A commonly registered concern among my brood of adult students circumscribes an uncertainty about phrasing and overall musical expression. Many don't trust their native musical instincts as they might apply to practicing fledgling pieces that are in early stage development. Yet a good sample of these self-doubters often have a natural inclination to shape lines… Continue reading Piano Student: “I don’t know what I want to hear?”
It's been decades since my beloved N.Y.C. piano teacher, Lillian Freundlich bestowed upon me the gift of Domenico Scarlatti Sonatas. And at the time, (while I was a student at the New York City H.S. of Performing Arts) I had no idea that those she had selected were permeated with the basics of technique bonded… Continue reading A Domenico Scarlatti Sonata that enables Finger and Forearm Staccato
This week's practicing and You Tubing hearkened back to my student days in New York City. Lillian Lefkofsky Freundlich was my Rosina Lhevinne. She, like her Russian counterpart, was married to a high profile husband, Irwin Freundlich who doubled as her 4-hand piano partner. When Irwin passed away in his late 60s quite suddenly, as… Continue reading Husband and wife pianists I have known and their legacy
It's nostalgia time for me, reconnecting with the Pathetique that I butchered as a teenager before I landed in the good hands of mentor, Lillian Freundlich. The teacher before, lived about 4 blocks away, but was miles off the mark in her teaching. She had me studying the Chopin Scherzo in Bb minor before I… Continue reading Revisiting Beethoven’s “Pathetique” Sonata, Op. 13 GRAVE
One of my adult students echoed a belief that has resonated for generations in piano studios across the country, if not the world. The OLD school of thought was that you played piano with a rigid, arched hand, and if you slipped into a longer, relaxed curve, or dared to DIP your wrist below the… Continue reading Piano Technique: The dipping wrist, and how it defies convention (Videos)
In a compelling personal interview, Georgle Li waxed poetic about Russell Sherman's artistry: "I really admire and love his playing. It’s so colorful, yet so unique that it’s totally inspiring. There is so much character, so much drama, and he does things totally unexpected that it takes your breath away." George whet my appetite to… Continue reading George Li’s pianistic idol: Russell Sherman
I'm thinking back to my ancient days studying with Lillian Freundlich in New York City. During this period, like any fledgling I relied on my teacher as an "authority" figure to recommend what Mozart Sonata edition, for example, I should buy down at Patelson's. (This was decades before the quaint hub for musicians seeking authenticity… Continue reading What “authentic” edition should a piano student use when learning repertoire of the Masters?
The musical universe is smaller than we think. And perhaps this writing will incubate a linked chain of "connections" that will go further--especially since my relocation to Berkeley, California (September, 2012) So here it is: Now that I'm well past my Oberlin Conservatory student years, I notice that Lillian Freundlich, my beloved teacher during my… Continue reading Shrinking degrees of separation in the music world?
Andante: second movement, Mozart Sonata K. 545 played on my Steinway, 1917, M. http://youtu.be/PPYKK3hOjnk **** My relationship to Mozart and his music began with the violin. At the Merrywood Music Camp in Lenox, Massachusetts, only a stone's throw from Tanglewood, I encountered Eugene Lehner, first violist of the Boston Symphony when I played second violin… Continue reading Mozart memories, reflections and revisits (Videos)
I wish I could have waved a magic wand when I was six years old and produced a beginning teacher who would have artfully nursed me through my crawling stage to a graceful, phrase-loving adulthood at the piano. I needed to learn how to produce a singing tone, moving with agility from one note to… Continue reading About the physical side of playing piano: What we need to teach at all levels (Videos)