I used to customarily record segments of lessons in progress that required sensitive editing before I uploaded them to you tube. It was not only a big job, but much of the video time was taken up with students lumbering through difficult passages, needing more settled post-lesson time to sift through teacher corrections, comments. Therefore… Continue reading Piano Lesson summary videos cut to the chase
The MTAC Baroque Festival and Daniil Trifonov's recital at Fresno State cap this weekend's events, giving our city a warm cultural embrace amidst its Bulldog-driven sports fever! First on the line-up, Claudia, 11, will play the Yamaha concert grand piano at the University's recital hall today.(The Steinway is sequestered) She'll offer two Bach selections: Invention… Continue reading A Music Packed Saturday and Sunday! (Video) and NEW PHOTOS!
For many pianos students, playing 100% perfect notes, with no clunkers is goal in itself. They breathe a sigh of relief looking back on a video of a recital, where they managed to "get it right," counting correct notes from beginning to end. One even managed to play note perfect while intermittently eyeing her family… Continue reading Performing a piece–Getting it right (all the notes) OR really getting it right (the phrasing and nuance) VIDEOS
As I observed an 11-year old student work on this Invention at lessons, I came up with some ideas to improve the performance landscape. These included an awareness of the dualism of rolling arpeggiated 16ths and detached 8th notes in the opening. More often than not, the arpeggios can sound too flat if the whole… Continue reading Tutorial: Shared ideas about practicing J.S. Bach Invention 13 in A minor (BWV 784) Videos
I'm in my Bach phase for reasons unknown. A musical flight of fancy can turn in any direction. Since performances of a composition will change as new ideas filter in, one might as well try them out on the You Tube stage, picking the brain and soul about what needs to happen the next time… Continue reading Another Bach Invention 1 added to the list–The Morning After (Video)
Yesterday I had the novel experience of working on Bach's Invention 1 in C Major, via long distance transmission. Beamed to Sydney, Australia, by way of SKYPE, I found myself having gained new insights about a piece I had temporarily tabled. While I had always been aware that the Subject, or main idea, had been… Continue reading Revisiting J.S. Bach’s Invention 1 in C, BWV 772 (Video)
Today, September 5th, is Claudia's 11th Birthday! She started lessons with me in 2006 when she had just turned 6 after coming to California from Hawaii. I remember her as a shy but wide-eyed child who had studied piano for a year or so. Students who begin piano lessons at a tender age and stay… Continue reading A piano student’s milestones and memories in photos and video
I cleared most of my Saturday morning lessons so I could be on time for a special rehearsal at Fresno State. I took no chances given the steady rain these past few days that caused dangerously deep puddles along Shaw Avenue. The inevitable flow of traffic to crowd-jamming Bulldog games would also be a time… Continue reading The Big Baroque Festival!
This remarkable piece of film footage inspired a stream of others. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ur7SoOVRhk Nadia Boulanger (b.1887-d.1979) the esteemed teacher, composer, theoretician, organist, pianist, taught and influenced so many great musical creators such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copeland, Virgil Thomson, Walter Piston and Philip Glass. From Wikipedia: "Boulanger's teaching methods included traditional harmony, score reading at the… Continue reading Great Piano Teaching Moments
I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to provide keyboard music at a Fresno art supply store. It happened quite unexpectedly around the time I’d bumped into Ralph Cato, US Olympic Boxing Trainer at the neighboring Guitar Center. (“Cato, His Killer Keyboard and A Round of Piano Lessons”) Because I liked the establishment’s acoustical environment, I… Continue reading A Performance I’ll Never Forget!