I found the perfect solution to practicing the Schubert Fantasie in F minor without my duet partner, since she's absent for 6 days of the week. While we rehearse on Thursdays, the piano bench literally shrinks putting us both at risk for hand collisions and body blows. In truth, the pushes and shoves have more… Continue reading Going Solo with the Schubert Fantasie for 4-hands
My two J's, back-to-back adult pupils, had a rollicking time practicing their arpeggios from legato to staccato. Both had epiphanies about wrist, forearm, and finger staccato in their transitions from whirly, swirly playing to crisp releases. For J(2) "weeping willow" arms allowed a stream of uninterrupted funneled energy that fueled his C Major romp over… Continue reading Two Adult Piano Students have an Arpeggio fun fest!
Floating arms, supple wrists, delicate relaxed ornaments and trills, and an oxymoron-driven, perfect parachute landing flowed into a lesson last night with a musically responsive adult student. The keyboard was transformed into a soft cushion receiving fingers energized with bigger channeled energies traveling down buoyant arms through springy wrists. Most of all, imagination fed a… Continue reading “Clouds,” “cushions,” and “veils” permeate a Chopin Lesson (Waltz in A minor)
Without a doubt, Chopin's Prelude in G, Op. 28, No.3, requires a deft Left Hand that can meet the challenge of playing 16th notes in Vivace framing. (extremely quickly) The question is, can most students apply their slow practicing model to the mega-speed zone. In this connection, I often wonder, if there's an inborn disposition… Continue reading Chopin Prelude No. 3 in G Major, Op. 28: Is the ultimate tempo within reach?
Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass scoring in Chopin's hauntingly beautiful F Major Nocturne (opening section) begs for an artistic examination through voice parceling. One cannot just paste the left hand onto the right, deferring entirely to the soprano. (soloist) Meandering chromatics weave through the alto, tenor, and bass, creating unexpected harmonic events that influence melodic shaping,… Continue reading Parceling out voices in Chopin’s Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15
In keeping with my resolution to learn new music quickly but thoroughly, I've set out today's first experience with Tchaikovsky's colorful, "Winter Morning" (Op. 39, No. 2, Children's Album) to give students of piano, ideas surrounding their first encounter with a composition: how the physical, musical, cognitive and affective (emotional) dimensions of a work, can… Continue reading My first day learning a new piece and what was accomplished (Video)
I made a promise to myself well before the New Year, that I would learn one new Tchaikovsky composition each day from the composer's Op. 39 Children's Album. (24 tableaux) Not that I'm recommending to piano students that they assimilate new music at lightning speed, but for me the challenge was to make a spurt… Continue reading Favorite Tchaikovsky piano pieces and their pedagogical value