Many piano teachers call the same physical approach to various passages by a different name. I find myself in harmony with author, teacher, composer, Seymour Bernstein when he demonstrates the "upper arm roll" in Part 4 of his recorded series, "You and the Piano." https://youtu.be/lNYH8GQrdrc As it plays out in one my teaching videos, I… Continue reading The “upper arm roll” and undulating wrist in piano playing
As we age, we're reluctant to look at our reflection in the mirror, but as we grow over time as musicians, the mirror of our playing in recorded "reflections" can foster quality adjustments in phrasing and interpretation. If we nudge ourselves to step back and be "objective" about what we're hearing, we may try to… Continue reading Mirrors and piano playing
What am I doing up at 2 a.m.? To put it simply, answering an adult student's inquiry about the theoretical analysis of J.S. Bach Invention 13 in A minor. At our last lesson, I had tweaked her curiosity about the harmonic dimension of the last two pages where modulations abound (especially measures 9-18) Yet as… Continue reading Theory embedded in phrasing/musical expression
Students who embark upon learning the beautifully woven Invention 13, have new awakenings about the Subject and its thread of sequences and development through three pages. And as they explore two independent, though complementary voices in counterpoint, they discover that the Subject and what pieces of it are borrowed as the music plays out, have… Continue reading J.S. Bach Invention No. 13 in A minor: A Continuing Journey
The MTAC Baroque Festival and Daniil Trifonov's recital at Fresno State cap this weekend's events, giving our city a warm cultural embrace amidst its Bulldog-driven sports fever! First on the line-up, Claudia, 11, will play the Yamaha concert grand piano at the University's recital hall today.(The Steinway is sequestered) She'll offer two Bach selections: Invention… Continue reading A Music Packed Saturday and Sunday! (Video) and NEW PHOTOS!
I couldn't resist an opportunity to conduct my student playing the Bach Invention 13 in A minor today. She's preparing two selections for a competitive Baroque event coming up in two weeks, and the second offering is the Prelude in C minor BWV 847. Claudia, 11, rehearsed the Invention a few times with a few… Continue reading The piano teacher as conductor–sometimes shaping gestures help a student phrase better (Video)
Claudia is one of the old-timers around here at age 11. She came to study piano with me when she was just 6 and in those days, I gave her Noona's "The Red Drum," in addition to selections from Book One, Royal Conservatory of Music, University of Toronto: Hook "Minuet," Schein "Allemande," Telemann "Dance" in… Continue reading “Piano Student of the Week,” Claudia S. practices Bach and improves her playing (Video)