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

Sight-reading, Transposition, and Ear-Training for the Adult Piano Student

Setting aside a segment of lesson time to work on sight-reading and transposition is an essential ingredient of piano learning. It sensitizes a student to interval relationships while inviting an analysis of notes within a tonal, harmonic, and rhythmic frame. … Continue reading

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An adult piano student explores phrase shaping in Chopin’s A minor Waltz, Op. Posth.

I’m always warmed by lovely, contoured phrasing, especially when it’s produced by an adult student who’s reached a new level of aesthetic consciousness through especially attentive and consistent practicing. This particular player has increased her sensitivity in shaping the Chopin … Continue reading

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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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