I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to provide keyboard music at a Fresno art supply store. It happened quite unexpectedly around the time I’d bumped into Ralph Cato, US Olympic Boxing Trainer at the neighboring Guitar Center. (“Cato, His Killer Keyboard and A Round of Piano Lessons”) Because I liked the establishment’s acoustical environment, I… Continue reading A Performance I’ll Never Forget!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ--gGIwgAA After decades of teaching the Chopin Waltzes, I've come to the conclusion that the A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous is the best student introduction to the form as the composer cultivated it. While many other Waltzes in Chopin's collection are far more substantial and technically challenging, No. 19, is in my opinion, easiest… Continue reading The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)
For too long performance anxiety was a taboo subject, always swept under the rug. I remember grappling with paralyzing jitters during my years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. My piano teacher at the time, a seasoned professional, would always say the same thing: "Honey, the music is bigger than you… Continue reading Performance Anxiety and the Pianist
Musical expression arises from the deepest part of ourselves so as we relax into the here and now, focused on the flow and shape of phrases, our arms, wrists and fingers work together as an ensemble to produce an artful outpouring. Mildred Portney Chase, author of Just Being at the Piano describes such an approach… Continue reading Music Comes from the Heart
I was deeply moved to have discovered the Marble Hill Reunion site which inspired my own cherished memories of the projects in the Bronx where I romped during my childhood and early adolescence. My family moved from Featherbed Lane near Tremont Avenue to Marble Hill when I was about four. It was quite a notch… Continue reading Rekindling Marble Hill memories, and a remarkable twist of fate
There's always room for flexibility in choice of repertoire, especially when teaching teenagers. Alex, 18, had taken lessons during primary school, took a long break and returned to the piano as a senior in high school. His first request was to study "Liz on Top of the World," by Dario Marianelli from the movie, "Pride… Continue reading Teaching Piano to Teenagers: Classical, Pop, Taylor Swift, Liz on Top of the World and more (Videos)
First Lesson: "Flamenco" by Gillock (Early Intermediate Level) Student: Albertina, age 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2vLku_kxR0 This is a teacher/student musical exploration with the use of the second piano at the studio The second piano provides a unique opportunity to share back and forth, provide rhythmic reinforcement when needed, and remind the student about what dynamics, phrase markings,… Continue reading Piano Lessons: The Two-Way Learning Process, Teaching Albertina, and her sister, Ilyana