As teachers, and eternal students of the piano, we often have epiphanies that are worth jotting down at peak moments of enlightenment. Certain words, attached to insights that spring up in the course of lessons become thematic, resonating beyond a particular composition under study. To this effect, over months and years, I've heard myself redundantly… Continue reading Piano Playing time zones: Past, Present, and Future
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
A North Carolina ONLINE piano student comes to Berkeley, California for a LIVE lesson right before the Super Bowl!
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)
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
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)
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?
"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)
It's sad but true that a glut of former piano buyers who would have considered piano lessons for their children at age 7 or so, have made the choice to invest in a DIGITAL. (known as a DP) Of further testimony to the culture's relatively new fixation on electronic piano technology, are the 35,000 plus… Continue reading More and more “piano” students are going Digital. Is it a good idea?
These are excerpts from today's lesson where we covered: 1. Broken chord blocking; refreshing inversions of the Tonic as applied to practicing Fur Elise. 2. Voice balancing: fleshing out the treble (soprano) melody, on page 2 (F Major section) Using supple wrist and hand rotation; relaxation of arms. 3. C section--with repeated bass notes, alternating… Continue reading Piano Lesson: An adult student continues her Beethoven “Fur Elise” learning process (Video)