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Piano performance: The moment of creation can be deceiving and how we can learn from video playbacks

I was telling a musical friend about the discrepancy between what we think we're hearing during our own performances and what bears out in a review of our self-made recordings. This is why teaching and learning opportunities abound in comparing one reading to another by way of video/audio replays. It's not only our own playing… Continue reading Piano performance: The moment of creation can be deceiving and how we can learn from video playbacks

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Into the Hills with the Sound of Music –a Baldwin Acrosonic “acoustic” sings

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

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The piano learning process at all levels of study

In spite of my having studied piano for decades, each learning experience is filled with challenges that I must approach with a glut of patience. A new composition has its own form, architecture, harmonic rhythm, fingering that requires a big reserve of self-acceptance in a deadline-free frame. To the contrary, many of my students, who… Continue reading The piano learning process at all levels of study

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Piano Technique: When scale notes go off the radar screen

One of my Skype students is practicing the D Major scale in contrary motion. (Her thumbs at Middle D) We start slow triplets to 16ths, to 32nds (Legato/Staccato/Forte/piano) The snag occurs at the third and final octave out, where most students think the notes are off the radar--but in truth peripheral vision and/or rolling eyeballs… Continue reading Piano Technique: When scale notes go off the radar screen

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Piano Lesson: What I learned from an adult student about Bach Invention 4 in D minor (VIDEOS)

Today was an ear-opener, though I admit to having had a set of preconceived ideas about this Bach composition. (in two-part counterpoint) Just from having studied it myself, parceling out each separate voice in a step-wise, layered approach, I could impart what I learned as a self-delivered lecture. But the ingredient, of adding a student… Continue reading Piano Lesson: What I learned from an adult student about Bach Invention 4 in D minor (VIDEOS)

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Piano Lesson: Teaching “GAME” by Kabalevsky, Op. 39 Children’s Pieces (Videos)

Vibrant musical miniatures are learning enticements for piano students. In this spirit, Dimitry Kabalevsky, a Twentieth Century Russian composer, shines in his collection of Children's Pieces (Op.39) that run the gamut of emotions, from sad expressions of human nature, "Waltz" (in d minor) to ebullient centerpieces, such as "Clowns," and "Galop." (spelled with one L)… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Teaching “GAME” by Kabalevsky, Op. 39 Children’s Pieces (Videos)

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The C Major Scale universe: metric and muscle memory; shaping and tapering

The C Major scale is more than meets the "I," if you're the one practicing it!