Some piano students view playing a choir of voices with a rich bed of sustain pedal as an un-delayed gratification. It's an icing on the cake indulgence that often eludes the main course of diligent, attentive, and analytical practicing. A case in point is Beethoven's hauntingly beautiful, Adagio movement of the "Pathetique" Sonata, Op. 13,… Continue reading Patient voice-parceling in practicing Beethoven’s Adagio Cantabile (Sonata “Pathetique”)
I thought it would never happen! An instant banishment from cyber-space! Mozart's beloved Andante from Sonata K. 283 was the victim of pure and simple tyranny by the you tube police! The stand-in argonaut imperialist Hyperion, a recording company whose reach extended above and beyond PUBLIC DOMAIN, wrenched my upload from its earthly existence with… Continue reading Would Mozart believe he was “banned” worldwide?!
I'm ready for a shower of criticism on this one. After all, some adults want their favorite transcription of the Elvira Madigan theme song, (aka Mozart's Concerto No. 21 in C, Andante) to encapsulate their musical journey---at least for part of the time. And that's OK if the transcription route of top ten, poorly transformed… Continue reading No dumbing down piano study for adult students
Just when I thought my wellspring of blog inspired ideas had endured a drought, I had a nagging thirst to explore how technical tools (playing scales, arpeggios, chords, octaves, etc) are woven into music study. Allied to this undertaking, was the idea of inferences and how we make certain decisions about phrasing, articulation, etc. based… Continue reading Applying technical skills to sensitive music learning, and reading between the lines
Joyce Di Donato, "lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano," is my model for trilling. In an embedded you tube video, the opera singer emphasizes the undulating character of a beautifully executed trill that leans on the upper note. (Too often pianists deliver a robotic stream of alternating notes that's shapeless and out of breath, ignoring an internal flow and… Continue reading Piano Technique: Trills and the vocal model
It was no surprise that Judy, one of my adult piano students came to her lesson yesterday gushing about Seymour: An Introduction. And naturally, in the nick of time, I grabbed my super-charged, helium packed iPhone and added the latest film rave to my growing collection. Need I say more?... or is it SEE MORE?..… Continue reading Judy, Seymour, and Ludwig
It's always valuable to snatch a lesson segment when a student gets it just right and has the equivalent of a runner's high at the keyboard. It's certainly instructive for both teacher and pupil to observe what conditions predisposed a pupil to a level of ONEness of body, mind and spirit. Last night, Jocel displayed… Continue reading Piano Technique: When an adult student is in the Zone!
After my review of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Drawing Room" Sonata K. 545 in C, Allegro, I discovered by comparison that the opening movement of K. 332 in F Major, had a more complex mosaic. In the short space of its nearly three page exposition, K. 332's multiple themes weave through markedly contrasting sections. *A Sturm… Continue reading Thoughts on learning Mozart Sonata No. 12 in F, K. 332 (first movement)
If an acoustic piano is well-voiced and regulated, one can attempt to make a timbre and touch comparison with a "hammer-weighted" digital piano by playing a side-by-side excerpt from the repertoire. In this instance, my Steinway grand is in the process of undergoing hammer filing and regulation, so the two instruments are not perhaps justly… Continue reading Mozart played on an acoustic and digital piano
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