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When an adult piano student advances well beyond Primer preliminaries

Peter started piano lessons from scratch about 1 and 1/2 years ago, not reading a note of music at the time, but having gads of enthusiasm about his maiden musical journey. Readers will be reminded of his earliest efforts playing Faber Piano Adventure duets with me. (I chose the Primer edition because it moved slower… Continue reading When an adult piano student advances well beyond Primer preliminaries

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Getting immersed in LEARNING Bach’s F minor Fugue, BWV 881 (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2)

My journey through the Baroque master's Fugue no. 12 has been a labor of love though the form enshrined by J.S. Bach can be intimidating by its structural nit-pickings. Wikipedia, for example, cites BWV 847 in C minor, (the Fugue) as a model of internal order, with a carefully marked out Subject;  Answer (a fifth… Continue reading Getting immersed in LEARNING Bach’s F minor Fugue, BWV 881 (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2)

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Adult piano student stumbling blocks and overcoming them

I sometimes offer a bit of counseling to my brood of adults who often fall into a pit of pervasive self-punishment. The beating up myself student, will often berate himself/herself for having played a scale or piece better before the lesson began. The pupil reasons, if only the teacher disappeared or never showed up, he/she… Continue reading Adult piano student stumbling blocks and overcoming them

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Capturing the rocking motion of Mendelssohn’s F# minor Venetian Boat Song

In Felix Mendelssohn's Op. 30, No. 6 Gondola Song, the very character of the lilting motion is sustained in the Left Hand with a metrical awareness of Two beats per measure, not 6. The composition (from the Songs Without Words album) is in 6/8 but translated as duple compound, giving a leaning emphasis on the… Continue reading Capturing the rocking motion of Mendelssohn’s F# minor Venetian Boat Song

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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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George Li, among 6 Tchaikovsky Competition Finalists

As many cheering fans had expected, George Li catapulted himself into the Finals with a memorable performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto in A, K. 488. http://tch15.medici.tv/en/performance/round-round-2-piano-2015-06-24-2030000300-great-ha Reed Tetzloff not having the same good fortune to make the cut, still delivered a moving reading of the soulful middle movement, K. 488. A noticeable audience favorite at… Continue reading George Li, among 6 Tchaikovsky Competition Finalists

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Boris Berman: How to connect with the music after over-practicing

https://youtu.be/paGtKTD4RfA I think Maestro Berman said it well, yet from my own experience, over-practicing is less a problem than failing to listen attentively through every phase of learning a composition. If a student does not fine tune each repetition, but considers only right notes in fast speed as the desired end, then phrasing, nuance and… Continue reading Boris Berman: How to connect with the music after over-practicing