Ivory Pulse: Piano Blogs Digest – Aug 15, 2023

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Ivory Pulse!

Every week, we dive into a sea of articles, blog posts, and updates to gather the most interesting and inspiring pieces from the world of piano music. From the latest news on piano technology and trends, to insightful interviews with accomplished pianists, to tips and tricks that will help you become a better player, we’ve got it all!

Chickering – former leader in the piano world

By: Anja, www.klaviano.com

Discover the elegance and passion of Chickering pianos, a former leader in the piano world. Learn about their history, innovations, and the age and value of your Chickering piano. From their one-piece cast iron frame to their unique string arrangement, Chickering pianos were known for their innovative designs. Check the serial number of your piano to determine its age, and explore the range of prices for Chickering pianos and grand pianos. Read more

Watch pianist Georgi Vasilev’s STUNNING performance at 3rd International Competition of Polish Music

By: Pianist Magazine, www.youtube.com

The 3rd International Competition of Polish Music occurred from July 2-9, 2023 in Rzeszów, Poland, spanning piano and chamber ensemble categories. The event’s primary aim is to amplify the works of 60 notable Polish composers, predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries, bringing rediscovered pieces to broader audiences. This endeavor not only revives an underappreciated legacy but also promotes musicians who incorporate lesser-known Polish compositions into their performances, like Georgi Vasilev’s rendition of Alexander Tansman’s Sonatine No.3, a First Prize laureate. Watch on YouTube

Disappearing piano tuners

By: Susan Tomes, www.susantomes.com

The number of highly-trained piano tuners is dwindling in Australia, with a lack of training courses and a small pool of skilled tuners. Tuning concert pianos is even more challenging, as it requires technical expertise and few tuners can meet the necessary standards. Some pianists have considered tuning their own pianos, but the strain on their arm muscles and the high pressure of the strings make it impractical. Digital pianos offer a solution as they do not go out of tune, but concert pianists still prefer acoustic grand pianos. The future may lie in inventing a self-tuning acoustic piano using AI. Read more

Anna Heller’s Performances: Weegee Photos (Greg Sandow) (selections)

By: admin, movingclassics.tv

Pianist Anna Heller performs selected compositions from the piano cycle ‘Weegee Photos’ by Greg Sandow, inspired by the work of famous New York photographer Weegee. The cycle consists of eight pieces that capture scenes of crashes, killings, fires, and hopeless love. Watch the live recording of the piano cycle and discover more modern piano music on Moving Classics TV. Read more

How to Play Nocturne in E-Flat Major (Chopin)

By: Lisa Witt, www.pianote.com

Learn how to play Frédéric Chopin’s beloved Nocturne in E-Flat Major with an easier, more accessible version for intermediate piano players. This blog post provides sheet music downloads for a simplified arrangement and a beginner-friendly arrangement, along with expert tips on phrasing, left hand chord shapes, and memorization techniques. Discover the beauty of this piece and improve your piano skills with the guidance provided. Read more

Estey Piano Value – Assessing an Estey Piano’s Worth

By: Mike Moore, www.digitalpianoreviewguide.com

Learn how to assess the value of an Estey piano, whether you’re buying or selling. Estey pianos are generally valued between $200-4,500, depending on factors such as age, condition, type/model, color, and seller. Examples of Estey pianos currently on the market are provided, including a vertical piano listed for $1,288, a baby grand sold for $3,995, an antique mahogany upright priced at $4,995, and a steal of a deal with an Estey spinet selling for only $200. Discover the true worth of an Estey piano and make informed decisions when buying or selling. Read more

Chord Playing and Improvising: Christopher Norton

By: Melanie Spanswick, melaniespanswick.com

Discover the popular Connections for Piano series by Christopher Norton, featuring a variety of pop and jazz styles. With backing tracks available online, this series is suitable for all levels and is a major part of the Royal Conservatory syllabus in Canada. Learn more about the series and try your hand at improvising with the sheet music and track provided. Read more

Breaking the Piano Memorisation Crutch in Transfer Students

By: Joanna Shiel, colourfulkeys.ie

This blog post discusses the issue of piano students relying on memorization as a crutch instead of truly understanding the music they play. It explores the root causes of this problem and provides four qualities of a healthy memorizer. The post also offers three steps to help transfer students develop good memorization habits. Written by Joanna Shiel, a piano teacher with 14 years of experience, the post provides valuable insights for piano teachers looking to help their students improve their playing and performance abilities. Read more

5 No-Prep Music Games For Your Music Lessons

By: Georgina Wilson, topmusic.co

Discover five no-prep music games that can transform your music lessons and engage your students. From a treasure hunt note game that gets students looking closely at their music, to a tally game that encourages competition, these games require little to no preparation and can be easily incorporated into your teaching. Whether you’re looking to improve focus, enthusiasm, or critical thinking skills, these games are sure to be a hit with your students. Join Georgina Wilson and Tara Wright as they share their favorite no-prep music games to add to your teaching toolkit. Read more

Piano Adventures 3A: Greensleeves and Arranging with Lead Sheets

By: Heidi’s Piano Notes , heidispianonotes.blogspot.com

Learn how to arrange music using lead sheets in Piano Adventures 3A. This lesson plan includes activities for playing “Greensleeves” and creating your own pop-style song using the same chord progression. Discover how to add chord colors to your arrangement and create a unique version of the song. Expand your piano skills and explore the possibilities of arranging music with this engaging lesson plan. Read more

Returning piano student Questionnaire helps focus goals for new lesson year

By: Rebekah Maxner, rebekah.maxner.ca

Learn how to keep piano students engaged by using questionnaires to understand their preferences and goals. By asking students about their favorite pieces, music styles, and what they enjoy most about piano lessons, teachers can personalize their instruction and select repertoire that keeps students interested. Additionally, finding out what students struggle with allows teachers to address those areas and prevent loss of interest. Questionnaires help create a customized learning experience and foster a deeper understanding of students as developing musicians. Read more

LOVE AND HOPE / Pianoduo DUOR / Review

By: Chang Tou Liang , pianofortephilia.blogspot.com

Pianoduo DUOR, formed by Japanese pianists Takashi Fujii and Yoshie Shiramizu, delighted the audience with their popular tunes and short pieces recital. The concert featured selections from Rachmaninov’s two piano suites, Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No.1, Akira Miyoshi’s Cahier Sonore, John Musto’s transcription of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and two Chopin hits. The performance showcased the duo’s fine ensemble work and technical mastery, leaving the audience in awe. The encores, Debussy’s Clair de lune and Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No.5, sent the well-filled house home on a happy note. Read more

Listen Up! Podcasts for Music Educators

By: Sheet Music Plus, blog.sheetmusicplus.com

Looking for bite-sized professional development for music educators? Check out these podcasts for band, choir, and orchestra directors. From discussions about music education and technology to practical tips and tricks, there’s something for everyone. Dive into conversations about choral music, creating ensembles, and the everyday life situations of a music teacher. Explore the best of the wind world with interviews featuring conductors, composers, teachers, and performers. And for string and orchestra educators, learn from the best in the profession. Tune in and take your music education to the next level! Read more


That brings us to the end of this edition of Ivory Pulse. Don’t forget to join us again next week for another compilation of compelling piano-focused content. Until then, keep playing and enjoying the wonderful world of piano music.

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