Joe’s Blog

Welcome to my blog!

A reminder that these blog entries are not ‘timely.’  They do not address issues that relate to the present news of the world.  They address perennial issues faced by most pianists when striving to excel in their playing.  I encourage you to search through the posts to find the ones that will yield the greatest benefit to you.

You can also use this list of all blog posts in order of keyword, which you can also sort by title.

You are also welcome to contact me to suggest a topic that you would like to see appear on the site, or ask questions or comment below each entry. Enjoy!

The many “directions” of legato

December 4, 2019

Part one:

Legato is the existential complaint and rebellion by the piano against its  mechanically percussive nature and thereby against the inevitable decline  in loudness of every note it makes once that note starts.

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A tangible feeling of connection between each part of the arm mechanism and another

November 25, 2019

This is a way to help the student feel the connection between the various parts of their arm mechanism – from shoulder to finger tip.

In the steps that follows the teacher or the student can follow the instructions by doing the things described either to themselves by themselves, or the student and teacher can it to the other.

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Sometimes the hand has to figuratively divide itself into separate parts

November 24, 2019

The hand has often, figuratively speaking, to divide itself into two parts so that it can pivot from the one side to the other.   From one to four fingers lying either on its right side subdivision or its left side subdivision.  What is most interesting about this process is that there is no firm line of demarcation between the two parts of the hand. Rather ,the hand can  subdivide itself at any point along its left-right span.

List of the possible ways of diving the five fingers into two parts:

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When to connect notes between two voices rather than staying with notes in one voice

November 22, 2019

A.B.’s lesson on 11/21/19: The Well Tempered Klavier, Book I, C Major Fugue

A.B. has been so much preoccupied with separating and preserving the identity of each voice in the fugue that it has led to awkward transitions from a note in one voice to a note sounding immediately thereafter in  another voice. This happens most especially when one voice has been sessile for a bit of time and then streams ahead again.  There is a virtue to practicing the connection between the current voice (on which focus is being maintained by the pianist) “obliquely” across the staff or staves to the first note that is flowing again in the voice that was tranquil for a while.

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A faster way to progress when learning a piece

October 22, 2019

R.M.’s second lesson on the “Black Key” etude.

When you first read the notes of a new piece, don’t take any notes for “granted”. Don’t make assumptions about that note’s relationship with the note before it. Don’t look for patterns, especially ones that you may then be tempted to think repeat, when often in fact they don’t.

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