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The value of studying short Romantic era Character pieces

Piano teachers often welcome the opportunity to use student repertoire requests as a springboard to nourish new learning adventures. Such pupil-driven musical endeavors can lead to deep-layered immersions in short, Romantically framed character pieces. The value of dipping into miniature variety compositions encompasses taking on a learning challenge in compact form. For example, Schumann's Album… Continue reading The value of studying short Romantic era Character pieces

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Piano instruction: Arrangements of Classics or the real deal?

One of my adult transfer students brought an arrangement of Chopin's "Raindrop Prelude" that was an insult to the composer's original intention. It was poorly transcribed in an alien key, awkwardly fingered, and contained a mountain of additional challenges-- a no brain reason to terminate this particular learning adventure. (besides even the "arrangement" was over… Continue reading Piano instruction: Arrangements of Classics or the real deal?

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Aikido and Piano are a good match for Sakura (Video) (Note the rolling forward wrist motion in Kabalevsky’s “Galop”)

Aikido Main article: Aikido Aikido shihōnage technique. "Aikido (合氣道:あいきどう aikidō?) is a modern grappling-based Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平 Ueshiba Morihei, 1883 – 1969). The art consists of "striking", "throwing" and "joint locking" techniques and is known for its fluidity and blending with an attacker, rather than meeting "force with force".… Continue reading Aikido and Piano are a good match for Sakura (Video) (Note the rolling forward wrist motion in Kabalevsky’s “Galop”)

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Teaching Clowns by Kabalevsky, from the Op. 39 Children’s Pieces for piano

This is a tricky miniature packed with robust energy. The parallel Major/minor duality is fleshed out with a quick build-up to climax. The challenge is to sustain a Left Hand staccato ostinato, a repeated bass pattern, while observing separate articulation and phrasing in the right hand. Effective dynamic contrasts make a performance even more poignant.… Continue reading Teaching Clowns by Kabalevsky, from the Op. 39 Children’s Pieces for piano