david ohrenstein composer piano instructorPiano Lessons and Instruction by David Ohrenstein

Are you looking for piano lessons in Sarasota, Bradenton, or Venice?  Call me and ask about rates and schedule.

When it comes to piano playing, people can determine if they like what they hear by the first few notes. If your sound is pleasing, you’ve won. The most import asset a student can acquire with their piano lessons is “touch”.  I learned the art of touch from Mischa Kottler.  With a personal written recommendation written by Rachmaninoff, he got to Vienna where he studied in the 1920’s with Emil von Sauer.  Emil von Sauer learned the art of touch from Franz Liszt; who was not only famous as a great composer, but is also reputed to be the best piano player ever. I pride myself in being able to teach touch to aspiring students.

Mischa then went to Paris where he studied piano technique under Alfred Cortot.  Cortot studied with a pupil of Chopin. This great Parisian instructor founded the Paris Conservatory of Music.  In his editing of  the piano music of Chopin, Cortot gives suggestions on how to master difficult passages. Cortot’s great work, Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique, is still available today.

How students may benefit from Piano Lessons

– It is important for the developmental abilities of children to have music introduced into their lives at an early age, since it helps builds connections and cognizant thinking skills.  Also people from every walk of life love hearing children play the piano.  To this end I can also teach popular music, chords, and how to make effective arrangements. I worked as the arranger and accompanist of Rubinoff and His Violin for some 25 years. You can hear  our New York  concert on the thumb video at the top of the website page. For my professional experience, I know what audiences enjoy and can teach the art to your child as I did to my own children.

 

 

Instructions for Piano Students to Include the Use of a Metronome

piano lessons for studentsUse of the metronome encourages a steady beat when playing alone. It is too tempting to slow down when the music becomes difficult. With beginning students, everything should be first played hands separately and  slowly. Then, little by little, work up the tempo. I also recommend that students keep a practice log with their times. Yes, the teacher needs proof of practice! Except for not practicing, I am tolerant of any other musical  oversights.

Instructions for Piano Students on hand position for the Piano:

piano lessons sarasota Through piano lessons, my students will also learn:

  • Optimum Hand Position -(1) Hold the hand fairly level to the forearm while playing legato.  (2) Play by the use of weight which starts at the shoulders and works down to the finger tips.  Keeping everything but the fingertips loose  counters stiffness, muscular fatigue and improves tone production.
  • The Proper Use of the Wrists and Forearms in addition to the fingers and hand
  • The Art of Finger Substitution –  which involves silently switching the fingers on a note in order to keep legato playing true to the phrase markings. This is just as important for piano players as it is for                                                                                                                                                               organists.

 

Ear training and Music Theory Included with Piano Lessons

piano lessons music theoryBecause of my approach to the piano, which emphasizes beauty of tone, I regularly play for American Presidents, their families and heads of state from around the world. This I accomplish at the Gasparilla Inn on the isle Boca Grande, Florida. In season I entertain six nights weekly. To this end, management has provided me with two rebuilt vintage  Steinway grand pianos. I will begin my contract for my 7th consecutive year on December 18, It’s a 6 night a week gig  that lasts through April 5.

In summary, I feel that that unless a student masters the technique of tone production with other basic skills  (including ear training and music theory that I also offer), the time spent practicing is not as efficient as it should be.

6 Comments

  1. I’m so glad that you like the website and took the time and trouble to reply. In making it, I compare it to Rome: It wasn’t built in a day. My goal is to keep it as informative; and to do honor to whatever it is that I write about.

  2. Thank you for noticing the website and thank you for your kind reply. I will try contacting you around 10:00 tomorrow morning (October 7) at the phone number that you left. – David

  3. Glad you like the website. As being an older person, it is nice to be driven and have things to do that you love-The writer of A Chorus Line, Marvin Hamlisch stated this so well in his lyrics for The Music and the Mirror: “Let me wake up in the morning to find I have somewhere exciting to go”. The concept for Music Under the Zodiac is a work in progress. I formed the theory over 50 years ago; and it needs to be fine tuned. Keep checking our website. I’ll try to keep it going even though I’m now working full time as the pianist at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande. Again, thanks, David

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