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Piano Technique: Stabilizing tempo, presence of mind, and breathing through scales and arpeggios

This has to be one of my favorite reciprocal teaching/learning videos because it fleshes out the importance of breathing through scales with mindful concentration. Framed by a singing pulse, the scale becomes a model for all playing. Here's B minor in Contrary Motion (legato) with my annotations that reference the BREATH and mindfulness. https://youtu.be/kVmCWbA32bg Important… Continue reading Piano Technique: Stabilizing tempo, presence of mind, and breathing through scales and arpeggios

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A six-year old child is awakened to the singing tone and how to produce it

The earliest exposure to the piano in the primary lesson learning environment comes with an opportunity to teach the singing tone-- to sensitize young ears to the instrument's capacity to resonate with beauty. It's not just an ear-training experience. The exploration of physical/musical expression, with imagination intertwined, can fill a very young child's lesson with… Continue reading A six-year old child is awakened to the singing tone and how to produce it

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Piano Technique: Burgmuller’s Tarentelle, Op. 100-Fueling and shaping fast passages with a dipping, supple wrist (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)

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Update on Rina, age 4, and her musical progress at the piano

Rina has lately grown camera shy, but she's still tenderly stroking the ivories on my precious Haddorff console. This piano affords a perfect fit for young ones who otherwise can barely stretch their necks to gaze up at a music book. A small foot stool has been added to support little feet until they grow… Continue reading Update on Rina, age 4, and her musical progress at the piano

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The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ--gGIwgAA After decades of teaching the Chopin Waltzes, I've come to the conclusion that the A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous is the best student introduction to the form as the composer cultivated it. While many other Waltzes in Chopin's collection are far more substantial and technically challenging, No. 19, is in my opinion, easiest… Continue reading The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)

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On the Meat Rack of used pianos: One that Never Left Its Home

I received a phone call on a June morning from a man who inquired about my piano-finding services. He sounded like he might be from India, but I wasn’t sure. “Do you help with selling a piano?” he inquired. "On occasion, I do," I replied. "It depends on the quality of the instrument." I could… Continue reading On the Meat Rack of used pianos: One that Never Left Its Home