As I journey along with Liz, my newest piano student, I'm collecting insights about the nature of music learning from the perspective of a child. And by this most recent experience, I've come to realize that the choice of teaching materials is wedded to a mentor's own philosophy about expressive music-making. The samples below represent… Continue reading Liz, age 8, has her second piano lesson! (With my interspersed thoughts about materials and teaching philosophy)
An 8-Year old begins piano lessons!
An exciting musical journey has begun! Liz, an 8-year old who prances by my apartment singing mellifluously, became my newest piano student last night. Her lesson opened with, "Welcome to a universe of the imagination," an inspired framing that kept student and teacher riveted to 45 minutes of collaborative music-making. (The duet form was the… Continue reading An 8-Year old begins piano lessons!
A Fear-less, Horizontal Approach to Staccato playing
Most piano students become DIS-connected when asked to play staccato. Their full blown trepidation wedded to DETACHMENT is so conspicuously on display during scale and arpeggio playing that a teacher must first devise mental cues to bring the student down to earth, in a comfortably secure traction with the keys. It's no surprise then, that… Continue reading A Fear-less, Horizontal Approach to Staccato playing
When a Virtual Piano Student becomes a Reality!
A North Carolina ONLINE piano student comes to Berkeley, California for a LIVE lesson right before the Super Bowl!
Getting immersed in LEARNING Bach’s F minor Fugue, BWV 881 (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2)
My journey through the Baroque master's Fugue no. 12 has been a labor of love though the form enshrined by J.S. Bach can be intimidating by its structural nit-pickings. Wikipedia, for example, cites BWV 847 in C minor, (the Fugue) as a model of internal order, with a carefully marked out Subject; Answer (a fifth… Continue reading Getting immersed in LEARNING Bach’s F minor Fugue, BWV 881 (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2)
Tempo Rubato and Chopin Waltz in A minor No. 19, Op. Posthumous
Tempo Rubato as defined in Wikipedia: "Tempo rubato (free in the presentation, Italian for: stolen time) is a musical term referring to expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo of a piece at the discretion of the soloist or the conductor." I think of it in… Continue reading Tempo Rubato and Chopin Waltz in A minor No. 19, Op. Posthumous
Irina Morozova, pianist, waxes poetic about phrasing Chopin’s music in words
Irina Morozova on the faculties of the Special Music School in Manhattan, and the Mannes College of Music, imparts inspired "words" about phrasing Chopin's music.
Baroque Ornaments, execution, style, context and taste: A Conversation with Elaine Comparone
One of the delights of my trip back to hometown New York City, was an encore visit with Elaine Comparone!
Scenes from Manhattan
First day in the Big Apple: These are popular picture postcard themes yet worth memorializing. I took this photo set as I trekked from 34th Street and Penn station to the West Side 'Y' gym at 63rd off Central Park. Bogged down with luggage, I approached Columbus Circle at W. 59th Street (off Central Park)… Continue reading Scenes from Manhattan
Piano Technique: Studying/Mapping out the F# minor scale and arpeggio (Video)
Exploring the two octave model is a good start with a separate hand approach to clarify fingering. I prefer making an adjustment for the opening F#, G#, A in the Right Hand (2, 3, 1) instead of 3, 4, 1 When considering a fast tempo, 2, 3, 1 is less awkward than passing a thumb… Continue reading Piano Technique: Studying/Mapping out the F# minor scale and arpeggio (Video)