It's always valuable to snatch a lesson segment when a student gets it just right and has the equivalent of a runner's high at the keyboard. It's certainly instructive for both teacher and pupil to observe what conditions predisposed a pupil to a level of ONEness of body, mind and spirit. Last night, Jocel displayed… Continue reading Piano Technique: When an adult student is in the Zone!
I've seen Ethan Hawke's sensitive film portrait of Seymour Bernstein now FOUR times as I amass a film archive of interviews and written tributes. Need more be said? Run to see a cinematic masterpiece so well framed by Ann Hornaday at the Washington Post: ‘Seymour: An Introduction’ is a soaring, sublime ode to art and… Continue reading Love the Second Time Around: Seymour, An Introduction
It shouldn't be the same old five-finger warm-ups and scales without an infusion of emotion/imagination. That's why I decided to experiment and have two adult students communicate a juxtaposed shift of mood between a MAJOR penta-scale (five-finger position) and its companion parallel minor. Neither pupil expected to be asked to raise five step-wise notes to… Continue reading Imagination and mental imagery in the piano learning environment
The UNIVERSE of RECORDING ONLINE LESSONS IN PROGRESS SKYPE CALL RECORDER FACETIME CALL RECORDER *** My Newest Overhead Cam (72 inches high) Still another upgrade: My Piano Room has TWO Overhead webcams in addition to a side view cam that's mounted on a music stand. Overhead side view of Keyboard *** MY PRESENTATION coming up… Continue reading SKYPE CALL RECORDER Playback views for Online Piano Lessons
Last night, one of my adult students observed me doing a quick glide warm-up over a two-octave scale before we officially started our lesson. Uncannily, his inquiry about how I managed to attain fluency at peak tempo, turned out to be the focus of our first fifteen minutes together, and it got me thinking about… Continue reading Piano Technique: Attaining speed and clarity
I went! I cried! I applauded! Those of us immersed in the arts as students and teachers, felt especially validated. On the East Coast, harpsichordist, Elaine Comparone was riveted to the Big Screen just as I nestled into a snug seat at the Albany, California Landmark Twin theater. (East Bay, California) She perfectly summed up… Continue reading Run! to see Seymour: An Introduction, Ethan Hawke’s film masterpiece
The flow of harmony in and out of pieces should be a big part of a piano lesson. Yet it's one thing to isolate chords in student a hand-out, but quite another to bring phrases to life with an infusion of harmonic rhythm awareness in the process of playing. In this video sample, a student… Continue reading Weaving Theory and Harmonic Rhythm into a piano lesson
Today, the technique portion of a Face Time lesson to North Carolina complemented the main musical course, Chopin's Waltz in A minor, Op. Posthumous. It was a harmonious streaming with thumbs swinging; arms floating; and scale contouring that fed well-shaped Romantic era phrases. It played out as follows: The A minor scale was parceled out… Continue reading Piano technique lesson segments flow nicely into repertoire
It Finally Happened! My students taking lessons by Skype or FaceTime finally met their LIVE piano-connected peers in an hour-long, music-love ONLINE exchange. The emphasis was sharing in a compassionate setting with a spirit of unconditional support for participants of varying levels and abilities. Introductions preceding the program proved as engaging as each player's musical… Continue reading A SKYPE/LIVE Adult piano student recital!
With creative juices flowing during a piano lesson by Skype, a teacher can toy with various mental images by webcam that assist fluid technique. "Wrist dipping" through a five-finger position in rapid rhythm required focus on how to avoid the inevitable accent that occurs on framing thumb and pinky. "Soft" landings were therefore isolated and… Continue reading Piano Technique: Wrist dipping and thumb twiddling