Category Archives: arioso7

An adult piano student explores phrase shaping in Chopin’s A minor Waltz, Op. Posth.

I’m always warmed by lovely, contoured phrasing, especially when it’s produced by an adult student who’s reached a new level of aesthetic consciousness through especially attentive and consistent practicing. This particular player has increased her sensitivity in shaping the Chopin … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Respiration NOT perspiration

My students remind me to breathe long, natural breaths when playing through scales and arpeggios from moderate to brisk tempos. Through a selective process of elimination, we’ve collectively come to the conclusion that SWEATING it out, or driving technique to … Continue reading

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Adult Piano Instruction: Exploring weight transfer and supple wrist motions for improved phrase shaping

A new adult student is working on Beethoven’s Sonatina in F, one of the composer’s less played works, but nevertheless quite a musical gem. While the composition has a Mozartean flavor, the abrupt shift in dynamics in the opening theme, … Continue reading

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Adult Piano Instruction: Sight-reading, Solfeggio, and Transposition

I reserve the last 10-15 minutes of my lessons with a few adult students for sight-reading, sight-singing with solfeggio, and transposition activity. While I begin with short pieces in five-finger positions, the requirement to transpose these in a Circle of … Continue reading

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A Day in the Life of a Traveling Piano Teacher (Videos)

I take a once a week journey to Rockridge where I teach a private piano student. The 51B bus that I catch in Downtown Berkeley following my gym workout, travels along College Avenue, crossing into Oakland, California. Destination: a lovely … Continue reading

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Piano Study: Voice parceled learning takes patience but it’s worth the effort

I always tell my adult students to spot practice where they have troublesome measures, and to take the time to voice pieces in detail. In Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata middle movement, Allegretto, the composer has created a chamber music effect—not an … Continue reading

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“Clouds,” “cushions,” and “veils” permeate a Chopin Lesson (Waltz in A minor)

Floating arms, supple wrists, delicate relaxed ornaments and trills, and an oxymoron-driven, perfect parachute landing flowed into a lesson last night with a musically responsive adult student. The keyboard was transformed into a soft cushion receiving fingers energized with bigger … Continue reading

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