Category Archives: Blog

Elements of vocal technique in piano technique

…so inspiring and refreshing to to attend Thomas Hampson’s master classes last week as a part of the Heidelberg Spring Festival. The great baritone was here all week working with a group of really talented young singers in addition to singing a stunning recital of Schubert, Mahler and Schumann. His teaching is amazingly full of knowledge about technique and about the philosophical and literary content of the music – he is a man of Energy with a capital E…

Resolving extreme inner hand tension in piano technique

I had her imagine that her finger was a loose rope – about as different from the standing, cathedral arch finger as you can get! I had her lay her hand gently on key, the heel of her hand mashing the white keys while her 2nd 3rd & 4th fingers rested on the three black keys. I pressed her 2nd finger into its key as gently, slowly and softly as possible. Still I could feel her finger almost convulse as its chronic inner tension was triggered by the knowledge that now it would play a note. But because she was so relaxed, my student could now feel that mini-convulsion. I told her, “this is what you are doing all the time, and we have to teach your muscles some other way.”

A Tribute to Pete Seeger

Piano technique is not only about the physical organization of the hand and body – what we’re really dealing with is the transmission of musical expression. This letter that I recently sent to Pete Seeger expresses my appreciation for a very valuable early musical influence…