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

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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An adult beginning piano student helps to shape his musical journey

When a newbie knocks on my door, not knowing how to read music, but is starving for a connection to the great “Classical” piano masterworks, I have to figure out a way to engage his interest in the earliest phase … Continue reading

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Staccato scales: Staying on the PLANE without a bumpy ride

Most students become very disconnected when traveling through a staccato scale so their journey from lift-off to landing is often bumpy. In the E minor Natural form, for example, a redundant E, F# occurring in every octave will fool a … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Spot checking for relaxed arms, wrists, and hands (Video)

I think of a whole arm/wrist/hand continuum when playing the piano, and I urge students to alleviate tension anywhere in the spectrum by lifting arms off the keys with a feeling of buoyancy. In this gesture a pupil can monitor … Continue reading

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Awe-inspiring playing at the Alaska International Piano-E-Competition

This is the first Internet channeled “e-competition” that features a crop of well-trained adult pianists. The preceding Yamaha Disklavier sponsored events were youth-based and originated in the Midwest–(Minnesota to be exact) With current Disklavier technology flying high, the newest venue … Continue reading

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Seymour Bernstein: From Maine with Love

When Seymour packs his bags for the summer, escaping Manhattan’s stifling heat, he takes along his soulful music and fistfuls of almonds. The maestro, known for his beloved book, With Your Own Two Hands retreats to an awesome, cabin-like sanctuary … Continue reading

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