Tag Archives: Piano World

Piano Technique: Split-Screen, rolling 4-note arpeggios (C# minor; B minor)

I love to work with students on 4-note arpeggios through inversions, prompting them to ROLL into horizontal, curvaceous groups of notes to avoid up and down finger poking. The elements of visualization (“imagining” motion SHAPES); kinesthetic translation (counterclockwise arm motions) … Continue reading

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Piano Teacher Stories from the War Zone! (Part One)

So many of us in the field of teaching can hearken back to our earliest piano student years and flesh out a particular individual who was the “worst” teacher to ever come our way. In my case, it was my … Continue reading

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J.S. Bach Invention No. 13 in A minor: A Continuing Journey

Students who embark upon learning the beautifully woven Invention 13, have new awakenings about the Subject and its thread of sequences and development through three pages. And as they explore two independent, though complementary voices in counterpoint, they discover that … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Psychological and physical approaches to staccato (Video)

Today’s romp in F# minor (melodic form) brought new awakenings in the universe of bouncy staccato through scales and arpeggios–(in big Forte projection, followed by a soft, piano range rendering) Within the psychological universe where mental images abound, catchwords like … Continue reading

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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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