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Teaching Clowns by Kabalevsky, from the Op. 39 Children’s Pieces for piano

This is a tricky miniature packed with robust energy. The parallel Major/minor duality is fleshed out with a quick build-up to climax. The challenge is to sustain a Left Hand staccato ostinato, a repeated bass pattern, while observing separate articulation and phrasing in the right hand. Effective dynamic contrasts make a performance even more poignant.… Continue reading Teaching Clowns by Kabalevsky, from the Op. 39 Children’s Pieces for piano

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Piano Lesson: Refining the pedaling in Chopin’s Waltz no. 19 in A minor (Op. Posthumous)

Pedaling and its refinement were under consideration following an adult student's initial reading of the Chopin Waltz. This piano lesson was transmitted by Skype to Sydney, Australia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fn1xBSuep0

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Piano Technique: Chunking an A minor Arpeggio over Skype (Between CA and Australia) -VIDEO

The chunking technique of developing pianistic fluency filtered down to an adult student as he practiced his A minor arpeggio over Skype. Mindful practicing required an awareness of common thumb points on each side of his "tunnel" fingers, C and E. I had previously discussed the Bb Major arpeggio that did not have thumb through… Continue reading Piano Technique: Chunking an A minor Arpeggio over Skype (Between CA and Australia) -VIDEO

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Piano Technique: Braving the slippery slope of black keys, practicing the F# Major Arpeggio (VIDEO)

Why all the prejudice against black notes? I, for one, avoided them like the plague for years. And my teachers were enablers, keeping me and other students contentedly in C Major to avoid widespread unrest. Their benign neglect of the blacks, in the the end, came at great cost. We teetered on the edge when… Continue reading Piano Technique: Braving the slippery slope of black keys, practicing the F# Major Arpeggio (VIDEO)

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Highlights of the MTAC Fall Festival, Oct. 29, 2011 (Princess Rina, 4, wins a best costume prize!) VIDEO

Five of my students participated in this morning's gala Fall Festival sponsored by the Music Teachers Association of California. The first of many theme recitals took place beginning at 10 a.m. with a colorful Halloween spread of costumes and music. Princess Rina walked the royal Carpet before things got underway. A parade of students followed.… Continue reading Highlights of the MTAC Fall Festival, Oct. 29, 2011 (Princess Rina, 4, wins a best costume prize!) VIDEO

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A Skyped Piano Lesson between Fresno, California and Sydney, Australia (VIDEO)

Here's the gig as it unfolded today, with a few sprinkled photos of my technology driven living room prior to the California/Australia Skyped transmission: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOjNWOVJy38 First segment: Building technique with scales and arpeggios

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Piano Technique: Tackling the Bb Major arpeggio in chunks! (VIDEO)

Here we go again with my athletic mantra. Especially with the World Series having drawn to a close, pianists need to look to their sports heroes for relevant guidance in building their technique from the ground up. So let's start at home plate with the root of the tricky Bb Major arpeggio. This romp across… Continue reading Piano Technique: Tackling the Bb Major arpeggio in chunks! (VIDEO)