In the course of teaching, a situation may arise where a particular favored piece is requested by a student that I've never studied--which means a deep-layered journey is ahead of two learning partners. And given that J.S. Bach's Prelude and Fugue in Ab, (Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1) requires thoughtful fingering choices; an awareness of Baroque… Continue reading J.S. Bach Prelude in Ab, BWV 862: A Fresh Start for Student and Teacher
Who would have imagined that a new piano would be my special gift to myself! It was one week since my mother had passed away at 100 and I was devastated, shaken by the loss-- too distressed to be thinking about celebrating my upcoming birthday in any way. Yet when I saw an ad for… Continue reading My Birthday present to me!
Recently, I made a trip back East to New York City to attend my aunt's Memorial Service, and the experience hit "home!" Being a child of the Bronx and Manhattan, my emigration to California over three decades ago, definitely came with culture shock, but my most recent relocation to the East Bay (Berkeley aka "Bezerkeley")… Continue reading East Coast/West Coast (East Bay) culture shock
I'm reminded of a quote attributed to Sviatoslav Richter when asked how he approached a challenging new composition of virtuoso proportion: His reply-- "I read a new piece and then start practicing the place that irritates me the most. After learning that one I move to the next irritation, etc." Well, most of us would… Continue reading When sight-reading is not enough: Learning a new piano piece from the ground up so we can teach it to our students (Videos)
For Becca Wong, her career path seemed predestined. Having had a firmly rooted music and dance background in her native Hong Kong prior to her arrival in California, she was at least predisposed to a future vocation celebrating the arts. Her enrollment in the Royal Academy of Dance, allied to the British school system, added… Continue reading A former piano student carves out a unique life as a dance accompanist or is it “Freeway Gypsy?”
Looks like Aiden was out like a light... except for 2 well-timed ear twitches ... otherwise, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Arabesque no. 1 Played on my Haddorff console piano (manuf. 1951) a real musical treasure with divine resonance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0QF8ahBJ88 Aiden's awake-time pics: RELATED: A Purrr-fect Musical Match Made in Heaven http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyY3XSl5Wuc Aiden Cat Joins Ilyana, 8, at the… Continue reading Aiden Cat Dozes off to Debussy (Video)
I was thinking of Palmer's edition of Chopin, an Introduction to His Music, and when I first purchased it years ago there was no inserted CD of recorded selections contained in the album. With subsequent published editions, a CD popped into an envelope, beckoning a player to sample another pianist's interpretation of music he had… Continue reading Should piano students listen to recorded performances of pieces they are first beginning to learn?