Lillian Freundlich *** For many piano teachers who've nursed along students from Primer toddlerhood to an Intermediate level confidence-climbing phase, through to the Advanced, smooth riding finish with flashy fingers, the pupil's farewell is an emotional event. Of course, it depends on the circumstances of the departure and who is saying goodbye to whom.… Continue reading Piano teachers, students, and reluctant farewells
Domenico Scarlatti Sonata K. 9 in d minor (the "pastorale") http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qk88Sn9kHk The trills in K. 9 are far different than those permeating Scarlatti's sonata K. 159 in C Major. The latter has a robust horn call opening with a lavish assortment of ornaments. The bright sounding Major tonality creates a dazzling brilliance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zUmr0vl_-c By contrast… Continue reading More trills, but bucolic and serene: Scarlatti’s d minor “pastorale” K. 9 (VIDEO)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc9_wRE4MN8 I made this video after plunking the "devil" beside Bb Major in my previous blog, so if you review the basic approach in that post, you'll get my sway about scales in general. It's always better to think in GROUPS rather than individual notes. For F# minor in its Natural or PURE form, let's… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Learning the F# minor scale (video)
Bb C D Eb F G A Bb C D Eb F G A Bb *** Last night I had a rap session with a student on the subject of his favorite scale. And it quickly dawned on me that this whole area of discussion, while definitely out of the mainstream and not a life… Continue reading The most reviled scale for piano players!! (Video)
I remember Art Linkletter's show, "Kids Say the Darndest Things," which made me think of a few adult piano students and their hauntingly memorable words. Yesterday, for example, I was forewarned by a 70-year old pupil, that I should expect a call from her during the night about the key of "F# minor." What impending… Continue reading Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZxNy1VeOjk up tempo: http://youtu.be/t-3D6-s5qok Be prepared to exercise your eyeballs minus head movements when tackling large leaps, especially those hand-over-hand acrobatics that are intrinsic to many of Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas. In the first video I've isolated a few of these jumps from Sonata K. 113 in A Major, demonstrating what I've found to be the… Continue reading Piano Technique: Big Leaps, Crossed Hands, and shifty eyeballs (with slow motion video replay)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQiaWoJaUfQ Domenico Scarlatti never fails to come up with a flashy pyrotechnical escapade that can make or break a player in progress. I know, because I've walked the plank with this piece until I was able to reverse my fortune and run with it happily into the horizon. Any number of times those repeated notes,… Continue reading Domenico Scarlatti Sonata (Toccata) in D minor, K. 141 with reams of repeated notes (VIDEO)
I cleared most of my Saturday morning lessons so I could be on time for a special rehearsal at Fresno State. I took no chances given the steady rain these past few days that caused dangerously deep puddles along Shaw Avenue. The inevitable flow of traffic to crowd-jamming Bulldog games would also be a time… Continue reading The Big Baroque Festival!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh09WH_g7wo I can always use an extra pair of hands to navigate the Baroque composer's technically challenging sonata It's a real workout playing Domenico Scarlatti's essercizi or sonatas. The impossible leaps, crossed hands, trills and syncopation that permeate the composer's music require a daredevil to take on the challenge. Scarlatti will sometimes defy a player… Continue reading Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in A, K. 113–in leaps and bounds
This remarkable piece of film footage inspired a stream of others. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ur7SoOVRhk Nadia Boulanger (b.1887-d.1979) the esteemed teacher, composer, theoretician, organist, pianist, taught and influenced so many great musical creators such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copeland, Virgil Thomson, Walter Piston and Philip Glass. From Wikipedia: "Boulanger's teaching methods included traditional harmony, score reading at the… Continue reading Great Piano Teaching Moments