An exciting musical journey has begun! Liz, an 8-year old who prances by my apartment singing mellifluously, became my newest piano student last night. Her lesson opened with, "Welcome to a universe of the imagination," an inspired framing that kept student and teacher riveted to 45 minutes of collaborative music-making. (The duet form was the… Continue reading An 8-Year old begins piano lessons!
As we age, we're reluctant to look at our reflection in the mirror, but as we grow over time as musicians, the mirror of our playing in recorded "reflections" can foster quality adjustments in phrasing and interpretation. If we nudge ourselves to step back and be "objective" about what we're hearing, we may try to… Continue reading Mirrors and piano playing
If you want to pick your brain, ultra-analyzing a scale: finding symmetries, asymmetries, reciprocals, common tones with common fingers, upside down, inside-out relationships between the hands, and anything else that will solidify it, you might add an extra few senility-proof years to your life. Example: I can't remember my neighbor's first name, or my best… Continue reading The Anatomy of a Scale
It took the awesome skills of a former Alabaman to resurrect my once beloved M from the dead. The keyboard had been an injury risk for months, plundered by too many technicians with pet regulation formulas and experimental impulses. After 6 months of rotating down weights and disappearing aftertouch, the black keys sat out of… Continue reading My Steinway M piano is back!
I used to customarily record segments of lessons in progress that required sensitive editing before I uploaded them to you tube. It was not only a big job, but much of the video time was taken up with students lumbering through difficult passages, needing more settled post-lesson time to sift through teacher corrections, comments. Therefore… Continue reading Piano Lesson summary videos cut to the chase
During my recent NYC touchdown for the occasion of my mother's memorial service, I found a weekend interval to make side trips to Faust Harrison Pianos' remarkable showrooms and factory. Serendipitously drifting into an inviting space on Piano Row's West 58th, just a block from Carnegie Hall, I was surrounded by Steinway grands that were… Continue reading My visit to Faust Harrison Pianos in Manhattan, and White Plains, New York
It's one thing to fly from California to New York, taking in awesome views from the plane. But would I lay back and lapse into surrendering a week of piano instruction just because I had a NYC based family obligation? No way! As long as I had my iPhone as backup, I would try to… Continue reading Piano Lesson from the Big Apple by iPhone!
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
Three selected short pieces offer musical enticement for students who've survived the method book phase and need rejuvenating connections with the masters, albeit via contemporaries of the glittery Classical era giants. In one instance, I discovered a gem dating back to the Elizabethan era. It happens to be a re-do of "Go No More A'Rushing,"… Continue reading Appealing Piano Repertoire for the Advanced Beginner
David v.R. Bowles inhabits a sprawling space in Wildcat Canyon, high up in the Berkeley Hills where nature's bounty is a source of inspiration. It also happens to be home to his Classical Recording Company, Swineshead Productions that he formed in 1995. Here's where Bowles does mixing and mastering once he's wrapped up meticulous recording… Continue reading A Conversation with David v.R. Bowles, Award-winning Classical Recording Engineer/Producer