is.... (you MUST read it to find out - this chapter was one of the most fascinating for me, and I can't believe anyone could ever guess, unless you know Robin.)

I admire Robin very much, not only for the unbelievably gifted pianist and composer she is, but also for disrobing her life, and her heart to us, in taking us with her on her journey to how she finally arrived, baring (but never boring) all along the way. And reading about her arrival brought home for me, even more, how spiecial Robin's story is and why it was time for Robin to write it. Robin, we are all so blessed to have you in this world. Now I can hardly wait for a sequel.
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I had expected Robin Spielberg's Memoir, "Naked on the Bench" to be a smooth ride over the plains of "pianoland". Instead, I found her story a journey which traversed mountains and valleys of emotions and ideas. I laid aside everything else to complete the book in two days. Robin's recollections are inspiring and meaningful to me. As I read about her struggles and triumphs, I laughed, cried, and did both simultaneously. As one interested in the creative process and the relationship between life and art, I appreciated the insight into the events that sparked Robin's creativity and which underlie her musical pieces I love so well. As a fellow pianist, I can relate to Robin's reflections. Whenever I've played her compositions for our church services, there are always compliments about the music and questions about the composer (such as, "Who is Robin Spielberg? I've never heard of him!")

More than an exciting journey, I found nuggets of wisdom which Robin relayed from her mentors and sometimes from her own experience. "Already there" has become my new mantra. And I need to have Robin's courage to allow my soul to be "naked on the bench".

Having been privileged to accompany Robin on her piano pilgrimage, I can now listen to and play her music with fresh insight.
Linda Carroll
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