It's always disheartening when students forego their scales and arpeggios at lessons, choosing instead, to dive immediately into repertoire. In their zeal to immerse themselves in the Masterworks, they neglect a pivotal Circle of Fifths journey that's wedded to keyboard geographies, key relationships, and much more. As a child, I reviled scales like most beginning… Continue reading Piano Technique: Practicing well-shaped scales and arpeggios (videos)
Tonight's lesson with Judy had inspiring moments within a phrase sharing interplay. We started out singing the opening measures of the composer's charming masterpiece, emphasizing a singing line supported by harmonies cresting and dipping into resolutions. The vocal lead-in, threaded through the whole lesson, often rippling into supple wrists, relaxed arms --but it deepened in… Continue reading A Phrase loving exchange between Teacher and Student (Mozart Sonata in C, K. 545)
Most transfer students that I've encountered over the years better brave the change from one teaching style to another, by watching recorded views of their lessons. Because there may be a tad of anxiety associated with approaching the piano in a different way than previously learned, watching instructional excerpts that focus on the piano as… Continue reading Lesson supplement videos assist Transfer Students in their transition to a new teacher
Irina Morozova and her student, Daniel Mori reflect the Special Music School's dedication to high artistic achievement.
I took a musical journey down memory lane yesterday, rekindling scenes of childhood as I read through a set of "old" Romantic era compositions. These weren't Robert Schumann's illustrious KINDERSZENEN, but colorful character pieces wrapped into the composer's Album for the Young Op. 68. (As I've said time and again, why give students arrangements of… Continue reading Intermediate Level Piano Repertoire: Album for the Young by Robert Schumann
Often contemplative, lyrical pieces like lullabies, are bigger challenges to play than lightning bolt fast and furious etudes, final sonata movements etc. "Sleeping Child" is its own poster child for fostering relaxed breaths, flowing musical poetry, and bigger energies beyond the fingers. It's essentially a task not to wake the baby, with obtrusive, unwanted accents.… Continue reading Piano Instruction, Don’t wake the “Sleeping Child,” Schumann Kinderszenen, Op. 15 No. 12
Play Through http://youtu.be/9s0QiDNd24o Such delightful music sprang from an inspired little Mozart who at age 6, composed this Minuet in F. His father, Leopold, "notated his son's pieces in a notebook recording the exact date of almost every composition." (K. 2 was born in 1762) A musical gem that's intrinsically vocal, requires the player to… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Mozart Minuet in F, K. 2