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Why is practicing slowly so unpopular?

There appears to be a stigma attached to parceling out a brand new piece in deliberately slow tempo, where a player threads through separate lines with a commitment to expression framed by an ultra-relaxed singing pulse. In the best realization of such immersion, the music becomes magnified to a new level of awareness, albeit in… Continue reading Why is practicing slowly so unpopular?

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J.S. Bach Prelude in Ab, BWV 862: A Fresh Start for Student and Teacher

In the course of teaching, a situation may arise where a particular favored piece is requested by a student that I've never studied--which means a deep-layered journey is ahead of two learning partners. And given that J.S. Bach's Prelude and Fugue in Ab, (Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1) requires thoughtful fingering choices; an awareness of Baroque… Continue reading J.S. Bach Prelude in Ab, BWV 862: A Fresh Start for Student and Teacher

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Piano Lesson summary videos cut to the chase

I used to customarily record segments of lessons in progress that required sensitive editing before I uploaded them to you tube. It was not only a big job, but much of the video time was taken up with students lumbering through difficult passages, needing more settled post-lesson time to sift through teacher corrections, comments. Therefore… Continue reading Piano Lesson summary videos cut to the chase

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J.S. Bach Prelude No. 1 in C, Voicing and Harmonic Rhythm (my ideas and Seymour Bernstein’s)

A musician's understanding of a masterwork is a composite of ideas derived from many sources. In the course of piano study, perceptions change and grow, enlarged by a combined theoretical and musical examination of a composition that invites mentors into the mix. In this tutorial, I realized how I synthesized the contributions of harpsichordist, Elaine… Continue reading J.S. Bach Prelude No. 1 in C, Voicing and Harmonic Rhythm (my ideas and Seymour Bernstein’s)

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J.S. Bach’s ethereal Prelude in F minor, BWV 881 (contour and voices)

A kindred musician friend and Baroque scholar residing on the East Coast tipped me off that my "first love" reading of Bach's Prelude in F minor a few months back, was just the very top layer of a more in depth relationship to come. And as time bore out, she was right because my earliest… Continue reading J.S. Bach’s ethereal Prelude in F minor, BWV 881 (contour and voices)

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Teaching J.S. Bach

As mentors immersed in a two-way sharing process with students, we're grateful for opportunities to delve deeply into the masterworks. One companion traveler of mine dotes exclusively on the music of J.S. Bach, preferring this singular journey to any other. And without doubt, I can sympathize with his emphasis because the Baroque Master's body of… Continue reading Teaching J.S. Bach

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Comparing Interpretations of Bach Prelude in C minor, BWV 847 (Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1)

Over a year ago, I posted a tutorial about the harmonic rhythm of Bach's C minor Prelude (WTC I) to help myself and others navigate strings of 16th notes with an awareness of shape, direction, and resolution. This was my springboard to learning the composition and it remains a good reference. http://youtu.be/yAa8YcW7lMI However, my you… Continue reading Comparing Interpretations of Bach Prelude in C minor, BWV 847 (Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1)