This blog mishmosh is as ridiculous as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a best-selling children's book title, though it's the perfect segue way to an unmatched set of events that transpired yesterday in Berkeley. Coffee was my first preoccupation after Marta Vago, a long lost "connection" to my late piano teacher, Lillian Freundlich, surfaced… Continue reading About Coffee, Cats, and Non-legato
In spite of my having studied piano for decades, each learning experience is filled with challenges that I must approach with a glut of patience. A new composition has its own form, architecture, harmonic rhythm, fingering that requires a big reserve of self-acceptance in a deadline-free frame. To the contrary, many of my students, who… Continue reading The piano learning process at all levels of study
Pianists are expected to perform on stage without music. It's a controversial area worth probing.
My note: I've listed links to blogs posted about these performers. PIANO Grigory Sokolov Complete piano recital, Theatre de Champs Elysee (for astounding fusion of technique/lyricism/wide dynamic palette--having everything and anything at his disposal to draw upon from his rich musical repository) http://youtu.be/o7qUMHm3LOI Irina Morozova: Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11,… Continue reading My Top You Tube Picks for 2013, What are yours?
Here's the link rather than copy/paste. The article is ONLINE! The you tubes are nicely embedded within the writing. http://www.mtac.org/cmt/CMT2012FallTalesMusicalJourney.pdf Now the icing on the cake: Irina needs to make the rounds to branches around the State to sell her stuff and give "live" presentations. Keep the phone lines open!
Rina has reached a turning point in her piano studies, just 10 months into them. She's playing the Reinagle Minuet, coordinating bass and treble lines. This is NOT ROTE playing, or any Suzuki variant. Rina knows the music alphabet forward and in reverse; understands up and down, steps and skips, and plays LEGATO five-finger positions… Continue reading Piano Lessons: Catching up with Rina, age 5
Is there a right time in a child's life to embark upon piano study? The answer is not clear as I've discovered from years of teaching. With technology creating an environment in which children as young as two or three are propped up at electronic keyboards hooked into big-size computer screens, the whole area of… Continue reading The Right Age for a Child to Start Piano Lessons (Videos)
One of my adult students echoed a belief that has resonated for generations in piano studios across the country, if not the world. The OLD school of thought was that you played piano with a rigid, arched hand, and if you slipped into a longer, relaxed curve, or dared to DIP your wrist below the… Continue reading Piano Technique: The dipping wrist, and how it defies convention (Videos)
Rina may not know the words "pentascales" and "tenths," but she has the intelligence to notice when her fingers move up and down together, playing the same notes an "octave" apart. With a sound knowledge of the music alphabet in both directions, she has good cognitive reinforcement. (She also knows "running notes" or 8ths, "long… Continue reading Growing piano technique in baby steps: Rina, 5, advances to hands together five-finger positions (adding in 10ths)
I'm glad I videotaped many of Rina's early lessons, (from age 4) since I have a tendency to be creative, and take liberties with any instruction in book form. It's a great reference repository and springboard for new ideas. To start with, Irina Gorin's Tales of a Musical Journey, has got it right by its… Continue reading Looking back to early piano lessons with Rina, 5, with a solid musical foundation to build on (And now the present) Videos