Chart Your Quest: How to Plan Your Piano Journey

Taking up piano is very much like embarking on an epic quest. You have a general idea of where you need to go, but there's a lot of terrain between here and there that you don't know about yet. If you're not careful, you could end up trapped in a dark forest of no return! But don't worry, these posts will be your guide to finding the perfect guide for you. It will help you create the path for your journey, starting with where you're going and why.

Minuscule: Tips for Pianists With Small Hands

I am a pianist with small hands. That presents a challenge when many composers (cough, cough Rachmaninoff) write lovely pieces with large chords. Over the years, I’ve learned strategies for facing these challenges. Below are four tips on playing large intervals as a small-handed pianist that promotes healthy technique and ease of tension. But first …

Piano Course Review: ProPractice by Dr. Josh Wright

Introduction In this post, I’ll be reviewing the full “ProPractice Lifetime Access Course” that currently includes 4 levels divided into 2 parts each, technique and repertoire. If you’re only interested in the repertoire section of one level, you can purchase just that section alone here. I purchased the full course, so this post will cover …

Twinkling Possibilities: Performance Tips and Theory Tidbits for Mozart’s 12 Variations on ‘Ah vous dirai-je, Maman,’ Part 2

Part 1 Last week we looked at the theme and first six variations of this famous piano piece by Mozart. This week, we’ll pick up right where we left off with brief analyses of what Mozart does to make each variation unique as well as the physical piano techniques required to successfully play each variation. …

Twinkling Possibilities: Performance Tips and Theory Tidbits for Mozart’s 12 Variations on ‘Ah vous dirai-je, Maman,’ Part 1

Mozart's "Twinkle Twinkle Variations" rank among his more popular piano pieces, probably because of the humorous nature of concert pianists sitting down to play a child's tune. (I love the laughter in this performance): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUSDpxZgy0I By the first variation, the true difficulty of this piece shines through. Because of this plot twist and the sentimental …

The Selection: How to Pick Piano Repertoire to Increase Momentum and Avoid Frustration

Teachers are one of the best resources for picking music that challenges you but is within your current abilities to achieve. I could go on for days about how goal-setting (maybe just in America — that's my only experience, so maybe it's different elsewhere) has become an activity that burns us out. We choose all …

A New Adventure: Resources for New Adult Pianists

What I love the most about teaching new adult pianists is that they have a reason why they're learning the piano. They're not doing it because their parents are making them. The desire is completely internal, and more than that, it's based in deep feelings that are strong enough to internally motivate them through the tough parts of taking up something new.

Book Review: The Art of Practicing by Madeline Bruser

Madeline Bruser, a Juilliard graduate and an authorized instructor of mindfulness meditation brings these two aspects of her life into her book The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart. In this work, she not only covers the physical aspects of playing an instrument in avoiding injury and freeing the body, …