Shades of 1988, when I committed the biggest crime of my life. I dared to schedule a student recital on the most SACRED day of the year, Superbowl Sunday! What did I know having been raised on baseball, the Brooklyn Bums and heart-breaker pennants? In Fresno, Bulldog fever was RAGING when I relocated from the… Continue reading When is Superbowl Sunday? I better find out before it’s too late.
Okay, so I borrowed a snatch from a movie title about a woman's baseball team keeping the diamond percolating with energy during World War II. And Geena Davis did a superb job as the lead, but in all honesty, Murray Perahia does one up on her at the piano. His playing field encompasses 88 keys… Continue reading Murray Perahia, pianist, is in a league of his own! (Videos)
I've been aware that this particular writing seems to touch a nerve, or strikes a chord of recognition among piano teachers, parents and students: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/pulls-and-tugs-two-sides-to-the-studentteacher-piano-lesson-relationship/ It's only rival in popularity on my roster has been "Funeral for a Cracked Plate," a real life soap opera about a piano buyer who slipped up by ordering a… Continue reading The most popular blog explores piano teacher/student relationships
Singing is the best model for phrasing. In the learning environment, the student and teacher are on an interactive vocal wavelength experiencing the contour and shape of a musical line. Using syllables of various kinds that reflect the inner density and motion of the music is intrinsic to the activity. The video attached gives an… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Phrasing and singing–A 10 year old beginner plays “Russian Sailor Dance,” Faber Bk. 1 (Video)
I thought of E.M. Forster's novel as an inspiration for this blog, but "The Hills are alive with the Sound of Music" would have more aptly described what I was writing about. Every week, a breathtaking view of the El Cerrito Hills streams into my piano room through an open, maple-paneled door. Depending on the… Continue reading A Piano Room with a View
This morning, as I foraged through piles of folders, I stumbled upon one of my articles that was published in the California Music Teacher (MTAC Magazine) in 1985. At the time, I had just released my music book, "Piano Duets and Solos by and for Children," which included a lengthy introduction titled, "How to Help… Continue reading Piano Students as Composers: Stimulating a Creative Teaching and Learning Environment
Music Theory doesn't have to be drudgery If I turn the clock back to my early days as a piano student, I can say without a doubt that I absolutely HATED “Music Theory” or anything remotely related to it. And I can clearly thank my very pedantic teacher, Mrs. Schwed for this aversion. She made… Continue reading Music Theory and Piano Study: It doesn’t have to be drudgery