Dr. N.A.N.'s Blog

News, views, and how the world skews from San Antonio, Texas

Spring has Sprung!

And, thank goodness for that!  I love the wild flowers that bloom during the spring in south Texas. I smile every time I drive by a carpet of bluebonnets or Indian paintbrush or pink mallow.

Sometime last fall, I discovered that I really liked some of the student repertoire I was teaching. So I decided to learn it and showcase “my” discoveries by videotaping some informal performances of it and including some brief pedagogical narration about the compositions. These videos also give me a chance to feature my beautiful studio and German Steinway concert grand located in Bulverde, TexasIMG_0870 (1)

The first two pieces I recorded are from Accent on Classical, a compilation of early to mid-intermediate works by William Gillock.  To me, the two most charming pieces from this collection are “Homage to Chopin” and “Capriccietto”. The “Homage to Chopin” has a whimsical quality that encourages the student to explore and develop tempo rubato.  This piece is also a wonderful vehicle for the young student to develop an una corda pedal technique, beyond just pushing the left pedal down for measures at a time. In “Capriccietto”, Gillock writes what I would describe as intermittent pedaling which does require some foot dexterity to avoid dirty pedaling. There is also an eight-measure passage where the student can make a crescendo and an accelerando–I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t like to play loud and fast!

I remember when I was growing up, William Gillock’s music was all the rage amongst private piano teachers. As I got older and started to develop my own musical taste, I remember thinking that Gillock’s music was somewhat juvenile and why would I want to teach it, let alone play it???? My, how things have changed.

I hope you enjoy this little video. I look forward to making more of them!

P.S. July 1st, 2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of William Gillock’s birth.

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