Is this Orwellian? It's well past 1984, and pianists who've steeped themselves in every URTEXT (authentic music edition) known to civilization, are signing on to SKYPE, meeting their students in Alaska, Uganda, Brazil, or even right around the corner. The NEW neighborhood teacher is zoning out on the big screen with a Logitech mini-cam blowing… Continue reading Sculpting melodic lines over FACETIME
Rada Bukhman, pianist, teacher, and fine artist, brings a wealth of talent to her latest undertaking. Her "infinite love affair between music and fine art" is the springboard for a journey through the related compositions of Robert Schumann and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Both composers produced colorful albums for the young that have a remarkable affinity… Continue reading A fusion of art and music in The Magic Link: Piano Albums by Schumann and Tchaikovsky
One of my adult pupils is deeply embedded in J.C. Bach's Prelude in A minor which is a soulful outpouring of broken chords with patterns and symmetries built into its harmonic fabric. Yet through a sequence of secondary dominants that heightens the composition's beauty, a melodic line is interwoven, and it needs to be fleshed… Continue reading A relevant sequence of pieces for an Intermediate piano student
One of my adult transfer students brought an arrangement of Chopin's "Raindrop Prelude" that was an insult to the composer's original intention. It was poorly transcribed in an alien key, awkwardly fingered, and contained a mountain of additional challenges-- a no brain reason to terminate this particular learning adventure. (besides even the "arrangement" was over… Continue reading Piano instruction: Arrangements of Classics or the real deal?
I always ponder the process of learning a new piece and how I want to experience and re-experience a freshness that seems to come with my earliest exposure to the printed page. As I set out my fingering, isolate lines or voices, in a Bach Three Part invention, for example, or even within the Adagio… Continue reading Capturing the first sunrise in our practicing and performing
Over decades of teaching, I've come to the conclusion that each student needs a custom designed long-term lesson plan. Method books only go so far. Often they stratify the learning process, keeping students in an interminably drawn out, regressive C Major universe. For the most part, flats and sharps with Letter Name identifications are regarded… Continue reading Individualizing Piano Study: How to avoid Method Book dependency
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyY3XSl5Wuc Starting a very young child on a musical journey is joyful, exciting and challenging. The first baby steps taken at the piano will be memorable for both teacher and student, so careful thought and preparation are needed. At the very outset, I believe in nurturing an awareness of the singing tone and how it… Continue reading The Joy of Teaching Piano to Young Children (Videos)