Tag Archives: piano blogging

Piano Technique: Respiration NOT perspiration

My students remind me to breathe long, natural breaths when playing through scales and arpeggios from moderate to brisk tempos. Through a selective process of elimination, we’ve collectively come to the conclusion that SWEATING it out, or driving technique to … Continue reading

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Shaping a J.S. Bach Two-Part Invention

Many students play J.S. Bach’s music with a typed out, articulated approach, forgetting to shape and contour phrases. In Bach’s F Major Invention, BWV 779, the tendency is to overemphasize every element of broken chord F, A, C, F, in … 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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Pianist, Seymour Bernstein is the subject of an Ethan Hawke produced documentary

It’s about time a pianist, teacher, composer and author made it to the big screen. Seymour Bernstein is the star of a 80-minute documentary that’s drawing critical acclaim in early Festival showings. On the East Coast, Seymour: An Introduction is … Continue reading

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Performance Anxiety and Pressure Relievers

The symposia at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brought three top flight performers together to share thoughts about performance-related issues. Leon Fleisher, Yo Yo Ma, and Pamela Frank, all fine musicians in their own instrumental cosmos, agreed that the Ego … Continue reading

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Spot Practicing at the Piano: It’s Quality, not Quantity

Some call it “spot cleaning,” I prefer spot “refining” to describe THOUGHTFUL, isolated step-wise measure practicing. Needless to say, a troublesome measure is surrounded by others that lead in and exit out of the problematic center, so it’s not enough … 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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