piano, piano lessons

Phrase variation and imagination

During a lesson today beamed to Scotland, my student presented an invaluable opportunity to explore phrase variants in Burgmuller's "Tarentelle," Op. 100, No. 20, with particular attention to imaginatively rendered mood shifts. This charming character piece has an abundance of repeats built into its fabric, with keen dynamic and emotional contrasts. Should the player conscientiously… Continue reading Phrase variation and imagination

Chopin, Chopin Nocturnes, Frederic Chopin, piano, piano blog

Don’t Choke through peak sections of a Chopin Nocturne

Many adult students get bent out of shape when a piece of "night music" blooms with "improvised," decorative passagework at peak expressive levels. Add in prolonged trills with lower notes tied (held down) leading to a decisive crescendo through a tricky chromatic scale, and many players will shrink from the challenge. They'll prefer to skip… Continue reading Don’t Choke through peak sections of a Chopin Nocturne

adult piano instruction, adult piano pupils, adult piano students, Kinderszenen, piano blog, piano blogging, piano pedagogy, piano transcriptions, Robert Schumann, Scenes of Childhood, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Traumerei, wordpress, you tube

No dumbing down piano study for adult students

I'm ready for a shower of criticism on this one. After all, some adults want their favorite transcription of the Elvira Madigan theme song, (aka Mozart's Concerto No. 21 in C, Andante) to encapsulate their musical journey---at least for part of the time. And that's OK if the transcription route of top ten, poorly transformed… Continue reading No dumbing down piano study for adult students

Carnegie Hall, Chopin, Cincinnati World Piano Competition, Debussy, Marianna Prjelvalskaya, Naxos, piano competition, Rachmaninoff, Weill Concert Hall, you tube.com

A Big New York Debut Recital for Pianist, Marianna Prjevalskaya

After many international victories and a stash of prizes, honors and recital appearances flowing out of them, Marianna Prjevalskaya, will make her debut in New York City's cultural limelight. EVENT DETAILS "MARIANNA PRJEVALSKAYA, 2013 GOLD MEDALIST OF CINCINNATI WORLD PIANO COMPETITION, PERFORMS her debut recital at CARNEGIE HALL. (Weill Recital Hall) "The event, presented by… Continue reading A Big New York Debut Recital for Pianist, Marianna Prjevalskaya

Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano addict, Romantic era piano music

This Week’s Favorite You Tubes!

My first selection is a Juilliard graduation commencement address that's both grounded and inspiring. Joyce Di Donato, mezzo soprano, having received her honorary Doctorate resonates at the podium with wisdom and a touch humor--definitely worth sharing with a universe of musicians who can benefit from a perspective refresher and attitude-changer from time to time. http://youtu.be/qctdpdk-LhI… Continue reading This Week’s Favorite You Tubes!

Carnegie Hall, Rada Lupu, Shirley Smith Kirsten

4-hand piano prep and the joy of making music for two

I remember an astonishing concert that I attended at Carnegie Hall where two distinguished pianists sang like nightingales at one 9 foot grand piano. It was back in the 1970's that I heard Paul Badura-Skoda and Jorge Demus perform the Schubert Fantasie in F minor as opener to a program featuring mostly Mozart works. The… Continue reading 4-hand piano prep and the joy of making music for two

no. 1, piano instruction, Piano Street

Parceling out voices in Chopin’s Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15

Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass scoring in Chopin's hauntingly beautiful F Major Nocturne (opening section) begs for an artistic examination through voice parceling. One cannot just paste the left hand onto the right, deferring entirely to the soprano. (soloist) Meandering chromatics weave through the alto, tenor, and bass, creating unexpected harmonic events that influence melodic shaping,… Continue reading Parceling out voices in Chopin’s Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15