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Arioso7's Blog

September 2   -  

Piano Technique: Respiration NOT perspiration

My students remind me to breathe long, natural breaths when playing through scales and arpeggios from moderate to brisk tempos. Through a selective process of elimination, we’ve collectively come to the conclusion that SWEATING it out, or ...

August 30   -  

Shaping a J.S. Bach Two-Part Invention

Many students play J.S. Bach’s music with a typed out, articulated approach, forgetting to shape and contour phrases. In Bach’s F Major Invention, BWV 779, the tendency is to overemphasize every element of broken chord F, A, C, F, in a ...

August 29   -  

Ornaments, Romantic Style: Don’t be enslaved, but master them

There’s nothing more inhibiting to piano playing than being boxed in by ornaments–tied down by their inertia and lack of smooth resolution. For certain, if you’re threatened by them, or anticipate the worst possible outcome, ...

August 28   -  

Pianist, Seymour Bernstein is the subject of an Ethan Hawke produced documentary

It’s about time a pianist, teacher, composer and author made it to the big screen. Seymour Bernstein is the star of an 80-minute documentary that’s drawing critical acclaim in early Festival showings. On the East Coast, Seymour: An ...

August 26   -  

Performance Anxiety and Pressure Relievers

The symposia at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institue brought three top flight performers together to share thoughts about performance-related issues. Leon Fleisher, Yo Yo Ma, and Pamela Frank, all fine musicians in their own instrumental cosmos, ...

August 25   -  

What happened during the Earthquake!

From Berkeley, California At 3:19 a.m. I had just revisited my recently posted video of Bach’s Sarabande (French Suite in G)–a foreboding? … when suddenly the wall I was leaning against, ( while seated at the piano), started swaying ...

August 24   -  

The shrinking world of music

To put it lightly, degrees of separation in our musical cosmos are melting rapidly. By example, a Facebook post to my profile page from my 1960s era Orchestra teacher, led to a long lost neighbor who was the youngest member of the New York ...

August 22   -  

Spot Practicing at the Piano: It’s Quality, not Quantity

Some call it “spot cleaning,” I prefer spot “refining” to describe THOUGHTFUL, isolated step-wise measure practicing. Needless to say, a troublesome measure is surrounded by others that lead in and exit out of the problematic ...

August 20   -  

Piano Technique: Applying Various strategies to unravel a scale in 10ths (VIDEO)

Most of my adult students get unnerved when starting a scale three notes into it. And to make matters worse, they become panic-stricken when one hand is not a carbon copy of the other. (i.e. both hands are not playing the same notes at the same time) ...

August 17   -  

“Hear it before you play it!”

Leon Fleisher, an icon in the universe of pianists, put it succinctly. He channeled the wisdom of Artur Schnabel that embodied the idea that a musician must have an internal sense of what he expects to hear before playing a single note. Fleisher ...
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