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Performance Anxiety and Pressure Relievers

The symposia at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute brought three top flight performers together to share thoughts about performance-related issues. Leon Fleisher, Yo Yo Ma, and Pamela Frank, all fine musicians in their own instrumental cosmos, agreed that the Ego can be an impediment to anxiety-free music-making. Zeroing in on "performance pressure," Maestra Frank, a… Continue reading Performance Anxiety and Pressure Relievers

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How I deal with my performance anxiety? (Video)

I prepared a video as a meditation, or spiritual assist for tonight. I'm playing at my house of religious worship. It's an open MIC event, and I thought it would be a relaxing opportunity for SHARING. Underline that last word and think about tossing PERFORMANCE out of your vocabulary. Key words-- getting inside the music--GIVING… Continue reading How I deal with my performance anxiety? (Video)

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Piano Technique: Playing beyond the fingers to sculpt beautiful phrases (Debussy Arabesque no. 1)

Many piano students who practice Debussy's Arabesque no. 1 tend to grab and articulate notes, rather than let them flow from energy streaming down relaxed arms into supple wrists. Reliance on fingers-down playing becomes the panacea for accuracy, while it sacrifices poetic musical expression. In the video below, I demonstrate how phrases can be sculpted… Continue reading Piano Technique: Playing beyond the fingers to sculpt beautiful phrases (Debussy Arabesque no. 1)

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The Chopin Bb minor Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 1, and arm/hand rotation/phrasing (Video)

Chopin's Bb minor Nocturne (Night Piece) requires a player to use a full arm rotation to fluidly play the arpeggios in the left hand that span over an octave. These broken chords which fill a large space by their expansion, create a Romantic underpinning for the molto cantabile heart-rending melody in the treble. If the… Continue reading The Chopin Bb minor Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 1, and arm/hand rotation/phrasing (Video)

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Horowitz plays Liszt’s Consolation No. 3 and why it’s so beautiful to our ears

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS5LRRsNYZk Every so often a performance like this pops up on You Tube that allows the listener to reflect upon why the playing is so moving. This Romantic era composition, in slow tempo is no race to the finish line. The pianist is challenged to sustain a singing line without losing a thread of connection… Continue reading Horowitz plays Liszt’s Consolation No. 3 and why it’s so beautiful to our ears

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Profile of a courageous adult piano student (with a video out-take)

I'm fortunate to be working with five adult students who love the piano and its repertoire. Their enthusiasm is at high volume--keeping the live wire connection between student and teacher bristling with energy. Regardless of busy work schedules, they still manage to connect with the piano often enough to make lessons worthwhile. I met Michael,… Continue reading Profile of a courageous adult piano student (with a video out-take)

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Relaxation in piano playing and setting a good example for students (Videos)

By all accounts, the piano instructor should be the model of what she embraces as her teaching philosophy at lessons. For example, as I slip into my weeping willow tension-free state, I keep hammering away at my students to relax. But sometimes they're just too wired from pressures at work or at home to unwind… Continue reading Relaxation in piano playing and setting a good example for students (Videos)