Not to be a stage mom, but my daughter, Aviva is having a good time doing her thing archiving Hollywood movies that more than mention Fresno. (She's just released, "Did Somebody Say Fresno?!" Part V.) Producer/video editor all in one, Ms. Kirsten makes a blockbuster cameo appearance in the opening, evoking Alfred Hitchcock's movie-making days.… Continue reading Fresno isn’t such a bad place, after all (“Did Somebody Say Fresno?! Part V” on You Tube)
This was such a smooth experience. Matthew Wheeler was found playing drums and keyboard in Best Buy's atrium, for want of a better name, and he stopped what he was doing to film me sampling digitals. These were console models: Roland F110, Casio 830, and Yamaha Arius YDP 141. There are six videos, including a… Continue reading Digital Piano Review continued: On Location at Best Buy in Fresno CA (6 videos)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxmwAUIu3eY The Chromatic scale to the end of movement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtquw8qNbXg R.K. wished to remain anonymous because of the nature of his work, but, nevertheless, he's a devoted student of the piano. I met him at the American Cancer Discovery Shop, on Bullard and West in Fresno about 5 years ago when I was a regular… Continue reading Piano Lesson: An Adult student practices the Presto agitato mvt. Beethoven “Moonlight” Sonata (Video)
A few years ago, I met Connell York, 84 year old piano tuner at the American Cancer Society Discovery Store on Bullard and West in Fresno, California where pianos are sometimes donated for sale. At the time he was examining the gorgeous 1875 or so, Fritz piano, checking its strings and tuning pins, explaining the… Continue reading A Lovely Piano at the American Cancer Society Discovery Thrift Store in Fresno, CA-Video produced on site
I'm always surprised by the condition of many private party market used pianos, as if a double standard is operating when comparing a house sale to a piano sale. I will sometimes walk into a home that is on the market that is clean and sparkling while the offered musical instrument is dusty, out of… Continue reading The double standard as applied to used pianos and their sale
The Adagio movement of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata requires attentive listening, deep in the key practicing, muscle memory, and a natural breath that flows out of phrases. I start with the top most voice and work my way through to the alto and bass. (practicing individual lines) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4qME1l6Oqo Blocking is applied to the alto and should… Continue reading Piano instruction: Beethoven’s Sonata “Pathetique,” Adagio mvt.–applying voice analysis and muscle memory to the opening ( 4 Videos)
It takes patience to approach a piece well behind tempo, tuning in to every nuance and turn of phrase. With ears alert and sensitive, the player tries to create a feeling state where he's submerged in sound to the exclusion of all else. At the pinnacle of concentration, he's "in the zone," attaining Maslow's "peak… Continue reading Piano Instruction: The Virtues of Slow Motion Practicing and Attentive Listening
As a teacher, I've often pondered this question, concluding that there are varying answers which depend on the advancement and motivation of individual students. Certainly no fixed formula addresses the length of time a pupil needs to fully realize his potential when practicing a given composition. By way of example, I have an adult student,… Continue reading How long should a piano student stay with a piece?
It's obvious that I'm a novice at video editing now that I'm on my own, but I managed to put together 4 videos demonstrating a step-wise approach to practicing the Schubert Gb Major Impromptu. I parceled out voices beginning with the soprano (melody) and then continued to the bass and alto using blocking techniques. Fingering… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Practicing the Schubert Impromptu in Gb, Op. 90 in Steps (4 videos)
This question, posed on numerous Internet piano forums, elicited varied opinions from teachers and students. One participant asked about Dorothy Delay, who taught some of the most celebrated violinists at the Juilliard School. When this esteemed mentor had reached an advanced age, would she have been able to demonstrate challenging technical passages for her pupils?… Continue reading Should a piano teacher be able to play pieces assigned to students?