Piano Technique: Arpeggios LOCATION: From: Berkeley, California To: Sydney, Australia I continue to learn from my students as I view close-ups of their arms, wrists, hands/fingers in motion across the keyboard. Most of my epiphanies occur over Skype or Face Time where I pinpoint technical problems that are MAGNIFIED by the webcam. I might use… Continue reading Fluid Arpeggios: No hand twisting, with floating arms and an economy of motion
As I journey along with Liz, my newest piano student, I'm collecting insights about the nature of music learning from the perspective of a child. And by this most recent experience, I've come to realize that the choice of teaching materials is wedded to a mentor's own philosophy about expressive music-making. The samples below represent… Continue reading Liz, age 8, has her second piano lesson! (With my interspersed thoughts about materials and teaching philosophy)
It hit home over SKYPE while I was giving a piano lesson to Australia today that THUMBS have usurped too much power! In their octave by octave advance through scales and arpeggios, they've become conspicuously Napoleonic and territorial, setting up roadblocks that deter longer fingers of each hand from individually passing over and around them… Continue reading Curbing Thumb Power!
I encountered a few performances of Burgmuller's "Harmony of the Angels" Op. 100, that were so briskly played, that I made sure to consult the composer's Metronome Marking for a reality check. And it was true that Dr. Alan Huckleberry and Phillip Sear, were the "speediest" players on You Tube. While they were not consistently… Continue reading The composer’s Metronome Marking and how pianists deal with it
An exciting musical journey has begun! Liz, an 8-year old who prances by my apartment singing mellifluously, became my newest piano student last night. Her lesson opened with, "Welcome to a universe of the imagination," an inspired framing that kept student and teacher riveted to 45 minutes of collaborative music-making. (The duet form was the… Continue reading An 8-Year old begins piano lessons!
Most piano students become DIS-connected when asked to play staccato. Their full blown trepidation wedded to DETACHMENT is so conspicuously on display during scale and arpeggio playing that a teacher must first devise mental cues to bring the student down to earth, in a comfortably secure traction with the keys. It's no surprise then, that… Continue reading A Fear-less, Horizontal Approach to Staccato playing
A North Carolina ONLINE piano student comes to Berkeley, California for a LIVE lesson right before the Super Bowl!
https://youtu.be/6BSvDPdSNt4 My tiny Berkeley apartment had been shrinking by increments with its herd of tight-squeezed grand pianos and digital keyboards. Count in a Baldwin grand acquired in April, 2015; a medium size Steinway grand (5'7") bequeathed by my father after Oberlin graduation, and two side-by-side digital keyboards--YDP 105, and Yamaha Arius 141. The electronics were… Continue reading One grand piano in, and another out, but not forgotten