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
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
I met 80-plus, sparkling Sonya recently at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, and discovered that her son, Renato, graduated Oberlin-- small world. It wasn't long before my new-found friend invited me to join her as a choir concert companion to Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley campus. It was my first formal musical touchdown post Bezerkeley… Continue reading The best seat in the house (concert hall) with a treasured companion
Practicing a programmatic miniature from Kabalevsy's Op. 39 Children's Pieces can draw on energies well beyond the fingers. "Funny Event" is a good example with its series of sound bursts on the first beat of each measure. If a student takes the pecking approach, typing away at the keyboard, one note at a time, his… Continue reading Piano Technique: Playing with bigger energies beyond the fingers
Divine music-making from a seasoned pianist in a memorable retrospective
Teaching affords the greatest opportunity to listen objectively to students serving up their menu of pieces. It allows ideas to spring forward and bounce back. Today, my Greek student resurrected his Chopin B Minor Waltz in preparation for a forthcoming concert, and he sorted through some of my epiphanies that were born of his playing.… Continue reading Piano lesson: Chopin B minor Waltz, Op. 69, no 2. (bouncing phrases back and forth)
My note: I've listed links to blogs posted about these performers. PIANO Grigory Sokolov Complete piano recital, Theatre de Champs Elysee (for astounding fusion of technique/lyricism/wide dynamic palette--having everything and anything at his disposal to draw upon from his rich musical repository) http://youtu.be/o7qUMHm3LOI Irina Morozova: Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11,… Continue reading My Top You Tube Picks for 2013, What are yours?
A few years ago, I received a telling message through my Authors Den website. John Bidwell, a spirited short story writer and poet, shared more than a literary connection with me. He waxed poetic about his late mother and father, Eleanor and David, who were pianists and 1950's classmates at Oberlin. (my alma mater) A… Continue reading A Love Story Woven on a Chopin Canvas
Having been through years of practicing and teaching this Mozart Alegretto, I have a few epiphanies that might benefit others. In the attached video, I assert that the opening Rondo motif with its lively thirds should not spill into an emphasized downbeat but rather a lifted one. This applies to the overlapping Left Hand as… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Suggested ways to practice Mozart Rondo: Allegretto, K. 545 in C Major
Pedaling is a universe often neglected by piano teachers, but needing attention.