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" (facile) Sonata of Mozart, K. 545, which is, to the contrary, a challenge to play… Continue reading Harmonic rhythm awareness and blocking help phrasing
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 right, almost hanging over the stage, I heard amazing instrumental clarity and orchestral color, though… Continue reading My afternoon at the San Francisco Symphony with Yuja Wang, Pianist
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 A, I managed to continue the discourse Online at Indre's blog site. It's a no-brainer… Continue reading The “Talent” equation in piano playing/learning
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 channeled energies traveling down buoyant arms through springy wrists. Most of all, imagination fed a… Continue reading “Clouds,” “cushions,” and “veils” permeate a Chopin Lesson (Waltz in A minor)
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 display in our apartment complex's communal garage. (A basic storage area for tenants) The one-day… Continue reading An ear-catching mood piece for an Advanced Beginner is a great learning opportunity
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 lifetime) Trouble-shooting as he went along, Stein diagnosed the problem and followed through in graduated… Continue reading Piano Repair: Taking the noise out of my pedal!
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, blocking, understanding counterpoint, making sensible decisions about articulation, and shaping phrases. Therefore, this "LITTLE" Prelude… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Piecing out and Practicing J.S. Bach Little Prelude in F, BWV 927