Five words resonated profoundly through a Masterclass given by Pianist, Andras Schiff at the Juilliard School. They framed a myriad of movements in Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. Three students offered selections by Bach, Schubert and Schumann. (The event was Live-streamed) While Beethoven did not grace the program, Maestro Schiff's mentoring had far-reaching implications for… Continue reading “Listen to the Long Notes”
A North Carolina ONLINE piano student comes to Berkeley, California for a LIVE lesson right before the Super Bowl!
Awakenings alternately occur between teacher and student, especially if they're collectively open to them. And embracing this sharing spirit, I welcome ideas from pupils about phrasing, technique, etc. since we enjoy a common journey of discovery. By chance, one student brought a "new" fingering for his assigned D Major arpeggio in 10ths, and it worked so… Continue reading An Adult Piano Student teaches the Teacher
One of my favorite verbal prompts to students who have a choppy approach to scales and arpeggios, is: "drag" your fingers from note note--"feel" the weight transfer with imagined resistance. I often talk about flowing "vowels" not consonants through an arpeggio. Other mental images are equally effective: Think of the piano as a bowl of… Continue reading Piano Technique: Playing LEGATO can be a drag!
“The habit of counting correctly but playing unrhythmically develops easily in the beginning and is too often overlooked.” – Richard Chronister (A Piano Teacher’s Legacy, Ed. Edward Darling) http://www.amazon.com/Teachers-Selected-Writings-Richard-Chronister/dp/0976116308 I love this quote, because many students count out beats quite methodically but without musical meaning. Their metrical repetitions serve little purpose if the goal of… Continue reading “Counting Correctly, but Playing Un-rhythmically”
My latest awakening occurred during a piano lesson last night with a student who loves Bach and nearly dotes upon his compositions exclusively. And that's fine with me who's a companion traveler sharing a comparable love for the composer and his diversity of keyboard works. Invention 1 in C, BWV 772 is one of my… Continue reading Playing a Bach Invention: Say what you mean, and mean what HE said
When piano students first encounter a fresh page of music, they will often wade through the notes as best as they can, fumbling here and there without an adjusted framing pulse or investment of animated interest in what the notes are saying beyond their humble, accurate identity. In this early stage "reading," tempo is usually… Continue reading Approaching a brand new piece with spirit and emotion