Robert Schultz has done a Mitzvah, (blessing) in compiling a pleasing group of Jewish Holiday songs for Intermediate level students. For Chanukah, which shares a table setting with Thanksgiving this year, (the menorah sits beside a fully dressed turkey), Schultz has included two particularly engaging selections: "LICHVOD HACHANUKAH" (about baking potato latkes), and "S'VIVON" (Spinning… Continue reading Delightful Piano Arrangements of Jewish Holiday songs
I'm open to a panoply of ideas about teaching piano, and I've often integrated a variety of mentoring approaches based on feedback from colleagues. The latest discussion that caught my attention, centered on "counting beats" in the early learning stages of a new composition. For some the notion of oral "counting" at all in the… Continue reading Piano Study: Does counting out beats have to be robotic? (Videos)
This says it all: I thank my dear friend and colleague, Louise Hullinger for posting this gem. And here's another treasure from Kurt Vonnegut: "Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to… Continue reading A message to music students and parents
An inquiry at the Facebook Art of Piano Pedagogy forum drew my immediate attention. A supermom pianist/teacher and mentor to her grandson, was eager to feast the youngster on Nutcracker delights and wanted some guidance. She had noted the child's enthusiasm to notch himself into a challenging musical arena, so why not recommend a colorful… Continue reading A winning collection of Nutcracker selections arranged for piano!
Embarking upon a musical journey with a child requires more than one boarding passenger. While a student eases onto the piano bench, front and center, parents are truly in the driver's seat. They need to provide necessary support for an undertaking that has lifetime value. Otherwise, registered ambivalence about the role of music in the… Continue reading Piano Lessons for children: A triad of cooperation
I put myself out there in the piano gym arena not as a paragon of perfection but as a work in progress. The growth process counts most to me, along with the joy of fine tuning it. That's how I approached a set of warm-up arpeggios that needed remediation as snags arose. http://youtu.be/h7qwt_O5fbk A few… Continue reading Piano Gym and remedial practice
Harry Mello is the hero of this long-winded tale. Poor Yamaha Arius had lost her voice. She was dried out, and un-sustainable. All of her pedals, if not petals had died on the vine. She was speechless. To her dear rescue came the Yamaha Corporation, who dispatched Saint Mello from B Street Music to bring… Continue reading My Yamaha Arius digital is singing again!
One of my adult students confided that her five-finger warm-up in F# Major made her feel shaky and insecure. "It's like I'm going to slip off the key when I play my 5th finger," (pinky)--C# (Notes in F# Major penta-scale position are F# G# A# B C#) Such a distress call like this one stimulates… Continue reading Piano Technique: balance and bearings on the black notes (Video)
A few add-ins are included in this retrospective
When I did my retirement home tours, feisty tunes were more well-received than the melancholy Prelude no. 2 in C# minor. Everybody knew Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” and “Rhapsody in Blue,” plus a truckload of Hoagy Carmichael favorites.
So, looking back, I should have thought twice about featuring this musical gem as my opener. (as lackluster as it was without color coating at the time)
About Prelude #2:
Published in 1927, the work was first performed by George Gershwin in a concert at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City. A challenge to play, it doesn’t fit easily under the fingers because of large note spans, and it requires a tasteful amount of tempo rubato of a bluesy, moody character.
Part of a Prelude trio, the composition is framed by the more spirited #1 and #3.
Try romancing the over 75 crowd with a somber tune of obscure identity…
View original post 364 more words
These are Five-finger positions pulled from Edna-Mae Burnham's Dozen a Day but expanded to 32nd notes/legato/staccato. They're nice springboard warm-ups to scale playing that follows. I call this lesson segment, PIANO GYM, in part, because of the ENERGY, vitality, and even mental imagery that's needed to make easy, smooth, and proportioned transitions from one rhythmic… Continue reading Adult Piano Instruction: Phase two of Rhythmic Rehab in Pentascale practice