I'm always warmed by lovely, contoured phrasing, especially when it's produced by an adult student who's reached a new level of aesthetic consciousness through especially attentive and consistent practicing. This particular player has increased her sensitivity in shaping the Chopin A minor Waltz melody with curves, dips, loops, and tapering, while her left hand that… Continue reading An adult piano student explores phrase shaping in Chopin’s A minor Waltz, Op. Posth.
There's nothing more inhibiting to piano playing than being boxed in by ornaments--tied down by their inertia and lack of smooth resolution. For certain, if you're threatened by them, or anticipate the worst possible outcome, ENTRAPMENT, then it guarantees a hasty entry and debilitating departure. Sadly, breath-LESS and anxiety-prone pianists often impede their journey, leaving… Continue reading Ornaments, Romantic Style: Don’t be enslaved, but master them
I relish time spent with a student who's baby-stepped a musical journey with patience and self-acceptance. The polishing stage is icing on the cake, a dessert following the main course. In this case, an adult pupil kept to a regimen of scales and arpeggios in A minor, as her tip-toe adventure into a Chopin Waltz… Continue reading The polishing stage of learning can be dessert for a piano teacher and student
Arpeggios don't deserve a bad rap!
Lucy started piano about four years ago in El Cerrito, a short Bart ride from Berkeley, my current residence. A transfer student, she'd been immersed in Bastien primers and hand-outs of various patriotic pieces. Note-reading skills were minimal. Over time, as our musical relationship unfolded, Lucy played scales, arpeggios, and through her patient efforts performed… Continue reading No Skimming the surface in piano warm-ups and a Chopin exchange with a sixth-grader
A teacher/student musical collaboration is a uniquely poetic experience..