Tag Archives: Piano World

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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Happy Birthday, IRMA!

Today I posted a musical tribute to a dear friend who provides her acoustically divine living room for my weekly teaching journeys in El Cerrito, California. The space soars with resonance and complements a vintage Baldwin 1929 grand that lavishes … 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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Building a piano lesson around J.S. Bach Invention 4 (d minor)

The scale of D minor (Harmonic form) feeds nicely into the study of Bach’s Invention 4, BWV 775, and within this Baroque inspired universe, Alton, (Life Begins at 77) continued his musical journey. First my play through of the Two-Part … 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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Adoption in the old piano universe

Today’s good deed was my hands on effort to place a gorgeous sounding old upright in a deserving home. And judging by the attention this Emerson vintage piano eventually received after I played it for well past an hour at … 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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Piano Technique: Practicing Arpeggios in 10ths, and in Contrary motion

I’ve selected broken chord chains or arpeggios (harp-like figures) that have symmetries between the hands when played in 10ths, and separately in contrary motion. Taken together, these are not pedantic exercises, but expressive romps over many octaves culminating in a … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: How to organize and practice a Major scale in 6ths

I chose the Ab Major scale as my springboard for this demonstration. Its KEY SIGNATURE has the mnemonic BEAD (Bb, Eb, Ab, Db) I recommend practicing the scale hands alone at first in its Root position to clarify fingering. Then … Continue reading

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