Chopin Nocturne C-sharp minor

The Case of the Extended Pinky

The Case of the Extended Pinky

Last summer, when I clicked through photographs for my website, I noticed something amiss on the shots of my hands at the piano. The pinky of my right hand, rather than cupping over the keys, jutted straight out, flexed with an unnatural tension.

Feeling Is First in the Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp Minor

Feeling Is First in the Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp Minor

Around a year ago, when I began studying the Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, I felt awed by how Chopin had packed in the notes a plaintive sadness. In contrast, in my childhood home, although Mom never articulated a rule on the matter, feelings were prohibited.

Press Record to Improve Your Sound

Press Record to Improve Your Sound

Several years ago, my piano teacher, Stephen Wu, suggested in his low-key manner that I record myself when I practiced. I allowed a lot of time to elapse before I finally worked up the courage to follow his suggestion, despite his occasional, gentle reminders.

Red Light in Adult Piano Lessons

Red Light in Adult Piano Lessons

Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp Minor is a signature piece of my piano teacher, Stephen Wu. At his wedding reception at the Montclair Art Museum earlier this year, the lights dimmed as Stephen sat down at the mahogany Steinway, where he played a piece of his own composition he had written for his new wife, Meredith.