Category Archives: Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California

The SINGING ingredient of phrasing

When I studied piano in New York City with Lillian Lefkofsky Freundlich, she always sang over my playing as well as her own. Her habitual voice-overs that lingered for years and seeped into the depths of my musical consciousness, gave … Continue reading

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A Peak teaching and learning experience!

Piano teachers may complain about students who hardly practice, or come to lessons with a truckload of excuses, but the times we savor are when everything seems to click. Tonight, I had a lesson with an adult student who announced … Continue reading

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Celebrating Mozart’s Birthday with his music

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Piano Technique: Arpeggios!

I love these romps through broken chords (around the CIRCLE of FIFTHS) and my adult students “work out” weekly. (The challenge is to have smooth shifts between octaves, a seamless playing in legato minus thumb CLUNKS, and in staccato to … Continue reading

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Tchaikovsky’s “Mama” gives double messages

“Mama” is a lyrically spun out tableau evoking the endearing, universally loving mother, but as many can attest, moms may often send out double messages. In Tchaikovsky’s Op. 39, Children’s Album, MAMA has number 4 status among 24 beautifully descriptive … Continue reading

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An adult piano student teaches her grandson!

As I continue this series, “Celebrating Adult Piano Students,” I couldn’t help but snatch a narrative from Lisa, a very dear friend, who is not my pupil, but shares a passion for learning the great masterworks, and channels her deepest … Continue reading

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Celebrating Adult Piano Students, Part 2

This student lives in the UK and takes piano lessons by Skype. Her answers to my inquiries are below: 1) What drew you back to the piano in adulthood? Bundled into that question: What were your early experiences taking piano … Continue reading

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CELEBRATING Adult piano students!

I sent a few questions to adult students and this is the first of many responses I will be posting. A video of a lesson in progress is a point of reference: The pupil is working on J.C. Bach’s Prelude … Continue reading

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Shaping a melodic line through chord blocking (Schumann Little Etude no. 14)

To block out sonorities that spring from spun out, undulating broken chords, can provide a peak learning experience. In a baby-step advance, especially, where finding a melodic thread, may consist of a one-hand alone approach at first, the pleasure to … Continue reading

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Piano Lessons for children: A triad of cooperation

Embarking upon a musical journey with a child requires more than one boarding passenger. While a student eases onto the piano bench, front and center, parents are truly in the driver’s seat. They need to provide necessary support for an … Continue reading

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