Category Archives: Piano Street

Two Adult Piano Students have an Arpeggio fun fest!

My two J’s, back-to-back adult pupils, had a rollicking time practicing their arpeggios from legato to staccato. Both had epiphanies about wrist, forearm, and finger staccato in their transitions from whirly, swirly playing to crisp releases. For J(2) “weeping willow” … Continue reading

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“Clouds,” “cushions,” and “veils” permeate a Chopin Lesson (Waltz in A minor)

Floating arms, supple wrists, delicate relaxed ornaments and trills, and an oxymoron-driven, perfect parachute landing flowed into a lesson last night with a musically responsive adult student. The keyboard was transformed into a soft cushion receiving fingers energized with bigger … Continue reading

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Chopin Prelude No. 3 in G Major, Op. 28: Is the ultimate tempo within reach?

Without a doubt, Chopin’s Prelude in G, Op. 28, No.3, requires a deft Left Hand that can meet the challenge of playing 16th notes in Vivace framing. (extremely quickly) The question is, can most students apply their slow practicing model … 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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My first day learning a new piece and what was accomplished (Video)

In keeping with my resolution to learn new music quickly but thoroughly, I’ve set out today’s first experience with Tchaikovsky’s colorful, “Winter Morning” (Op. 39, No. 2, Children’s Album) to give students of piano, ideas surrounding their first encounter with … Continue reading

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Favorite Tchaikovsky piano pieces and their pedagogical value

I made a promise to myself well before the New Year, that I would learn one new Tchaikovsky composition each day from the composer’s Op. 39 Children’s Album. (24 tableaux) Not that I’m recommending to piano students that they assimilate … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Spinning Long Melodic lines in Romantic era music (Videos)

I’m about to fly off to a Skype lesson in UK, but while grounded here in Berkeley, I want to share epiphanies about spinning long melodic lines in the Romantic era genre. Using Schumann’s supposedly less complex “Melody” from his … Continue reading

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My Yamaha Arius digital is singing again!

Harry Mello is the hero of this long-winded tale. Poor Yamaha Arius had lost her voice. She was dried out, and un-sustainable. All of her pedals, if not petals had died on the vine. She was speechless. To her dear … Continue reading

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A Conversation with David v.R. Bowles, Award-winning Classical Recording Engineer/Producer

David v.R. Bowles inhabits a sprawling space in Wildcat Canyon, high up in the Berkeley Hills where nature’s bounty is a source of inspiration. It also happens to be home to his Classical Recording Company, Swineshead Productions that he formed … Continue reading

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Steinway and Sons is sold, and the digitals are probably having a party

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/steinway-sold-to-private-equity-firm-for-438-million/ It was no surprise to read about Steinway selling out to Kohlberg and Company .. Why? because, 1) who has the money to buy a pricey grand 2) Digitals are turning acoustics into dinosaurs. If I were purist and … Continue reading

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