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The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ--gGIwgAA After decades of teaching the Chopin Waltzes, I've come to the conclusion that the A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous is the best student introduction to the form as the composer cultivated it. While many other Waltzes in Chopin's collection are far more substantial and technically challenging, No. 19, is in my opinion, easiest… Continue reading The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)

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Performance Anxiety and the Pianist

For too long performance anxiety was a taboo subject, always swept under the rug. I remember grappling with paralyzing jitters during my years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. My piano teacher at the time, a seasoned professional, would always say the same thing: "Honey, the music is bigger than you… Continue reading Performance Anxiety and the Pianist

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Piano Lesson: Step by step Diminished 7th arpeggio warm-up with a 10 yr. old student

I previously discussed diminished 7th chords and how they are constructed as an introduction to an actual warm-up routine. The missing ingredient was the student: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/piano-instruction-playing-diminished-7th-chords-and-arpeggios-video/ In this video, a ten year old pupil fills the bill, romping over the keyboard, joining in a scintillating choreography with her teacher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhazCUOzzdI Diminished 7th arpeggio sampled: G#… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Step by step Diminished 7th arpeggio warm-up with a 10 yr. old student

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Music Comes from the Heart

Musical expression arises from the deepest part of ourselves so as we relax into the here and now, focused on the flow and shape of phrases, our arms, wrists and fingers work together as an ensemble to produce an artful outpouring. Mildred Portney Chase, author of Just Being at the Piano describes such an approach… Continue reading Music Comes from the Heart

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Piano Instruction: Favorite Children’s Pieces (Video)

I've highlighted three favorite children's pieces by Dimitri Kabalevsky and Robert Schumann that are very catchy, colorful and harmonically engaging. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suVPK_RDxM8 They fall into the category of programmatic music because the character of the compositions match the titles. Even though Schumann and Kabalevsky dedicated their compositions to a youthful generation, the music is quite sophisticated… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Favorite Children’s Pieces (Video)

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Fighting for a Dream Piano (Hopefully it should not come to this)

This writing, true to the last detail is meant to give piano buyers a heads up about how to handle a situation where an Oral Agreement may be breached by a seller. The following ad was placed at the on line Fresno Bee Classifieds website: Published 07/12/07 00:00:00 PIANO Baldwin Baby Grand cherry, xlnt cond… Continue reading Fighting for a Dream Piano (Hopefully it should not come to this)

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Piano Instruction: Playing Diminished 7th chords and arpeggios (Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVZyIhTXmag In order to understand how a diminished chord is formed a student needs to know the difference between a Major and minor third. A Major third has two consecutive whole steps from a starting note so for example, C to E creates a Major third. If a student sings C to D to E,… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Playing Diminished 7th chords and arpeggios (Video)