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 …

Chopin’s Architecture: Phrase Structure in Chopin’s Waltz in B Minor, Op. 69 No. 2 for Composers, Performers, and Listeners

One of the toughest parts of creating anything is figuring out how to start. The biggest issue for me is that there is just so much I want to write about, say, or do in a project that I get overwhelmed and many times end up pushing it off. There’s our answer: limit the scope of …

Book Recommendation: Light the Dark by Joe Fassler

Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process is a collection of super-short, inspiring essays from acclaimed authors that comes originally from Joe Fassler's online series "By Heart" featured in The Atlantic. In this series of interviews, he asked authors which pieces of writing changed their lives as well as how these …

The Sound of Rain: Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude for Listeners, Performers, and Composers

170 years after his death, Chopin still captivates audiences with his music. His set of preludes that cover all 24 major and minor keys are a great starting place to learn how to analyze his work, as it can be dense. This post looks at the qualities that make us feel the melancholy of the …

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.