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The piano teacher as conductor–sometimes shaping gestures help a student phrase better (Video)

I couldn't resist an opportunity to conduct my student playing the Bach Invention 13 in A minor today. She's preparing two selections for a competitive Baroque event coming up in two weeks, and the second offering is the Prelude in C minor BWV 847. Claudia, 11, rehearsed the Invention a few times with a few… Continue reading The piano teacher as conductor–sometimes shaping gestures help a student phrase better (Video)

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Mozart memories, reflections and revisits (Videos)

Andante: second movement, Mozart Sonata K. 545 played on my Steinway, 1917, M. http://youtu.be/PPYKK3hOjnk **** My relationship to Mozart and his music began with the violin. At the Merrywood Music Camp in Lenox, Massachusetts, only a stone's throw from Tanglewood, I encountered Eugene Lehner, first violist of the Boston Symphony when I played second violin… Continue reading Mozart memories, reflections and revisits (Videos)

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The Old World playing, like fine wine, of Livia Rev, Hungarian pianist and teacher (see her teaching segments on the pliant wrist)

So now I am into documentaries about piano teachers/performers who leave an eternal imprint on their students and upon the world. Livia Rev is one such special person who belongs in the good company of Irena Orlov, Irina Gorin, and Rosina Lhevinne. Note the frames on Bela Bartok, and Ms. Lev's connection to-- a letter… Continue reading The Old World playing, like fine wine, of Livia Rev, Hungarian pianist and teacher (see her teaching segments on the pliant wrist)

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Piano Technique: “Butterfly” by Grieg, a revisit (playing and exploring the rolling, rotational motion) videos

I can see the butterfly in my mind's eye in its flight of fancy. But I wish it were as easy to play, as to imagine. Relaxation is the key word here, but not to the point that the 16th-notes become like glissandi--a faint gloss over the keys. First in slow practice tempo you would… Continue reading Piano Technique: “Butterfly” by Grieg, a revisit (playing and exploring the rolling, rotational motion) videos

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Piano Lesson Excerpts: Practicing the Bach Invention 13 in A minor (Videos)

This morning, Claudia, 11, practiced the J.S. Bach A minor Invention behind tempo, (in slow motion) to improve her musical/technical understanding of the composition. She worked on "weaving"/shaping the main idea or subject, which is a broken chord figure. The interaction between hands or voices (there are two them) was a particular focus, as it… Continue reading Piano Lesson Excerpts: Practicing the Bach Invention 13 in A minor (Videos)

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Piano Technique: chord playing with a supple wrist and natural, infused long breaths (Burgmuller’s “Ave Maria” as example)

Ilyana, 9, explored the supple wrist entry into chords at Forte (Big) and piano (soft) dynamic levels as the warm-up segment of her lesson. In addition she did some breathing exercises to give life and lift to her sonorities. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvF1aAsSI_w More about chord playing and the singing tone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAo0580F-wU Playing through Burgmuller's "Ave Maria" (from… Continue reading Piano Technique: chord playing with a supple wrist and natural, infused long breaths (Burgmuller’s “Ave Maria” as example)

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Piano Lesson: Refining the pedaling in Chopin’s Waltz no. 19 in A minor (Op. Posthumous)

Pedaling and its refinement were under consideration following an adult student's initial reading of the Chopin Waltz. This piano lesson was transmitted by Skype to Sydney, Australia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fn1xBSuep0