I've picked the first two pages of Mozart's Sonata in Bb Major, K. 281, last movement, Rondeau, Allegro to explore breathing and blocking techniques in the learning process. (These principles can be applied to practicing music from a variety of eras) Starting a composition is often taken for granted. Sometimes students will land on a… Continue reading Piano Practicing: Breathing into phrases and blocking out passages (Mozart Sonata, example)
The supple wrist amounts to a "wrist break" that is discouraged among partisans of the Taubman approach. In the main, they adhere to a forearm-driven piano technique along with rotation, and relaxation . The videos embedded, however, contradict such rigid thinking about the wrist, as demonstrated by the performance of a Polish pianist (1949) A Chopin Mazurka is energized by redundant wrist breaks without incurred injury. As one colleague related in reference to Taubman/Golandsky, "how could decades of Russian teaching so easily be tossed aside."
One of my adult students echoed a belief that has resonated for generations in piano studios across the country, if not the world. The OLD school of thought was that you played piano with a rigid, arched hand, and if you slipped into a longer, relaxed curve, or dared to DIP your wrist below the… Continue reading Piano Technique: The dipping wrist, and how it defies convention (Videos)
This is a hauntingly beautiful section of the first movement. After the composer has devoted so many preceding measures to the key of A minor, he decides to travel at quick intervals through a series of different keys. Such fast-paced modulations occur primarily with the return of the crossed-hands portion of the piece, beginning in… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Part FIVE, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31 no. 2 Measures 93 to 158 (Development, Recitative, submerged pedal)
From Irina Gorin: “An expert is a person who makes all mistakes possible in a very specific field and learns from those mistakes. So I could probably consider myself getting close to being an expert in teaching children. But I hope there are many more mistakes and learning experiences ahead." This riveting quote set in… Continue reading Irina Gorin, creator of Tales of a Musical Journey, shares her thoughts about braving a new piano teaching universe
Most piano students will have been assigned a Burgmuller selection or two during their formative years of study. And most likely, these would have been snatched from the composer's Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces, Op. 100 that advance by steps in difficulty, though it can be argued that all contain unique technical challenges. Composed in the Romantic… Continue reading Piano Technique: Burgmuller’s Tarentelle, Op. 100-Fueling and shaping fast passages with a dipping, supple wrist (Videos)
Rina who's into her sixth month of study, is ready to learn dotted-half notes. Up to now, she's been saturated with black and white cardboard circles included within a packet along with Irina Gorin's Tales of a Musical Journey instruction. The black notes (quarters) are known as "short" sounds, and the white ones (Half-notes), "long-sounds"… Continue reading Lesson planning for a 5-year old piano student–(Video)