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

The latest about Seymour Bernstein, the Hawk(e), and two colorful Birds

Today began on a high note. Ethan Hawke’s documentary about Seymour received a rave review in the New York Times. It was the latest in a series superlatives that synchronized perfectly with the film’s debut in New York City at … Continue reading

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When big hands and fingers play unwanted notes

After 6’4″ Big Mike sits snugly in front of my Baldwin grand–his knees crushing in on him, he’s thoroughly prepared to avoid a set of land mines that trigger a wrong note implosion. Normally when his mega-sized third finger depresses … Continue reading

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Learning Two Chopin Nocturnes (Eb and F minor) with a framing bass line/treble perspective

One of the biggest challenges in playing the Eb Major (Op. 9) and F minor (Op. 55) Nocturnes is preserving awareness of the fundamental bass note movement against the melody while after beat chords provide a harmonic enrichment in the … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Five-Finger positions are good for you!

Piano students of all levels can benefit from 5-finger position romps in many keyboard geographies. That’s because a player can experiment with legato and staccato on a bed of black notes; white notes, or combinations of both, without worrying about … Continue reading

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Piano Practicing: What to do when you make a mistake

In the universe of playing incorrect notes, I tell students to chill out, and approach a particular glitched passage in an organized manner. (This does NOT include PLAYING the so-called wrong note again ON PURPOSE to eliminate it) When an … Continue reading

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A Walk Down Memory Lane with Two pint-sized Piano Students

As I foraged through a closet filled with old picture frames, entangled extension cords, discarded lamp shades and pencil sharpeners, I stumbled upon an ancient Digital 8 camcorder that was my original You Tube movie messenger. With its mega-size cassettes … Continue reading

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A Conversation about machine and ear tuning (and more) with Israel Stein, Registered Piano Technician

I couldn’t resist an opportunity to immerse myself in an engaging dialog with Israel Stein, RPT, as he was tuning my piano. Regaled far and wide by a community of pianists and teachers as he amasses awards bestowed by his … Continue reading

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