Beethoven, Fur Elise, piano, piano lessons

Piano Technique: Creating an illusion of legato

It's a challenge to play scales, arpeggios, and passages lifted out of the mainstream Classical piano repertoire with a well-shaped and nicely spaced legato. (smooth and connected playing) But it can be more daunting to navigate particular sections of masterworks that have legato markings over chords, for instance, that carry a melodic thread that is… Continue reading Piano Technique: Creating an illusion of legato

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Patient voice-parceling in practicing Beethoven’s Adagio Cantabile (Sonata “Pathetique”)

Some piano students view playing a choir of voices with a rich bed of sustain pedal as an un-delayed gratification. It's an icing on the cake indulgence that often eludes the main course of diligent, attentive, and analytical practicing. A case in point is Beethoven's hauntingly beautiful, Adagio movement of the "Pathetique" Sonata, Op. 13,… Continue reading Patient voice-parceling in practicing Beethoven’s Adagio Cantabile (Sonata “Pathetique”)

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Piano Lesson summary videos cut to the chase

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

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Judy, Seymour, and Ludwig

It was no surprise that Judy, one of my adult piano students came to her lesson yesterday gushing about Seymour: An Introduction. And naturally, in the nick of time, I grabbed my super-charged, helium packed iPhone and added the latest film rave to my growing collection. Need I say more?... or is it SEE MORE?..… Continue reading Judy, Seymour, and Ludwig

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After the Revolution is my cousin, Amy Herzog’s tour de force play. (An Aurora Theatre Berkeley production)

Amy Herzog is regaled as one of the most gifted young playwrights of her generation. Not only has she been a recipient of the well-regarded Lillian Hellman prize, but she's amassed a slew of New York Times rave reviews. Charles Isherwood, Arts editor, lauded After the Revolution in a generous media spread that wove in… Continue reading After the Revolution is my cousin, Amy Herzog’s tour de force play. (An Aurora Theatre Berkeley production)

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Piano practicing and blocking techniques

I was originally enlightened about the value of blocking out intricate and tricky passages when I attended a rehearsal of Rudolf Serkin and the New York Philharmonic. He was about to play the Beethoven "Emperor" Concerto No. 5 with its majestic opener of broken chords (arpeggios) and as a warm-up, he silently blocked out a… Continue reading Piano practicing and blocking techniques

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Piano Lesson to Brazil: Trills and Spills (Beethoven Presto, “MOONLIGHT” Sonata)

This was a SKYPE Day to remember! Not a sinking ship, but a catastrophic event at a musical climax. The Brazilian student, in good form, however, was SAVED by the NEAPOLITAN! He rendered the UNEXPECTED with show-stopping emphasis! Bravo, cavalheiro! Here's the snatch on You Tube: (A CRASH HEARD 'Round the WORLD!) http://youtu.be/OvdiASfJU14 Life isn't… Continue reading Piano Lesson to Brazil: Trills and Spills (Beethoven Presto, “MOONLIGHT” Sonata)