Tag Archives: piano lessons

An adult beginning piano student helps to shape his musical journey

When a newbie knocks on my door, not knowing how to read music, but is starving for a connection to the great “Classical” piano masterworks, I have to figure out a way to engage his interest in the earliest phase … 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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Piano Technique: Spot checking for relaxed arms, wrists, and hands (Video)

I think of a whole arm/wrist/hand continuum when playing the piano, and I urge students to alleviate tension anywhere in the spectrum by lifting arms off the keys with a feeling of buoyancy. In this gesture a pupil can monitor … 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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Piano Technique: Executing Tremolos as occur in Beethoven’s Sonata “Pathetique”

I’ve picked up various ideas about practicing tremolos from the piano forums as applies to the Alla Breve section of the “Pathetique” Sonata No. 8 (movement 1) and extracted a valuable tutorial from a colleague who posted it to you … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Wrist flexibility and relaxed arms

Livia Rev, Hungarian born pianist, who’s 98, demonstrates in her playing how flexible wrists and relaxed arms spin beautiful phrases in legato and staccato. In a romp through Czerny studies, we observe her conspicuous, elastic wrist motions. In a separate … Continue reading

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Exploring a Chopin Nocturne with a theoretical awareness

This week I mass-emailed a note to my brood about the need to take a reputable theory course side-by-side with private piano lessons. Because the teaching hour is packed with technique, new repertoire, review, memorization, a need to deepen knowledge … Continue reading

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Piano Study: Voice parceled learning takes patience but it’s worth the effort

I always tell my adult students to spot practice where they have troublesome measures, and to take the time to voice pieces in detail. In Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata middle movement, Allegretto, the composer has created a chamber music effect—not an … Continue reading

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The “Talent” equation in piano playing/learning

Last Wednesday night, Indre Viskontas, opera singer and neuroscientist explored the many facets of Creativity in a City Arts “conversation.” And because a roving MIC didn’t quite reach my section of the San Francisco Nourse Auditorium during the Q and … Continue reading

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An ear-catching mood piece for an Advanced Beginner is a great learning opportunity

It was near 11 p.m. last night when my Oregon piano Penpal, Lisa, shot off three PDFs of Kevin Olson’s “Navajo Legend.” They came just as I was sorting through photos of my Landlord’s art work that had been on … Continue reading

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