One of my piano students who is learning J.S. Bach's Little Prelude in E minor, BWV 941 wanted to explore the modulations permeating this soulful work to advance her understanding of phrasing. The Analysis: In a series of broken chords through 22 measures, the composer artfully departs from the home key of E minor to… Continue reading J.S. Bach, Harmonic Analysis and Phrasing
As teachers, we're in a position to advise our students about navigating big stretches that may not comfortably fit hands that are small or even moderate in size. George Gershwin's Prelude No. 2, a bluesy lullaby, is exemplary in requiring artful phrasing of relentless measures that have these wide interval spans beyond the reach of… Continue reading Small hand challenges playing Gershwin’s Prelude No. 2
These lesson videos-in-progress reinforce practicing approaches to warm-ups, giving a student an additional angle of the teacher's hands. I. Crispy Cracker Staccato (D Major scale) Forearm generated at FORTE level followed by "lighter" finger strokes at "piano" dynamic. Forte=Big Projection, Piano=Soft FLASHBACK video, (A Major scale in Staccato) before my relocation to Berkeley--same student LIVE,… Continue reading Adult sneak peek piano technique
http://youtu.be/JJ0fERiMXr4 George Li's offical website illuminates his musical accomplishments while it resonates with gratitude for a community that has supported him over the years. A page link to a "family" circle of parents, teachers, mentors, and others, sends a heartwarming message that it takes a village to raise and nurture a musician as incomparably gifted… Continue reading My Interview with George Li, a seasoned pianist at 16
In the past, I've ranted against giving piano students "arrangements" of celebrated compositions like Fur Elise and Chopin's Waltz in Eb Major. The latter appears, significantly reduced, in the Faber Adult Accelerated edition. It's a token Classical music offering interspersed by Boogie Woogie snatches. Oh, I forgot the revised Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and a curious… Continue reading An exceptional set of piano “arrangements” for Intermediate Level students (Carnival of the Animals) VIDEOS
Claudia, age 6 playing a duet with me I recall Elaine Comparone, the renowned harpsichordist having described a student she had mentored for 35 years before a move cut short a lasting musical relationship. "She was the real deal," the musician insisted. Seymour Bernstein, author, With Your Own Two Hands, often shared the joy of… Continue reading The joy and value of teaching a piano student over many years
Irina Morozova, a name that drew my attention amidst a flood of star-studded "Irina's" in the teaching and performing realm, came through with shining colors in her nuanced readings of George Gershwin Improvisations. The CD title, "Gershwin Virtuoso Transcriptions" encompasses "improvisations" originally delivered by the composer himself on piano rolls, later transcribed by Artis Wodehouse,… Continue reading Irina Morozova, pianist, shines playing Gershwin Virtuoso Transcriptions on CD!