Monthly Archives: November 2011

Beethoven Sonatas

With a touch of sadness, I finished sight-reading through all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. The last sonata, opus 111, one of his last compositions, is fittingly in C Major, that most “homey” of all home keys. It ends with … Continue reading

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Sometimes they just need glasses

It’s not necessarily that they can’t read, sometimes they just can’t see. It took about a year-and-a-half to figure out why a particular 12-year-old student who is “academically gifted” just couldn’t read music. He came to me as a transfer … Continue reading

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Grade 4 Technique Corrections

Thank you to a reader who alerted me to a couple of errors on the grade 4 RCM technique sheet that I posted last week. I have corrected them on the worksheet that is available in Printables.  Apologies to all!

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Chopin’s Funeral

The funeral of Frederic Chopin was attended by thousands. In his last days, knowing he was dying, he planned the service. The organist played the Funeral March from Chopin’s Sonata in B-flat minor. Mozart’s Requiem was performed by an orchestra … Continue reading

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Gradually louden hugely

Many contemporary composers do not use the traditional Italian terms and markings in their compositions. I don’t know if Percy Grainger – “known as much for his personal oddness as for his music, which itself encompassed much that was original … Continue reading

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Posture at the Piano: Smarties to the rescue.

I have one student who slouches ALL THE TIME. I’m sure I’ve been telling him at least 10 times per lesson to sit up straight. Then this week I remembered something that another teacher had suggested

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Technique Worksheet – Grade 4 RCM

From time to time I add different grades to my collection of worksheets. Feel free to use this RCM gr. 4 worksheet (2008) 

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Chopin’s Preludes as Respite

Having made it through the Hammerklavier – never have I been so happy to see a final barline – I treated myself to a read-through of Chopin’s Preludes, op. 28. A few of these pop up regularly on festival and … Continue reading

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Hand Positions

I’ve been on a Fix-Your-Hand-Position kick this week. Shelagh McKibben-U’Ren, moderator of the RCM Piano Teachers Yahoo group, posted a while ago that she takes pictures of her students sitting at the piano with a good posture, then prints the … Continue reading

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Sight-reading Beethoven

I’ve made it all the way up to the Hammer-Klavier Sonata, opus 106. It’s probably the hardest of Beethoven’s solo piano works, written quite late in his life. I’ve been reading through all the Beethoven Sonatas,

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Grizzly in the cockpit?

The grizzly bear won’t be your pilot any time soon.  More insight from Grizzly Bears Don’t Fly Airplanes.

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Quote of the Month

Beauty makes us cry because we fear it can’t last. ~ Michael Tilson Thomas in Mahler: Legacy, a PBS Documentary. The entire documentary can be viewed online.

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