Monthly Archives: May 2014

Harmonic rhythm awareness and blocking help phrasing

Besides having at least a rudimentary understanding of chord progressions, it’s advantageous to be able to “sing” internally, or in full voice, as you accompany yourself through a cantabile movement. A good example, is the Andante of the supposedly “easy” … Continue reading

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My afternoon at the San Francisco Symphony with Yuja Wang, Pianist

It was a shock to my nervous system to hear a LIVE concert! I had been getting so used to iPod fed classics and You tube streamed performances that I forgot what I was missing. From my seat at terrace … Continue reading

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The “Talent” equation in piano playing/learning

Last Wednesday night, Indre Viskontas, opera singer and neuroscientist explored the many facets of Creativity in a City Arts “conversation.” And because a roving MIC didn’t quite reach my section of the San Francisco Nourse Auditorium during the Q and … Continue reading

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“Clouds,” “cushions,” and “veils” permeate a Chopin Lesson (Waltz in A minor)

Floating arms, supple wrists, delicate relaxed ornaments and trills, and an oxymoron-driven, perfect parachute landing flowed into a lesson last night with a musically responsive adult student. The keyboard was transformed into a soft cushion receiving fingers energized with bigger … Continue reading

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An ear-catching mood piece for an Advanced Beginner is a great learning opportunity

It was near 11 p.m. last night when my Oregon piano Penpal, Lisa, shot off three PDFs of Kevin Olson’s “Navajo Legend.” They came just as I was sorting through photos of my Landlord’s art work that had been on … Continue reading

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Piano Repair: Taking the noise out of my pedal!

Israel Stein, Registered Piano Technician, whose feats of repair have earned him national recognition, descended upon my humble abode like the fix-it fairy, and banished my sustain pedal noise forever! (Count on it for the years remaining in my playing … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Piecing out and Practicing J.S. Bach Little Prelude in F, BWV 927

One of my colleagues who filmed a tutorial on this gem, called it a “BEGINNER” composition, yet, in truth, it’s not in the easy column. It demands a fluent technique and a thoughtful approach to learning that includes harmonic analysis, … Continue reading

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