Apologetically, I must admit that as an acoustic piano purist, I often need an electronic when I'm doing a dinner party gig and there's no viable alternative. The house piano might be virtually impossible to play or there's no real piano on the premises. And while I love my Yamaha Arius YDP-141 for its touch/tonal… Continue reading Choosing a traveling (Portable) digital piano for myself
Piano teachers may complain about students who hardly practice, or come to lessons with a truckload of excuses, but the times we savor are when everything seems to click. Tonight, I had a lesson with an adult student who announced immediately before playing a note that her piece "was in the doghouse." What a tension-relieving… Continue reading A Peak teaching and learning experience!
Pianists are expected to perform on stage without music. It's a controversial area worth probing.
Here's a flashback of my work with Sakura, 14, on the Bach Prelude in C. You can readily hear the improvement in her performance at the recent Spring student recital held May 5, 2012. (included for comparison) Videotaping lessons, and sending these You Tube uploads to pupils help reinforce points made during lessons. In addition,… Continue reading Preparing a student to play the Bach Prelude in C (Well-Tempered Clavier) for the Spring Recital (videos)
I challenged myself to quickly learn the shortest Scarlatti sonata on record (K. 431 in G) and share the principles of developing this piece to a level of fluidity with interested students. Perhaps it would help them navigate a new musical landscape. *** Looking over the two-page Scarlatti score, we notice a preponderance of broken-chord… Continue reading Learning a new piano piece quickly and thoroughly (Videos)
Marie, a motivated adult student, revisited piano studies after a decades-long hiatus. When she resumed lessons about 6 years ago, she made "Fur Elise" her goal-setting piece. Following long-term scale and arpeggio exposure accompanied by a detailed focus on minuets, short character works, sonatinas and the Chopin Waltz in A minor No. 19, Op. Posthumous,… Continue reading Quality spot-practicing by an adult student: Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” (Video)
Growing up in New York City, I had a memorable, rotund tuner named Buchbaum, who talked my ear off while tuning a Sohmer upright. Consequently, he left the piano with "beating" octaves, thirds, and sixths. In so may words, the piano not only took a beating, but it warbled all over the place, causing widespread… Continue reading Piano Technician Call Back: Please fix these notes! (Before and After Video)
Because I found myself rambling on and on about the first page, I decided to compartmentalize the instruction to make it easier to absorb. And since I played the "Tempest" years ago, the surest route to my restoring the piece to a respectable performance level, was to practice it from the ground up in slow… Continue reading Practicing tips for Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31 No. 2, Part ONE: (Video)
Here's my set-up for Skyped piano instruction. A travel itinerary minus airport delays and x-ray scanners included stop-offs in Pennsylvania, Sydney, Australia; Portland Oregon, and London, England. Lessons have been scheduled as needed. A Power Point-less presentation offers more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkxknMXWdIY *** A Skype lesson-in-progress to Sydney fleshes out a bi-screen video landscape. (two Logitechs in… Continue reading Skyping piano lessons with an iMac, Logitech cam, and Yeti mic (videos)
The playground as music teacher applies: My brood of students and I enjoy the romp through a set of parallel thirds within a five-finger position. In our escapade, we usually dance through the Major and parallel minor tonalities. Interplay, back and forth always helps. It allows the teacher to model physical ingredients of a buoyant… Continue reading Piano Technique: Reeling off parallel thirds in staccato (with a trampoline effect)