piano, piano blogger, piano lessons, piano technique

Weaving threads of melody through W.A. Mozart, K. 545-Allegro

I've come full circle back to a "signature" piece that has grown over decades as I've worked with students discovering its many challenges. The so-called "facile" Sonata in C, K. 545, by W.A. Mozart that's quickly retrievable from my memory-labeled archive, is not "easily" dismissed as a thinly composed romp through C Major. With its… Continue reading Weaving threads of melody through W.A. Mozart, K. 545-Allegro

" Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, phrasing, phrasing at the piano, piano instruction, piano learning, piano lesson

Creative phrasing or reading between the lines

We are taught as piano students to have respect and reverence for what the composer notates in his score as pertains to tempo, dynamics and other embedded forms of expression. (i.e. directives such as poco rit., calando, note slurred legato and non-legato, etc.) Yet, these are only framings that give life to expression only when… Continue reading Creative phrasing or reading between the lines

Claude Debussy, piano

Teaching the Language of Debussy in Reverie

Yesterday afternoon I found myself mentoring a student about the nuances of a composer's language and style in the Impressionist genre. Claude Debussy's Reverie, with its palette of blended colors was on display--naturally intoned in vowels rather than consonants, while its liquid phrases begged for supple wrist and relaxed arm infusions of energy. My pupil's… Continue reading Teaching the Language of Debussy in Reverie

Claude Debussy, Debussy, piano blog

Reviewing Debussy’s Arabesque 1 with its Impressionist palette

It's been years since I learned Claude Debussy's coloristic Arabesque No. 1, so my recent revisit was a reminder of how a solid learning foundation can deepen a musical reconnection. Reviewing an "old" piece brings a renewed opportunity to delve into its character, form, structure, harmonic flow, phrasing, etc. while keeping an open mind about… Continue reading Reviewing Debussy’s Arabesque 1 with its Impressionist palette

Burgmuller, Friedrich Burgmuller

How to stay calm in the Eye of “The Storm”- Practicing Burgmuller’s L’Orage, Op. 109, No. 13

Most piano students are familiar with Friedrich Burgmuller's set of Twenty-Five Easy and Progressive Studies, Op. 100, that are tasteful Romantic era miniatures with appealing programmatic titles. "Tender Flower," "The Little Party," and "The Wagtail," to name a few, are far from dripping with the excesses that one might encounter in the manuscripts of Romantic… Continue reading How to stay calm in the Eye of “The Storm”- Practicing Burgmuller’s L’Orage, Op. 109, No. 13

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Schumann’s “Almost Too Serious” (Kinderszenen No. 10) requires get serious, step-wise practicing

When I first looked at a "seriously" complex page of dizzying tied-over (syncopated) notes in Schumann's "Almost Too Serious," (Fast Zu Ernst) I had a knee-jerk avoidance response--that is until I tapped into a permeating melodic thread that I isolated and wooed from its conspicuous alliance to myriads of off beats. In other words, I… Continue reading Schumann’s “Almost Too Serious” (Kinderszenen No. 10) requires get serious, step-wise practicing

adult piano instruction, Classical era sonatas, classical music, Classical music blog, K. 283, Mozart, Mozart Sonata No. 5 K. 283, Mozart Sonatas, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, W.A. Mozart

Exploring Mozart Sonata No. 5 in G, K. 283 (First movement, Allegro)

The learning exchange between student and teacher is heightened when a new piece is introduced. In the case of Mozart's charming, early period Sonata no. 5 in G, it became a revisit for me that brought new revelations that I shared during the course of weekly lessons. *** Mozart presents a challenge in capturing a… Continue reading Exploring Mozart Sonata No. 5 in G, K. 283 (First movement, Allegro)