Mister Rogers would have welcomed Ena Bronstein back to the "neighborhood" that she left over 25 years ago. He'd say that she planned to honor her friends, former neighbors, and piano students by giving them a very special reunion concert wrapped in love. And so it happened that our Fresno "neighborhood" piano teacher who had… Continue reading Virtuosity and Poetry in Motion hallmark Ena Bronstein’s musical return to Fresno
Snatches from our first class! We're working on sculpting a beautiful musical line in a five-finger position. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvPMflpfDUA RELATED: http://www.powhow.com/classes/shirley-kirsten A POWER Piano POWHOW LAUNCH: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/a-power-piano-powhow-launch-live-webcam-class-instruction/ AVOIDING PENCIL POINT PLAYING https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/piano-technique-avoiding-pencil-point-playing/
After a stream of graceful arpeggiated triplets, a "windy" sounding, descending chromatic scale leads artfully back to the opening theme that concludes "Fur Elise." The traditional chromatic fingering I've inserted in the score corresponds to the 1/2-step sequence beginning on Bb: Black/white, Black/white Black/White/White etc. 3, 1, 3, 1, 3, 2, 1 etc. Video Instruction… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Practicing the “windy” chromatic scale of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise”
My first POWHOW class, "Top Notch Tone Tutorial," brought a group of piano enthusiasts who appeared in their own unique "boxes" eager to learn about touch, tone, and nuance. An inspired pooch even chimed in off camera, but was quickly re-routed to BOW-WOW Dog Discipline 101. EXCERPTS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvPMflpfDUA *** The PIANO basics were top priority:… Continue reading A Power Piano Powhow Launch! (LIVE webcam class instruction)
The Pastorale in D, included in Margery Halford's Scarlatti, An Introduction to his Keyboard Works, poses significant musical challenges. In the technical realm, the composer has a tricky landscape of two-note legato figures as offbeats in the treble, and these are set against bass, dotted quarter rhythms. (This counterpoint is later inverted in the middle… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Pastorale in D Major, K. 415 by Domenico Scarlatti, a stepwise approach
You can imagine any number of approaches to an arpeggio that will nudge it along to fluidity. One, is thinking that the elbows, arms, and wrists are playing the fingers. In a sense the fingers are the end of a total arm suspension. Relaxation is the key word. The C# minor arpeggio is thankfully symmetrical… Continue reading Piano Technique: Practicing the C# minor Arpeggio in a myriad of ways (Video)
There was no rooster greeting me for the past two weeks as I wound my way from Bart Del Norte into the El Cerrito Hills. The "cockadoodledoo" had been a welcome embellishment to my time-honored walk and I wondered what happened to the messenger. Once I had ensnared some video through a wood fence opening… Continue reading Part THREE: Guess what happened on the way to my El Cerrito Piano Studio? (Photos!)
Burgmuller's Ballade from his Opus 100 Progressive Piano Pieces is often coined "spooks" because of its Halloween-like opener. Composed in 3/8 time, it moves along in ONE, though the performer should not over-emphasize the first beat in each measure. The way the composer slurs and phrases notes suggests another approach. Thinking LONGER lines and phrases… Continue reading Piano Instruction: “Ballade” by Burgmuller– phrase contouring and curves of energy (Videos)
A revisit with piano teaching at its pinnacle!
Irina Gorin, a teaching emissary of the Russian pianistic tradition that’s produced Richter, Gilels, Ashkenazy and Lugansky to name a few, brings her pedagogical efforts glowingly down to the level of a 4-year old.
And it’s delightful to watch. Certainly, more entertaining than my cat’s bungled keyboard performance last night.
Irina would agree that Aiden needed a lesson in keeping his paws supple.
But I doubt that affixing a cute purple furry monkey to him would have softened those bullet-fired impulses, though we did try. (Irina uses the accessory in her studio)
The cat was compliant at first, then quickly raised Cain!
Might I gently wrap his claws around those “apples” Irina has in her studio? They’re the small yellow “rubbery” ones that piano students embrace as they shape hands into relaxed roundness.
All kidding aside, Gorin’s child-like approach to her little students, devising finger-in-the-jello opportunities, and attaching her precious…
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I'm glad I videotaped many of Rina's early lessons, (from age 4) since I have a tendency to be creative, and take liberties with any instruction in book form. It's a great reference repository and springboard for new ideas. To start with, Irina Gorin's Tales of a Musical Journey, has got it right by its… Continue reading Looking back to early piano lessons with Rina, 5, with a solid musical foundation to build on (And now the present) Videos