I published a blog on 2/19/2021 that should have been sent to my blog subscribers with two embedded you tube videos that were post-lesson tutorials. (RE: Chopin Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72, No. 1) Unfortunately, Word Press support, aware of the issue, was unable to resend subscriber mailings so that both videos would be… Continue reading Correction of 2/19/2021 video embeds for Subscribers who were sent a version by WordPress that left one out.
I frequently send my students video reviews of main ideas that have been explored during their lessons. These recaps imbue stepwise learning strategies while promoting thoughtful practicing sessions between meetings. Over time, they grow a consciousness of melodic contouring, harmonic rhythm, choreographies, and fingering choices, imparting a solid foundation from which to grow independent wells… Continue reading Post piano lesson video tutorials of Chopin Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72, No.1
As I approach the opening tableau of Tchaikovsky's memorable "Morning Prayer," (Op. 39), I draw on the vocal model to shape the very top soprano line that's embedded in a Russian church choir setting. But sculpting the melody is not achieved by intuition alone. It requires an understanding of how rhythmic "color," and harmonic flow… Continue reading Tchaikovsky’s Morning Prayer: A fusion of vocal model ingredients, rhythmic color, and harmonic movement
As I reviewed J.S. Bach's ebullient Two Part Invention in F, BWV 779, I quickly realized that it would be an ideal springboard to teach basic essentials of keyboard harmony, not to mention, fundamentals of two-part "counterpoint." In this endeavor, my video tutorial follows: https://youtu.be/0Yx_kC1UoKU The extraction of ascending broken chords and descending scales (Major… Continue reading J.S. Bach Invention No. 8: A Harmonic Analysis opportunity
As teachers, we're in a position to advise our students about navigating big stretches that may not comfortably fit hands that are small or even moderate in size. George Gershwin's Prelude No. 2, a bluesy lullaby, is exemplary in requiring artful phrasing of relentless measures that have these wide interval spans beyond the reach of… Continue reading Small hand challenges playing Gershwin’s Prelude No. 2
Most piano students experience the nemesis of hard-falling, accident-prone thumbs during their scale and arpeggio romps. If unchecked, these power-grabbing fingers of each hand have a tendency to interrupt smooth-playing keyboard journeys. As a start, a player should imagine a scale or arpeggio as a seamless outflow without "bumps" or undesirable "accents." Even in a… Continue reading Piano Technique: Folding in Thumbs for smooth keyboard transit
I often wonder why our music mentor community does not openly share a collective frustration with editors who permeate piano compositions with impossible fingerings. These sources of disarray can be Masterworks by Scarlatti, Mozart, Schumann, Schubert, et al, tarnished with "un-pianistic" maneuvers that beg for labor intensive revisions. Often a preponderance of these Internet driven… Continue reading A Teacher’s Challenge: Navigating Piano music with Awkward fingerings
My hopes were dashed for posting a Back to Bach blog when I sprang upon a 4 minute feast to my ears! It was so pertinent to our lives as music teachers, where we must put words to real time demonstrations at the piano-- searching for the right balance that will amply communicate an idea… Continue reading Gems of wisdom about piano playing from Lisitsa!
We clarify and refine our teaching skills through self-examination at the piano. As mentors, we simultaneously enjoy a window into our students practicing from week to week. Together we grow as music sharing partners. This leads to what I periodically post in the form of self-teaching tutorials that reach my pupils and well beyond in… Continue reading Forward Arm Rolls and Rotations
I'm always combing through You Tube videos to unearth treasures that have escaped me. One gem turned up recently that was celebrated in my blog a few weeks ago: Gina Bachauer at the Jerusalem Music Center with teenage prodigy, Yefim Bronfman. It preceded my dip into the well of Seymour Bernstein's amazing talent. He's in… Continue reading Discoveries: Horowitz, A Reminiscence, and Seymour Bernstein in conversation-Chopin and Pedagogy