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“Haddy” Haddorff is given a new home: The back story

My beloved singing nightingale that came into my life in May, 2011, has found a new, permanent nest. About 4 years ago I stumbled upon "Haddy" while browsing a Fresno, California Craig's Listing (by owner, used piano sales) It wasn't that I needed another piano to join a growing family of Steinways but I was… Continue reading “Haddy” Haddorff is given a new home: The back story

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The El Cerrito Hills are alive with the sound of music

In the old days, I commuted by Amtrak from Central CA to the East Bay, chugging along the scenic route with my digital camera pressed against the train window. A few awesome seascapes managed to squeak through the bumpy ride, and these were memorialized by photographic import to my soundtracks, then posted to YOU TUBE.… Continue reading The El Cerrito Hills are alive with the sound of music

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My Journey to Ifshin’s in El Cerrito, CA where violins, unlike pianos are thriving!

I headed over to the premier string HAUS in the Bay area today to bring my 1799 vintage German violin back to life. For years it had been laying at the bottom of my closet, layered over with two portable digital pianos and an old computer. This was a violin selected by my teacher, the… Continue reading My Journey to Ifshin’s in El Cerrito, CA where violins, unlike pianos are thriving!

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Piano Lessons: Creativity, composing, and diversifying

Fritz, one of my young piano students, had been saddled with a long lesson due to his sister's absence so he thought the "extra" time would be spent spot practicing the knotty measures of his Bach Minuet. Or he anticipated the same with his Boogie piece that had become a rich dessert following the main… Continue reading Piano Lessons: Creativity, composing, and diversifying

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Piano Instruction: Mozart Minuet in F, K. 2

Play Through http://youtu.be/9s0QiDNd24o Such delightful music sprang from an inspired little Mozart who at age 6, composed this Minuet in F. His father, Leopold, "notated his son's pieces in a notebook recording the exact date of almost every composition." (K. 2 was born in 1762) A musical gem that's intrinsically vocal, requires the player to… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Mozart Minuet in F, K. 2

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Steinway and Sons is sold, and the digitals are probably having a party

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/steinway-sold-to-private-equity-firm-for-438-million/ It was no surprise to read about Steinway selling out to Kohlberg and Company .. Why? because, 1) who has the money to buy a pricey grand 2) Digitals are turning acoustics into dinosaurs. If I were purist and dismissed all my students who had electronics, I'd be catapulted into bankruptcy. In all candor,… Continue reading Steinway and Sons is sold, and the digitals are probably having a party

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Sister and brother piano lessons in the Hills

I enjoy my weekly journey to a home way up in the Hills of El Cerrito (neighbor to Berkeley) There, I teach Lucy and Fritz who play a lovely, resonant Baldwin Acrosonic that I advised mom to purchase (over at DC Pianos) Acros happen to be among my favorites in the spinet/console category. The Back… Continue reading Sister and brother piano lessons in the Hills

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The business of copying the piano teacher: Who has the final say or PLAY?

The latest provocative teacher exchange is taking place on Facebook at the "Art of Piano Pedagogy" which has now become a private forum. When it comes to teaching philosophies, many are intensely opinionated. From my perspective, I passionately believe in sharing my ground-up musical insights with students to justify my presence at the lesson in… Continue reading The business of copying the piano teacher: Who has the final say or PLAY?

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Piano Technique: Turning a door knob helps a 9-year old piano student in her practicing (Videos)

I use various motions extracted from daily life to teach fluidity in piano playing. In this particular example lifted from a lesson-in-progress, Ilyana, 9, applies a door knob-turning gesture to smooth out a passage from William Gillock's "Splashing in the Brook." It's also helpful to enlist mental imagery to capture the mood of a composition.… Continue reading Piano Technique: Turning a door knob helps a 9-year old piano student in her practicing (Videos)

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A piano student kicks back over the summer playing a Disney selection while I rekindle old musical memories (Videos)

It's not a big deal when a student forgets her scale, arpeggio, and total assignment, then drifts into a casual reading of "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio. Albertina, 13, had brought a coffee-table size anthology of popular tunes to her last lesson. It was indexed by Movies Themes, Broadway Show hits like… Continue reading A piano student kicks back over the summer playing a Disney selection while I rekindle old musical memories (Videos)