" 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

piano, piano blog, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Tchaikovsky, Uncategorized

Tchaikovsky’s “Sweet Dream” requires a balanced synthesis of voices

At first glance, most piano students will not realize the amount of detailed work and analysis that applies to learning one of Tchaikovsky's most endearing miniatures from his Op. 39 Children's Collection. However, after an initial reading and overview, it becomes crystal clear that each voice must be parceled out and then re-integrated in a… Continue reading Tchaikovsky’s “Sweet Dream” requires a balanced synthesis of voices

Just Being at the Piano, Mildred Portney Chase, Peter Illyich Tchaikovksy, pianist, piano, piano playing, Tchaikovsky

Imagination fuels expressive piano playing

As my local and Online piano students gear up for their bi-annual music sharing this coming Saturday over Skype, a commonly expressed concern is how to harness the imagination to feed a musical journey right from the opening measure of a piece to its final cadence. The challenge for everyone embodies a centered period of… Continue reading Imagination fuels expressive piano playing

piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano competition, Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, Van Cliburn

Van Cliburn’s Tchaikovsky No. 1 concerto revisited

Van Cliburn's named popped up on one of the piano forums. Would he have made the same formidable impression in today's Moscow Competition as he did in 1958? The answer is simply YES, and resurrecting a flashback of his winning performance sheds light on how and why his Tchaikovsky 1, at least for me, stands… Continue reading Van Cliburn’s Tchaikovsky No. 1 concerto revisited

learning a new piano piece, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instruction, piano learning, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Tchaikovsky

Early stage learning, and ways of knowing a new piano piece

One of my adult students has embarked upon studying Tchaikovsky's "German Song," Op. 39, and in her initial baby-step exposure to the composition, she has already explored multiple ways of "knowing" the work. http://youtu.be/ocd8Ci0Ny_E http://youtu.be/iEfP45vQIqs 1) Setting a fingering for each hand, and counting beats through each measure in a sub-divided way (within a slow… Continue reading Early stage learning, and ways of knowing a new piano piece

piano blogging, piano worldwide, Rada Bukhman, Uncategorized

Tchaikovsky’s “Harmonica Player” fits snugly between a Song and Dance

When I first stumbled upon "The Harmonic Player," No. 12, from Tchaikovsky's Op. 39 Children's Album, my first thought was, "Why on earth did the great composer include such tirelessly redundant music with an unimaginative harmonic scheme and belabored melody." For certain, as a stand-alone, it could be easily passed over--- dismissed as a throwaway… Continue reading Tchaikovsky’s “Harmonica Player” fits snugly between a Song and Dance

Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, youtube.com

Tchaikovsky’s “Mama” gives double messages

"Mama" is a lyrically spun out tableau evoking the endearing, universally loving mother, but as many can attest, moms may often send out double messages. In Tchaikovsky's Op. 39, Children's Album, MAMA has number 4 status among 24 beautifully descriptive pieces, and with its remarkable dualism, in parallel tenths between the soprano (top line) and… Continue reading Tchaikovsky’s “Mama” gives double messages