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Piano Lesson: The challenge of playing a slow movement

I chose Muzio Clementi's popular Sonatina in C, Op. 36, No. 1 to flesh out the contrasting middle movement designated ANDANTE by the composer. It's definitely a challenge to play just 6 lines of music with beauty and finesse. As a start, the player is exposed to realizing rolling triplet 8th-notes in the left hand… Continue reading Piano Lesson: The challenge of playing a slow movement

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Development of Piano Technique all bundled into one collection

Instead of pumping out Hanon and Czerny exercises to build so-called finger dexterity, try Burgmuller's Op. 100, Twenty-five Progressive Pieces. Here's a sample of the challenges posed by the composer in each of these showcased Romantic era tableaux: Harmony of the Angels: 1) Arpeggios, or broken chord patterns: for smooth execution and curvaceous lines. If… Continue reading Development of Piano Technique all bundled into one collection

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Burgmuller’s “The Return”–like a light opera, with interspersed drama (videos)

"The Return" from the composer's Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces, Op. 100, is ear-catching. Like an Offenbach opera replete with an Overture, it delights in a set of lighthearted staccato chords that spill into a passionate MINOR sequenced interlude, setting the heart afire. Extinguished by the revisit of Eb Major punctuations, the music drifts off by authentic… Continue reading Burgmuller’s “The Return”–like a light opera, with interspersed drama (videos)

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The very first lesson with a new Intermediate or advanced piano student: thinking creatively on your feet

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet a new adult piano student who had studied for a few years. Besides having this basic, preliminary information, I had no other tangible clues about her level of playing. The suspense of not knowing what music she would bring was lifted when two contrasting era works… Continue reading The very first lesson with a new Intermediate or advanced piano student: thinking creatively on your feet

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More Tips on practicing Beethoven’s Fur Elise using a rolling motion, weight transfer, undulating wrist, and relaxed arm swing (Video)

Today's lesson with an adult student produced a helpful video that focused on the second section, page 1--but was devoted in large part, to examining measures 9-15 in the following ways: 1) for the execution of a rolling motion across four notes with a slight crescendo through B-C-D to E (B C and D form… Continue reading More Tips on practicing Beethoven’s Fur Elise using a rolling motion, weight transfer, undulating wrist, and relaxed arm swing (Video)

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After midnight MOONLIGHT Sonata–why not another try, first movement (BEETHOVEN–video)

I had nothing better to do at 1 a.m. and Aiden cat had settled down on the rug beside the piano. This time he had no energy reserves to leap to the window sill and make a racket. (Notice how Beethoven's strains sedated him, except for a transitory cat tag jiggle. But how rude for… Continue reading After midnight MOONLIGHT Sonata–why not another try, first movement (BEETHOVEN–video)

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When the piano teacher is absent between lessons, a You Tube video can fill in the gap (Fur Elise and chord voicing)

Lately, students have benefited from receiving supplemental video instruction during the interval between their weekly lessons. By videotaping parts of their sessions and uploading to You Tube, they can often make their daily practice time more efficient. Today, for example, I tilted my iMac so it focused on my piano, which is the Steinway upright… Continue reading When the piano teacher is absent between lessons, a You Tube video can fill in the gap (Fur Elise and chord voicing)