All too often piano students give up on a piece after so many weeks of exposure, thinking the fingering is settled, the beats are well-measured, and the notes have fallen into place. At this juncture, a Big STOP SIGN must impede the restless from plunging into a new musical journey despite their belief that the… Continue reading Stay LONGER with a piece for higher levels of learning and awareness
My latest awakening occurred during a piano lesson last night with a student who loves Bach and nearly dotes upon his compositions exclusively. And that's fine with me who's a companion traveler sharing a comparable love for the composer and his diversity of keyboard works. Invention 1 in C, BWV 772 is one of my… Continue reading Playing a Bach Invention: Say what you mean, and mean what HE said
A lively Linked-in discussion is percolating about ways to practice piano and develop technique. Ardent defenders of a Hands Together approach insist that hands alone playing fits only elementary level students. (Deprecation is noted) The Hands Together contingent misses the mark. A solid supporter of ground-up/layered learning, I can draw on my interview with George… Continue reading Piano Practicing: The hands alone/hands together debate (Videos)
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)