The Music Corner for Piano Lovers

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23 Aug 2014
My Latest Project: Born to Eternal Life
 Last Sunday, just as I was about to prep a piano score for upload, I received an unexpected request for a short piece for cello and piano. I decided to rise to the challenge, and to re-work the piano score for a cello-piano duet. You can take a listen here: Born to Eternal Life The piece is inspired by St. Francis's beautiful prayer, and takes its title, "Born to Eternal Life," from the last line of the prayer. I have to say I like the re-worked piece better than the original piano ...
12 Aug 2014
Working Out Fingering for Scales: Part III
This is the last post on fingering. This week, we'll take a look at Pattern Two used for B Major, B minor, and F Major. Because we have a Bb in the key of F, the R.H . deviates slightly from the pattern we've been following for white keys. (If you missed that post, here's a link to it: http://ntustin.musicaneo.com/blog/news/view/1698.html )  It's more comfortable to play the Bb with Finger 4 rather than to bring the thumb under the third finger to play Fa (the fourth note in the ...
03 Aug 2014
Working out Fingering For Scales: Part II
This week, we're going to look at Pattern 3 , the finger pattern used to play the keys on the left side of the Circle of Fifths ( Bb Major through Db Major ).   Playing these keys is in some ways easier than playing the keys on the right side. Before we go into fingering for these scales, let's sit at the piano and look at the black keys. They come, as you know, in alternating sets of 2 and 3. We typically use Fingers 2 and 3 on Db and Eb , and Fingers 2,3, and 4 on Gb, Ab, and Bb . Play the ...
27 Jul 2014
Working Out Fingering For Scales: Part 1
Remembering scale fingering without quite understanding why it is we do what we do can be hard. I'm going to provide you with a method of understanding and working out fingering with a tip on when to use finger 4 for 2 octave scales that I hope will help. There are basically three finger patterns used to play scales. Pattern One is used as we go clockwise down the circle of fifths, from the key of C to the key of E. It is used for the relative minor of each of these keys as well, except for B ...
21 Jul 2014
Unsung Siblings: The Story of Fanny Mendelssohn
Reading about our musical predecessors can be extremely inspiring! I find myself returning to practice sessions with greater zeal when I finish a biography of one of my favorite composers. Even more inspiring, however, is the story of unsung composers like Fanny Mendelssohn. Four years older than her more famous brother, Felix, Fanny was unfortunate enough to live in a time when women, in particular those from a privileged background, were discouraged from taking up a profession. Like Felix, Fanny ...
14 Jul 2014
The Merry Maiden's Dance
I've just uploaded a new piece to my site - my favorite so far! A lively melody in E minor, The Merry Maiden's Dance is a much easier piece than it sounds. It's very reminiscent of Bach in its broken chord melody that moves from one hand to the other. But there's also a Schumannesque quality to it. My husband, in fact, has nicknamed the piece, "Schuh-Bach!" Written for pianists at the Early Intermediate Level (Grade 4), The Merry Maiden's Dance is the perfect stepping stone to Bach's Preludes ...
12 Jul 2014
Using Solfege to Construct the Minor Scale
 Last week I blogged about using Solfege to construct the major scale. Rather than remember individual notes or the formula WWH WWWH, I recommend using Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do. Here's a link to the post, if you missed it: Learning Scales: The Solfege Way As pianists we learn to associate minor keys with their relative major. This is because the minor key has the same key signature as its relative major. E minor has one sharp just like its relative major, G; C minor has three flats like ...
06 Jul 2014
Solfege: The No-Memorization Method for Constructing and Learning Scales!
If, like me, you hate having to memorize anything other than music - which comes naturally to me, in any case - you'll love the method I use for formulating and playing any major or minor scale. If you've seen The Sound of Music , and know the songs Julie Andrews sings in that movie, in particular, "Doe, a deer," you're already familiar with Solfege , the method I'm referring to. Singers use solfege to practice scales and sight sing. As a pianist, so can you. The major scale has a ...
29 Jun 2014
MusicaNeo's Library of Free Piano Music
I found this fantastic free library while browsing around on the MusicaNeo site. I plan on using this as a regular resource to find keyboard works from both my favorite composers as well as some lesser known ones. There's more than just keyboard works in the library. So enjoy! Library of Free Music
29 Jun 2014
Learning How To Pedal: A No-Fail Method!
 Australian piano teacher, Tim Buckland, has the best method I've seen for teaching pedaling technique. He suggests you play chords on the white keys, starting on C Major, and going up an octave. Say "Up" as you depress the notes to remind yourself that this is when you'd raise the sustain pedal if it were already down. You say "down" immediately after as you lower the pedal. I'm linking to his article on the subject here as well as slightly modifying his instructions. You'll notice on ...
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