Category Archives: piano blog

Piano Technique Tips: Leaning toward the piano in contrary motion

One of my wise colleagues tipped me off about moving toward the piano when playing scales and arpeggios in contrary motion. After trying it, I integrated the leaning forward motion into my own practicing and naturally, it trickled down to … Continue reading

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Chopin’s Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72, No. 1: Rotation, voicing, phrasing

Many students believe their hands are too small to navigate the E minor Nocturne. Seeing awkward intervals inside of broken chords that often span beyond an octave, they have a fixed mindset that the Left Hand (in this composition) must … Continue reading

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Revisiting Schubert Impromptu in Eb, Op. 90, No. 2

Since I have two students immersed in this gorgeously spun out Impromptu, my review has been perfectly timed. Schubert’s composition challenges the player to be lyrical through swaths of triplets. These roll out as fast but contoured melody. Laying a … Continue reading

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The Biggest Challenge for Adult Piano Students (Video)

While I underscore the adult student population in this discussion, it’s not meant to omit students of any age who study piano. Almost universally, those coming back to the piano after a significant hiatus, or those just beginning lessons in … Continue reading

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A message to music students and parents

This says it all: I thank my dear friend and colleague, Louise Hullinger for posting this gem. And here’s another treasure from Kurt Vonnegut: “Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter … Continue reading

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Adult sneak peek piano technique

These lesson videos-in-progress reinforce practicing approaches to warm-ups, giving a student an additional angle of the teacher’s hands. I. Crispy Cracker Staccato (D Major scale) Forearm generated at FORTE level followed by “lighter” finger strokes at “piano” dynamic. Forte=Big Projection, … Continue reading

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Pure poetry: Where elephants and pianos go

Mitzi Simpson, an Australian Facebook friend, shared the essence of beauty wrapped into this metaphorical writing. From: http://www.terrain.org/articles/27/cotter.htm Sanctuary of Ruin: Touring Western Australia’s Piano Graveyard by Jason Cotter Image Gallery: Ruined Piano Sanctuary at Wambyn Olive Farm, Western Australia … Continue reading

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Top FIVE Piano Lesson by SKYPE Interruptions! (Videos)

Group web cam lessons on Bow-wow ( Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota) Top Notch Tone Tutorial Class 1) out-take 2) out-take 3) Cat jumps out the window (United Kingdom) 4) 5 month-old Baby on lap (Alaska) 5) Earthquake! (Brazil)

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Piano Practicing: Breathing into phrases and blocking out passages (Mozart Sonata, example)

I’ve picked the first two pages of Mozart’s Sonata in Bb Major, K. 281, last movement, Rondeau, Allegro to explore breathing and blocking techniques in the learning process. (These principles can be applied to practicing music from a variety of … Continue reading

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Piano lesson: Chopin B minor Waltz, Op. 69, no 2. (bouncing phrases back and forth)

Teaching affords the greatest opportunity to listen objectively to students serving up their menu of pieces. It allows ideas to spring forward and bounce back. Today, my Greek student resurrected his Chopin B Minor Waltz in preparation for a forthcoming … Continue reading

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