I vividly recall my first exposure to the art of breathing through musical phrases. It was at Merrywood Music Camp in Lenox, MA where I played second violin in a string quartet coached by Boston Symphony Principal violist, Eugene Lehner. The Berkshires nestled cabin that reverberated with Mozart's G Major chamber offering, K. 387, was… Continue reading A Lesson in Breathing into scales and arpeggios
Recently, I sprang upon a schemata that was an immediate turnoff. It amplified all the nitpicky processes that the brain performs while an individual plays the piano. Almost without thinking, I copied the colorful map, sending it to my crop of adult students, many in their senior years. As expected, the first reply was a… Continue reading Don’t Think! Play, Listen, Feel, Breathe
Besides my daily elliptical workouts, I add in piano routines that mobilize the arms, wrists and fingers with full blown natural breath support. Enlisting free flowing energy coming down relaxed arms and supple wrists, one experiences a player's "high" that fuels a sense of well-being streaming into other activities. Most of my students will devote… Continue reading (HD) Piano Gym Romps through Arpeggios!
I never would have anticipated that my Dover bound collection of Grieg's Complete Lyric pieces for piano, would contain a tender morsel that hearkened back to a Spring Dance Concert presented at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. The school, known as FAME, immortalized by a long running TV series, and big… Continue reading An Edvard Grieg Lyric piece stirs up High School memories
Shelter in Place has become tolerable by having two compatibly resonant musical sibs in my dwindling living room. The shrinking multi-purpose space holds my side-by-side pianos, webcams, tripods, Big Mac, and HP monitor. (not to mention a sequestered sleeper sofa) The latest instrumental addition, Knabe WKV-132MD, a space-saving upright that replaced my mid-size Baldwin grand,… Continue reading A new partner Upright to my Steinway grand!
This past week I posted a video to help students navigate the arm weight transfer cosmos, by examining how to alter dynamics from left hand to right and in reverse. One can think of a wrap-around weight on one arm, while the other is load free, lifting up the dynamic to piano (soft). This will… Continue reading A Voicing Journey using scales as a model
We continue to lift our spirits in cyber, keeping our music exchanges alive and well under the veil of SIP. Ironically, in keeping with the times, many students have asked to study more somber works. Schumann's "First Sorrow, from the composer's Album for the Young, is a popular pick. Next is Chopin's mournful B minor… Continue reading “Stay in Place” Online lessons, tutorials, and performances
Bundled into the universe of teaching piano Online, is the necessity to prepare for the unexpected. This means knowing what resources to dip into when there's a substantial video or audio freeze. Face Time and Skype, for example, might occasionally not deliver, and when it becomes apparent that lesson continuity is at a virtual standstill,… Continue reading Online Piano Lessons: Patience and Planning Amidst the Unexpected
For years I felt like a duck out of water, barely floating outside the mainstream as an Online piano teacher. My isolation was intensified by boomer generation colleagues who insisted on face-to-face mentoring as the gold pedagogical standard. I could empathize before 2010, when I'd journeyed for years through traditional teaching circles without a second… Continue reading Online lessons are coming into their own in the age of Corona virus
Over decades of teaching, I've observed that "autodidacts" who embark upon formal lessons, experience a common awakening related to the piano as a "singing" instrument with its well of tone/touch discovery. Their epiphanies about the cosmos of piano tone and color are also shared among some transfer pupils who were previously unexposed to varying dimensions… Continue reading Self-learners transition to Piano lessons