Emanuel Ax, well-known concert pianist and teacher asserts that one note struck cannot be varied by physical approach (except for volume) and I'm assuming duration (a clipped staccato release vs. a lingering sustain without pedal) Yet he didn't provide enough specific details about duration, dynamics, and how delays into notes using supple wrist motions could… Continue reading Does approaching notes in different ways at the piano affect tone production?
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
This evening I prepared a video supplement for an adult student who brought the gorgeously woven Little Prelude in C minor (BWV 934) to his first lesson. Since I had studied this work at the suggestion of another student, from faraway Greece, I had laid a firm foundation in my own layer by layer learning… Continue reading An in depth “Over”-view of J.S. Bach Little Prelude in C Minor, BWV 934
I hand-selected a particular recital for an outing with my adult student, Jocel. While he'd suggested a Yuja Wang foray at Davies Concert Hall in San Francisco, I prodded him to first experience the sublime artistry of Richard Goode. (Location: Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley, CA, CAL PERFORMANCES series) We were not disappointed. http://youtu.be/Dh4I_b9KipQ The last… Continue reading A Feast of pianist, Richard Goode’s Artistry and a walk down memory lane
Adult piano students who aspire to play the Op. Posthumous A minor Waltz must immerse themselves in a poetic musical framing, floating notes with supple wrists and relaxed arms. In the bass, support for a horizontally spun melody should prevail, with after beats (chords) unobtrusively humming along. Fluidly played ornaments have their unique breath, artfully… Continue reading The Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor is Poetry in Motion
Master teacher, Irina Morozova infuses her piano lessons with an expressive music-making approach that applies to technique and repertoire. Scales, arpeggios, chords, Czerny etudes, etc. are not compartmentalized as pedantic exercises bundled in torturous repetitions. To the contrary, they're the substance of a musical craft that she honors with specific, singing-tone framed demonstrations of kinetic… Continue reading Teaching piano technique with artistry at the Special Music School/Kaufman Center
The earliest exposure to the piano in the primary lesson learning environment comes with an opportunity to teach the singing tone-- to sensitize young ears to the instrument's capacity to resonate with beauty. It's not just an ear-training experience. The exploration of physical/musical expression, with imagination intertwined, can fill a very young child's lesson with… Continue reading A six-year old child is awakened to the singing tone and how to produce it