The learning exchange between student and teacher is heightened when a new piece is introduced. In the case of Mozart's charming, early period Sonata no. 5 in G, it became a revisit for me that brought new revelations that I shared during the course of weekly lessons. *** Mozart presents a challenge in capturing a… Continue reading Exploring Mozart Sonata No. 5 in G, K. 283 (First movement, Allegro)
Joyce Di Donato, "lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano," is my model for trilling. In an embedded you tube video, the opera singer emphasizes the undulating character of a beautifully executed trill that leans on the upper note. (Too often pianists deliver a robotic stream of alternating notes that's shapeless and out of breath, ignoring an internal flow and… Continue reading Piano Technique: Trills and the vocal model
While we all experience head on collisions with tricky measures despite our best efforts to avoid repeated catastrophes, (through careful, methodical practicing) there comes a time, to let go, and give the whole undertaking a rest. In my case, it was at least a year before I revisited the last part of Mozart's Rondo: Allegro,… Continue reading Never say never to a finger-trapping passage (Mozart Rondo: Allegro K. 545)-Video
Most transfer students that I've encountered over the years better brave the change from one teaching style to another, by watching recorded views of their lessons. Because there may be a tad of anxiety associated with approaching the piano in a different way than previously learned, watching instructional excerpts that focus on the piano as… Continue reading Lesson supplement videos assist Transfer Students in their transition to a new teacher
Albeit a day later, the composer's music is worth our adulation. Since words cannot amply express the beauty of Beethoven's outpourings, I've selected a favorite movement that speaks volumes about his genius: http://youtu.be/jGJ_4CS_c4M
It's not easy to plan a one hour piano lesson to include ear training, solfege and transposing. (They belong together, bundled with Theory, and enrich the learning environment) At the Oberlin Conservatory, Theory, Keyboard Harmony, and Eurhythmics were taught separately. Our piano teachers (applied study) adhered to their rigid routine, rarely fitting solfege, sight-reading, improvising,… Continue reading Ear Training and Transposing are intrinsic to piano lessons (examples from an Adult lesson in progress)
I couldn't help but chuckle at a stream of advertising overlapping my Haydn D Major, Hoboken XVI 37 Sonata: "FOUR SIGNS OF A HEART ATTACK" The Google ad, as it ran, uncannily tracked KILLER passages in this composition that would pose a risk to cardiovascular health (Especially the brutal contrapuntal bass line in the Development… Continue reading Heart Attacks and Haydn!
How to integrate the physical, emotional and singable when learning Mozart's Sonata in C Major, K. 545, Andante.
Marie, a motivated adult student, revisited piano studies after a decades-long hiatus. When she resumed lessons about 6 years ago, she made "Fur Elise" her goal-setting piece. Following long-term scale and arpeggio exposure accompanied by a detailed focus on minuets, short character works, sonatinas and the Chopin Waltz in A minor No. 19, Op. Posthumous,… Continue reading Quality spot-practicing by an adult student: Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” (Video)
This is a hauntingly beautiful section of the first movement. After the composer has devoted so many preceding measures to the key of A minor, he decides to travel at quick intervals through a series of different keys. Such fast-paced modulations occur primarily with the return of the crossed-hands portion of the piece, beginning in… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Part FIVE, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31 no. 2 Measures 93 to 158 (Development, Recitative, submerged pedal)