Piano students, by and large, don't relish playing scales. They would rather eat spinach than practice what they view as tedious, finger-trippers. I have a different perspective. For me, scales are my playground and workout space. They keep me in shape, fine tuning my ears to their internal undulations and curvy turnarounds. They translate from… Continue reading Piano Technique: Rotation, Turnaround, and Curve around of scales, with application to repertoire (Videos)
Claudia, 11, and I do a 20-minute warm-up before she tackles repertoire at her weekly lesson. Today I snatched two routines that might help others with the time-honored, upper arm roll, supple wrist, and elbow swing. Just my bias showing about technique and what I favor in its development. I've presented this one before, but… Continue reading Piano Technique: Two nifty warm-up routines, one loopy, the other for zig-zaggers
Claudia, 11, continued practicing Bach's Fugue in C minor, (Well-Tempered Clavier) following a break for the Baroque Festival. We had intensified study of the Prelude in preparation for this event. For today's lesson, our work encompassed the Fugue opening through measure 20. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W55yctLJcWw The manuscript below incorporates the theoretical mapping of Jose Rodriguez Alvira http://www.teoria.com/articulos/analysis/BWV847/index.htm… Continue reading J.S. Bach Fugue/Piano Lesson in Progress, (BWV 847 in C minor) plus Aiden Cat begs for affection, feeling left out (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!