It's easy to be dismissive of the Classical era Minuet form, though in the hands of a wunderkind like Mozart, a set of these 3/4 meter Binary dances springs to life with a myriad of embedded learning and performance challenges. For example, the Minuet in F Major, K. 2 composed by Mozart at age 6,… Continue reading W.A. Mozart Minuets: Valuable Journeys of Discovery
"...No matter what the mood to be conveyed, or how sensitive the playing, it is the rhythm that binds the expression." Mildred Portney Chase, Just Being at the Piano Most students, including myself, sometimes find ourselves running away from our initially centered, fundamental beat through scales, which causes an uncomfortable disruption of the phrase. And… Continue reading Centering the beat for cohesion in scale playing
Over months and years, I've devised various technique framed routines that happen to be bi-products of trial and error excursions over the keyboard. To the extent that I put myself under self-analysis following a stint of formal piano study, I was able to discard a lion's share of the factory-generated, Conservatory-based litany that encapsulated certain… Continue reading Piano Technique: Self-created Scale and Arpeggio Prep
My students remind me to breathe long, natural breaths when playing through scales and arpeggios from moderate to brisk tempos. Through a selective process of elimination, we've collectively come to the conclusion that SWEATING it out, or driving technique to the ground, gritting teeth, or otherwise fighting a noteworthy terrain is counter-productive. In the final… Continue reading Piano Technique: Respiration NOT perspiration
Eight weeks ago, as I started my scale warm-up routine, I felt sudden, excruciating, spasmodic pain in my lower back, and I couldn't move in any direction without feeling a knife deeply embedded in my spine. It was an "e-m-e-r-g-e-n-c-y!"that I registered by text message. My Nokia cell was thankfully beside me on the piano… Continue reading Pianists, back pain, and my personal rehab bundled into a BALL
We all know about the note zinging nuisance that plagues students and teachers at inopportune times. Like getting ready to perform on the big Spring recital.. A run over the 88's has a MIDDLE C blockade. The noise has infiltrated the most celebrated note in the method book cosmos, making the BLACK ones feel cheated… Continue reading Piano buzzes can wreak havoc!