Your Stories No.16
Swan Kiezebrink is a Suzuki and traditional piano, voice and theory teacher in BC, Canada. Here she shares her piano story …
I would like to thank Liz Giannopoulos for this exclusive article which will be of special interest and importance to all piano and instrumental teachers working in the UK.
Guest post by Liz Giannopoulos
Sheet Music Review
Mike Springer will be known to many readers (especially in the US) as a prolific educational composer, with many publications in print with Alfred Music (UK readers can explore his extensive catalogue here).
Lyrical Landscapes is his latest series, appearing as three collections of solo piano music composed for intermediate players.
Written in a variety of styles ranging from Romantic to contemporary, covering a variety of moods, these pieces are evocative and engaging to play, and would especially suit older and adult players at this level.
According to the composer:
“Lyrical Landscapes is a collection of expressive pieces … written to provide opportunities for late elementary to late intermediate students to develop skills in projecting lyrical, melodic lines…
“From slow ballads to upbeat tempos, these pieces allow pianists the opportunity to develop a deeper musical awareness through the use of technical control, rubato, and subtle tempo changes. These pieces were composed so students not only enjoy performing the music, but grow musically along the way.”
Let’s take a closer look…
Your Stories No.15
Paul Harris is one of the world’s most respected music educationalists. His compositions have delighted players and audiences around the world, and he has over 500 publications to his name. Paul is in great demand as a workshop and seminar leader in the UK, USA and the Far East.
Here he shares the story of how he discovered the piano as a child …
Sheet Music Review
”And now for something completely different …”
John Pitts’ book How to Play Indian Sitar Raags on a Piano was undoubtedly one of the most unique publications submitted for review last year, and as I browsed through the 260-page volume, I have to admit that I was somewhat overwhelmed by the depth and quantity of information in it – to the extent that I felt genuinely unqualified to write a review!
How happy I was, then, to learn that John has written a prequel called Indian Raags for Piano Made Easy, suitable for players from easy to intermediate level (around Grades 1+ to 4 in my view).
This, surely, would be the collection that I needed in order to jump in and have a go at exploring this extraordinary and diverse music! So, how did that work out?
Ask these questions to a hundred pianists, and there’s a good chance you will hear a hundred different answers – but some common themes will most likely emerge.
In this article I am going to consider the many and complex motivations we all experience in life, focussing in on the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, and how each pertains to our piano playing.
Sheet Music Review
June Armstrong (see Your Story: June Armstrong) has proven not only to be one of our more imaginative contemporary educational composers, but also to have a keen eye for gaps in the existing pedagogic repertoire.
Her many excellent and innovative publications via her business Pianissimo Publishing (see my reviews of Safari, Stars and Rayan’s Duet Book) fill a wide range of such gaps, and between them comprise a genuinely important body of work. Every collection, too, is a joy to explore and a delight to own.
June’s latest collection is Six Little Preludes and Fugues, and looks set to continue this trend, living up to the high standards of previous publications.
Guest post by Simon Reich
Unless you lived in a humidified bubble, away from sharp objects and potential harmful items, injuries are part of life.
The response to my invitation for stories and anecdotes regarding incidents that may have curtailed your piano playing or ended your musical career altogether was overwhelming. As I was therefore unable to squeeze the material into one blog, I’ve been compelled to write a second part to You Can’t Stop the Music.
Just to reiterate, the injuries were not necessarily musically acquired, but things as simple as falling off a bike, crushing fingers between two bricks or hurting your back slipping down a flight of stairs.
Amazingly, after writing the first article, I found out my mum has some nerve problems in her fingers.
She told me that as children, her siblings would melt wax on their fingertips and when cooled to dry, play the piano as a fun alternative to the standard method! This was the way she described how playing the piano keyboard now felt. It hasn’t stopped her from performing but it’s certainly put a spanner in the works of eliciting dynamics and feeling to her performances.
Sheet Music Review
Alison Mathews’ excellent collection Treasure Trove has proved a big hit with my students who have been working through it, and I’m delighted that publishers Editions Musica Ferrum have now brought out another collection composed by her: Doodles.
It is very clear straight away that this publication explores very different terrain to Treasure Trove however.
So what is the concept here, and do I think it works?
Let’s find out…
Site Owner: Andrew Eales
I’m so pleased that you’ve found this site, and hope that you enjoy exploring the 300+ articles here, written to inform, encourage and inspire you on your piano journey!
Pianodao grows weekly, and as well as being my own online journal, the site features posts by some of the world’s most popular and respected writers about piano playing and music education.
Built around the metaphor of piano playing as a lifetime journey, you will find plenty of articles about playing, teaching, and broader lifestyle issues, along with interviews, stories, and my recommendations of great new resources.
And you can contribute too, by leaving comments, questions, even sharing Your Story here!