The video attached to this writing validates the beauty of music-making on a well-maintained, though 1940s vintage era acoustic piano. Baldwin Acrosonics were the Cadillacs of the spinet and console variety pianos. They had a noticeable innovation compared to their sister-size instruments. (A deeper sound chamber, especially noted in the consoles that measured 40" or… Continue reading Into the Hills with the Sound of Music –a Baldwin Acrosonic “acoustic” sings
The latest provocative teacher exchange is taking place on Facebook at the "Art of Piano Pedagogy" which has now become a private forum. When it comes to teaching philosophies, many are intensely opinionated. From my perspective, I passionately believe in sharing my ground-up musical insights with students to justify my presence at the lesson in… Continue reading The business of copying the piano teacher: Who has the final say or PLAY?
One of my adult students is working on the gorgeous J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor which has a second page full of "Major," "Minor" and "Diminished" chords. The sonorities progress in sequences, but they also have a secondary dominant relationship to resolving chords. The "harmonic rhythm" moves quickly. While this particular pupil may not… Continue reading Using piano repertoire as a springboard for a theory lesson: Major, minor and Diminished Chords (Videos)
The Pastorale in D, included in Margery Halford's Scarlatti, An Introduction to his Keyboard Works, poses significant musical challenges. In the technical realm, the composer has a tricky landscape of two-note legato figures as offbeats in the treble, and these are set against bass, dotted quarter rhythms. (This counterpoint is later inverted in the middle… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Pastorale in D Major, K. 415 by Domenico Scarlatti, a stepwise approach
I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked the same question by either parents, or people I meet on Amtrak. It’s about “piano fingers,” “hand size,” and the best physiological fit for the keyboard. Next in line are queries about tone deafness and "perfect pitch." The stereotypes are: A great pianist has God-given perfect… Continue reading Piano Technique: The big hand/little hand controversy (Videos)
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)
In supplementary video footage, Trifonov discussed the role of "relaxation," and physical "freedom" in beautiful music-making. He reiterated a practicing modality where a pianist plays a composition in "seven different emotions." One of my adult students and her husband joined me during the post-recital interview that took place in the private Fresno State University music… Continue reading Bonus post-concert Video Footage: Daniil Trifonov Interview, Fresno, California