Yesterday was a sight to behold. My Haddorff, 1951, a stunning new acquisition, with an old world timbre (though it still needs a thorough maiden tuning in its new abode), was wheeled on a dolly, wrapped in blankets through the streets of Northwest Fresno. Traffic yielded, and two drivers jumped out with cameras. Two business… Continue reading A new member of the piano family has arrived: “Haddy,” 1951 is home! (Video)
Last weekend I journeyed to the Fresno State University Music Building to monitor Room 1 for the Celebration Festival sponsored by the Fresno branch of the Music Teachers Association of California. Every February students from our city and surrounding areas are invited to play one or two pieces in a selected cubicle, (basically a music… Continue reading The MTAC Celebration Festival, Anna Magdalena Bach, and Meeting Keith Snell (VIDEO)
Face the music! Most new Conservatory grads with fancy Bachelor of Music, Performance-Piano Degrees bound in leather must improvise when catapulted into the competitive job market. With only a tiny space on the world stage reserved for budding soloists, many aspiring concert pianists will teach privately, wait tables, babysit, or become high school choir accompanists.… Continue reading What can you do with a Performance-Piano Degree?
Domenico Scarlatti Sonata K. 9 in d minor (the "pastorale") http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qk88Sn9kHk The trills in K. 9 are far different than those permeating Scarlatti's sonata K. 159 in C Major. The latter has a robust horn call opening with a lavish assortment of ornaments. The bright sounding Major tonality creates a dazzling brilliance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zUmr0vl_-c By contrast… Continue reading More trills, but bucolic and serene: Scarlatti’s d minor “pastorale” K. 9 (VIDEO)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc9_wRE4MN8 I made this video after plunking the "devil" beside Bb Major in my previous blog, so if you review the basic approach in that post, you'll get my sway about scales in general. It's always better to think in GROUPS rather than individual notes. For F# minor in its Natural or PURE form, let's… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Learning the F# minor scale (video)
Bb C D Eb F G A Bb C D Eb F G A Bb *** Last night I had a rap session with a student on the subject of his favorite scale. And it quickly dawned on me that this whole area of discussion, while definitely out of the mainstream and not a life… Continue reading The most reviled scale for piano players!! (Video)
I remember Art Linkletter's show, "Kids Say the Darndest Things," which made me think of a few adult piano students and their hauntingly memorable words. Yesterday, for example, I was forewarned by a 70-year old pupil, that I should expect a call from her during the night about the key of "F# minor." What impending… Continue reading Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZxNy1VeOjk up tempo: http://youtu.be/t-3D6-s5qok Be prepared to exercise your eyeballs minus head movements when tackling large leaps, especially those hand-over-hand acrobatics that are intrinsic to many of Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas. In the first video I've isolated a few of these jumps from Sonata K. 113 in A Major, demonstrating what I've found to be the… Continue reading Piano Technique: Big Leaps, Crossed Hands, and shifty eyeballs (with slow motion video replay)
I cleared most of my Saturday morning lessons so I could be on time for a special rehearsal at Fresno State. I took no chances given the steady rain these past few days that caused dangerously deep puddles along Shaw Avenue. The inevitable flow of traffic to crowd-jamming Bulldog games would also be a time… Continue reading The Big Baroque Festival!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh09WH_g7wo I can always use an extra pair of hands to navigate the Baroque composer's technically challenging sonata It's a real workout playing Domenico Scarlatti's essercizi or sonatas. The impossible leaps, crossed hands, trills and syncopation that permeate the composer's music require a daredevil to take on the challenge. Scarlatti will sometimes defy a player… Continue reading Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in A, K. 113–in leaps and bounds