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Arioso7's Blog

September 12   -  

A Conversation about machine and ear tuning (and more) with Israel Stein, Registered Piano Technician

I couldn’t resist an opportunity to immerse myself in an engaging dialog with Israel Stein, RPT, as he was tuning my piano. Regaled far and wide by a community of pianists and teachers as he amasses awards bestowed by his peers at the National ...

September 10   -  

Experimentation and refinement are the ingredients of music teaching and learning

One of the joys of teaching piano is to experience awakenings with our students as we experiment with phrasing, and refine original perceptions. And while a piano teacher is considered a mentor to a student, he/she clearly realizes that roles are ...

September 8   -  

Seymour Bernstein’s take on Pianist, Glenn Gould

Seymour: An Introduction, produced by Ethan Hawke, is making the rounds through a series of reputable film festivals. Recently screened in Telluride (Colorado) and soon to make its Toronto, Canada debut followed by a Lincoln Center touchdown, the ...

September 7   -  

Piano Technique: Split-Screen, rolling 4-note arpeggios (C# minor; B minor)

I love to work with students on 4-note arpeggios through inversions, prompting them to ROLL into horizontal, curvaceous groups of notes to avoid up and down finger poking. The elements of visualization (“imagining” motion SHAPES); ...

September 6   -  

Piano Teacher Stories from the War Zone! (Part One)

So many of us in the field of teaching can hearken back to our earliest piano student years and flesh out a particular individual who was the “worst” teacher to ever come our way. In my case, it was my second teacher who earned the ...

September 5   -  

J.S. Bach Invention No. 13 in A minor: A Continuing Journey

Students who embark upon learning the beautifully woven Invention 13, have new awakenings about the Subject and its thread of sequences and development through three pages. And as they explore two independent, though complementary voices in ...

September 4   -  

Piano Technique: Psychological and physical approaches to staccato (Video)

Today’s romp in F# minor (melodic form) brought new awakenings in the universe of bouncy staccato through scales and arpeggios–(in big Forte projection, followed by a soft, piano range rendering) Within the psychological universe where ...

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, ...
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