Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oh, What Those Lifts Can Do!

     I'll admit I'm almost too fond of the Romantics for my own good, sometimes neglecting the playing and teaching of Baroque composers and pieces. I can't help myself; I love a good drama, and the Romantic composers were masters emotional conveyance.

     I think this love of Romantic piano pieces is why I spend so much time trying to teach my students expressive technique; why I break every method book piece into phrases and make them mark the peak of every phrase and float off each long note as they look at me with a look of (sometimes) complete disbelief. (After all, they did all the notes and counting right. Right? And it's just a simple piece, after all.)

     I recently stumbled across this expressively played version of Brahms' Intermezzo Opus 118, and I think it embodies much of what I love about Romantic music. Best of all, Kissin is a great example of the flowing technique I'm trying to teach. Look at what his lifts can do!

  Beautiful wrist and arm technique is an amazing vehicle for expressive playing, and I'll continue to break those simple pieces apart. They're great teaching tools, and even a simple song can be played beautifully, right? Right!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

End of School Update

     Hi, my friends! School wraps up this week, and so does our regular schedule. It has been an absolute pleasure teaching this school year. I can't think of a single student who hasn't worked hard and make significant progress. I'm so proud of you all!

     Please bring your calendars this week so we can work out summer lesson times that work for you. I'll be teaching all summer (with the exception of an as-yet unplanned trip to my family's farm), so I'm happy to schedule around your vacations and activities. Tuition will be payable weekly at $17 per half-hour or $25.50 per 45-minute slot. Discounted sibling rates will be $15.50 and $22.75. As usual, I'm offering a six-week introductory course for new students that can be scheduled at your family's convenience. The cost for the course (six 30-minute sessions) is $123.00 including all materials.

     I'm busy working on progress reports today, so these will go home this week as well. Please plan to return any materials you checked out this year unless otherwise approved by me.

     Our composition books are currently being printed, and token prizes have been ordered. I had a few last minute orders to squeeze in, so items may not arrive this week, but I'll let you know when they come in.

     That's it for news! Regular lessons begin again the first full week of September with scheduling priority given to students who take summer lessons. I can't wait to hear all about your summer adventures!