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

Combining LIVE and SKYPED Piano Lessons

A FACEBOOK forum contributor at the Art of Piano Pedagogy, urged me to blog about the hybrid piano instructor who inhabits the dual universe of LIVE and web-transmitted lessons. So having unplugged three web cams last night to make room … Continue reading

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Tchaikovsky’s “Mama” gives double messages

“Mama” is a lyrically spun out tableau evoking the endearing, universally loving mother, but as many can attest, moms may often send out double messages. In Tchaikovsky’s Op. 39, Children’s Album, MAMA has number 4 status among 24 beautifully descriptive … 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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A Heart-wrenching blend of Music and Memoir

A one-woman show playing at the Berkeley Rep (adapted and directed by Hershey Felder) is so emotionally riveting, it must reach Broadway and beyond. In The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Mona Golabek weaves a dramatic wartime story in music and … Continue reading

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Shaping a melodic line through chord blocking (Schumann Little Etude no. 14)

To block out sonorities that spring from spun out, undulating broken chords, can provide a peak learning experience. In a baby-step advance, especially, where finding a melodic thread, may consist of a one-hand alone approach at first, the pleasure to … Continue reading

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A fusion of art and music in The Magic Link: Piano Albums by Schumann and Tchaikovsky

Rada Bukhman, pianist, teacher, and fine artist, brings a wealth of talent to her latest undertaking. Her “infinite love affair between music and fine art” is the springboard for a journey through the related compositions of Robert Schumann and Pyotr … 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 Technique: balance and bearings on the black notes (Video)

One of my adult students confided that her five-finger warm-up in F# Major made her feel shaky and insecure. “It’s like I’m going to slip off the key when I play my 5th finger,” (pinky)–C# (Notes in F# Major penta-scale … Continue reading

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Adult Piano Instruction: Rockin’ and Rollin’ in Rhythmic Rehab

Tonight’s piano lesson on Facetime amounted to an impromptu jam session: A syllabic interchange coupled with clapping inspired a collaborating adult student to experience the “feel” of a beat, rising and falling with organic authenticity. The nearly “improvised” exchange between … Continue reading

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Pretty piano rooms

Dr-Lubov Laura De Valois “My studio has 4 pianos: Two acoustic grand pianos: “Yamaha C” and “Hamburg Steinway and Son”, (built around 1880), and restored in New York by Steinway. I also have an electric Kawai, “Concert Performer” CP 175, … Continue reading

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