Category Archives: blog

Piano Technique: Focusing on Rotation in arpeggios, and building up a scale (Videos)

These are two supplementary videos that I created for adult students between lessons. As previously mentioned, they clarify and reinforce the content of our class, and map out ways to practice. I. ROTATION at the turnaround of a B minor … Continue reading

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Growing piano technique in baby steps: Rina, 5, advances to hands together five-finger positions (adding in 10ths)

Rina may not know the words “pentascales” and “tenths,” but she has the intelligence to notice when her fingers move up and down together, playing the same notes an “octave” apart. With a sound knowledge of the music alphabet in … Continue reading

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Quality spot-practicing by an adult student: Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” (Video)

Marie, a motivated adult student, revisited piano studies after a decades-long hiatus. When she resumed lessons about 6 years ago, she made “Fur Elise” her goal-setting piece. Following long-term scale and arpeggio exposure accompanied by a detailed focus on minuets, … Continue reading

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Part TWO: Guess what happened on the way to my El Cerrito Piano Studio? (Video)

I’m no country bumpkin, but as I departed Bart’s El Cerrito Del Norte station, I felt like one. Last week I ran into a turkey, most likely separated from the pack. And as it daintily climbed up the steps of … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Part FIVE, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31 no. 2 Measures 93 to 158 (Development, Recitative, submerged pedal)

This is a hauntingly beautiful section of the first movement. After the composer has devoted so many preceding measures to the key of A minor, he decides to travel at quick intervals through a series of different keys. Such fast-paced … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction, Part FOUR, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2 (measures 55-93)

This tutorial references measure 55 to 93. The composer settles into A minor through these measures and reinforces the A minor tonic to Neapolitan progression. (A minor to Bb Major chord) He elaborates, varies, and introduces a beautiful contrapuntal interplay … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Part TWO, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31, No. 2, Hand Cross-over, with tremolo in the middle voice

A tricky chromatic scale with a turn-around at its end ushers in a stormy, impassioned section with cross-over hands. Some players observe the notation to a tee, and avoid these hand-over-hand maneuvers, but I, like many other pianists do the … Continue reading

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