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What should be natural is hard for many piano students

I often think about artificial barriers that many students erect when practicing. Of the adults whom I've mentored (and learned from) over the years some have had a formidable line of defense against "hitting" wrong notes. In many cases they've lifted action verbs from the battlefield zone, transferring them to the keyboard conquering turf. Such… Continue reading What should be natural is hard for many piano students

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Bonus post-concert Video Footage: Daniil Trifonov Interview, Fresno, California

In supplementary video footage, Trifonov discussed the role of "relaxation," and physical "freedom" in beautiful music-making. He reiterated a practicing modality where a pianist plays a composition in "seven different emotions." One of my adult students and her husband joined me during the post-recital interview that took place in the private Fresno State University music… Continue reading Bonus post-concert Video Footage: Daniil Trifonov Interview, Fresno, California

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West Side Story (piano arrangements), the Taubman method and controversial wrist break

On my way home from the Bay area on Amtrak 712, I grabbed a few extra table napkins from the dining car, and let my imagination run wild as I scribbled some notes to myself. "Wild" should be emphasized since I had some pent up frustration related to the Taubman-Golandsky's ban on the "wrist break."… Continue reading West Side Story (piano arrangements), the Taubman method and controversial wrist break

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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)