The next session was given by the fabulous Marvin Blickenstaff: Performance Practice Made Easy: Rules of Thumb for the Piano Student As teachers, we are always interested in fostering independence in our students — perhaps most importantly in the aspect of interpretation (making music musical and artistic). This is an elusive thing to teach. It’s [...]
Last week was Spring Break from college for me! My husband and I had a wonderful time visiting our families and spending time with them. Our days were full doing all kinds of family activities — however, I did manage to keep an eye on my blog, especially the Forum Q&A about memorization that was [...]
Some teaching thoughts about keeping students focused on the sound they are creating, rather than becoming too sight-oriented with what’s written on the page. Music is, after all, an art form chiefly for the ears, so students should be learning to use their ears!
This post compares two interpretations of Franz Liszt’s concert etude, Waldesrauschen. It also discusses the importance of being able to follow the markings on the score in such a way that the listener can easily hear them whether they are familiar with the piece or not.
Many of us teachers are probably currently preparing our student for spring recitals, so today I thought it might be beneficial to discuss a way of preparing for performances: recording your students playing their pieces, and then listening to the playback together. Benefits of Recording The student practices performing. Playing for a recording device can [...]
You know, learning to play an instrument is all about making breakthroughs. There are so many things to consider and train yourself to do. It’s a complicated process! You are never done learning. There’s always room for improvement. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been realizing that when I play forte on the piano — [...]
One of the ideas I’ve been exploring extensively throughout the research I’m doing for my paper for college (the one about improvisation) is making music musical. This seems so obvious, but really, what would music be without musicality? Check out this video, of a robot playing the violin. Speaking of which, have you ever had [...]
I often have students’ parents and grandparents tell me that they wish they had kept taking piano lessons. I use this to encourage my current students, and tell them that it’s a gift to be able to sit down at an instrument and create music — a gift that can provide great pleasure to oneself [...]
There are many performers who I consider to have amazing accuracy of notes, but minimal musicality….others who hit many wrong notes, but have AMAZING musicality. The greatest performers, I think, are those who manage to do both successfully. But if I had to choose between one extreme or another, I would choose the musicality over [...]
Yesterday at a piano lesson, my student kept saying how she wasn’t sure “what to do in this section.” Although I wasn’t completely sure what she was feeling, I think she was saying that she sometimes wonders how she can make decisions about how to play a particular piece / passage musically. We were working [...]