Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California,

Tchaikovsky’s “Mama” gives double messages

“Mama” is a lyrically spun out tableau evoking the endearing, universally loving mother, but as many can attest, moms may often send out double messages.

In Tchaikovsky’s Op. 39, Children’s Album, MAMA has number 4 status among 24 beautifully descriptive pieces, and with its remarkable dualism, in parallel tenths between the soprano (top line) and bass, the player cannot look askance and hammer out notes without discerning MEANING.

To play this piece artfully, the pianist, must not forget any number of “double messages” permeating the composition and in my part 1 and 2 video instruction, I become very specific about what I describe.

So with this introduction, that borders on conveying a dysfunctional musical set of circumstances, I will redeem myself by affirming Tchaikovsky’s genius as it plays out with his “Mama.”

Play through:



Mama by Tchaikosky p 1

Mama p 2


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