“Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.”

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Pianist's Guide to Practical Technique

The "Look Inside" feature will be "available by April 3rd, no later than April 10th," according to the nice folks at Amazon. Apparently, something fell through the cracks and the job didn't get done in the usual amount of time. But people have been enjoying the book anyway.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Piano Technique Demystified, the Book, Second Edition

Some readers have asked about the video demonstrations (iDemos) for Piano Technique Demystified: Insights into Problem Solving, 2nd Edition. They are now located in the tabs at the top of this page at the right.

New technology—new to me technology—gave rise to the inspiration to invest the time and energy into revising "Technique Demystified." It now has more information on fingering and expansions in other chapters. It also has a new chapter on geography for pianists, links to iDemos and a nifty index. The technology made it possible to clarify and unify musical examples throughout, but I think the changes are particularly effective in the teaching moments section. When you get a
chance, have a "look inside" at the second edition of Piano Technique Demystified at Amazon.  I'd be glad to know what you think.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 3

       A pianist writes complaining of problems of stretching and discomfort in the middle section of this otherwise quite playable etude. It seems at first to be a problem of fingering, but it turns out to be more one of technical approach.

Click on score to make it larger.
Note: In the left hand, the 4th interval of a sixth
 should be 5-2, not 4-2. Also, the tempo should be eighth-note = 100.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Pianist's Guide to Practical Technique

All three volumes are now available: Complete or in two parts. The "Look Inside" features should appear sometime after March 15th at Amazon. Let me know what you think...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Toss Out Your Czerny Studies

     My new collection of studies based on music you want to play by master composers is now available at CreateSpace.com and Amazon. In a week or so you will be able to thumb through the volumes at Amazon and have a look. These are technical studies drawn from standard repertoire, vehicles for technical exploration and repertoire building that do away with mindless rote forever. You can read an excerpt from the introduction in the post of February 12th. Here is the publication blurb:           
 Put away studies by Czerny. Put him and the others into a closet and turn the key. Instead, use these passages from music you intend to play—music by master composers—as building blocks for technique and musicianship. Suppose for a moment that we don’t accept the notion that a good piano technique requires strength training, or that it is even really possible to “strengthen” the fingers to any noticeable degree, in the way that authors of yore would have us believe. Those concepts indeed have long ago been discredited. Suppose, too, we discard the notion that independence of fingers is a physical action and not instead a musical objective. Well, you might ask, for what then do we train? Let's use our knowledge of how the hand was designed to work in order to train for refined coordination. In these volumes you will find ample material for just such a study. Here are threads of Bach Inventions, early Haydn episodes and mainstream Mozart. Here are passages from the grandeur of late Beethoven and the Romantic exuberance of Schumann and Chopin. Here are morsels from standard repertoire that, if used as part of your daily regimen, will at the very least provide a colossal head start on the building of skills, musicianship and a catalog of music you want to perform.