It's a challenge to play scales, arpeggios, and passages lifted out of the mainstream Classical piano repertoire with a well-shaped and nicely spaced legato. (smooth and connected playing) But it can be more daunting to navigate particular sections of masterworks that have legato markings over chords, for instance, that carry a melodic thread that is… Continue reading Piano Technique: Creating an illusion of legato
Marie, an adult student practiced measures 32-40 of "Fur Elise," enlisting the model of a singer who shapes and nuances phrases with meticulous breath control. While pianists are not operatic performers, they must imagine that their arms, wrists and fingers are making a vocal transfer to the keyboard thereby overcoming a physical distance from the… Continue reading Piano lesson-in-progress: Shaping a solo for the right hand in Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” ( a “vocal” transition) Videos
"From watching great pianists it is obvious that they incorporate quite different movements to achieve the same goals, because people do not play piano with fingers but rather with the mind and the ear. Again, it is the clear image of what kind of sound one wants to achieve, combined with the knowledge of how… Continue reading Irina Morozova’s inspiring words flow through a lesson with an adult student (Beethoven’s Fur Elise-in-progress) Video
By all accounts, the piano instructor should be the model of what she embraces as her teaching philosophy at lessons. For example, as I slip into my weeping willow tension-free state, I keep hammering away at my students to relax. But sometimes they're just too wired from pressures at work or at home to unwind… Continue reading Relaxation in piano playing and setting a good example for students (Videos)
I had noticed that my original instruction had disappeared so I posted another in the inadvertent darkness of my room. Time really flies and the area dims by nightfall. (It could have been a mood-setting suggestion) Ideas about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOEYemWENas The Stormy C section of "Fur Elise" and how to play a legato melody through chords:… Continue reading Some Ideas about playing and learning Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” (even in the dark) Video
This was such a smooth experience. Matthew Wheeler was found playing drums and keyboard in Best Buy's atrium, for want of a better name, and he stopped what he was doing to film me sampling digitals. These were console models: Roland F110, Casio 830, and Yamaha Arius YDP 141. There are six videos, including a… Continue reading Digital Piano Review continued: On Location at Best Buy in Fresno CA (6 videos)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxmwAUIu3eY The Chromatic scale to the end of movement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtquw8qNbXg R.K. wished to remain anonymous because of the nature of his work, but, nevertheless, he's a devoted student of the piano. I met him at the American Cancer Discovery Shop, on Bullard and West in Fresno about 5 years ago when I was a regular… Continue reading Piano Lesson: An Adult student practices the Presto agitato mvt. Beethoven “Moonlight” Sonata (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g05x9XA09jQ This video contains recommendations for fleshing out a legato melody that runs through chords in the C section, or Stormy part of Beethoven's "Fur Elise." (Right hand finger substitutions, etc . explored)
As a teacher, I've often pondered this question, concluding that there are varying answers which depend on the advancement and motivation of individual students. Certainly no fixed formula addresses the length of time a pupil needs to fully realize his potential when practicing a given composition. By way of example, I have an adult student,… Continue reading How long should a piano student stay with a piece?
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!