I remember Art Linkletter's show, "Kids Say the Darndest Things," which made me think of a few adult piano students and their hauntingly memorable words. Yesterday, for example, I was forewarned by a 70-year old pupil, that I should expect a call from her during the night about the key of "F# minor." What impending… Continue reading Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.
I was deeply moved to have discovered the Marble Hill Reunion site which inspired my own cherished memories of the projects in the Bronx where I romped during my childhood and early adolescence. My family moved from Featherbed Lane near Tremont Avenue to Marble Hill when I was about four. It was quite a notch… Continue reading Rekindling Marble Hill memories, and a remarkable twist of fate
There's always room for flexibility in choice of repertoire, especially when teaching teenagers. Alex, 18, had taken lessons during primary school, took a long break and returned to the piano as a senior in high school. His first request was to study "Liz on Top of the World," by Dario Marianelli from the movie, "Pride… Continue reading Teaching Piano to Teenagers: Classical, Pop, Taylor Swift, Liz on Top of the World and more (Videos)
First Lesson: "Flamenco" by Gillock (Early Intermediate Level) Student: Albertina, age 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2vLku_kxR0 This is a teacher/student musical exploration with the use of the second piano at the studio The second piano provides a unique opportunity to share back and forth, provide rhythmic reinforcement when needed, and remind the student about what dynamics, phrase markings,… Continue reading Piano Lessons: The Two-Way Learning Process, Teaching Albertina, and her sister, Ilyana
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ncr1BMTtvOQ Burgmuller, a German composer living in France during the Romantic era composed these delightful programmatic pieces in order of "progressive" difficulty; I've chosen 3 favorites to showcase: "Arabesque," "La Chasse" (The Chase) and "L'Harmonie des Anges" (Harmony of the Angels) Arabesque ("beautiful decoration") is a sprightly, fast paced miniature in "A" minor, that basically… Continue reading More piano teaching favorites: Burgmuller’s 25 Progressive Pieces, op. 100
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyY3XSl5Wuc Starting a very young child on a musical journey is joyful, exciting and challenging. The first baby steps taken at the piano will be memorable for both teacher and student, so careful thought and preparation are needed. At the very outset, I believe in nurturing an awareness of the singing tone and how it… Continue reading The Joy of Teaching Piano to Young Children (Videos)
I grew up in the Marble Hill projects of the Bronx and lived on the ninth floor. The walls of our housing development were so paper thin that when I practiced on my Sohmer 1922 studio upright, my first dream piano, it would elicit nerve-racking thumps from the neighbor down below. To my embarrassment, I… Continue reading Housing my Dream Pianos
I've highlighted three favorite children's pieces by Dimitri Kabalevsky and Robert Schumann that are very catchy, colorful and harmonically engaging. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suVPK_RDxM8 They fall into the category of programmatic music because the character of the compositions match the titles. Even though Schumann and Kabalevsky dedicated their compositions to a youthful generation, the music is quite sophisticated… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Favorite Children’s Pieces (Video)