Beethoven was Born Under Sagittarius


Beethoven was Born Under Sagittarius. The sign has the distinction of being the only one that is half animal and half human. It is a centaur with an upper human body and the lower part is a horse. The bow and arrow points to the heavens as aspiration is lofty. Certainly, Beethoven had high goals as his crowning work, the 9th symphony, was about the brotherhood of man. As Sagittarius is not affected by hardship. as most people are, he wrote his 9th under the strain of deafness. As Sagittarius people love the outdoors, Beethoven came up with many of his themes while walking through the woods in Vienna. Sagittarius loves their freedom and independence. A famous Beethoven story goes something like this: Beethoven was strolling in Vienna with his friend, Heinrich Heine as the King of Austria was passing by. Heinrich immediately bowed before the king but Beethoven didn’t. The incensed king said “Beethoven, why did you not bow before me?” To which he answered, “After you are dead and gone, there will be many kings like you, but there will only be one Beethoven.” The king thought for a m0ment and then said “You are right.” He then went on his way. Now, is that nervy or what?

Beethoven’s Sagittarius-like Accomplishments

As Sagittarius has a great mind for business, Beethoven  broke the pattern of dependency on royalty that other musicians had. He thereby elevated the stature of the composer-performer.  As pianists would challenge each other with judges on hand to duels on the piano, Beethoven won every “piano duel”. He elongated the symphony, added new instruments and every  featured a grand chorus in his 9th singing Ode to Joy, titled after Schiller’s poem.  Having the will power to write your greatest major work while deaf takes determination.  The older I become, the more I stand in awe of the great composers of our civilization. After years of giving piano lessons in Sarasota, I have found that almost every girl wants to play Beethoven’s Fur Elise; and every boy wants to learn his Moonlight Sonata. I accomplished this feat, and from memory, after one year of piano lessons.  Also, keep looking for my book, Music Under the Zodiac. 

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy–  Beethoven.

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Beethoven: in his studio and wrestling with the forces of nature as he searches out the highest revelations  through the muse of music.





Fibonacci hidden content is not so hidden on the piano keyboard

Piano Lessons in Sarasota Florida


Taking piano lessons is an activity for all ages.  Don’t let that phrase, “I always wanted to play the piano,” go unheeded.  I have taught students from the age of four to well into their seventies.  My oldest student was 83 and she decided to take piano to help ease the arthritis in her hands.  And it did.

My own teacher Mischa Kottler playing an exclusive “Minute Waltz”.


Music helps keep the mind relaxed and healthy, increases IQ, and teaches rhythm and timing.  Scientific study has shown that playing an instrument engages more corners of the brain than almost any other activity.  Playing music is a 3D experience.  One must think up and down, horizontally, and within cubic space.  It is good for anyone at any time in their lives.  (For more see Page on the benefits of music.)

Basic Philosophy as a Piano Instructor:

As long as the student is learning what I think they need to know with the pieces I assign, they can bring in and learn pieces of music they enjoy.   I, also, expand their knowledge of repertoire by introducing the student to and demonstrating differing styles of music on the piano.


La Cathédrale Engloutie by Claude Debussy Concert Pianist David Ohrenstein plays La Cathédrale Engloutie by Claude Debussy. Filmed at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, Florida. Please watch me on youtube,

Also they say the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Come to taste the pudding at the Gasparilla Inn inBoca Grande,Fl. There, I regularly entertain heads of state, VIP’s, and   former US Presidents with their families. This is my 7th year at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande playing their Steinways. Click on events for dates and times. My goal as a pianist is to honor the memory of my own teacher, Mischa Kottler. I feel proud to be part of a wonderful tradition. I hope my students will feel the same way when they study.


David to play the Steinways at the Gasparilla Inn

December 18, 2015 @ 6:00 pmMarch 27, 2016 @ 9:30 pm

gasparilla inn


Piano Lessons in Sarasota for the Beginner

Beginning students get the benefit of my years teaching both boys and girls.  I have observed and put into practice ways that deal with the differences between how boys and girls respond to learning music.  My approach is to give my students a piece of music that they will enjoy learning and playing as soon as possible so I can teach them what they need to know in a positive framework. The basics to be taught are:

  1. Learning the notes on the keyboard, where middle C is, and what the white notes and black notes are named.
  2. Proper hand position and healthy playing habits to prevent possible future problems and even damage.. Because I was taught and learned the proper hand positioning, in over fifty years of playing, I have been spared trips to the doctor for such problems as carpel tunnel.
  3. Introduction to reading music which includes:
  • quick recognition of notes/pitches written in both the treble and bass staves,
  • the different kinds of notes (such as whole, half, quarter, eighth…etc. dotted, tied….),
  • the time signature,
  • sharps, flats and key signature
  • beginning knowledge of dynamic marking such as loud and soft, crescendo, decrescendo
  • recognition of phrase markings, use of staccato and other musical notations
  1. Beginning fingering and coordination of using both hands together to play music.
  2. Introduction to scales


Piano Lessons in Sarsota for the Intermediate Student

The Intermediate student will have some competency in sight reading the accurate note and rhythms written and coordinating both hands on the keyboard.   Also, the intermediate student will understand the expression marks, and have some understanding of phrasing.

We will cover:

  1. Works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Joplin and other intermediate pieces by popular composers.
  2. Major and minor scales, arpeggios, and practice rules of fingering such as the prepared thumb
  3. Basics of music theory and chord progressions
  4. Ear training
  5. If desired, beginning composition
  6. How to employ varying stylistic approaches for works by different composers, and the rhythmic emphasis in works such as waltz, tango, ragtime, tarantella, etc…


Piano Lessons in Sarasota for the Advanced Student

If you have spent many years playing piano, I have much to offer.  I advocate and continue to use proper touch, posture, and fingerings to keep the hands and arms healthy so the fingers are able to play for hours at a time without fatigue.

My philosophy of playing is to make the melody shine by developing a beautiful singing tone while keeping the accompaniment in service of the melody. Fingering is a tremendous aid in overcoming technical problems encountered in the virtuoso piano pieces.

I share my knowledge of:

  1. Advanced techniques for fingering that enhance smooth and legato playing.
  2. A practice program that includes preliminary warm ups, exercises that develop speed and the layered playing involved in counterpoint.
  3. How to develop a beautiful singing tone on the piano.
  4. Mastering legato and staccato octaves
  5. Special stretching exercises for the fingers.
  6. For performance, I guide and help with individual interpretations to make them appealing to an audience.

If you are interested in signing up for lessons, please feel free to call.