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Sound imagination and tactile, tonal expression at the piano for diverse compositional eras

Often a posted comment about a You Tube video inspires a blog topic that is of interest to pianists and teachers. One such public addition to my Channel quickly streamed into a comparison between two well-known compositions in the piano repertoire. The commenter was asking about the grade "level" of Debussy's The Girl with the… Continue reading Sound imagination and tactile, tonal expression at the piano for diverse compositional eras

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When a Virtual Piano Student becomes a Reality!

A North Carolina ONLINE piano student comes to Berkeley, California for a LIVE lesson right before the Super Bowl!

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Piano Technique: A Bouncy Scale workout with forward arm rolls and supple wrist motions–Enjoy the romp! (Videos)

Scales can be a great workout routine if you let your arms loose, dip your pliant wrists and go with the flow. And it's a great cardio. (No treadmill or weights required) Just apply principles of balance and buoyancy. Here are snatches from an adult student's lesson (Legato and staccato playing with slow motion replays)… Continue reading Piano Technique: A Bouncy Scale workout with forward arm rolls and supple wrist motions–Enjoy the romp! (Videos)

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Teaching piano to Rina, 5, with a supplementary video for mom that outlines our lesson plan and goals

Rina's mother attends her daughter's lessons, takes notes, and receives a follow-up assignment. Today, I sent her a video that summarized what we had accomplished yesterday along with a goal-setting outline. *** The child has been working on her legato which is a new and enticing musical universe. For the better part of 6 months… Continue reading Teaching piano to Rina, 5, with a supplementary video for mom that outlines our lesson plan and goals

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Piano Instruction: How to practice Variation 2, Mozart Sonata No. 11 in A, K. 331 (Videos)

The biggest challenge in this particular variation is the fast-paced tempo and ornament execution--not to mention the fleeting 4 against 3 relationship of treble 32nds above 16ths in the bass. But the latter, should not be a big concern considering how quickly everything spins by. In the video instruction I suggest a step-wise practicing routine… Continue reading Piano Instruction: How to practice Variation 2, Mozart Sonata No. 11 in A, K. 331 (Videos)

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The Most Heavenly Piano Music?

Mozart's Theme from his A Major Sonata, K. 331, and Beethoven's Adagio from the Sonata "Pathetique," Op. 13, for me, have two of the most hauntingly beautiful melodies in the piano literature. In particular, Mozart's opening theme that threads through the composer's innovative first movement in Variation form, is a lilting lullaby, played in TWO,… Continue reading The Most Heavenly Piano Music?

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Burgmuller’s “The Return”–like a light opera, with interspersed drama (videos)

"The Return" from the composer's Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces, Op. 100, is ear-catching. Like an Offenbach opera replete with an Overture, it delights in a set of lighthearted staccato chords that spill into a passionate MINOR sequenced interlude, setting the heart afire. Extinguished by the revisit of Eb Major punctuations, the music drifts off by authentic… Continue reading Burgmuller’s “The Return”–like a light opera, with interspersed drama (videos)