Practicing for Love: A Memoir

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Practicing for Love: A Memoir

Practicing for Love

By: Nina Kennedy


About the Book

Young Nina Kennedy was a child prodigy, a musical genius. Growing up in a segregated black community, she was forced to speak slang or “Ebonics” during the day to protect herself from bullying. At night, she would return home to speak the King's English with her college professor parents, both esteemed classical pianists who felt their careers had been hampered by American racism. As a result, they were determined that their daughter would have the success that they never could.

Practicing for Love: A Memoir reveals Nina’s work and recognition as a child prodigy from her first complete piano recital at age nine, to her debut as piano soloist with the Nashville Symphony before an audience of over 4,000 at age thirteen. She goes on to perform in concert and with orchestras throughout the country, and is accepted for study at the Curtis Institute of Music, and later at the Juilliard School.

This book contains honest details about Nina’s romantic relationships, and sheds light on the impacts of sexism and racism on her career. Written in the #MeToo era, Practicing for Love also exposes the inappropriate liberties taken by orchestral conductors, concert agents and impresarios, and recording executives - victimizing both females and males of all races.


About the Author

Nina Kennedy is a world-renowned concert pianist, orchestral conductor, award-winning filmmaker, and spoken-word performing artist. She has received worldwide acclaim for her work as a screenwriter and “actress” at several international film festivals. She is also the host of her own cable television talk show, The Noshing with Nina Show. Kennedy holds a master’s degree from The Juilliard School, and was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowship. She lives in Manhattan with her partner and their Russian Blue Tuxedo cat, Mittens Rachmaninoff.



(2020, Paperback, 410 Pages)


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""This is a wonderful book! It tells the story of the life of a young African American woman and her struggles against racism and sexism.  In addition, her quest for love in the wake of being denied a childhood - partially because of her mother's alcoholism - was most enlightening. The fact that she was able to become an internationally renowned concert pianist is remarkable. I also learned a lot about the history of Fisk University, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and pervasive sexism and racism in the classical music field. Every woman should read this book! It's so inspiring. The intimate details are vivid and sensual. I couldn't put it down!"

April Gibson


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  • 5
    Practicing for Love: A Memoir

    Posted by Nina Kennedy on Aug 4th 2020

    Of course I can hardly be objective about my own book. But I want people to know that I included lots of history on the HBCU Fisk University and the historic Fisk Jubilee Singers, which my father directed for many years. I wanted to share my first-hand experience of maneuvering in the classical music world as an African American woman. Now in the age of the #MeToo Movement, it's important for young women to know what we endured before its onset.

    There are stories of my encounters with Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Marian Anderson, Oprah Winfrey, among other celebrities. The romantic details are vivid and honest. When you finish this book, I hope you'll be excited to get your hands on the next one, which will be published later this year.