Tag Archives: piano instruction

The SINGING ingredient of phrasing

When I studied piano in New York City with Lillian Lefkofsky Freundlich, she always sang over my playing as well as her own. Her habitual voice-overs that lingered for years and seeped into the depths of my musical consciousness, gave … Continue reading

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Reviewing Chopin’s Nocturne in C# minor, Op. Posthumous (MOVIE THEME, THE PIANIST)

We have to give credit to movie-makers for putting this hauntingly beautiful composition on the popular marquee of Classical music favorites. It shares notoriety with Mozart’s middle movement theme of Concerto no. 21 in C, which recurred throughout the film, … Continue reading

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A Peak teaching and learning experience!

Piano teachers may complain about students who hardly practice, or come to lessons with a truckload of excuses, but the times we savor are when everything seems to click. Tonight, I had a lesson with an adult student who announced … Continue reading

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Chopin Prelude No. 3 in G Major, Op. 28: Is the ultimate tempo within reach?

Without a doubt, Chopin’s Prelude in G, Op. 28, No.3, requires a deft Left Hand that can meet the challenge of playing 16th notes in Vivace framing. (extremely quickly) The question is, can most students apply their slow practicing model … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Staying CONNECTED while playing staccato

I’ve picked the B Major Scale with 5 sharps distributed through double and triple black note sequence, to demonstrate wrist, forearm, and finger staccato. In these forays through detached notes, I emphasize how to stay “in touch” and not lose … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: C Major Scale Mapping

Most students think of C Major as the easiest scale around the BLOCK. But in fact, it’s not nearly as patterned or symmetrical as the double and triple black note content scales, B, F# and C# Major (Or their equivalent … Continue reading

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Piano Technique Tips: Leaning toward the piano in contrary motion

One of my wise colleagues tipped me off about moving toward the piano when playing scales and arpeggios in contrary motion. After trying it, I integrated the leaning forward motion into my own practicing and naturally, it trickled down to … Continue reading

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In Perfect Harmony: Steinway grand and Yamaha Arius digital

These two music-makers are currently close companions. I moved Arius out of isolation to a more socially and musically compatible locale well after Steinway Upright 1098 was sold. The space-saving that accrued was particularly beneficial. Now that both grand and … Continue reading

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Chopin’s Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72, No. 1: Rotation, voicing, phrasing

Many students believe their hands are too small to navigate the E minor Nocturne. Seeing awkward intervals inside of broken chords that often span beyond an octave, they have a fixed mindset that the Left Hand (in this composition) must … Continue reading

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A Romp through F# Major scales and arpeggios

F# Major, from a certain perspective, happens to be one of the easier scales to play because it falls into patterns of triple black and double black keys with thumbs meeting in between. In fact, both hands have mirror fingers … Continue reading

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