piano, piano lessons

Navigating those skinny black keys without fear!

Looking back to my earliest piano lessons in an early 20th century townhouse attic space in the Bronx, off Kingsbridge Road, I recall my happiest moments floating through all white key melodies. It was a Diller-Quaile par duo journey with Mrs. Vinagradov, a very warm and encouraging Russian teacher, who sang line by line lyrics… Continue reading Navigating those skinny black keys without fear!

Chopin, piano, piano instruction, piano lesson

Picking a second Chopin Waltz for an Intermediate level student

Coming back to a composition that has personal practicing phases, combined with teaching experiences assists in choosing sequences of pieces for students. In the cosmos of Chopin Waltzes, I discern a consecutive study relationship between the A minor Waltz, No. 19, Op. Posthumous and the B minor Waltz, Op. 69, no. 2. The B minor… Continue reading Picking a second Chopin Waltz for an Intermediate level student

piano, piano blog, piano instructional videos, piano learning

Learning how to Learn

It's always valuable to revisit a process of growing a composition to full potential, keeping in mind that self-imposed progress deadlines are in opposition to a non-judgmental, self-accepting learning environment. In this regard, it's not how long it takes to gain control of technical/expressive dimensions of a piece, but rather, the quality of the steps… Continue reading Learning how to Learn

Arthur Schnabel, piano

The Shallow pedal, Shaping lines, and links to Artur Schnabel, Tobias Matthay

This past week, shrinking degrees of musical separation led to an intersection of my own ideas about phrase shaping and pedaling with those of Schnabel, via his pupil, Eunice Norton. Norton's bio is capsulized at Graham Fitch's website, https://practisingthepiano.com/eunice-norton-schnabel-matthay/ "A student of both Schnabel and Matthay was American pianist Eunice Norton (1908 – 2005). She… Continue reading The Shallow pedal, Shaping lines, and links to Artur Schnabel, Tobias Matthay

piano, piano blog, piano instruction on the web

Technology in the Piano Studio

Since being launched into the cosmos of Online Teaching by an Australian inquiring about lessons, (2010), I have gone well beyond rudimentary Face Time and Skype transmissions. What has evolved from this student's bestowal of a gratis Logitech webcam, is a wider application of technology within the piano learning environment. Pupils (whether Online or in… Continue reading Technology in the Piano Studio

piano, piano bench, piano blog

The Highs and Lows of a Hydraulic piano bench

I took a short walk to my student's place to check out his new Descattiati model 810 Hydraulic. It's not a sports car by any stretch of the imagination, but a piston-packed piano bench that has a vector design that gently nudges the player forward. Without doubt, it's the best reminder, absent the shadow of… Continue reading The Highs and Lows of a Hydraulic piano bench

Ludwig Van Beethoven, piano, Seymour Benstein

Seymour Bernstein’s legendary Op. 111 (Beethoven)

In our 21st Century digital age of Mp4s, CD's, You Tube channeled uploads, and live-streamed recitals, it's a wonder that a performer can bridge the distance from his audience and move listeners to heights of emotional ecstasy. One such exemplary performance of Beethoven's Op. 111, delivered through a modest recorder placed beside Vladimir Horowitz's piano,… Continue reading Seymour Bernstein’s legendary Op. 111 (Beethoven)