piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano teaching

Reading Between the Lines: Making decisions about Dynamics

Dynamics cannot always be taken literally when a player embarks upon serious study of a particular composition. In fact, what often governs the shaping of phrases through many measures even with composer inserted soft (piano) or loud (Forte) directives, are harmonic rhythm and metrical considerations. So while a set of measures might attach a Crescendo… Continue reading Reading Between the Lines: Making decisions about Dynamics

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Piano Instruction: A charming, quick-paced piece for late elementary students, titled “Clowns,” by Gillock (VIDEO)

Continuing my tribute to the prolific and talented composer, William Gillock, I've snatched "Clowns" from Volume Two of his Accent on Gillock collection. (published by Willis Music Company) Not to be long-winded about my approach to teaching this sprightly composition, I simply outline a step-wise practicing routine. 1) Since the melody is divided between the… Continue reading Piano Instruction: A charming, quick-paced piece for late elementary students, titled “Clowns,” by Gillock (VIDEO)

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Piano Instruction: Common student problems related to playing Clementi Sonatina, Op. 36, No. 3, Spiritoso (Video)

The student I'm currently teaching by Skype has received a number of supplemental videos from me that target problems universal to those learning Clementi Sonatina, Op. 36, No. 3. In this video, geared for teachers as well as students, I define areas in the first movement, Spiritoso, that need particular focus for improvement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_q_vUSLIDI As… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Common student problems related to playing Clementi Sonatina, Op. 36, No. 3, Spiritoso (Video)

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The Art of Phrasing at the Piano: Starting the process with Beginners (Videos)

For some unexplained reason, my earliest piano studies never included the art of phrasing. My primer teacher stressed naming notes, finding them, affixing correct fingering and counting out robotic beats. I knew nothing about feeling a melodic landscape; putting the vocal model center stage in my playing, and breathing through contoured musical lines. My pieces… Continue reading The Art of Phrasing at the Piano: Starting the process with Beginners (Videos)