This video tells all. It was one of my hair brained ideas to embed a trip to Bally's Gym in my piano tutorial on the subject of playing blocks of robust chords using upper body weight transfer -- energy streaming down the arms, through supple wrists into the fingers. Naturally, warming up on the Gravitron… Continue reading From Chords to Gym and Back: You Tube Video
Who would believe the Chopin Etude, Op. 10 no. 3, opening with a somber melody that melts the heart away, would venture into the devil's realm with a splash of "tritones." Music historians characterize the interval of a "tritone" (A whole step progression of three notes) as the diabolus in musica. Dating back to medieval times it… Continue reading Chopin Etude op. 10, no. 3 and the devil in music
Alex, a high school senior and varsity tennis player takes his piano lessons very seriously. He's diligently working on perfecting his technique so nerves won't cause his scales to crash and burn. Today we couldn't have had a better soap opera script in progress, when Alex confessed to losing his composure right before a tennis… Continue reading Alex breaks the choke hold on his scales (You Tube video)
"Butterfly" is one of my favorite pieces from the Romantic era. A charming character piece, it takes flight from the very first measure in a stream of rapid sixteenth notes, weaving through two related keys. The composer, Edvard Grieg, wrote ten sets of these colorful, descriptive miniatures that attached illuminating titles. They form a collection… Continue reading Butterfly by Edvard Grieg
It's a no brainer to compare piano study to athletics. Both have been my passions throughout most of my life. At age 6 I competed with my brother for music lessons but lost out. Nearly five years my senior, he got first licks at studying the clarinet, quashing my hopes of holding a shimmering saxophone… Continue reading Sports and Piano Technique: How about chunking–On You Tube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji_7tJyJ9JQ I often think of piano technique as in the same league as sports. Why not? I practically grew up in the bleachers at Ebbets Field watching the Brooklyn Bums battle their adversaries. And not to forget that I was a tomboy who copied everything my big brother did. I even tried to break the… Continue reading Scales and Arpeggios with videotaped replay
Have you ever been a prisoner in your own home? I was, after my return to Fresno from El Cerrito where I had my second piano studio. My brand new custom-made cedar gate that enclosed my front patio, had endured three days of continuous Valley showers while I was gone. In the aftermath, it just… Continue reading Behind the Locked Gate!