Just as a child needs a wholesome diet from birth through adolescence to insure healthy growth and development, a beginning piano student requires the equivalent in musical nourishment. Cocoa Puff pieces that squeeze out whole grain servings of the classics will not in the long term cut the cake. (And I don't rule out compositions… Continue reading The Formative Years of Piano Study and the basic building-blocks of learning (Videos)
Shades of 1988, when I committed the biggest crime of my life. I dared to schedule a student recital on the most SACRED day of the year, Superbowl Sunday! What did I know having been raised on baseball, the Brooklyn Bums and heart-breaker pennants? In Fresno, Bulldog fever was RAGING when I relocated from the… Continue reading When is Superbowl Sunday? I better find out before it’s too late.
Haddorff came through with her beautiful voice today. Her older brother, Steinway M on the far side of the room, had some communication problems while upright Steinway, the middle child of the trio, couldn't begin to rival Haddy's tone and temperament. So as it happened, One special piano sang her heart out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFT8VzE0UGc Haddy's bio:… Continue reading Only the singing nightingale could be true to Chopin’s music
Seymour Bernstein bestowed this gift link to his list of loyal followers, students, friends, et al, and I was fortunate to be one of the recipients. The 27-minute film featured on You Tube, captures Rubinstein's embracing personality and joie de vivre. A celebrated raconteur, he intersperses colorful comments and stories at the drop of a… Continue reading Rare footage of Artur Rubinstein in Hamburg, Germany made into a documentary (Video)
At my You Tube Channel site, I routinely pick up comments daily, and the majority center on piano technique. While I lay no claim to being an expert in this complex universe, my trial and error practicing over decades has come with insights that I enjoy sharing. Earlier today, I'd noticed the following note posted… Continue reading Practicing knotty piano passages, and tips on how to avoid fatigue while boosting technique (Videos)
Claudia has made significant gains this year. She's shaping her phrases more, and becoming ear-attentive and physically responsive to the music she plays. Today, she made additional headway with J.S. Bach's Prelude in C minor, BWV 847. Coming into her lesson with two introductory readings, she was bobbing her head up and down, reinforcing beats… Continue reading Down to the wire: An 11-year old piano student prepares for a competitive Baroque event (VIDEO) with a tender flashback
Well into the Millennium, the "neighborhood" piano teacher owns a special "place" in our hearts! Amidst countless telephone and web driven lesson inquiries, her location will always be a top priority. "So where do you live?" (Not how do you teach?) In the Bay area, one can be sure that Richmond and Oakland are off… Continue reading The neighborhood piano teacher lives on….
My Paternal Bubbe Bessie I had to stop what I was doing to copy this story as relayed by my mother about a live "carp" that I'd seen in bubbe's bathtub as a child. Was I dreaming? Grandma Bessie lived with my zayde in the South Bronx on Longfellow Avenue along with a fish as… Continue reading An amazing fish story from my Yiddishe bubbe’s collection plus an escapade during prohibition
The natural follow-up to Rina's listening assignment this week, was having her play an ostinato portion of Camille Saint-Saens's THE LION as I played the melody. (from Carnival of the Animals) An Ostinato is a repeated bass pattern. I had intentionally selected this composition arranged simply for piano, because of its interval of redundant bass… Continue reading Rina, 4, played a duet with me and practiced her SPONGY wrist motion (VIDEO)
One of the fringe benefits of tidying up a piano room filled with unsorted piles of music and the rest, is finding a gold mine of goodies that have been missing for months, if not years. Have you ever experienced lost this, found that--found that, lost this? It's embarrassing, but as we age, more of… Continue reading A Long Lost Concert Program turns up on a dusty grand piano