In keeping with my resolution to learn new music quickly but thoroughly, I've set out today's first experience with Tchaikovsky's colorful, "Winter Morning" (Op. 39, No. 2, Children's Album) to give students of piano, ideas surrounding their first encounter with a composition: how the physical, musical, cognitive and affective (emotional) dimensions of a work, can… Continue reading My first day learning a new piece and what was accomplished (Video)
Month: December 2013
Favorite Tchaikovsky piano pieces and their pedagogical value
I made a promise to myself well before the New Year, that I would learn one new Tchaikovsky composition each day from the composer's Op. 39 Children's Album. (24 tableaux) Not that I'm recommending to piano students that they assimilate new music at lightning speed, but for me the challenge was to make a spurt… Continue reading Favorite Tchaikovsky piano pieces and their pedagogical value
The Little Knightingale
There’s a Knight piano for sale in my neighborhood which rekindled memories of this writing, posted well before I’d moved to Berkeley.
Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)
It sang like a nightingale the morning I stroked its keys, yet it has always been a relative unknown in the world of big name pianos such as Steinway, Baldwin, and Yamaha. From an innocuous three-line ad posted on Oodle.com, I discovered that this very Knight piano was for sale, housed in northwest Fresno just a mile or so from my home. A British made studio size vertical manufactured in 1969 by Alfred Knight, Ltd, it made its maiden voyage from Amsterdam, Holland to the USA surviving the winds and tides of crossing the Atlantic. On the last leg of its journey, the noble little lady arrived in Fresno, California, faced with an extreme shift in temperature and humidity that would have damaged if not destroyed instruments of lesser quality.
Alfred Knights built in the years before 1974 (marking the death of the manufacturer and its sale to another company)…
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Rami Bar-Niv’s Adult Music Camp is for pianists of all levels
Concert pianist, Rami Bar-Niv has a large serving of musical talent that spills into an assortment of activities. He's a well-spring of creativity: performing, teaching, composing and publishing (a book on fingering, no less) while his sheet music is circulated far and wide. Now add to the list, Rami's Rhapsody Camp for Adults wrapped in… Continue reading Rami Bar-Niv’s Adult Music Camp is for pianists of all levels
Tchaikovsky and his solemn chorale
Last night I discovered one of the most gorgeous hymns composed in the Romantic genre. It is Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "In the Church," Op. 39, a perfect segue way to Christmas. My diverse journey through the composer's Children's Album has been a potpourri of moods and colors sprinkled through "Sweet Dream," "Playing Hobby-Horses," "Song of… Continue reading Tchaikovsky and his solemn chorale
If it sounds like a lark, it must be one (Tchaikovsky’s “Song of the Lark”)
http://youtu.be/Hu43yQUbgcA After I recorded Tchaikovsky's precious tableau from his Op. 39 Children's Album, I discovered a true-to-life rendering by Russian pianist, Igor Galenkov, who delicately imported a bird to embellish his performance. http://youtu.be/sqdVlA7c_bg *** Instruction: The rolling forward wrist motion in Lark http://youtu.be/AXspi9vh3vY ***
Celebrating Beethoven’s Birthday!
Albeit a day later, the composer's music is worth our adulation. Since words cannot amply express the beauty of Beethoven's outpourings, I've selected a favorite movement that speaks volumes about his genius: http://youtu.be/jGJ_4CS_c4M
A Love Story Woven on a Chopin Canvas
Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)
A few years ago, I received a telling message through my Authors Den website.
John Bidwell, a spirited short story writer and poet, shared more than a literary connection with me. He waxed poetic about his late mother and father, Eleanor and David, who were pianists and 1950’s classmates at Oberlin. (my alma mater)
A Reunion photo taken in front of the music Conservatory:
Yet despite the sender’s excitement about contacting another “pianist” who attended the Midwest school, he voiced “regrets about not being into his parent’s kind of music while they were living.”
A gush of e-mails followed. One compared my playing to Eleanor’s. (HUBBARD, maiden name)
“It is beyond endearing, because you have the same spark of life that my mom had.” He added a “smile” to his flattery.
Had John implied that I channeled his late mother’s spirit through my You Tube postings? Or was I more…
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Piano Instruction: Spinning Long Melodic lines in Romantic era music (Videos)
I'm about to fly off to a Skype lesson in UK, but while grounded here in Berkeley, I want to share epiphanies about spinning long melodic lines in the Romantic era genre. Using Schumann's supposedly less complex "Melody" from his Album for the Young, I found myself exploring physical motions that needed to be synthesized… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Spinning Long Melodic lines in Romantic era music (Videos)
Piano Technique: Spring forward wrist/bounce motions applied to the piano repertoire (Videos)
I use Edna-Mae Burnham's Dozen a Day exercises with my adult students because of their application to the piano literature. Naturally, pupils transpose these warm-ups to all Major and minor keys around the Circle of Fifths though these short romps are written within the scope of five-finger positions. A particular favorite is "HOPPING" (in staccato)… Continue reading Piano Technique: Spring forward wrist/bounce motions applied to the piano repertoire (Videos)