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Practicing on a Digital Piano (Video) PROS and CONS

My Casio PX 110 sits on the second floor of my townhouse because there's no room for it anywhere else. Haddy Haddorff stole the space that Cassy formerly inhabited. In truth, the digital is not on the high priority activity list of instruments here but it has a role in technique-based toning and conditioning In… Continue reading Practicing on a Digital Piano (Video) PROS and CONS

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The Piano Universe of Discussion Boards, Digital Feedback, and Self-analysis (Video)

I love to scan the Boards at Piano World, UK Forums, Piano Street, Piano Addict, and other stop-off points such as My Music Life Blogspot and Color in my Piano to get a feel for the concerns of piano students at all levels of study. This form of feedback that flows in and out of… Continue reading The Piano Universe of Discussion Boards, Digital Feedback, and Self-analysis (Video)

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The Art of Phrasing at the Piano: Starting the process with Beginners (Videos)

For some unexplained reason, my earliest piano studies never included the art of phrasing. My primer teacher stressed naming notes, finding them, affixing correct fingering and counting out robotic beats. I knew nothing about feeling a melodic landscape; putting the vocal model center stage in my playing, and breathing through contoured musical lines. My pieces… Continue reading The Art of Phrasing at the Piano: Starting the process with Beginners (Videos)

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Private Piano Teaching: A Hobby or Profession?

More swept under the rug issues related to piano teaching... hush hush.. Don't tread on sacred ground. Would I dare to blog about a Piano World post that bemoaned the plight of private piano teachers as hobbyists-- not hard-working, dedicated professionals. I might agree with some but not all of what I read on the… Continue reading Private Piano Teaching: A Hobby or Profession?

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Piano Students as Composers: Stimulating a Creative Teaching and Learning Environment

This morning, as I foraged through piles of folders, I stumbled upon one of my articles that was published in the California Music Teacher (MTAC Magazine) in 1985. At the time, I had just released my music book, "Piano Duets and Solos by and for Children," which included a lengthy introduction titled, "How to Help… Continue reading Piano Students as Composers: Stimulating a Creative Teaching and Learning Environment

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Making Pianistic Compromises: Schubert Impromptu in Eb, Op. 90

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHFOPFzUxUw I was struck by a post at Piano World.com about making compromises when playing difficult passages. The writer referred to a technically challenging Chopin work: "But I simply cannot manage to get every note in on the two long runs, the first of which comes on measure 15. When trying to play to speed,… Continue reading Making Pianistic Compromises: Schubert Impromptu in Eb, Op. 90

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Appel Farm Music Camp and the Chicken Coops

Was I dreaming? Did I wake up in a chicken coop on a hot and humid July morning? The summer before I was a Merrywood camper, encapsulated in a forest of pines bordering Lenox, Massachusetts. A short journey to Tanglewood for a Sunday morning BSO rehearsal, was followed by a breakfast of sizzling waffles and… Continue reading Appel Farm Music Camp and the Chicken Coops