The Music Corner for Piano Lovers


  • News 34
25 Oct 2014
Black Hole
I've been working on a new song called, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, "Black Hole." I've had the idea for some time, but was having trouble putting it to sing-able words. I worried, in fact, that such a prosaic subject as the slowing economy, the difficulty of finding a job, and the frustrating experience job-seekers endure might just not be the right subject for a song. Then, a few nights ago, a walk in the dark on a chilly evening helped me figure out what the problem was. ...
11 Oct 2014
Incorporating Sight Reading Into Your Practice Session: Part II
 If you missed last week's post, here it is: Part I  This week, we'll delve deeper into all of the things you need to do before you actually start playing a piece at sight. T o prepare to sight read , go through the section you've selected, noting notes that need to be raised or lowered and go through rhythm. Then, map out fingering . Do this first for the L.H., since our reading of L.H. pitches tends to be weaker than R.H. pitches. Circle any changes in clef signs.  Figure out ...
05 Oct 2014
An Easy Way to Incorporate Sight Reading into a Lesson or Practice Session
Lesson and practice time is at such a premium, it's no wonder both teachers and students complain there just isn't enough time to focus on both repertoire and sight reading. But the pianist who is unable to sight read is rather like the actor, who seeking to perform Macbeth, finds himself struggling to spell and pronounce each word! I'm hoping the ideas in this week's post will help you incorporate sight reading into your lesson or practice time. The mistake we often make is to consider sight reading ...
28 Sep 2014
The Surprising Benefit of Pentascales
Students are often taught to play pentascales in the manner described below to achieve a very legato tone. However, I've discovered the same exercise can also help you achieve better tone and sound quality. If you've been told you play tentatively or timidly or that you need to play louder, you'll benefit from this exercise. Play hands separate first and then hands together. Start on C - or any other note - and play the first five notes of the major scale. Position your hand over the keys, lift and ...
22 Sep 2014
Last Hours of Summer
Last Hours of Summer, my take on song form, is now available on my web site: As always, you can preview the score and listen to the audio sample. The score includes an optional introduction. You won't hear it on the audio sample. I prefer playing the piece without the introduction, even when I'm singing along. But if you'd rather lead in to the song and lyrics, you won't have to improvise your own introduction. You might ...
22 Sep 2014
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If you're interested in following the Music Corner, subscribing to my Facebook profile will provide you with the latest news and updates. I'll let you know when I've uploaded a new piece and when it's available for download. You'll know when I've written a blog post or posted practice tips.  You'll also be able to hear audio samples of my latest works before they've been uploaded to the site.
14 Sep 2014
Last Hours of Summer: A Different Kind of Song
 A couple of nights ago, my husband and I attended a concert that included Beethoven's Ninth with its famous Ode to Joy theme. In the final movement, Beethoven has the cellos play the theme, which is then taken up by the woodwinds, and then the violins, and finally the entire orchestra. Then, a baritone begins singing, and before long an entire choir of singers raise their voices in praise of the "daughter of Elysium." Concluding a symphony with voices was quite a novelty when the piece ...
02 Sep 2014
Now Available: The Full Score for Born to Eternal Life
The full score for Born to Eternal Life, a duet for cello and piano, is now available for sale. The pdf file contains both the full score and the cello part. While the cello part is quite easy, the piano part was written for advanced-level pianists. So, while I have used Big Notes to facilitate ease of reading, I have not included performance and practice tips. If you're interested in a performance license for the piece, please contact me.
01 Sep 2014
Silent Night for the Scale Game
This is a follow-up to my post on the scale game. I'll be using scale degrees (1 for the tonic, 8 for high Do, 9 for high Re, and so on) to post the melody under the lyrics. Play the piece in C Major first, and then go on to whatever scale you're practicing for the week. Sing the lyrics as you play. As I see this post in Edit mode the scale degrees seem well aligned under the lyrics. But the formatting goes awry when I hit "publish." I apologize for that, and hope this is not too difficult to read. ...
01 Sep 2014
The Scale Game: A Fun Way to Practice Scales!
Some weeks back, I came across a blog post that's inspired this week's post. The woman writing the blog had been asked to fill in for the pianist at her church. But much to her consternation, the hymns for the service were changed on the very day she was supposed to be playing. So, instead of playing the pieces she'd prepared, she found herself having to perform at sight a piece written in Db Major! Judging by the compliments she received after the service, she did quite well, but still the experience ...