cdbaby.com, physical fitness routines, Shirley Kirsten and Scarlatti, youtube.com

Physical fitness and piano playing

For the past few years, I've adhered to a fitness program that includes daily exercising at the Y gym. I don't use weights because of their stress on my wrists, but I find the Gravitron (demonstrated in part one of my video) to be an upper body strength-builder. Particularly when I need added dead weight… Continue reading Physical fitness and piano playing

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Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.

I remember Art Linkletter's show, "Kids Say the Darndest Things," which made me think of a few adult piano students and their hauntingly memorable words. Yesterday, for example, I was forewarned by a 70-year old pupil, that I should expect a call from her during the night about the key of "F# minor." What impending… Continue reading Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.

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Performance Anxiety and the Pianist

For too long performance anxiety was a taboo subject, always swept under the rug. I remember grappling with paralyzing jitters during my years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. My piano teacher at the time, a seasoned professional, would always say the same thing: "Honey, the music is bigger than you… Continue reading Performance Anxiety and the Pianist

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Music Comes from the Heart

Musical expression arises from the deepest part of ourselves so as we relax into the here and now, focused on the flow and shape of phrases, our arms, wrists and fingers work together as an ensemble to produce an artful outpouring. Mildred Portney Chase, author of Just Being at the Piano describes such an approach… Continue reading Music Comes from the Heart

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Piano Instruction: Favorite Children’s Pieces (Video)

I've highlighted three favorite children's pieces by Dimitri Kabalevsky and Robert Schumann that are very catchy, colorful and harmonically engaging. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suVPK_RDxM8 They fall into the category of programmatic music because the character of the compositions match the titles. Even though Schumann and Kabalevsky dedicated their compositions to a youthful generation, the music is quite sophisticated… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Favorite Children’s Pieces (Video)

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Fighting for a Dream Piano (Hopefully it should not come to this)

This writing, true to the last detail is meant to give piano buyers a heads up about how to handle a situation where an Oral Agreement may be breached by a seller. The following ad was placed at the on line Fresno Bee Classifieds website: Published 07/12/07 00:00:00 PIANO Baldwin Baby Grand cherry, xlnt cond… Continue reading Fighting for a Dream Piano (Hopefully it should not come to this)

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Piano Instruction: Playing Diminished 7th chords and arpeggios (Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVZyIhTXmag In order to understand how a diminished chord is formed a student needs to know the difference between a Major and minor third. A Major third has two consecutive whole steps from a starting note so for example, C to E creates a Major third. If a student sings C to D to E,… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Playing Diminished 7th chords and arpeggios (Video)

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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

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A Battle of two Steinways, a Yamaha, and a spoiler Petrof

A few years ago, I journeyed to the local Fresno piano dealership to make retail price comparisons with used pianos sold in the private party marketplace. The store, located on Ashlan and Fresno Street had an impressive array of Steinways, Boston and Essex pianos, as well as Yamaha studio upright models and other brands. An early… Continue reading A Battle of two Steinways, a Yamaha, and a spoiler Petrof

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Piano Lesson: An advanced adult Student plays Chopin Etude Op. 25, No. 9

We are practicing behind tempo because the student began studying this Chopin Etude Op. 25 No. 9 about two months ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzcBrwi6foY "Joy" took piano lessons as a child and young adult, and then had a period without instruction. She started studying with me almost three years ago, and in that time we have explored… Continue reading Piano Lesson: An advanced adult Student plays Chopin Etude Op. 25, No. 9