Today, I stumbled upon a You Tube video that intertwined the ravages of the A-bomb, with a remarkable visit to Japan made by Martha Argerich. (It's titled The Piano That Loved Chopin: Akiko's Piano) The short but riveting film centers upon a vintage upright piano (made in the USA) that survived a fiery World War… Continue reading Akiko’s Piano
I'm safely nestled, if not sequestered, "Under Surveillance," in my all-purpose, webcam-wired piano room following a two way Mega-BUST ride between West Oakland and Union Station, L.A. Quite unexpectedly, my daughter and I were stranded on the Freeway, 20 minutes from destination, with our bulging baggage, roadside, after a double decker demise. (Transmission shutdown) And… Continue reading Scenes from MTAC Los Angeles! What you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask!
In a few days, I'll find myself at the MTAC Statewide Convention in L.A. sharing my Online Music Lesson journey in a LIVE high-tech universe exploration. (I gave a comparable program to the Alameda Branch last May 2015, but I was not hemmed into the impending ONE HOUR space.) The scope of this event begs… Continue reading Lights, Camera, Action in Los Angeles!
Schumann's Kinderszenen album, (Scenes of Childhood) includes a child-inspired Rocking Horse piece that enlists spring forward wrist motions to help frame its character. If the pianist tightens up and tries to realize third beat accents with a tight jolt of a stiff hand, then it's all over for the player who will tire quickly while… Continue reading Schumann’s ‘Rocking Horse’ comes with a spring forward wrist
Amazing how 90-degree temperatures in the East Bay can wreak havoc over Face Time transmissions. It nearly made Online mentoring come to a grinding halt yesterday! except that a Quick Time saving grace Lesson Preserver came to the rescue! *** In my Scotland travels, I'm accustomed to subbing in the iPhone for the iMac because… Continue reading A “cool” dip into Quicktime for wrist, finger, and forearm staccato practice
Each teaching encounter brings a new awakening. A composition that's been practiced to death, taught times over, recorded, retired and reviewed, can still experience a rebirth when a student embarks upon his/her individual musical journey. It's like a parent (mentor) reliving one's own childhood by having children. On Skype today, a pupil who had conscientiously… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Mozart Rondo, Allegretto- Sonata K. 545 with a pedal pushback to Andante
To cap off my Big Apple journey, a bus ride to Riverdale in the Northwest Bronx rekindled memories of Maestro Arturo Toscanini. Both he and Mark Twain had once been tenants of a country estate and family home owned by William Lewis Morris, a prominent New York lawyer. "This Greek Revival structure, clad in gray… Continue reading Wave Hill, Toscanini, and Heaven on Earth
Piano students of all levels can benefit from 5-finger position romps in many keyboard geographies. That's because a player can experiment with legato and staccato on a bed of black notes; white notes, or combinations of both, without worrying about thumb shifts and complicated fingering maneuvers. In this relaxed spread of the fingers, the pianist… Continue reading Piano Technique: Five-Finger positions are good for you!
I'm thinking back to my ancient days studying with Lillian Freundlich in New York City. During this period, like any fledgling I relied on my teacher as an "authority" figure to recommend what Mozart Sonata edition, for example, I should buy down at Patelson's. (This was decades before the quaint hub for musicians seeking authenticity… Continue reading What “authentic” edition should a piano student use when learning repertoire of the Masters?
Cry your heart out! If you're a music teacher getting rid of the dead wood instead of inviting an aromatic Christmas pine into your living room that will eat up the small space reserved for your cat, then you might as well check your FB Friends list to pine away even more. A colleague bemoans… Continue reading Facebook Friends, Google + Circle turnarounds, and other soap opera scenarios