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Two sides of the Lang Lang story in and OUT of the heart-wrenching DO OR DIE Documentary

First, here's the documentary that drew my admiration for a Chinese pianist who suffered childhood adversity and abuse, yet triumphed, carving out a career most would never dream of. http://youtu.be/5Ft_xSw9Q54 We learn that Lang Lang's father fostered an "almost lunatic competitive environment," according to the narrator. At the age of 2, the toddler was already… Continue reading Two sides of the Lang Lang story in and OUT of the heart-wrenching DO OR DIE Documentary

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Piano Instruction, Mozart Sonata in Bb, K. 281 (first movement)

I explore the Exposition, movement 1, Allegro, and ways to practice within a slow tempo frame: http://youtu.be/JVCnRx5aDz4 Play Through: http://youtu.be/Rgx-AG34iW0 LINK: The Most Reviled Scale https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/the-most-reviled-scale-for-piano-players/

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Top FIVE Piano Lesson by SKYPE Interruptions! (Videos)

Group web cam lessons on Bow-wow ( Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota) Top Notch Tone Tutorial Class 1) out-take http://youtu.be/fONbHGw8zXM 2) out-take http://youtu.be/Fy-6SkVFqMQ 3) Cat jumps out the window (United Kingdom) http://youtu.be/df7Pfg0Fcnc 4) 5 month-old Baby on lap (Alaska) http://youtu.be/D1HDoNAI75A 5) Earthquake! (Brazil) http://youtu.be/I-dbDgapMmA

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Piano Technique: Geography, choreography, and muscle memory in practicing scales (Video instruction)

Today's lesson by Skype from Berkeley, CA to the UK focused on refining e minor scales. Of particular interest, was the segment, midway, that explored un-snagging a portion of the Harmonic minor form in STACCATO. A valuable technique applied included spot practicing critical areas of difficulty.. i.e. C to D# to E in every octave.… Continue reading Piano Technique: Geography, choreography, and muscle memory in practicing scales (Video instruction)

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Piano Instruction: Mozart Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545, Allegro (updated Video)

http://youtu.be/YF5kiQfLces Play through http://youtu.be/rETIvT6Cr2k

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Haide Lin, the Cultural Revolution, and Violin-making (but don’t forget the piano!)

Don't worry. This blog hasn't been transformed into a Violin Journey. It's only a side-trip to a universe that I knew before immersing myself in the piano. In fact, this signature piece, re-recorded for the nth time last night, is a reminder that my heart sings without a bow and four strings. http://youtu.be/MWk0qSO_Lvg Having pardoned… Continue reading Haide Lin, the Cultural Revolution, and Violin-making (but don’t forget the piano!)

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Showcasing two of my exquisite instruments (Violin and Piano)

First the violin, a 1799 Horenstainer, Mittenwald that replaced the "cigar box" I was handed as a kid. My precious teacher, Samuel Gardner selected this German original for me in Paris, France. From there, I took it to Merrywood music camp in Lenox, MA where I coached under Eugene Lehner of the Boston Symphony. Oberlin… Continue reading Showcasing two of my exquisite instruments (Violin and Piano)

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An informative chat with a whimsical piano technician (REGISTERED, of course)

I had a delightful exchange with John Peters, RPT, about pianos, restorations, repairs, machine vs. aural tunings, and all that sprung from his wild imagination. For instance, John communicates an intense passion for tuning.. "I get paid to "meditate," he insists. Then he quickly veers off with a one-liner about fixing squeaky pedals. "I pour… Continue reading An informative chat with a whimsical piano technician (REGISTERED, of course)

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Piano Practicing: Breathing into phrases and blocking out passages (Mozart Sonata, example)

I've picked the first two pages of Mozart's Sonata in Bb Major, K. 281, last movement, Rondeau, Allegro to explore breathing and blocking techniques in the learning process. (These principles can be applied to practicing music from a variety of eras) Starting a composition is often taken for granted. Sometimes students will land on a… Continue reading Piano Practicing: Breathing into phrases and blocking out passages (Mozart Sonata, example)

Bach D minor Harpsichord Concerto, Baroque music, classissima, classissima.com, Elaine Comparone, Elaine Comparone Harpsichord, harpsichord, Harpsichord Unlimited, J.S. Bach, piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, youtube.com

Comparone plays Bach on the harpsichord with a palette of emotions

I must admit that I usually experience the "minor" key with poignant intensity, but when I heard Elaine Comparone's most recent performance of J.S.Bach's celebrated D minor concerto, I felt her inner smile radiate through ripples and waves of luscious phrases even as a tragic dimension blanketed the work. Comparone's tapestry of moods, feelings and… Continue reading Comparone plays Bach on the harpsichord with a palette of emotions