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Approaching a brand new piece with spirit and emotion

When piano students first encounter a fresh page of music, they will often wade through the notes as best as they can, fumbling here and there without an adjusted framing pulse or investment of animated interest in what the notes are saying beyond their humble, accurate identity. In this early stage "reading," tempo is usually… Continue reading Approaching a brand new piece with spirit and emotion

Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano addict

A surprise visit by a lost kitten…

http://youtu.be/aWrvCCECJ4I After "Feather" (by his name tag) had a feast of delights wandering from room to room, he was fetched by his owner who lived about a mile away. Apparently, this little one has been lost and found several times since his birth. I'm told his mother might be a neighbor of mine, who lives… Continue reading A surprise visit by a lost kitten…

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Kabalevsky’s “A Game” is a delightful way to practice staccato (Videos)

Dimitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987) composed a winner for late elementary and early intermediate level students. While playing "A GAME," they learn a bouncy staccato with light interspersed accents on downbeats. How refreshing to weave technique into a musical romp that moves along with a "feeling of one main impulse per bar." According to notes found in… Continue reading Kabalevsky’s “A Game” is a delightful way to practice staccato (Videos)

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Teaching Clowns by Kabalevsky, from the Op. 39 Children’s Pieces for piano

This is a tricky miniature packed with robust energy. The parallel Major/minor duality is fleshed out with a quick build-up to climax. The challenge is to sustain a Left Hand staccato ostinato, a repeated bass pattern, while observing separate articulation and phrasing in the right hand. Effective dynamic contrasts make a performance even more poignant.… Continue reading Teaching Clowns by Kabalevsky, from the Op. 39 Children’s Pieces for piano

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Piano Lesson: Teaching and playing “Galop” by Kabalevsky from the Op. 39 Children’s Pieces (Videos)

Don't do a double take on the spelling of "Galop" because every edition I've seen up close and personal, does not have the expected double l. If it were as simple to play this piece as spelling its name correctly or incorrectly, I wouldn't have a problem. But in truth, a miniature like this is… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Teaching and playing “Galop” by Kabalevsky from the Op. 39 Children’s Pieces (Videos)