Category Archives: cdbaby

Scouting a Piano Teacher

I have to thank “Lisa” for generating this idea for a new blog. Sometimes, the fountain runs dry until a student experience, teacher-related crisis, or musical event renew the supply. Let me think about this whole issue of picking and … Continue reading

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Teaching Chopin’s Gb Etude, Op. 25 no. 9: Think pogo sticks, “rollaleedles,” and elbow revolutions

Sometimes a piano teacher has no choice but to talk in silly made up syllables while drawing on playground analogies to get a particular piece off the ground. The Chopin Etude Op. 25 no. 9 in Gb was no exception. … Continue reading

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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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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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Piano Technique: Big Leaps, Crossed Hands, and shifty eyeballs (with slow motion video replay)

up tempo: Be prepared to exercise your eyeballs minus head movements when tackling large leaps, especially those hand-over-hand acrobatics that are intrinsic to many of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas. In the first video I’ve isolated a few of these jumps from … Continue reading

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The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)

After decades of teaching the Chopin Waltzes, I’ve come to the conclusion that the A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous is the best student introduction to the form as the composer cultivated it. While many other Waltzes in Chopin’s collection … Continue reading

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Why Play Scales? (with an adult piano student’s updated video)

My pupil, Yukiko, demonstrates a sequence of E Major Scales in Legato/staccato–Parallel and Contrary Motion: These provide a repository of articulations and dynamics that apply directly to her repertoire of pieces. *** The Backdrop: As a young piano student living … Continue reading

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Practicing Bach Inventions 4 and 13 with my 10 year old piano student

We had fun videotaping part of a lesson from a different camera angle. My student and I sat in front of our separate pianos, collaborating on two Bach Inventions. (Number 4 in D minor and number 13 in A minor) … Continue reading

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Music Comes from the Heart

Musical expression arises from the deepest part of ourselves so as we relax into the here and now, focused on the flow and shape of phrases, our arms, wrists and fingers work together as an ensemble to produce an artful … Continue reading

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Teaching Piano to Teenagers: Classical, Pop, Taylor Swift, Liz on Top of the World and more (Videos)

There’s always room for flexibility in choice of repertoire, especially when teaching teenagers. Alex, 18, had taken lessons during primary school, took a long break and returned to the piano as a senior in high school. His first request was … Continue reading

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