Maeve, aka "Liz" was welcomed into the universe of music sharing in the beautiful Oakland Hills of California. What better backdrop, cloaked in nature, as breezes wafted through branches, shaking out leaves in graceful patterns. The images, extracted from the East Bay's gorgeous panorama are in Maeve's mental repository, as they feed relaxed energy down… Continue reading A Happy Day for a 9-yr. old piano student playing on her first recital
As mentors, we can easily recall our student days when well-practiced pieces tanked upon arrival at our piano teacher's home. Even ascending the staircase to the threshold of the apartment, our heart rate quickened, and we felt cold, clammy and faint. It was automatic over-drive for the first 20 minutes--an adrenaline crisis of magnitude. Yet… Continue reading Student: “I get so nervous when I play for you!” The Teacher responds!
A North Carolina ONLINE piano student comes to Berkeley, California for a LIVE lesson right before the Super Bowl!
Awakenings alternately occur between teacher and student, especially if they're collectively open to them. And embracing this sharing spirit, I welcome ideas from pupils about phrasing, technique, etc. since we enjoy a common journey of discovery. By chance, one student brought a "new" fingering for his assigned D Major arpeggio in 10ths, and it worked so… Continue reading An Adult Piano Student teaches the Teacher
It started as a "rant" on a Piano Pedagogy Internet forum. Nikolas Sideris, a prolific, "living" composer of Greek origin insisted that piano teachers were not providing students with a balanced diet of pieces. He faulted them for habitually dishing out Classical and Romantic masterworks minus an ear to the pulse of the 21rst Century.… Continue reading Nikolas Sideris, composer, is making a Millennium statement!
Irina Morozova and her student, Daniel Mori reflect the Special Music School's dedication to high artistic achievement.
Many students play J.S. Bach's music with a typed out, articulated approach, forgetting to shape and contour phrases. In Bach's F Major Invention, BWV 779, the tendency is to overemphasize every element of broken chord F, A, C, F, in a perfunctory detachment, when musically the line tells us otherwise. Because the very first note… Continue reading Shaping a J.S. Bach Two-Part Invention
I evade the firing squad at any number of piano ped. forums by sticking to my guns. I say, in some parts of the world there may be a strong Classical music tradition bound up with a formidable work ethic. In remote parts of Romania, for example, and into the hills of Slavic countries, the… Continue reading Everyone’s obsessed with the fall-off in piano students
It's practically a universal problem area for adult students in the beginner to intermediate range. Keeping a steady pulse in scale playing, and then making transitions to double speed, as from 16ths to 32nds is a big challenge for them. Most pupils can handle 32nds alone, and play them evenly. (I set a quarter note… Continue reading The Adult Piano Student Rhythmic Quagmire
I've come to the conclusion that no full-proof piano method, or method book can be applied across the board to beginning students or those at any level of study. Each pupil is so unique that an individualized growth and development plan is needed. By example, I faced a dilemma when a new adult student who… Continue reading Piano lessons should be tailor-made for each student (Videos)