Flashback to the 1990s: I was hanging around between rounds of a piano competition and overheard a participant asking a judge why she has been… Continue reading Getting off to a Good Start
Back in the 1990’s, I was attending a Master Class of Oxana Yablonskaya – a pianistic powerhouse and Juilliard teacher – and heard her say… Continue reading Learning Chopin: Left Hand Comes First
My very first Russian score of the Well-Tempered Klavier finally disintegrated beyond salvation, the yellowed pages losing corners, crumbling and separating as the binding glue… Continue reading Urtext Editions: A Sound Investment
When we learn a new piano piece, there is often a particular stretch which gives us the most trouble. It’s usually toward the end, one… Continue reading Making the hardest parts easier: perspective, planning, practice.
How often do you take the time to look at your sheet music without playing the piece at the same time? To analyze it and… Continue reading Score Analysis: Our Key to Understanding
What is so special about J.S. Bach’s music? For us keyboardists it’s the contrapuntal texture which can be maddeningly difficult yet exhilaratingly uplifting. The synthesis… Continue reading Bach: The Energy Between the Voices
Back in my college days I used to start my practice sessions by going over the most difficult parts of the repertoire I was preparing.… Continue reading Beethoven Warm-up: Octaves and Broken Chords in Both Hands
When I was completing my M.A. in Piano Pedagogy, one of the courses involved a broad survey of existing piano method books. To my dismay,… Continue reading The Tyranny of the 5-finger Position
Trills can be daunting to some of us since it takes years of practice to develop enough finger strength/independence necessary for sustaining a fast trill.… Continue reading To Help Your Trill Linger, Skip a Finger!
Here is a tip which will go a long way toward refinement of your playing: let go of single accompaniment notes at the precisely designated… Continue reading Minding your Ps and Qs (Pauses and Quarters)
How often do we pay attention to rests in our music? When beginning to learn about notation and rhythm, we naturally think of the notes… Continue reading The Importance of Rests: Listening to Silence
Sight reading is a very important skill which is often neglected during piano lessons and while practicing because of time constraints. It’s way at the… Continue reading How to Approach Sight Reading for Yourself or With Your Students
🎹#Piano mantra: know your maximum tempo but perform at a slower, safer one. This was a run-through 2 days before performing – Gigue from Partita… Continue reading Play through faster than at your target tempo
With Chopin, always learn the left hand first. I heard Nina Svetlanova say that at a master class, and it is absolutely true. To fully… Continue reading With Chopin, The Left Hand Always Comes First