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

Piano Instruction: Allemande from J.S. Bach French Suite no. 5 in G Major

Andras Schiff, known for playing Bach “purely” without pedal, encourages piano students to indulge J.S. as actors cultivate Shakespeare. It’s our daily “bread,” he insists. Regardless of his mixed metaphor, I concur that studying the works of Johann Sebastian Bach … Continue reading

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Does practice make perfect?

WQXR F.M. (NYC based) has posted its latest set of meta-based analyses of “deliberate practice” studies. (A mouthful of confusion to begin with!) Three researchers teamed up to discount the wise old adage that “practice makes perfect.” (In their probings, … Continue reading

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An adult piano student floats a Chopin Nocturne

The E minor Nocturne Op. 72, No. 1 has a redundant flowing broken chord bass that becomes intensified through melodic climaxes. Still, the binary division of each measure, with some relief on the second half of each, preserves a relentless … Continue reading

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Two side-by-side approaches to Schubert and ONE wins a prize

The BACKDROP Over in Fairbanks, Alaska the awards ceremony that capped a prolonged Internet channeled e-competition was dragged out mercilessly. Every sponsor under the sun had to be acknowledged, including Yamaha International that put its Disklavier center stage, UP-staging the … Continue reading

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Pianist, Beth Levin weighs in on Competitions

Beth Levin is more than a pianist. She not only concertizes, records, presents symposia and teaches, but devotes quality time to arts commentary. At La Folia.com, she critiqued Schumann’s Kreisleriana in tribute to an era she embraces in her spread … Continue reading

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Going into the Finals at the Alaska International Piano-E-Competition, and thoughts about COMPETING

Neither memory lapses nor occasional note slip-ups impeded any of the five selected Piano Finalists from forging ahead to the Chamber Music and Concerto Rounds of the Alaska-based E-Competition. My two particular favorites, Marianna Prjevalskaya and Alexey Chernov honored Schubert … 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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A common chorus among adult piano students

As decades pass, and each adult piano student on his personal journey chimes in with a greeting at the start of a lesson, I’ve noticed a synchronized choir of commonly expressed thoughts. The riveting idée fixe that resonates LIVE and … Continue reading

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A Blissful Hauskonzert through a Meet-up Connection

Well, it finally came to pass, and technology reigned, bridging the distance between player and audience. I was naturally present in body and spirit, but my face with its register of emotions was plainly blocked by my piano rack. About … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Contrary motion scales without side-to-side head tracking

Most piano students insist on playing contrary motion scales like they’re watching a tennis match: heads rolling to either side of the net with well orchestrated rows of synched sports aficionados. When applied to the piano, however, this capo paced … Continue reading

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