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Piano Instruction: Schumann Arabesque, Op. 18-Using a supple wrist follow through motion, and parceling out voices (Video)

The Schumann Arabesque is a heartfelt character piece from the Romantic era. It requires the player to have a very supple wrist to realize the lilt of buoyant, legato dotted eighth/16th figures that permeate the music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPqrQJccLQ4 Though the composition is in C Major, it has interludes in the minor, that are somber and impassioned.… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Schumann Arabesque, Op. 18-Using a supple wrist follow through motion, and parceling out voices (Video)

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Piano Instruction: The Virtues of Slow Motion Practicing and Attentive Listening

It takes patience to approach a piece well behind tempo, tuning in to every nuance and turn of phrase. With ears alert and sensitive, the player tries to create a feeling state where he's submerged in sound to the exclusion of all else. At the pinnacle of concentration, he's "in the zone," attaining Maslow's "peak… Continue reading Piano Instruction: The Virtues of Slow Motion Practicing and Attentive Listening

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The Emotionally Abusive Piano Teacher and Suggested Rehab

Over the years my ears have been pinned back by stories from students who experienced emotionally abusive teachers. One who transferred to my studio from another, described her head having been shoved into the music after striking a wrong note. In biographies of well-known performers, strands of anecdotes about foot-pounding, screaming master instructors remind readers… Continue reading The Emotionally Abusive Piano Teacher and Suggested Rehab

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How to Improve Sight-reading at the Piano

A universal complaint among piano students relates to sight-reading. They find themselves stumbling through the first playing of a brand new piece, not knowing if an end is in sight. The faltering, (wrong note, right note in treble and bass clefs) can keep a "reader" so contained in one measure at a time, if not… Continue reading How to Improve Sight-reading at the Piano

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Piano Instruction: Flexible wrist, rolling forward motion for shaping groups of notes in Burgmuller’s “Inquietude” (VIDEO)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEAm3TYmSIk I've chosen Burgmuller's E minor "Inquietude" (Restlessness) from the composer's Twenty-Five Progressive Pieces, to demonstrate a spring forward movement of the wrist used with groupings of three slurred 16th notes that permeate the selection. I also enlist syllables, "da-lee-dle" to assist with shaping the 3-note figures. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyzhVZJODn0 The Schirmer edition is below. I use… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Flexible wrist, rolling forward motion for shaping groups of notes in Burgmuller’s “Inquietude” (VIDEO)

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To use or not to use a Metronome in the piano studio

There's no doubt that one of the biggest challenges in teaching piano students of all ages is imbuing a rhythmic or metrical consciousness. In my experience, younger students, especially, at the primer level of study, want to race off like there's no tomorrow. They might begin a piece in a steady rhythmic frame but succumb… Continue reading To use or not to use a Metronome in the piano studio

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Piano Lesson: Fritz, Age 7, performs his composed piece, “FINDING GOLD” (Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFObHOAwNV0 Over a period of three weeks, seven year old Fritz, who'd been taking piano lessons for about 7 months, composed a piece that he titled, "Finding Gold." The student has been using Faber Primer Piano Adventures, with my inserted modifications. He warmed up this past Monday with Lesson Book p. 24, C-D-E-F-G March transposed… Continue reading Piano Lesson: Fritz, Age 7, performs his composed piece, “FINDING GOLD” (Video)