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
Today I posted a musical tribute to a dear friend who provides her acoustically divine living room for my weekly teaching journeys in El Cerrito, California. The space soars with resonance and complements a vintage Baldwin 1929 grand that lavishes its home in the Hills. Irma happens to be a student of mine for 4… Continue reading Happy Birthday, IRMA!
Supplements to Skyped lessons come in two forms. I will either send an unlisted mid-week video to a long-distance learner as a brush-up, or I'll upload public videos that can be universally shared. Both help me crystallize how I will phrase a composition and teach it. The student, in an interactive role, feeds me ideas… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Clementi Sonatina in C, Op. 36 No. 3 (parts 1 and 2) and a Skyped lesson-in-progress recorded by camcorder
I've chosen Burgmuller's "Tender Flower" as the springboard to explore attentive listening and its relationship to phrasing. At the outset, the right moment to begin a piece is a challenge. The player has to experience the whole dimension of silence before a first note is played. That silence is not dead, but alive with cues… Continue reading Phrasing at the piano: Listening to the ends of notes as they flow into others
Rina has reached a turning point in her piano studies, just 10 months into them. She's playing the Reinagle Minuet, coordinating bass and treble lines. This is NOT ROTE playing, or any Suzuki variant. Rina knows the music alphabet forward and in reverse; understands up and down, steps and skips, and plays LEGATO five-finger positions… Continue reading Piano Lessons: Catching up with Rina, age 5
Aiden took the prize for his mini-choreography of Chopin's C# minor Waltz, http://youtu.be/v38sPHrPSP0 but "Sushi" outdistanced him with an impressive break dance routine on the kitchen floor. http://youtu.be/Z76zHeM2Qwk "Sushi," the house cat in El Cerrito, is always on the move--resistant to stay on the grand piano, or to teeter by the bathroom sink. Aiden, however,… Continue reading El Cerrito “Sushi” cat is a match for Aiden (Videos)
On my walk from the El Cerrito Hills to BART Del Norte I snapped these pictures and interspersed them in my reading. Composed in the Romantic era, "Tender Flower" (English Tr.) is a gorgeous miniature that says so much in such a short space of time. A repository of nuance and expressive lines, it rivets… Continue reading Burgmuller’s beautiful “Tendre Fleur” flows in and out of flower portraits (VIDEO)