A woman practicing Mindfulness by performing a Yoga Tree pose

Piano Performance With(out) Fear: The Power of Mindfulness

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Performance anxiety or stage fright is a widespread problem among musicians. It has been estimated that one in four musicians use Beta-blockers to improve their live performances. For some musicians, anxiety symptoms can be so debilitating that they lower the quality of performance and lower marks resulting from examinations. In addition, they can also lead to performance avoidance […]

Unhappy child practicing technical exercises at keyboard

Why do I have to practice scales!

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It has been reported that the Hungarian Pianist Franz Liszt practiced technical exercises including scales, chords, and arpeggios for five to six hours a day. Liszt’s technical abilities were legendary. For those of us who play the piano for personal enjoyment and don’t need the conditioning of an”Olympic Athlete”,  do we really need to practice scales? Some argue […]

A man dividing a maze in half

Divide and Conquer – Sectional Piano Practice

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When learning music we often find passages that are challenging and difficult to master. We find our progress with these passages lags behind. In this situation, it is helpful to use sectional practice whereby we isolate difficult passages and work on them separately. Following are a few suggestions which will help make sectional practice as effective as possible: […]

Eletronic Keyboard with Headphones

The Digital Piano (Game Changer)

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What kind of digital piano should I buy for my piano lessons? I get asked this question often. It is difficult to answer because there is a maze of different makes and models. To address this question, I will highlight three important features of an acoustic piano. Before making a purchase, evaluate how well your […]

Opera Singer

“You Must Sing with Your Fingers.”

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Nearly all music has vocal qualities except some styles of contemporary music. Often when playing a passage on the keyboard we fail to recognize the natural vocal inflections. We become preoccupied with coordinating our fingers and forget what we are doing musically. Chopin constantly reminded his students, ” You must sing with your fingers.” A very […]

Bosendorfer keyboard

Is the Bosendorfer better than the Steinway?

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Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff appeared at Koerner Hall in February with a program consisting of the final piano sonatas by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. He played this concert on a Bosendorfer. This is noteworthy as at least locally, the majority of the concerts are played on a Steinway. An audience member made the following statement at intermission. […]