During Shelter in Place, where students and teachers are adjusting to virtual instruction challenges, the role of recording segments of lessons, or creating a supplementary video to review practicing goals, becomes pedagogically valuable. Mac users can use the Quick time New Screen Record option during a Face Time lesson in progress, capturing the teacher image… Continue reading Tailoring lesson recording options to meet a piano student’s needs
I was practicing well past 2 a.m.--in fairyland, as it happened, rekindling Grieg's Dancing elves, (Op. 12, No. 4) when I took a break to check comparative tempos of the greats on You Tube. In my rapid transit through renderings of Rubinstein (41 seconds), same for Richter, I stumbled a upon a gem from the… Continue reading Historic Masterclass: Gina Bachauer mentors young Yefim Bronfman (1973)
My living room, formerly known as the piano room, seems empty now, though a favorite woven octagon rug has been an eyecatcher on You Tube. While I'd hardly been playing the singing nightingale Knabe piano before its departure due to unremiting downweight resistance, it remained a nice companion to Steinway M, 1917--dimming the grand's ultra… Continue reading Knabe upright out for repair, computer out for repair, but life goes on!
I vividly recall my first exposure to the art of breathing through musical phrases. It was at Merrywood Music Camp in Lenox, MA where I played second violin in a string quartet coached by Boston Symphony Principal violist, Eugene Lehner. The Berkshires nestled cabin that reverberated with Mozart's G Major chamber offering, K. 387, was… Continue reading A Lesson in Breathing into scales and arpeggios
Recently, I sprang upon a schemata that was an immediate turnoff. It amplified all the nitpicky processes that the brain performs while an individual plays the piano. Almost without thinking, I copied the colorful map, sending it to my crop of adult students, many in their senior years. As expected, the first reply was a… Continue reading Don’t Think! Play, Listen, Feel, Breathe
Besides my daily elliptical workouts, I add in piano routines that mobilize the arms, wrists and fingers with full blown natural breath support. Enlisting free flowing energy coming down relaxed arms and supple wrists, one experiences a player's "high" that fuels a sense of well-being streaming into other activities. Most of my students will devote… Continue reading (HD) Piano Gym Romps through Arpeggios!
I never would have anticipated that my Dover bound collection of Grieg's Complete Lyric pieces for piano, would contain a tender morsel that hearkened back to a Spring Dance Concert presented at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. The school, known as FAME, immortalized by a long running TV series, and big… Continue reading An Edvard Grieg Lyric piece stirs up High School memories
Shelter in Place has become tolerable by having two compatibly resonant musical sibs in my dwindling living room. The shrinking multi-purpose space holds my side-by-side pianos, webcams, tripods, Big Mac, and HP monitor. (not to mention a sequestered sleeper sofa) The latest instrumental addition, Knabe WKV-132MD, a space-saving upright that replaced my mid-size Baldwin grand,… Continue reading A new partner Upright to my Steinway grand!
We continue to lift our spirits in cyber, keeping our music exchanges alive and well under the veil of SIP. Ironically, in keeping with the times, many students have asked to study more somber works. Schumann's "First Sorrow, from the composer's Album for the Young, is a popular pick. Next is Chopin's mournful B minor… Continue reading “Stay in Place” Online lessons, tutorials, and performances
Bundled into the universe of teaching piano Online, is the necessity to prepare for the unexpected. This means knowing what resources to dip into when there's a substantial video or audio freeze. Face Time and Skype, for example, might occasionally not deliver, and when it becomes apparent that lesson continuity is at a virtual standstill,… Continue reading Online Piano Lessons: Patience and Planning Amidst the Unexpected