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Piano Technique: Staying CONNECTED while playing staccato

I've picked the B Major Scale with 5 sharps distributed through double and triple black note sequence, to demonstrate wrist, forearm, and finger staccato. In these forays through detached notes, I emphasize how to stay "in touch" and not lose a basic connection to threads of notes. Many ingredients contribute to the creation of a… Continue reading Piano Technique: Staying CONNECTED while playing staccato

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Art Kinsey, my piano-loving neighbor, celebrates a special business anniversary

Musicians are often plagued by their living arrangement, particularly when they move from a sprawling private home to a pea size apartment. In my case, relocating to Berkeley, California from the steaming hot Central Valley where I occupied a two-story house, brought an impending dread of living beside a neighbor who would complain constantly about… Continue reading Art Kinsey, my piano-loving neighbor, celebrates a special business anniversary

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Piano Instruction: C Major Scale Mapping

Most students think of C Major as the easiest scale around the BLOCK. But in fact, it's not nearly as patterned or symmetrical as the double and triple black note content scales, B, F# and C# Major (Or their equivalent in FLATS, Db, Gb and Cb) With the ebony laden ones, you can easily place… Continue reading Piano Instruction: C Major Scale Mapping

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Happy Birthday, IRMA!

Today I posted a musical tribute to a dear friend who provides her acoustically divine living room for my weekly teaching journeys in El Cerrito, California. The space soars with resonance and complements a vintage Baldwin 1929 grand that lavishes its home in the Hills. Irma happens to be a student of mine for 4… Continue reading Happy Birthday, IRMA!

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Piano Technique Tips: Leaning toward the piano in contrary motion

One of my wise colleagues tipped me off about moving toward the piano when playing scales and arpeggios in contrary motion. After trying it, I integrated the leaning forward motion into my own practicing and naturally, it trickled down to my students in the lesson environment. Here's a demonstration using the E minor arpeggio in… Continue reading Piano Technique Tips: Leaning toward the piano in contrary motion

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In Perfect Harmony: Steinway grand and Yamaha Arius digital

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDersM94DbE These two music-makers are currently close companions. I moved Arius out of isolation to a more socially and musically compatible locale well after Steinway Upright 1098 was sold. The space-saving that accrued was particularly beneficial. Now that both grand and electronic live in side-by-side harmony (A 440-wise), I can slip under my acoustic and… Continue reading In Perfect Harmony: Steinway grand and Yamaha Arius digital

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Building a piano lesson around J.S. Bach Invention 4 (d minor)

The scale of D minor (Harmonic form) feeds nicely into the study of Bach's Invention 4, BWV 775, and within this Baroque inspired universe, Alton, (Life Begins at 77) continued his musical journey. First my play through of the Two-Part Invention http://youtu.be/jZ5jbiLUhHQ A capsulized compositional analysis http://youtu.be/LTtM2DsJsk8 And a Summary of lesson goals for the… Continue reading Building a piano lesson around J.S. Bach Invention 4 (d minor)