Category Archives: piano instruction

Shaping a J.S. Bach Two-Part Invention

Many students play J.S. Bach’s music with a typed out, articulated approach, forgetting to shape and contour phrases. In Bach’s F Major Invention, BWV 779, the tendency is to overemphasize every element of broken chord F, A, C, F, in … Continue reading

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The funnies of finding the right piano student

Ever heard of takelessons.com or related web links that hook up teachers and students? It’s like Match.com when it comes to a mountain of challenges. Here’s an On SITE sample where a music teacher BIDS for a job, like a … Continue reading

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Parceling out voices in Chopin’s Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15

Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass scoring in Chopin’s hauntingly beautiful F Major Nocturne (opening section) begs for an artistic examination through voice parceling. One cannot just paste the left hand onto the right, deferring entirely to the soprano. (soloist) Meandering chromatics … 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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Piano Practicing: Taking the robot out of fast passages

It’s easy to stare at a Presto Rondo from the Classical era, and wonder how to navigate scads of notes that can end up on the assembly line, pumped out with no sense of individuality. And while herds of them … Continue reading

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Overscheduled Piano Students

Here’s a snapshot of overloaded kids FOLLOWING lessons: (Friday Afternoon) MOM: “Shiloh, Get ready for swimming. Your towel is folded into your knapsack…. Math Club reminder. Your cubic folder is on top of your cups. (athletic protector), and grab your … Continue reading

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Video supplements for piano students assist practicing

Whether giving piano lessons LIVE or by SKYPE, sending students video excerpts of their lessons-in-progress, or creating a short film that zeroes in on a particular technical challenge, is always helpful. In the old days when I studied with Lillian … Continue reading

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