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 Newness of Time Itself

September 17, 2019

“Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir” (Baudelaire courtesy of Debussy).

Notes, sounds, meld and melt in time. Memory and anticipation interpenetrate each note heard in the present tense. And memory also coerces the immanent future to follow the patterns of the past.

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Young Beginners” “Going for a ride” on the Teacher’s Hands

September 14, 2019

L.I’s lesson on 9/7/19.  She began lessons when she was three and is now nine, going on ten.    Chopin Waltz in C# Minor

#1

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Shaping an Ostinato-like Section of Repeated Groups of Four Sixteenth Notes

September 14, 2019

S.E.’s lesson on 9/7/19: Rachmaninoff 3rd concerto. first movement: when the endless sixteenths begin after the first statement of the main theme.

There is a lot of “interlacing” of the hands. I don’t mean simultaneous interlacing, I mean within four consecutive sixteenths some may be with the left hand some may be with the right hand.

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Emotional Expression; Changing from Flats to Sharps

September 2, 2019

CP’s lesson 8/29/19 “Claire de Lune”

C: Everything I do, both in general, and specifically at the piano I when practice, is rational, organized and methodological. This includes the fact that once I start something I must complete it regardless of the months it takes me.   Moreover, I’ve never noticed any emotional expression in my playing, and I feel it is a lack on my part.

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Sight Reading Gets in the Way of Learning a New Piece

August 28, 2019

S.B’s lesson on August 27, 2019

S.B. who is quite musical and is in his early thirties, has great physical coordination at the piano even though he is playing only at an intermediate level. He could be playing at a much higher level, doing more technically challenging music. What is preventing this is his sight reading. If I were to try to place his sight reading scales on a scale from one to ten, it would approximately 2. At the same time, his ability to get around the piano acrobatically is at least an 8. We have tried all sorts of approaches to improving his sight-reading-alacrity; all with minor progress. As he puts it, “Each time I play or practice the same piece again, it is almost like sight reading it again.”

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