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Welcome to the official website of pianist and composer Deanna Witkowski.

Deanna cover photo for Raindrop (no text)

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Stepping Off the Page…and a new review of Raindrop

Over the fourth of July weekend, a great review of Raindrop: Improvisations with Chopin came in at Richard Kamins’ Step Tempest. Check it out here.

Yesterday, my first installment of a new monthly column on improvisation, Stepping Off the Page, was published at Piano Addict. In this first article, I demonstrate how I approached improvising on Chopin’s Prelude in E-flat major. The entire article (complete with video and corresponding pdfs) follows here; it’s also available at Piano Addict. I’ll be adding a teaching page to my website later this year- so let me know what you think of this new column!

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Chopin YouTube Nocturne thumbnail

Click here to watch video where Deanna demonstrates how she improvises with Chopin’s E-flat major nocturne.

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Stepping Off the Page! I’m excited to welcome you to this new monthly column that will explore various ways to incorporate improvisation into your piano studies, whether you are a novice or a seasoned player.

Some of you may know from June’s artist portrait that I have a new solo recording, Raindrop: Improvisations with Chopin. On Raindrop, I do exactly what the title implies: I improvise and arrange eight of Chopin’s nocturnes, preludes, and etudes. The first track is a piece that probably all of you know: Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, no. 2. In this first column, I’m going to show you how I approached improvising with this piece- and how you can use similar principles to improvise with whatever piece you might be currently working on.

 To guide us as we go along, click here for a pdf of the full nocturne, along with sectional and chord markings.

To watch a related YouTube video, where I demonstrate how I improvised on this nocturne, click here.

Here are three basic principles to use when improvising on any piece: Continue reading

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