Category Archives: classissima.com

When big hands and fingers play unwanted notes

After 6’4″ Big Mike sits snugly in front of my Baldwin grand–his knees crushing in on him, he’s thoroughly prepared to avoid a set of land mines that trigger a wrong note implosion. Normally when his mega-sized third finger depresses … Continue reading

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A Walk Down Memory Lane with Two pint-sized Piano Students

As I foraged through a closet filled with old picture frames, entangled extension cords, discarded lamp shades and pencil sharpeners, I stumbled upon an ancient Digital 8 camcorder that was my original You Tube movie messenger. With its mega-size cassettes … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Split-Screen, rolling 4-note arpeggios (C# minor; B minor)

I love to work with students on 4-note arpeggios through inversions, prompting them to ROLL into horizontal, curvaceous groups of notes to avoid up and down finger poking. The elements of visualization (“imagining” motion SHAPES); kinesthetic translation (counterclockwise arm motions) … Continue reading

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Piano Teacher Stories from the War Zone! (Part One)

So many of us in the field of teaching can hearken back to our earliest piano student years and flesh out a particular individual who was the “worst” teacher to ever come our way. In my case, it was my … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Psychological and physical approaches to staccato (Video)

Today’s romp in F# minor (melodic form) brought new awakenings in the universe of bouncy staccato through scales and arpeggios–(in big Forte projection, followed by a soft, piano range rendering) Within the psychological universe where mental images abound, catchwords like … Continue reading

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Ornaments, Romantic Style: Don’t be enslaved, but master them

There’s nothing more inhibiting to piano playing than being boxed in by ornaments–tied down by their inertia and lack of smooth resolution. For certain, if you’re threatened by them, or anticipate the worst possible outcome, ENTRAPMENT, then it guarantees a … Continue reading

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The shrinking world of music

To put it lightly, degrees of separation in our musical cosmos are melting rapidly. By example, a Facebook post to my profile page from my 1960s era Orchestra teacher, led to a long lost neighbor who was the youngest member … Continue reading

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