Category Archives: 6 degrees of separation

The Artistry of Josef Hofmann, a Great Pianist of the 20th Century

When surfing the Net, I came across an enticing video link that led to a potpourri of outstanding pianists who hallmarked the 20th Century. Ten minutes into a lengthy You Tube offering, I was bowled over by the artistry of … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century music, 6 degrees of separation, great pianists of the past, Josef Hoffman, Josef Hofmann, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, Rachmaninoff, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Appel Farm Music Camp and the Chicken Coops

Was I dreaming? Did I wake up in a chicken coop on a hot and humid July morning? The summer before I was a Merrywood camper, encapsulated in a forest of pines bordering Lenox, Massachusetts. A short journey to Tanglewood … Continue reading

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A Breathtaking Merrywood Music Camp Finale!

If I let my imagination run wild, I would frame this writing around Robin Hood. The backdrop was the Merrywood Music Camp, nestled in the Berkshires in a dense forest where a friendly outlaw could easily rob from the rich … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, Appel Farm in Elmer New Jersey, Bach D minor piano concerto, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Hartt College of Music, Hartt School of Music, Lukas Foss, Norman Rockwell, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, Pierre Monteux, playing Brandenburg concerto no. 5, samoors, Saturday Evening Post, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, technique, teenagers, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Letting my hair down with a snatch of “Let It Be!” (VIDEO)

The piano room was a mess yesterday with music strewn about. Two ’60-’70′s era Beatles albums were excavated from a pile of sheet music, hard bound theory texts, and Urtext editions of Beethoven’s sonatas. Foraging a big carton of stuff … Continue reading

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What can you do with a Performance-Piano Degree?

Face the music! Most new Conservatory grads with fancy Bachelor of Music, Performance-Piano Degrees bound in leather must improvise when catapulted into the competitive job market. With only a tiny space on the world stage reserved for budding soloists, many … Continue reading

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Piano teachers, students, and reluctant farewells

  Lillian Freundlich *** For many piano teachers who’ve nursed along students from Primer toddlerhood to an Intermediate level confidence-climbing phase, through to the Advanced, smooth riding finish with flashy fingers, the pupil’s farewell is an emotional event. Of course, … Continue reading

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Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.

I remember Art Linkletter’s show, “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” which made me think of a few adult piano students and their hauntingly memorable words. Yesterday, for example, I was forewarned by a 70-year old pupil, that I should expect … Continue reading

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The Big Baroque Festival!

I cleared most of my Saturday morning lessons so I could be on time for a special rehearsal at Fresno State. I took no chances given the steady rain these past few days that caused dangerously deep puddles along Shaw … Continue reading

Posted in "Just Being At the Piano", "The Inner Game of Tennis", 6 degrees of separation, Amtrak station, Apple iPhone, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, Bach Invention, Bach Inventions, Bach Two Part Inventions, Baroque music, Bay area, Beethoven, Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, California, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, cyber technology, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, email, essercizi, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno State University, gymnastics, humor, Internet, iPhone, J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach two part Inventions, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, memoir, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, MTAC, MTAC Baroque Festival, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, pentachords, performance anxiety, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano room, piano society, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, pyrotechnical exercises, satire, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sports, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, technique, uk-piano-forums, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, Yamaha piano, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Performance I’ll Never Forget!

I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to provide keyboard music at a Fresno art supply store. It happened quite unexpectedly around the time I’d bumped into Ralph Cato, US Olympic Boxing Trainer at the neighboring Guitar Center. (“Cato, His Killer … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, arpeggios, art store, Bach Invention, Bach Inventions, Bach Prelude in C Major, Bach Two Part Inventions, background music, Beethoven Pathetique, Bosendorfer piano, boxing, boxing lessons, California, Casio, casio privia 110, Cato, Chopin, Classical era, classical music, Creative Fresno, digital piano, Domenico Scarlatti, dream piano, electronic keyboard, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Frederic Chopin, Fresno, Fresno California, fresno filmmakers alliance, Fur Elise, humor, JS Bach, keyboard technique, memoir, MTAC, music, music and heart, music history, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano finding, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano society, Piano Street, piano teacher, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, private party piano sale, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Robert Schumann, Romantic era music, Scarlatti Sonatas, Schumann Arabesque, Schumann New Journal of Music, technique, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The iPhone Invades Piano Lessons

Monday, Jan. 24th, was a first! Esmeralda, a retired attorney, who’d been taking lessons from me for a year, entered my El Cerrito piano studio with a bright red iPhone as a sign of the times. A dangling rectangular prism … Continue reading

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