piano, piano technique, piano technique and breathing

This week’s ear-catcher: “Stay Loose and Keep Moving!”

There were a pile-up of competing events to fill a blog feature, but only one stole the show: Amidst a sweltering East Coast heat wave, harpsichordist friend, Elaine Comparone, messaged a BBC link to an astounding display of age-defying virtuosity. At her home in Paris, 103-year old, French pianist, "Colette," played mellifluous Debussy, "moving" gracefully… Continue reading This week’s ear-catcher: “Stay Loose and Keep Moving!”

Claude Achille Debussy, pianoforte, pianos

Debussy framed articles and videos enrich our study

It's always a blissful coincidence when a piano teacher discovers a wealth of contemporary commentary about a composer whose music is under study in a partnered learning environment. With a framing introduction about the creator, a mentor and pupil can journey beyond details of notation, fingering, harmony, to absorb context, history, and varying compositional approaches… Continue reading Debussy framed articles and videos enrich our study

piano blog, piano blog, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano lessson

Sound imagination and tactile, tonal expression at the piano for diverse compositional eras

Often a posted comment about a You Tube video inspires a blog topic that is of interest to pianists and teachers. One such public addition to my Channel quickly streamed into a comparison between two well-known compositions in the piano repertoire. The commenter was asking about the grade "level" of Debussy's The Girl with the… Continue reading Sound imagination and tactile, tonal expression at the piano for diverse compositional eras

adult beginner piano students, adult instruction

Piano Student: “I don’t know what I want to hear?”

A commonly registered concern among my brood of adult students circumscribes an uncertainty about phrasing and overall musical expression. Many don't trust their native musical instincts as they might apply to practicing fledgling pieces that are in early stage development. Yet a good sample of these self-doubters often have a natural inclination to shape lines… Continue reading Piano Student: “I don’t know what I want to hear?”

Claude Debussy, piano

Teaching the Language of Debussy in Reverie

Yesterday afternoon I found myself mentoring a student about the nuances of a composer's language and style in the Impressionist genre. Claude Debussy's Reverie, with its palette of blended colors was on display--naturally intoned in vowels rather than consonants, while its liquid phrases begged for supple wrist and relaxed arm infusions of energy. My pupil's… Continue reading Teaching the Language of Debussy in Reverie

Claude Debussy, Debussy, piano blog

Reviewing Debussy’s Arabesque 1 with its Impressionist palette

It's been years since I learned Claude Debussy's coloristic Arabesque No. 1, so my recent revisit was a reminder of how a solid learning foundation can deepen a musical reconnection. Reviewing an "old" piece brings a renewed opportunity to delve into its character, form, structure, harmonic flow, phrasing, etc. while keeping an open mind about… Continue reading Reviewing Debussy’s Arabesque 1 with its Impressionist palette

Claude Debussy, Debussy, Debussy Preludes, Ena Bronstein, Ena Bronstein Barton, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com

Ena Bronstein, pianist, plays Debussy’s “Feux D’artifice” (recorded “live” in concert)

A further blend of music and seascapes, not to mention muted swans. Ena Bronstein was my former teacher in Fresno before she departed for the East Coast. Currently, she's on the faculty of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton, N.J. http://youtu.be/SB6PyiyShtc LINK: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/virtuosity-and-poetry-in-motion-hallmark-ena-bronsteins-musical-return-to-fresno/

Ena Bronstein, Ena Bronstein Barton, Ena Bronstein pianist, pianist, piano, playing piano

Virtuosity and Poetry in Motion hallmark Ena Bronstein’s musical return to Fresno

Mister Rogers would have welcomed Ena Bronstein back to the "neighborhood" that she left over 25 years ago. He'd say that she planned to honor her friends, former neighbors, and piano students by giving them a very special reunion concert wrapped in love. And so it happened that our Fresno "neighborhood" piano teacher who had… Continue reading Virtuosity and Poetry in Motion hallmark Ena Bronstein’s musical return to Fresno

"Just Being At the Piano", 19th Century music, 20th Century music, arioso 7, arpeggios, arpeggios for the piano, Claude Debussy, Debussy, Debussy Arabesque no. 1, Impressionistic music, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Just Being at the Piano by Mildred Portney Chase, Mildred Portney Chase, pianist, piano, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano world-wide, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, yout tube

Piano Technique: Playing beyond the fingers to sculpt beautiful phrases (Debussy Arabesque no. 1)

Many piano students who practice Debussy's Arabesque no. 1 tend to grab and articulate notes, rather than let them flow from energy streaming down relaxed arms into supple wrists. Reliance on fingers-down playing becomes the panacea for accuracy, while it sacrifices poetic musical expression. In the video below, I demonstrate how phrases can be sculpted… Continue reading Piano Technique: Playing beyond the fingers to sculpt beautiful phrases (Debussy Arabesque no. 1)

arioso7, authorsden, blog, blogger, blogging, blogs about piano, Claude Debussy, Debussy, Debussy Arabesque no. 1, Debussy Arabesque No. 1 by Claude Debussy, Fresno California, Haddorff, Haddorff piano, Haddorrff console piano, pianist, piano, playing piano, Steinway and Sons, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, The art of phrasing at the piano, word press, wordpress.com, Yeti microphone, you tube, you tube video

Debussy Arabesque No. 1 and the back story (Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv1WpPXSQx8 Speaking of pianos, and decisions about which to use, I decided to give Haddy Haddorff another opportunity to sing like a nightingale. This was a late-into-the-night sound exploration following an earlier trip to the Mac Store at Fresno's Fashion Fair Mall. The Yeti mic was not registering--no sound--no explanation, though it was properly connected.… Continue reading Debussy Arabesque No. 1 and the back story (Video)