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)
A tricky chromatic scale with a turn-around at its end ushers in a stormy, impassioned section with cross-over hands. Some players observe the notation to a tee, and avoid these hand-over-hand maneuvers, but I, like many other pianists do the re-arranging in the interests of smoothly trailing a melodic line that starts in the bass… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Part TWO, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31, No. 2, Hand Cross-over, with tremolo in the middle voice
Because I found myself rambling on and on about the first page, I decided to compartmentalize the instruction to make it easier to absorb. And since I played the "Tempest" years ago, the surest route to my restoring the piece to a respectable performance level, was to practice it from the ground up in slow… Continue reading Practicing tips for Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31 No. 2, Part ONE: (Video)
The biggest challenge in this particular variation is the fast-paced tempo and ornament execution--not to mention the fleeting 4 against 3 relationship of treble 32nds above 16ths in the bass. But the latter, should not be a big concern considering how quickly everything spins by. In the video instruction I suggest a step-wise practicing routine… Continue reading Piano Instruction: How to practice Variation 2, Mozart Sonata No. 11 in A, K. 331 (Videos)
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