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The Piano Teacher as Composer: Using my MOONBEAMS collection as an example (Video)

Why not give composing a try? I did. For the most part, you don't need a degree in composition, but a Theory background helps things along with voice leading in the bass part and understanding the rules of notation. Above all, intuition and inspiration are the main ingredients in any creative undertaking. In 1985 I… Continue reading The Piano Teacher as Composer: Using my MOONBEAMS collection as an example (Video)

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Making Pianistic Compromises: Schubert Impromptu in Eb, Op. 90

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHFOPFzUxUw I was struck by a post at Piano World.com about making compromises when playing difficult passages. The writer referred to a technically challenging Chopin work: "But I simply cannot manage to get every note in on the two long runs, the first of which comes on measure 15. When trying to play to speed,… Continue reading Making Pianistic Compromises: Schubert Impromptu in Eb, Op. 90

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The MTAC Celebration Festival, Anna Magdalena Bach, and Meeting Keith Snell (VIDEO)

Last weekend I journeyed to the Fresno State University Music Building to monitor Room 1 for the Celebration Festival sponsored by the Fresno branch of the Music Teachers Association of California. Every February students from our city and surrounding areas are invited to play one or two pieces in a selected cubicle, (basically a music… Continue reading The MTAC Celebration Festival, Anna Magdalena Bach, and Meeting Keith Snell (VIDEO)

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Great Piano Teaching Moments

This remarkable piece of film footage inspired a stream of others. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ur7SoOVRhk Nadia Boulanger (b.1887-d.1979) the esteemed teacher, composer, theoretician, organist, pianist, taught and influenced so many great musical creators such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copeland, Virgil Thomson, Walter Piston and Philip Glass. From Wikipedia: "Boulanger's teaching methods included traditional harmony, score reading at the… Continue reading Great Piano Teaching Moments

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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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Why Play Scales?

Scale practicing examples: https://youtu.be/SJGbnFQB8L8 https://youtu.be/Bo1ptHbMu9M https://youtu.be/W3N_9Me7hXQ *** The Backdrop: As a young piano student living in New York City, I remember my reluctance to prepare a mandatory scale each week for my lesson. In fact my first teacher had so many students, she always seemed to forget the scale she had assigned to me, so… Continue reading Why Play Scales?

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The mapped out manuscript for Bach Invention No. 1 in C

Here's my hand-written analysis of the Bach Two Part Invention No. 1 in C that supplements the video. I've added more at: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/revisiting-j-s-bachs-invention-1-in-c-bwv-772-video/ The Main Idea or subject is bracketed, as well as an Inverted form of it. Key changes are also marked in the score. Recap: Instructional video, Bach Invention no.1 in C, BWV… Continue reading The mapped out manuscript for Bach Invention No. 1 in C