Tag Archives: piano teaching

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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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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Piano Technique: Applying Various strategies to unravel a scale in 10ths (VIDEO)

Most of my adult students get unnerved when starting a scale three notes into it. And to make matters worse, they become panic-stricken when one hand is not a carbon copy of the other. (i.e. both hands are not playing … 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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Piano Technique: A Legato to staccato arpeggio with “rolls and snips”

When playing a three-note (root, third, fifth) arpeggio over a spread of 3-4 octaves, the ROLLING motion that permeates a Legato rendering in triplets, can nicely snip into a buoyant staccato, if the arm, wrist and fingers are unimpeded by … Continue reading

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Schubert Impromptu No. 2 in Eb, Op. 90: Looping and Grouping notes

“Looping” and “grouping” provide prompts for practicing relentless triplets in the opening section of Schubert’s Eb Impromptu. Myriads of scale-like passages meander in unpredictable directions at times, often inserting half-steps under principle notes that carry a thread of melody that … Continue reading

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