On this Mother's Day, I think of the many piano teachers who breathe life into fledgling musical journeys with a gentle prod of the hands and the warm embrace of the human voice. Phrase shaping and the singing tone, originate from the ebb and flow of the breath that fuels energy through relaxed arms and… Continue reading From the Start: Singing through Piano Lessons
For the past year I've devoted many daily hours to the study J.S. Bach's six French Suites while simultaneously keeping pace with my students' passage through diverse repertoire. The decision to take on this additional musical challenge apart from meeting my basic teacher obligations of being present at lessons; knowing the material assigned, and dispensing… Continue reading Our individual musical study grows our piano teaching
Many piano teachers call the same physical approach to various passages by a different name. I find myself in harmony with author, teacher, composer, Seymour Bernstein when he demonstrates the "upper arm roll" in Part 4 of his recorded series, "You and the Piano." https://youtu.be/lNYH8GQrdrc As it plays out in one my teaching videos, I… Continue reading The “upper arm roll” and undulating wrist in piano playing
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
The video attached to this writing validates the beauty of music-making on a well-maintained, though 1940s vintage era acoustic piano. Baldwin Acrosonics were the Cadillacs of the spinet and console variety pianos. They had a noticeable innovation compared to their sister-size instruments. (A deeper sound chamber, especially noted in the consoles that measured 40" or… Continue reading Into the Hills with the Sound of Music –a Baldwin Acrosonic “acoustic” sings
I find my current musical journey down memory lane to be joyful and challenging--especially as I cut and paste the Mozart Rondo: Allegro, K. 311 pages to fit comfortably on the piano rack. (Deja Vu, Haydn C Major Hoboken XVI35--Haydn pinned and unpinned) I wrote to a musician friend during the height of my frustration.… Continue reading Revisiting an old piano piece learned years earlier
The C Major scale is more than meets the "I," if you're the one practicing it!