Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Performances of the Week ... It's Baroque!

     Hi, piano friends! Today I'd like to share three pieces by the most famous of the Baroque performers, Bach and Handel. These are pieces that students in the studio are currently working on, and they are doing an amazing job!   
     The first piece is a good performance of Handel's Sarabande and Variations by a young man named Billy. This piece was composed for the harpsichord and not the piano, and I think Billy does a great job of capturing the simple beauty of these artfully arranged chords.

     The second performance by Chendi is a lovely rendition of Bach's Musette. Notice her lovely posture, hand position, and arm technique -- a hallmark of Irina Gorin's piano studio!

     The last great performance of the week is by another of Irina Gorin's students, Kailah, who is playing Bach's Invention No. 1 in C Major. If you listen closely you'll be able to hear two melodies being played at once. This is called counterpoint, and it was a distinguishing part of  a lot of Baroque music.

     Students, remember to leave a comment below to verify that you've done your listening for this week. If you'd like your post to be anonymous, just leave your initials in the post. Here's to great piano playing!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Performance of the Week

     Hi, everyone! The year is underway, and I was so impressed with all of you this week! Lots of practicing went on this summer!

     Today I'm starting a blog series featuring great recital performances. These performances show hard-working students playing polished pieces reflecting great teaching and lots of practice at home. I hope to include pieces that many of you are studying so that you can be inspired and hear well-played examples.

     This week's performance of Beethoven's Sonatina in G Major and Schumann's The Wild Horseman comes from an unnamed young woman and an unnamed teacher of high caliber. This student has put a lot of time into these pieces, and they demonstrate good teaching and technique. The acoustics in the room make some of the articulation difficult to hear, but the performance is great.

     Listening to this performance will be part of your homework this week, and I can't wait to hear your reflections on what you heard. Have a wonderful week!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Let the Music Play!

     Starting week is finally here, and I'm so excited so see all my wonderful students again. We have some great new additions to our studio family this year as well as all of our long-time friends! It's going to be a spectacular year!

     I have some fun things planned for this year that I can't wait to share with you! Our themed recital was a hit last year, and I got a lot of positive feedback from the audience, so we may do another this spring. I'm considering a recital featuring music from around the globe, but I'm open to suggestions as well, so give me some ideas! I'm also hoping to book a guest performer for our fall group lesson and perhaps even a master class in the spring. Yay!

     I'll be asking several hand-picked students with performance ready pieces to perform in our MTNA recitals during the school year. These recitals are a great opportunity to be motivated by other serious piano students from other studios. Several of you will also be asked to participate in a music festival in the spring.

     Lastly, I've revamped our token prize system to be more task and less time-oriented. I've created a checklist of items to be practiced on assigned pieces that can be redeemed for a token. I'll be sending more details home with your student this week.

     I can't wait to reconnect with you all! See you soon!