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Arioso7's Blog

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, ...

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 ...
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