Every five years, Chopin's Polish homeland hosts an International Competition in Warsaw that includes many illustrious names in its roster of winners: Martha Argerich, Garrick Ohlsson, Alexei Sultanov, Krystian Zimerman, among others. The event was first initiated in 1927. This year Maestra Argerich is one of the judges on a panel that will hear entrants… Continue reading The Preliminary Round of the Chopin XVIII International Piano Competition in Poland
After many decades of working with adult pupils who have rekindled an interest in taking lessons at various life junctures, (including retirement), I've learned that affording them opportunities to choose repertoire is the best route to a harmonious and rewarding learning journey. Naturally, once an adult student has mastered rudimentary note reading and basic rhythm… Continue reading Partnering with Adult Piano Students in choosing pieces
These past few weeks I found myself zoning in on structural patterns in two Baroque keyboard works: Scarlatti Sonata K. 146 in G Major and J.S. Bach's Little Prelude in A minor, BWV 942. https://youtu.be/f7gOaaNsQ4I The Scarlatti Sonata is distinct for its symmetry. It opens with a spirited upswing to a descending G Major Arpeggio… Continue reading Scarlatti and Bach Tutorials: Patterns in Analysis
Cruising the Internet on May 24th, I sprang upon a link to Angela Hewitt's second appearance at Wigmore Hall since the pandemic. Tantalized by her program of Domenico Scarlatti and Enrique Granados, composers wedded by their dance-like rhythmic vitality and folkloric, heart-throbbing melodies, I set aside my own practicing to affix my attention to the… Continue reading Pianist, Angela Hewitt Triumphs at Wigmore!
Domenico Scarlatti entered and enriched my life when I embarked upon studies with pianist, Lillian Freundlich. It was during my high school years at "P.A.," known officially as the New York City High School of Performing Arts that I found myself drooling over Baroque era works---some had been previewed by classmate Murray Perahia during our… Continue reading Revisiting Scarlatti Sonatas!
One of my piano students who is learning J.S. Bach's Little Prelude in E minor, BWV 941 wanted to explore the modulations permeating this soulful work to advance her understanding of phrasing. The Analysis: In a series of broken chords through 22 measures, the composer artfully departs from the home key of E minor to… Continue reading J.S. Bach, Harmonic Analysis and Phrasing
Arioso (aka "Ari") arrived here in his new home just a week ago. He was a shelter cat who found his way to PetSmart in Pinole CA. Since there was a local shortage of possibilities, I ventured to a kitten event about 26 miles away, and found myself second in line to choose among 4… Continue reading My newly adopted kitten loves J.S. Bach
https://youtu.be/U4-A28lJfrQ A fun-filled romp through a short Rondo form last movement invites a mood lift of One beat per measure, rather than a rigid progression of 3/8ths counted methodically. In this sense, I'm reminded of Vivace movements (very brisk) from Classical era symphonies that are conducted with a single stroke of the baton, measure by… Continue reading A Perky Finale to Clementi Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36, No. 1
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