For more videos of Mary Jane's original compositions and explanations of advanced
piano technique, please visit her Youtube page at MARYJANETASHIRO.
High Steppin’ Shoes, Op. 57, Six Hands/One Piano
Premiered on April 6, 2008 by Kelly Yang, Rosemary Li and MJT in Scarsdale, NY. Mr. Tom Robb, commissioned a composition for 6 hands/1 piano with the hope of playing with his 2 special students in concert; however, at the last moment, he asked the composer to perform in his place for the Premiere. Stephen Navoyosky, composer, said, “I have heard many piano duets and a few piano trios, but never a TRIO ON THE SAME PIANO. My!.....speak of piano orchestration for clarity of parts, you certainly provided something not many can claim to do and the composition excelled in describing High Steppin’ Shoes.”
A Promise, Expectation, Op.63, No.1 & 2
This premiere performance of two compositions was given in Tokyo, Japan in 2011. The final solo in the set called, Unfolding, was not included. This set is titled Timeless Piano Solos and are in 3 volumes. They were composed expressing my thoughts in my later mature years. This is in contrast to my first 3 volume set, called Magical Moving Moments which depict my composing miniature compositions based on all the different ideas presented from Book I to Book VIII of the Equal Interval System by Lyle Spud Murphy. This adventure was appealing to me and the excitement has continued to this day. The "plus" factor of my endeavors to create new music has opened up the opportunity to perform, a most important aspect of my life in music. My hope is to connect to the audience through a special technique that lends towards expressive playing to overcome the pitfalls of playing on a percussive instrument. The 1st book offers a detailed explanation as well as specific exercises. The 2nd is a "shortcut" with "action words" to follow through the technique. The 3rd offers music to substantiate the technique. Go to my website: mjtashiromusic.com. All music will be discounted for interested pianists.
Surge of Spring 2, Op.53, No. 2
This composition was challenging in that my endeavor was to use the Equal Interval System to the "max." This resulted in a 1st and 2nd version. This second version skips the introduction depicting the thawing of the ice after a severe winter. The last chord is written a 4th interval higher than the original version depicting a "sure sign of spring." My emphasis on how to project the sound without harshness is especially important in performing music that has many dissonances. I explain this in my book, Progressive Technique, 19th to 21st Century. For more details, you can go to my website, mjtashiromusic.com.
Visual Demonstration of Reflex Stroke with Follow Through
This particular piano set, Tribute, is the title given to represent 40 years of composing. My closest friends have said many times that I am truly fortunate to be able to enjoy creating new music. I totally agree. It is such an engrossing inspiring process, especially when the music starts to flow. In trying to capture it, I lose track of time. My spirit is high but my body feels it afterwards. One day in 2018, I happened to check the date I first composed and completed 9 compositions and recorded them on a cassette for my composition teacher. He played them for some graduates who were actively working as professionals and got their feedback. I was surprised to hear that they said I should publish them. The year was 1978.
This study involves composing with no signature because the writing has many accidentals. Many pianists requested that it would be easier reading if I wrote with a key signature; therefore, I complied after 1986. However, the more experienced concert pianists are drawn towards the more dense writing which has no key signature. You will hear a few of them in subsequent videos.
When I was able to help a talented student overcome tightness in his technique, I was asked to help other pianists. It became urgent that I give back my knowledge in a more substantial way. This resulted in the difficult task of explaining through words the knowledge I had accumulated my entire life in music study. This was finally accomplished through 2 books and 4 videos speaking and demonstrating through music. It was not complete without a 3rd book with a final simple original work for students to practice this technique. To express my joy, I began to improvise simple melodies that resulted in the above composition, Tribute. The sub-titles describe that it has been a Pure Delight and Wish Fulfilled which I have given with a Pure Heart.
MJT's "Reflex" Technique: Alex Cao's BEFORE and AFTER videos
Alex Cao (age 14) came to Mary Jane Tashiro in the summer of 2016 at the recommendation of his college counselor. He had previously studied with 2 teachers for several years and was talented and practiced diligently showing promise. However, he had tension problems that kept him from becoming outstanding. He needed a "jump start" with intensive 3-hour lessons once a week for 2 months before the start of school, and 2-hour lessons once a week for the other 7 months prior to an important audition he was preparing for.
By the end of 9 months, a dramatic change occurred with the 2-step technique, "Reflex Stroke with Arm Follow Through" that showed in the clarity and expressiveness of his playing. He even changed from being an unhappy to a confident pianist that could finally smile. Additionally, he received word that he passed the audition in June of 2017.
May Jane Tashiro's videos explaining this technique is available to view on Youtube (Artistry through Piano Technique, Nos. 1-5). In addition, there are 2 books: "Progressive Technique" Op.75 and "Artistry through Technique" Op.78 which include arrangements of standard popular songs and Christmas music to practice the technique. The 3rd book,"Tribute" Op.83, Nos. 1-3 includes the Basic Principles of Music (Video No. 5, Visual Demonstration of Tribute). The explanations in all 3 books are given to help reinforce the video demonstrations so that pianists can play with expressiveness to attain artistry.
"Jewels in the Night, Op.8"
Recorded in Osaka, Japan, Aug. 24, 2003
After the rain in the Colorado mountains, the stars shone brightly like Jewels in the Night. The performance was given on the only remaining Steinway Grand that survived the 1995 Kobe, Japan earthquake.