Tag Archives: Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to Calfornia

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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What happened during the Earthquake!

From Berkeley, California At 3:19 a.m. I had just revisited my recently posted video of Bach’s Sarabande (French Suite in G)–a foreboding? … when suddenly the wall I was leaning against, ( while seated at the piano), started swaying from … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Applying Various strategies to unravel a scale in 10ths (VIDEO)

Most of my adult students get unnerved when starting a scale three notes into it. And to make matters worse, they become panic-stricken when one hand is not a carbon copy of the other. (i.e. both hands are not playing … Continue reading

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“Hear it before you play it!”

Leon Fleisher, an icon in the universe of pianists, put it succinctly. He channeled the wisdom of Artur Schnabel that embodied the idea that a musician must have an internal sense of what he expects to hear before playing a … Continue reading

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Teaching a Chopin Nocturne under the influence of Arthur Rubinstein

I must admit that one of my daily activities is sampling You Tube videos of celebrated pianists, and as I teach a new composition to a student, I draw an attentive ear to pre-recorded ornament executions, phrasing, and tempo. It’s … Continue reading

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Adult Piano Instruction: Exploring weight transfer and supple wrist motions for improved phrase shaping

A new adult student is working on Beethoven’s Sonatina in F, one of the composer’s less played works, but nevertheless quite a musical gem. While the composition has a Mozartean flavor, the abrupt shift in dynamics in the opening theme, … Continue reading

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Going Solo with the Schubert Fantasie for 4-hands

I found the perfect solution to practicing the Schubert Fantasie in F minor without my duet partner, since she’s absent for 6 days of the week. While we rehearse on Thursdays, the piano bench literally shrinks putting us both at … Continue reading

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