Shades of 1988, when I committed the biggest crime of my life. I dared to schedule a student recital on the most SACRED day of the year, Superbowl Sunday! What did I know having been raised on baseball, the Brooklyn Bums and heart-breaker pennants? In Fresno, Bulldog fever was RAGING when I relocated from the… Continue reading When is Superbowl Sunday? I better find out before it’s too late.
Memorization should be a natural outflow of consistent, thoughtful practicing. Thoughtful is underscored because it's the most important ingredient in the process of playing a studied piece without music. It means having mental assists that relate to mapping out a particular composition without chance reliance on intuition or instinct. So if you suddenly find yourself… Continue reading Memorization at the piano: How to improve your skills
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!
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!
Scale practicing examples: https://youtu.be/SJGbnFQB8L8 https://youtu.be/Bo1ptHbMu9M https://youtu.be/W3N_9Me7hXQ *** The Backdrop: As a young piano student living in New York City, I remember my reluctance to prepare a mandatory scale each week for my lesson. In fact my first teacher had so many students, she always seemed to forget the scale she had assigned to me, so… Continue reading Why Play Scales?
Here's my hand-written analysis of the Bach Two Part Invention No. 1 in C that supplements the video. I've added more at: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/revisiting-j-s-bachs-invention-1-in-c-bwv-772-video/ The Main Idea or subject is bracketed, as well as an Inverted form of it. Key changes are also marked in the score. Recap: Instructional video, Bach Invention no.1 in C, BWV… Continue reading The mapped out manuscript for Bach Invention No. 1 in C
For too long performance anxiety was a taboo subject, always swept under the rug. I remember grappling with paralyzing jitters during my years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. My piano teacher at the time, a seasoned professional, would always say the same thing: "Honey, the music is bigger than you… Continue reading Performance Anxiety and the Pianist
There's always room for flexibility in choice of repertoire, especially when teaching teenagers. Alex, 18, had taken lessons during primary school, took a long break and returned to the piano as a senior in high school. His first request was to study "Liz on Top of the World," by Dario Marianelli from the movie, "Pride… Continue reading Teaching Piano to Teenagers: Classical, Pop, Taylor Swift, Liz on Top of the World and more (Videos)
Two days following my encounter with the towering no name upright, I was drawn to a Fresno Bee Classified ad, that listed an antique ”Counsel piano” for sale at “$1500 or best offer.” (First thing that popped into my head was Indian pow-wow- tribal "council?") What on earth was a Counsel? I snatched up my… Continue reading A Table Style Piano with Three Leaves–the whole story in lurid detail