Young Professional Highlights: Inspiring Artistry

We are delighted to share a few highlights from the work of young professionals throughout the United States and Canada. Each of these videos comes from our Inspiring Artistry video collection. To learn more and submit a proposal for a future Inspiring Artistry or From the Artist Bench video, please click here.

D. Scarlatti: Sonata in D Minor, K. 213

by Charlotte Tang

When approaching this Scarlatti work for the first time, Tang recommends the following as an initial focus:

  • Start with the arpeggios and consider fingering together with the student
  • Identify the sixths and find a comfortable gesture and approach to the keyboard
  • Identify the articulation needed/used to convey the moods of this work

Nakada: The Sad Waltz

by Mengyu Song

When presenting Nakada’s The Sad Waltz, Song suggests the following activities:

  • Discuss the history of the waltz and explore the dance steps
  • Improvise a right-hand melody with a two-note slur followed by a staccato note (modeled by teacher) in four-bar “question and answer” phrases
  • Review intervals (blocked and broken) and chord qualities found in the piece

Tansman:“To the Garden” from Pour les enfants

by Shelby Nord

When working with a student on the expressive elements of this Tansman piece, Nord suggests:

  • Ask the student to describe how the piece makes them feel and how they would convey that character or emotion.
  • Discuss potential reasons the composer labeled this piece “To the Garden.” What kind of garden? What kind of people are in this garden? What is the weather like in the garden?

Mignone: Valsinha (Little Waltz)

by Ricardo Pozenatto

Students often struggle with physical coordination. To help remedy this challenge, Pozenatto offers the following tips:

  • Balance between hands is essential in this piece. The student should already feel somewhat comfortable playing a RH cantabile line over a softer LH accompaniment.
  • Listen to the two parts played by the LH starting in measure 33. Start by playing the dotted half-notes with the LH and the quarter notes with the RH looking for the different articulation and good balance between parts. Transfer that while playing both parts with the LH only.
  • Approach playing the LH accompaniment by using a flexible wrist, moving it from close to the keys during beats two and three, upwards. This will facilitate a non-legato articulation, which is needed for the accompaniment of this piece.

Joplin: The Easy Winners

by Kate Acone

Before a student learns The Easy Winners by Scott Joplin, it may help to introduce the piece with the following activities that Acone describes:

  • An “easy winner” is an athlete who blows away the competition. What about the piece could suggest that?
  • Introductory improvisation: play a stride bass pattern based on measure 5 while the student improvises on A-flat major chord tones.
  • Teach a syncopated rhythm by rote, then try improvising just one note at a time using that rhythm.

To learn more and submit a proposal for a future Inspiring Artistry or From the Artist Bench video, please click here.

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