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!

Where have all the fingers gone?

March 23, 2021


Disclaimer: this post has extreme abstract thought!

Read More

Several Quite Specific Things About Octaves

March 20, 2021

Several quite specific things about octaves:

#1: the role of the other fingers.

Read More

The Goldberg Variations: in General and in Particular When Crossing Hands

March 15, 2021

The Goldberg Variations: in general and in particular when crossing hands.  The hands always start in a more remote position from each other than is dictated by where the next notes are.


Read More

Introduction to Joe’s Ear Training Program

March 8, 2021


Ask any performer if she or he listens to what he plays.  The answer, usually given without much pause for reflection, is most often yes. Yet the ability to hear clearly while playing, and to understand what one is hearing, sets a good player apart from others.  The distinguishing factor in the playing of the finest artists is not so much a matter of their technique, but of their ability to listen completely and objectively to the sounds they are creating.  In the hands of a master, technical matters are brought under the control of the ear. It should surprise most musicians to learn that they do not really listen when they play and that furthermore, they are unable to do so because they lack the basic know-how involved in listening to and recognizing the qualities that make up sounds.  Being a good musician means having mastery over the medium in which music exists: sound. When possessed of such mastery, one can mold this medium as one will. The present Method teaches ear training; that is, it teaches mastery over the phenomenon of sound in its many forms and combinations.

Read More

Sonic Glue – Sameness And Difference

March 4, 2021

We have defined “sonic glue” to mean hard to find sonic connections between notes: in different voices, in successive chords, between non temporally adjacent notes within certain melodies.  These are often overlooked, with the result that the piece does not flow or sound in the way we expect it to.

Here I want to mention some of these sonic connections in the Brahms, Rhapsodie, Op. 119 / 4 in E Flat Major.

Read More