Because I found myself rambling on and on about the first page, I decided to compartmentalize the instruction to make it easier to absorb. And since I played the "Tempest" years ago, the surest route to my restoring the piece to a respectable performance level, was to practice it from the ground up in slow… Continue reading Practicing tips for Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31 No. 2, Part ONE: (Video)
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)
It's sad but true that a glut of former piano buyers who would have considered piano lessons for their children at age 7 or so, have made the choice to invest in a DIGITAL. (known as a DP) Of further testimony to the culture's relatively new fixation on electronic piano technology, are the 35,000 plus… Continue reading More and more “piano” students are going Digital. Is it a good idea?
In two videos, I flesh out the need for a rolling forward wrist motion in playing the last movement of Clementi's well-known Sonatina in C, vivace. In addition, a 3/8 meter designation in rapid tempo requires the "feeling" of ONE impulse per measure not three. And this sense of ONENESS suggests CIRCLES of motion which… Continue reading Piano Technique: More wrist-forward rolling motion in Sonatina by Clementi Op. 36 no. 1 Vivace (Videos)
Claudia, age 6 playing a duet with me I recall Elaine Comparone, the renowned harpsichordist having described a student she had mentored for 35 years before a move cut short a lasting musical relationship. "She was the real deal," the musician insisted. Seymour Bernstein, author, With Your Own Two Hands, often shared the joy of… Continue reading The joy and value of teaching a piano student over many years
I would hate to pigeon hole all "transfer" students in one way or another. It would be unfair, and unfortunately many piano teachers shy away from prospects who were immersed in learning environments where little progress was made over a period of years. Some reluctant piano instructors might say, "there's just too much work involved… Continue reading The Transfer Piano Student
This feline falls asleep at the drop of a note. What breed of music lover would tune out so fast before a few measures were underway? His history precedes him. During the entire Debussy Arabesque No. 1, he was out cold, except for one detectable ear twitch. Yet he's been known to suddenly spring forward,… Continue reading A Feast of Gillock pieces for Aiden cat (Videos) Big surprise at the end!
I don’t often veer off the beaten path in my piano blogs except when an unusual opportunity presents. In this case, a 19-year old named Tony Levine, a.k.a El Cerrito K-I-D grabs the spotlight. To make a long story short, Tony was one of my piano students about a year ago. At the time, he… Continue reading Steering a piano student to his true life passion!
It’s always nice to blog about a devoted cadre of piano students who show up each week prepared for their lessons, wanting to grow and develop in creative directions. Such a pleasing landscape had been presented in REACHING BEYOND, a film tribute to Irena Orlov’s remarkably inspired piano teaching. Her students couldn’t wait to go… Continue reading The come and go, passing through Age of piano study
The plentiful gifts of Irina Gorin and her brood of piano students captivated so many after You Tube postings of musical offerings revealed soulful, expressive playing by youngsters as young as 4 to the ripe old age of 14+. A treasured group of pupils gracefully approached a Steinway grand with a finesse and creative uniqueness… Continue reading REACHING BEYOND, a documentary about an inspiring piano teacher