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
As decades pass, and each adult piano student on his personal journey chimes in with a greeting at the start of a lesson, I've noticed a synchronized choir of commonly expressed thoughts. The riveting idée fixe that resonates LIVE and through SKYPE channels, is like the redundant motif of Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. "I really want… Continue reading A common chorus among adult piano students
The Back Story: After having spent about 30 years in hometown New York City, I emigrated to the agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley, California, planting myself and family in Fresno. This seemed to be a God forsaken place with excruciating heat (though dry). With its relentless air pollution; bad water from contaminated wells, and high incidence… Continue reading Honoring my “neighborhood” piano teacher amidst melting degrees of separation
When I first stumbled upon "The Harmonic Player," No. 12, from Tchaikovsky's Op. 39 Children's Album, my first thought was, "Why on earth did the great composer include such tirelessly redundant music with an unimaginative harmonic scheme and belabored melody." For certain, as a stand-alone, it could be easily passed over--- dismissed as a throwaway… Continue reading Tchaikovsky’s “Harmonica Player” fits snugly between a Song and Dance
The whole universe of music teaching and learning became crystallized when I found myself bouncing ideas back and forth with two parents of Suzuki-trained children on a blog COMMENTS forum. First, I questioned the purist form of the Japanese imported "method" to the piano that delays note-reading to conform with the acquisition of language. Babies,… Continue reading Should a piano student be a carbon copy of the teacher?