Common Mistakes of the Novice Pianist


Novice Pianist pic

Novice Pianist

A seasoned energy industry executive and Yale graduate, David Lawrence served Shell as its executive vice president of exploration and commercial enterprises prior to establishing Lawrence Energy Group, LLC. When away from his work, former Shell executive David Lawrence enjoys playing the piano. Here are some common mistakes novice pianists should try to avoid:

1. Pitches and notes. Many novices mistakenly believe the piano’s keys represent different notes, whereas in actuality they play pitches that correspond to different notes. For example, the G-flat and F-sharp notes are played using the same key on the piano. Understanding the distinction between pitches and notes is vital.

2. Inconsistent tempo. Upon first starting to learn a piece, novices often play too quickly, leading to more mistakes. Further, as they gain familiarity with the piece, many novices inadvertently increase the tempo of easier passages, likely with the aim of reaching difficult parts more quickly.

3. Avoiding scales. Scales, which are all of the notes of a particular key played in sequence, offer students the opportunity to practice the fundamentals of piano playing. However, many novices avoid scales or fail to practice them as intently as they should.

The Need for More Energy and Less CO2

Energy Transition pic

Energy Transition

David Lawrence, a highly proficient geologist and business leader, earned degrees from Lawrence University and Yale University, and possesses decades of experience in the oil, gas and energy industry with Royal Dutch Shell. After retiring from Shell, David Lawrence founded Lawrence Energy Group and has established himself as an expert in the subject area of energy transitions and the need for energy expansion. Recently, Mr. Lawrence published an article in Western Confluence magazine titled Energy Transition, Our World Needs More Energy and Less CO2. Western Confluence is a magazine that partners with the Ruckelshaus Institute at the University of Wyoming to provide content on issues affecting natural resources in the western United States. The energy transition article discusses the challenge of meeting the increasing global demands for energy while also simultaneously decreasing CO2 emissions. The need for leadership, innovation, and research and development is also important, in order to move closer to the ideal energy system which features affordability and availability while also being safe, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. For the full article, visit

The University Carbon Fund – Schools Battling Climate Change


University Carbon Fund pic

University Carbon Fund

A former executive at Shell, David Lawrence was involved in exploration, commercial development, and wind energy. The chief executive of Lawrence Energy Group, LLC, David Lawrence enjoys sharing perspectives and advice on energy and climate change issues.

Learning institutions can play a significant role in the reduction of carbon emissions. One way they can do this is by establishing a University Carbon Fund. Here’s how this works:

1. A university establishes baselines for its energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Many universities have a sustainability office, which already has this information broken down to department or campus level. For those without one, faculty and students can work together to establish these figures. They can even make it a term project.

2. Set goals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Have a clear cut strategy to do this. If your target is to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent over the coming five years, have a target for each department or campus and a review calendar to assess the progress of each. Give the most attention to departments with higher carbon emissions.

3. Establish an energy-savings target and implement strategies to do so. This should complement your carbon-emissions reduction. Consider options such as solar energy, recycling, innovative building redesigning, and lower carbon-emitting travel options, such as walking or riding a bicycle.

4. Establish a price for carbon emissions, say $10-30 per ton of carbon dioxide. Start with a conservative figure before raising it progressively and aggressively. Save the funds received in a University Carbon Fund.

5. Use the funds in the carbon fund to invest in renewable energy companies or in improving the institution’s pool of renewable energy sources.

Common Public Speaking Mistakes

Public Speaking pic

Public Speaking

Yale graduate and energy industry professional David Lawrence is the former executive vice president of exploration and commercial for Shell Upstream Americas in Houston, Texas. Recently, David Lawrence of Shell delivered a well received keynote speech and panel discussion on the energy transition at a multi-day event hosted by the University of Wyoming.

Speaking to a large audience at an organized event requires skill in order to do well, and those who are inexperienced or unpracticed tend to make certain common but avoidable mistakes. One of the easiest yet most preventable mistakes that speakers make is delivering a speech that has not been rehearsed. Reciting the speech several times prior to a speaking engagement can help individuals reduce anxiety by feeling better prepared and therefore sounding more confident.

Another common mistake that inexperienced speakers make is reading a speech verbatim, rather than using keyword prompts to drive the speech forward. Reading text not only makes a speech sound less sincere and more monotone, but also limits the amount of eye contact that a speaker can make with the audience. Eye contact is an especially important component of delivering a great speech, as it helps audience members feel more engaged with the speaker and inspires a feeling similar to that experienced during a two-way conversation.

David Lawrence Gives Energy Transition Talk at University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming pic

University of Wyoming

A former executive for Shell Upstream Americas, David Lawrence has more than 40 years of experience as a professional in the energy sector. In October 2016, David Lawrence leveraged the knowledge he gained from years working with companies like Shell to give a talk at the University of Wyoming entitled “Choices and Challenges of the Energy Transition: Moving from Rhetoric and Conflict to Reality.”

The talk not only explored the current state of the energy sector, but also ventured to postulate on future possibilities for the industry. In addition, the talk posited potential approaches to the challenge of resolving energy disputes and restructuring policy in a way that would support lower amounts of CO2 and higher amounts of energy output.

Energy transition was a core subject of the three-day event at which the talk was given, with the overall topic of the event designated as “Earth, Wind, and Water.” The first official activity of the event was a keynote address and a panel on the challenges that the energy sector faces today. The University of Wyoming is based in Laramie and counts two interdisciplinary schools related to energy resources within its facilities.

Graduate Awards at Yale University


Yale University pic

Yale University

David Lawrence is an executive in the oil and energy industry with three decades of experience in various management positions at Shell. Prior to his experience at Shell, David Lawrence obtained a master’s degree and a PhD from Yale University, where he also was recognized with the Estwing and Orville Prizes. He presently oversees Lawrence Energy Group, LLC.

The Estwing Hammer and Philip M. Orville Prizes are awards bestowed upon graduate students at Yale to recognize outstanding achievement. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale was founded in 1901. The university strives to improve the world through research, education, and applied practice. The Estwing Prize is named for the Estwing Manufacturing Company and is awarded to a geology graduate student. The Orville Prize is Yale’s top award for PhD candidates in Geology and Geophysics and is awarded to geology students who excel in earth science-based research.

Several other awards are also distributed to Yale students, faculty, and alumni each year at the commencement ceremony for graduate students. In addition to outstanding achievement and research, a portion of the awards recognize high-quality teaching and service.

Challenges in Shifting the Energy Paradigm with Unprecedented Speed