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Arioso7's Blog

March 5   -  

The “upper arm roll” and undulating wrist in piano playing

Many piano teachers call the same physical approach to various passages by a different name. I find myself in harmony with author, teacher, composer, Seymour Bernstein when he demonstrates the “upper arm roll” in Part 4 of his recorded ...

March 3   -  

Liz, age 8, composes a piece at her third piano lesson

Creative explorations are intrinsic to musical growth at all stages of learning, so piano teachers should encourage students to compose at every opportunity. Liz rose to the occasion and shared her first creation that followed a lesson segment that ...

March 1   -  

Fluid Arpeggios: No hand twisting, with floating arms and an economy of motion

Piano Technique: Arpeggios LOCATION: From: Berkeley, California To: Sydney, Australia I continue to learn from my students as I view close-ups of their arms, wrists, hands/fingers in motion across the keyboard. Most of my epiphanies occur over ...

February 25   -  

Liz, age 8, has her second piano lesson! (With my interspersed thoughts about materials and teaching philosophy)

As I journey along with Liz, my newest piano student, I’m collecting insights about the nature of music learning from the persecutive of a child. And by this most recent experience, I’ve come to realize that the choice of teaching ...

February 24   -  

Curbing Thumb Power!

It hit home over SKYPE while I was giving a piano lesson to Australia today that THUMBS have usurped too much power! In their octave by octave advance through scales and arpeggios, they’ve become conspicuously Napoleonic and territorial, ...

February 23   -  

The composer’s Metronome Marking and how pianists deal with it

I encountered a few performances of Burgmuller’s “Harmony of the Angels” Op. 100, that were so briskly played, that I made sure to consult the composer’s Metronome Marking for a reality check. And it was true that Dr. Alan ...

February 18   -  

An 8-Year old begins piano lessons!

An exciting musical journey has begun! Liz, an 8-year old who prances by my apartment singing mellifluously, became my newest piano student last night. Her lesson opened with, “Welcome to a universe of the imagination,” an inspired ...

February 12   -  

A Fear-less, Horizontal Approach to Staccato playing

Most piano students become DIS-connected when asked to play staccato. Their full blown trepidation wedded to DETACHMENT is so conspicuously on display during scale and arpeggio playing that a teacher must first devise mental cues to bring the student ...

February 6   -  

When a Virtual Piano Student becomes a Reality!

Touchdown! Berkeley, California! An Online student landed in the East Bay just as the Carolina Panthers were bracing for a Super-Bowl match-up with the Denver Broncos in Santa Clara. Sports-crazed fans were headed for a Big, crowded weekend with ...

February 5   -  

One grand piano in, and another out, but not forgotten

My tiny Berkeley apartment had been shrinking by increments with its herd of tight-squeezed grand pianos and digital keyboards. Count in a Baldwin grand acquired in April, 2015; a medium size Steinway grand (5’7″) bequeathed by my father ...
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