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April 2016 PIANO PLAY-ALONG: Donald Waxman’s PIANO PAGEANTS, Book 1A

Begins April 19 - Click Piano Play-Along above!FROM APRIL 16  thru MAY 6 (approximately), we’ll all be studying/playing Book 1A from Donald Waxman’s beloved series “Piano Pageants”  Click HERE for all the info you need to get started and learn about the purpose of the Play-Along.  There’s no sign-up, but start now by purchasing or locating your copy of the book.

1-3122NEED A COPY?  

We begin on April 16, so hurry and grab a discounted copy HERE or two!  Use CODE:  APRILPLAY to receive 20% off any no. of copies.  If your book arrives after we begin, no worries. You can still watch the LIVE broadcasts on April 16 & 19 and review the summary blog post later.

WATCH THIS video explanation of the Play-Along (it came from a Periscope!) Read More

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MusicEdConnect Giveaway Winners Announced and Replay Passes Now Available!

MEC Graphic

Did you attend the 3rd annual MusicEdConnect Webinar last week?  The feedback was wonderful and it looks as if this online conference will continue.  What can be better than attending 26 sessions LIVE, or in REPLAY mode from now until Dec. 31, 2016? And all from the comfort of your own home via your computer or mobile device.

Thanks to those of you who were able to attend my session “A Quick Guide to the Most Popular Piano Classics Students LOVE to Play”  I gave a tour of original piano classics that students really gravitate towards and I hope the session will assist you in making repertoire decisions for students with discerning tastes.  It’s always a fine line, right? — what we think is good for them and what they’d prefer to play.  This is just a small part of a more in-depth guide I’m working on that will help teachers know what to teach and when, and it will offer clues on what students find the most rewarding in a particular piece.

If you missed the webinar it’s not too late to access a replay of all 26 sessions by 26 different presenters. Anyone can register for the replay pass (and should) as it was amazing and such a great value.  I cannot believe how many tips and info were shared!  The replay pass is $129. Register HERE and you’ll have immediate access to all the videos now thru Dec. 31, 2016.  Tell your friends!   Giveaway-WinnersNOW …. for those MusicEdConnect participants who listened to my session last THURS, Feb. 4, and then hopped over to the blog here with a reply ….  DRUM ROLL please…..

PPLogoFinalYou EACH win a DISCOUNT COUPON CODE for one of my digital publications at www.pianopassport.com!  You’ll have a chance to check out one of my newest publications for teaching.  It’s a small assortment so far, but there’s a good variety to select from.  HINT:  I suggest my late elementary version of Clair de Lune.  I think it works really well for those students who just can’t wait to play this beautiful melody, especially adults.

WINNERS:  Judy K., Rosemarie P., Renee S., Kathy S., and Melanie

Congratulations to you all.  I will be emailing the code to each of you shortly.

Thanks to OnlineSheetMusic.com for providing this coupon!

 

 

 

 

 

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NEW Periscope Piano Workshops Coming!

 Piano Tips in 10 minutes
Since I began using Periscope as both a broadcaster and a viewer, I’ve been amazed at how this LIVE broadcasting technology brings a worldwide community together simply at the touch of a finger on your phone or tablet.  With input from a few blog followers, I’ve decided to start a new Periscope “mini piano workshop” series beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 10am Central Time.
I invite you to join me for #PianoTipsin10 (aka Piano Tips in 10 minutes), a weekly series designed specifically to provide solutions to pain points we often encounter when teaching.   I will offer you my own time-tested teaching strategies, but the beauty of Periscope is that we  ALL benefit from interaction with each other via the comments.  I hope we all take away fresh ideas and renewed energy.

Because we are teachers with incredibly BUSY schedules, I will limit the workshop to just 10 concise minutes on one single topic.  However after the 10 minute period, feel free to stick around a bit longer for some Q&A if you like.  Even if you can’t join the LIVE presentation, the “scope” will remain on your Periscope account for 24 hours so you may view it at a convenient time later.

Here’s my working list of pain points so far:

  1. Reinforcing a Rounded Hand Position at the Piano
  2. Collapsed nail joints
  3. Flying pinky fingers
  4. Accuracy with Rhythmic Subdivisions
  5. Hands-Together Precision
  6. Introducing Legato for the First Time
  7. Refusal to count

and so forth……

What are the burning pain points in your studio this semester?  Please feel free to list one or two I could consider by commenting below.  The more, the better!

NEW to PERISCOPE?   Click HERE to learn how to download the FREE app to your phone or tablet (available on Apple and Android) and be sure to FOLLOW my account “@pianoprof88” with Notifications ON.  You’ll get a “tweet alert” when I go LIVE.  You can view it in watch-only mode on the web here: https://www.periscope.tv/pianoprof88  but I encourage you to download the app to your smartphone so you can comment, give hearts, etc.

FOR ADVANCE NOTIFICATION of my Scopes, please do one of the following:

1.  Subscribe to this blog on the sidebar to the right.
2.  Follow me on Twitter — @egpiano
3.  Visit “Piano Camp for Piano Teachers” on Facebook, LIKE the fan page, and click GET NOTIFICATIONS.

   **** SHARE this POST with your TEACHER FRIENDS!****

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to ALL!

 

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PERISCOPE WINNERS!

Periscope Winners

WINNERS! Thank all of you for watching my latest scope on “Elementary Music for Boys and Animal Lovers” and also for the sweet comments about my elementary solo sheets.  As promised, new followers were placed into a drawing for 2 packets of my music, one larger and one smaller.  The winners are 1. Betty Lawson and 2. Joyce Harwood!  I will get your prizes to you as soon as we connect.  Please email me at elizabeth@pianoteachercamp.com if you read this post first.

Thanks to everyone who watched, even via the web or on the replay at katch.me.  The REPLAY is still available HERE.  (and you can rewind/fast forward!)

I’m dreaming up new scopes to solve pain points for working piano teachers.  Piano teachers are some of the busiest people on the planet, so I will definitely be “katching” them for your viewing after they expire on Periscope and summarizing some here on the blog.  I’ll keep some of these scopes short and right-to-the-point.

HOWEVER….. the best feature is having YOU on Periscope interacting with me and other teachers LIVE on the scope.  We all learn so much from each other, right?  So, if you haven’t downloaded the FREE Periscope app (Apple or Android mobile devices), please do and FOLLOW me @pianoprof88.  My name will have a little keyboard next to it. And set your Notifications to ON.

I hope you can view LIVE from time to time.  I’ll try to mix up days/times as I am able.

All best!

 

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NEW! Gutierrez Piano Music is Now on the Blog!

Gutierrez Music on BlogTeachers have been asking me to place all my educational piano pieces in one place on the blog and finally it’s done! When you click on SHOP on the menu above, you’ll see 3 categories: Ebooks, Sheet Music, and Sheet Music Downloads.

Under SHEET MUSIC, you’ll see all the hard-copy material published under my name — sheet solos, collections, and one reference book. You can click each title and read a description of the work and see a page view in most instances. So have fun browsing and if you find something of interest to you, you can certainly order direct from the blog (via Sheet Music Plus), but I urge you to order copies from your local sheet music retailer. Please support them whenever you can. They are such an important asset to the future of music in our communities and we need to keep them in business.

Stay tuned for upcoming Ebooks and Sheet Music Downloads. I’ll reveal those goodies soon. Be sure to subscribe to the blog off to right to stay updated.

Gutierrez Music PeriscopeTo celebrate the launch of the SHOP, I’ll be doing a LIVE Periscope Piano Workshop on Monday Nov. 9 at 10:00am CENTRAL featuring my early elementary and elementary piano pieces.  A few have been listed on the NFMC Junior Festival list before and are perennial favorites with boys especially.  I’ll play the pieces, discuss the principle teaching concepts for each, and tell you when you could introduce them if you’re using one of the popular piano methods.

WHAT’S PERISCOPE, did you say? — it’s a new app for Android and IOS phones and tablets that allows you to watch LIVE broadcasts for free.  You download the FREE app, create a quick profile for yourself, and “follow” a few folks whom you’d like to view whenever they broadcast.  And you can broadcast too!

TO JOIN PERISCOPE:

1.   If you’re on your mobile phone or tablet right now, click on the little “pianoprof88” button off to the right on the sidebar and it should take you to the Periscope app for download and then you can “FOLLOW” me.

or

2. Download the FREE Periscope app on your phone or tablet from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android).  Use your cell phone# or your Twitter account to sign up (use Twitter if you have it).  Set Notifications to “ON.”  Create your account and choose your @name.  Post a photo of yourself and bio on your profile when you get the chance.  Search for me “@pianoprof88″  and FOLLOW.  Whenever I’m about to broadcast, you’ll hear and see a little tweet alert on your device.

See you on the scope!

Side Note: To those of you who are already following me on Periscope, please follow me now on @pianoprof88 instead of the old account @pianoprof.  I had to change to a new account for good reasons.  On Monday, I’ll hop on the old account and alert you to follow me at the new account just in case.  Thanks!

 

 

 

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Benda’s “Sonatina in A minor” Piano Play-Along: Post Four (Take-Aways)

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Hope you all enjoyed the Benda A Minor Sonatina Play-Along.  Even if you weren’t able to stay on schedule while it was happening, the beauty of a Play-Along is that you can jump in anytime even after the scheduled Play-Along has ended.   Make any Piano Play-Along our own self-guided project to learn a new piece and gain a little more insight about it.  But remember Play-Alongs are community projects also.  I want to hear your thoughts about the pieces whenever you “play-along”.    So….. practice a little, read a blog post along the way for insight, maybe make a comment on your findings, practice a little again, read another blog post, comment, etc.

I’m still hearing from folks who are reading along with the Kabalevsky Play-Along from last year.  I enjoy reading the comments and returning to the score to investigate someone else’s finding or suggestions. 🙂

BENDA INFOGRAPHIC

A little info about Benda to share with students…..

My take-aways from the Benda Play-Along:

  • This is a deservedly-popular and beloved piece for student pianists because of its engaging musical characteristics.  It offers tuneful melodies, dramatic harmonies, and finger-tickling toccata-style goodness with every measure.
  • The fact that it’s short, yet full of interesting twists and turns makes it appealing to students and its show-stopper quality is appealing to audiences as well.  Makes you wish there was more of it once it’s over.
  •  Excellent study in rhythm and part-writing for an aspiring intermediate pianist and offers opportunity to explore a good range of the keyboard.
    The student will have to count like a fiend and absorb many details in articulation, but the pay-off is worth it.
  •  I find that students continue to play this piece on their own even long after they’ve completed it.  That’s a good sign of a mesmerizing piece…..
  •  Studying the Supraphon edition at imslp.org was quite revealing.  It was surprising to see how over-edited this piece has become through the years and how inaccuracies have prevailed in student editions.
  • I think a NEW student edition is in order, one that reflects Benda’s first edition more accurately with added notes to students about pedaling, accurate distribution of the voices, repeats, etc.

I’m going to prepare a new student-friendly edition for the Piano Passport catalog, and include a short learning guide for mastery of the more difficult technical areas.  How does that sound?  More teachers and students should have quick access to this wonderful piece!

Please pipe in with your take-aways below…. would love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time!

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Benda’s “Sonatina in A minor” Piano Play-Along: Post Three (Tricky Passages )

Benda TPassages

piano_periscope_icon_mI hope you all have enjoyed the Benda A Minor Sonatina Play-Along with the Periscope enhancements this time.  I’ll continue to “scope”-along with our Play-Alongs.  🙂  I think it brings our score study to life and I enjoy how it builds even more community among participants in our group.  Please comment below with your thoughts on the addition of Periscope, and tell me if there are other aspects I could highlight during a scope session.   I’ll try to add more future student performances as I am able.  And….I’m working on a plan to SAVE some of the Play-Along Periscopes for later viewing after the 24-hour expiration.  Bear with me!

 

instagram-logoDon’t forget to watch the mini-video tutes on Instagram.  FOLLOW @pianoprof at Instagram and Periscope and set your notifications to ON.

 

 

Now that you’ve been playing the Sonatina for approximately 2 weeks, what do you think is the trickiest passage(s) in the piece? Either for you or a potential student?  Please ADD YOUR COMMENT BELOW with measure nos.
Of course, there could be several “tricky” spots for students when they first begin working on this piece and I remarked on those in an earlier Periscope.  For this post, I limiting it to the TWO spots that I think cause the most concern for the teacher and student.

1.  Measures 41-48
Benda Tricky Passage photo
This sudden change in texture really blindsides students at first.  At m. 41 they lose all rhythmic precision and suddenly slow the tempo way down.  I believe the root cause is the rhythmic shift from 16th-note subdivisions (mm.39-40) into eighths, then quarters later, and then dotted eighth-sixteenths, etc.  I find that students try to approximate the pacing of the eighths in m. 41 rather than count it precisely.

As mentioned in my Periscope, students must count like fiends in this area.  There’s just no way around it.  I have students count aloud from mm. 39 forward, by just saying the rhythms aloud first without playing.  While pointing to the rhythms in the score,  I have them count 16ths in mm. 39-40, followed by eighths in mm. 41-43, and so forth.  My students recite  “1-ee-and-a” for 16ths and “ 1 and “ for the eighths (you could choose another counting method if you prefer).  Once they get their lips wrapped around the counting, they truly know it and can direct their fingers to follow what they recite aloud.  While counting they can also listen for the steadiness of their tempo.  Of course, have them work hands apart as needed.

2.  Measure 44
Benda rest
This is the first and only pause in the entire piece.  Did you notice that? And it seems that students park themselves on this rest while they scurry to arrange their fingers quickly for the dotted rhythms.  Again, working hands separately and counting 16th subdivisions very precisely will assist in the entrance, but it’s the quick consecutive double-note manuevers in the RH that cause concern here.

Here’s the fingering I suggest for m. 44 (in the photo above – Supraphon edition):
RH:  5-1 to 4-1 then 3-1 to 2-1 (which lands on beat 1 of m. 45)
LH:  2 to 3 to 1 to 2 (which lands on beat 1 of m. 45)

NOTE:  Two notes for the RH and single notes for the LH. is exactly how Benda wrote it in his first edition according to the Supraphon editors.  For more info about this Czech edition, click HERE. 

PLAYING TIP:  Rather than play directly downward into the keys on the RH double notes, stay close to the keys and use a “sliding” motion with the hand as you play each pair of double notes.  The video below demonstrates.

When you time the sliding motions with your counting it all comes together so much more easily and there’s no fumbling around with the hand jumping about. Do you hear the student counting?  He makes it look easy, doesn’t he? But…..he’s always determined to solve issues by counting.

I hope this helps.  I look forward to your REPLIES below.  Please share so we all may compare notes, OK?  A little Benda “wrap-up” post will soon follow this one. Keep on practicing!