http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vobA3Wb8nOY I thought I'd surprise myself with a Moonbeams reunion. "Hebrew Melody and Variations" is performed first, followed by the title piece, "Moonbeams." The remaining 8 selections vary in mood, character, and tonality. RELATED: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/the-piano-teacher-as-composer-using-my-moonbeams-collection-as-an-example/ https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/piano-students-as-composers-stimulating-a-creative-teaching-environment/
Over decades of teaching, I've come to the conclusion that each student needs a custom designed long-term lesson plan. Method books only go so far. Often they stratify the learning process, keeping students in an interminably drawn out, regressive C Major universe. For the most part, flats and sharps with Letter Name identifications are regarded… Continue reading Individualizing Piano Study: How to avoid Method Book dependency
Why not give composing a try? I did. For the most part, you don't need a degree in composition, but a Theory background helps things along with voice leading in the bass part and understanding the rules of notation. Above all, intuition and inspiration are the main ingredients in any creative undertaking. In 1985 I… Continue reading The Piano Teacher as Composer: Using my MOONBEAMS collection as an example (Video)
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?
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
Music Theory doesn't have to be drudgery If I turn the clock back to my early days as a piano student, I can say without a doubt that I absolutely HATED “Music Theory” or anything remotely related to it. And I can clearly thank my very pedantic teacher, Mrs. Schwed for this aversion. She made… Continue reading Music Theory and Piano Study: It doesn’t have to be drudgery
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGJ_4CS_c4M Beethoven didn't attach "Moonlight" to this first movement of his very popular C# minor Sonata. (Music critics often invented these tags that stuck over centuries) The composer, himself, said his opening was like a fantasy, "quasi una fantasia," and he took particular care to compose his Adagio Sustenuto movement in alla breve, which meant… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Teaching Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata, Movement 1 (VIDEO)