Ivory Pulse: Piano Blogs Digest – Oct 17, 2023

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!


Why Do People Procrastinate About Learning to Play the Piano?

By: Jen Crabb, pianoforretirees.com

Jen Crabb, a long-time piano teacher, explores why people procrastinate learning to play the piano. She categorizes learners into those who are sincerely interested but face obstacles like lack of time or money, and those who express interest but lack commitment. A significant portion procrastinates due to fear of failure or because they’ve idealized their abilities, leading to paralysis from self-doubt. She argues that these fears are often self-imposed and should not prevent someone from starting their piano journey. Crabb emphasizes that the joy of playing, rather than skill level, should be the motivating factor and that people will regret not taking the step to learn. Read more

The Beauty of the Rotation Technique: Rami Bar-Niv

By: Melanie Spanswick, melaniespanswick.com

Pianist and teacher Rami Bar-Niv discusses the rotation technique in piano playing, a method that utilizes a set of muscles and tendons different from traditional wrist and finger techniques. Rotation involves moving the forearm, hand, and fingers from side to side like a seesaw, shifting the weight from one finger to another. Ideal for playing tremolos, trills, and other complex figurations, the rotation technique can make playing more efficient and less physically taxing. The technique also involves double rotation for sequences like scales, where the direction of the notes remains the same. Rotation is particularly useful in advanced finger placement, facilitating smoother transitions and reducing the risk of injury. Read more

How To Use Diminished And Augmented Chords

By: Mark A. Galang, OTRP, MAM-MTc, www.freejazzlessons.com

The blog post provides an in-depth lesson on the use of diminished and augmented chords in music, particularly for piano. These chords are dissonant triads with unique sonic characteristics; diminished chords are composed of stacked minor 3rds and sound “scary,” while augmented chords are stacks of major 3rds and sound “dreamy” or “unsettled.” The chords can serve as dominant chords and are highly versatile in resolving to different chord tones, enabling musicians to modulate keys easily. Techniques like Barry Harris’s “Diminished Sixth” method and applications in single-note lines are discussed. The post concludes by promoting the Jazz Inner Circle, a program for aspiring jazz pianists. Read more

Building a Music School to 1000+ Students (w. Vera H.) [7FMS Ep. #93]

By: Daniel Patterson, growyourmusicstudio.com

In this episode of the 7FMS podcast, Vera H. shares her experience of building a music school with over 1000 students. She focuses on creating a unique experience that keeps students and parents coming back for years. Vera discusses challenges, lessons learned, and strategies for managing growth, fostering strong student-teacher relationships, and reducing stress. Listen to the episode to learn more about her successful approach to building a thriving music school. Read more

5 Ways to Liven Your Halloween Performance (Music Teacher Tip #40)

By: Jennifer Foxx, musiceducatorresources.com

Learn 5 ways to liven up your Halloween performance event in this music teacher tip. Engage your audience and make it a memorable experience. Watch the video for creative ideas and share your thoughts in the comments. Read more

Let’s Play Music Bridge Online Activities

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

Discover a collection of lesson plans and activities that correlate with Let’s Play Music Bridge (2nd semester). These activities include theory, improvisation, and music and movement exercises that can be done in private or group lessons, piano lab, or assigned for at-home practice. Explore a variety of topics such as falling snow, sharps/flats order, canon in C, love somebody, chord progression composition, ledger lines, and more. Enhance your piano lessons with these engaging resources. Check out the blog post for more free piano lesson plans and book links. Read more

What every piano teacher needs to know about Autism (ASD)

By: Rebekah Maxner, rebekah.maxner.ca

Discover what every piano teacher needs to know about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in this informative blog post. Learn about the unique position piano teachers hold in a child’s life and the importance of staying informed about neurodiversity. Avoid negative language surrounding ASD and explore videos created by experts to gain a wealth of understanding. Find out how to recognize possible characteristics of ASD in your students and develop appropriate and effective responses. This blog post may also help you better understand yourself as a piano teacher. Don’t miss out on this valuable resource! Read more

Classical Songs for Young Voices: Oh False One!

By: www.music-for-music-teachers.com

Looking for classical songs for young voices? Check out the duet vocal sheet music and piano accompaniment for ‘Oh false one’ by Gilbert & Sullivan. This funny and dramatic song from The Pirates of Penzance is perfect for building an appreciation for opera music. The vocal lines are suitable for both tenor and mezzo-soprano (or alto) singers. The piano accompaniment is fun to play and not too difficult. Get the sheet music for $5.00 and make unlimited copies for your students and accompanists. Download instantly without needing any new software. Read more

Music Performances

Alla Pavlova – Impromptu Nr 3

By: movingclassics.tv

Read about Alla Pavlova, a Ukrainian composer known for her compositions for orchestra and solo instruments. Her works have been performed by ensembles and soloists around the world, and she has collaborated with renowned conductors. Pavlova’s music combines classical, romantic, and contemporary styles, often incorporating elements from gospel and popular genres. She currently resides in New York and is a member of New York Women Composers, Inc. and ASCAP. Her recordings can be found on the Naxos and Albany labels, and her music is regularly broadcast internationally. Read more


By: Chang Tou Liang, pianofortephilia.blogspot.com

Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos’ performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra was wild and uneven, lacking the usual pristine articulation and intonation. However, Kavakos’ technical abilities shone through in the Allegro vivacissimo finale, providing an exciting and commanding performance. The concert also featured Antonin Dvorak’s Legends and Symphony No.6, which were performed with polish and good taste. Kavakos’ subsequent recital with pianist Enrico Pace showcased a better outing, particularly in Ravel’s Sonate Posthume. Overall, the gala concert was a mix of highs and lows, with Kavakos’ unique style and technical prowess on display. Read more

Surprise Visit From Piano Friends!

By: Jenifer Cook, thechurchpianist.com

Read about the surprise visit from Loren & Louise Lustig, a husband and wife team who volunteer their time to minister through music to various churches. They have encouraged the author over the years through their playing and emails, and now they have paid a visit. Click the link to watch a video of Loren & Louise playing and hear their encouraging note. Read more

Music Resources

10 Best Music Dictionaries

By: Selin Gökova, wanderingtunes.com

Discover the best music dictionaries for musicians and enthusiasts in this article. From the comprehensive Oxford Dictionary of Music to the practical Hal Leonard Pocket Music Theory, explore a range of options for all levels. Also featured are the Essential Dictionary of Orchestration, packed with valuable information for composers and orchestrators, and The Pianist’s Dictionary, an all-in-one guide for pianists. Find the perfect music dictionary to enhance your knowledge and understanding of music history, theory, and performance. Read more

Meet the New Sheet Music Plus

By: Sheet Music Plus, blog.sheetmusicplus.com

Sheet Music Plus has a new look! The website now offers improved features such as refined search options for physical or digital items, an enhanced mobile experience, and easier access to score previews. Users can also add items to music lists, benefit from search suggestions, share wishlists, read and write product reviews, and easily access teacher resources. With over 2 million titles available, Sheet Music Plus continues to be the go-to destination for all your sheet music needs. Explore the new and improved features today! Read more

Concert grand piano ranking. The best according to your choice

By: Anja, www.klaviano.com

Discover the results of a poll among music and piano lovers to determine the best concert pianos. The ranking includes renowned brands such as C. Bechstein, Fazioli, Kawai, Bosendorfer, Yamaha, Steingraeber, and Steinway. Interestingly, the Steinway Model D-274 is the top choice among both professionals and amateurs. The blog post highlights the importance of choosing a piano that inspires the pianist and meets their sound expectations, regardless of their level of expertise. Find out more about these exceptional concert pianos and see if your favorite made the list! Read more

Music Competitions

Modartt Video Contest 2023

By: www.modartt.com

Discover the latest updates from Modartt, including the release of Organteq 2 with new German Baroque stops and enhanced sound engine. Pianoteq for iOS is now available, allowing you to play on your iPhone or iPad. Participate in the Modartt Video Contest and showcase your skills with Pianoteq 8 or Organteq 2 for a chance to win up to €400 in value coupons. Stay informed about product updates, news, and promotions by subscribing to the Modartt newsletter. 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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