Piano Technique: E minor arpeggios in staccato (various practicing approaches)–Video

Playing staccato triplets through romping arpeggios poses challenges for many students. Tension is triggered by what seems like disconnected notes, when in fact, the root, third, fifth progression should have a connecting thread. (despite note detachment) That’s why I’ll often recommend blocking out the arpeggio as the first preliminary to playing in LEGATO (smooth and connected) before “snipping” into staccato. (The word snip connotes the opposite of pound which provides a mental image that lightens the load)

During block practice which gives a nice sense of topography, students will separate their hands before playing hands together. The first E, is followed by clustered thirds in between thumbs. (A lateral motion in one hand is synched in with a glide over motion in the other, while wrists must be supple or flexible in all renderings) The routine is detailed in my embedded video.

Thumbs, another nemesis for students, frequently intrude upon a seamless flow of notes creating obtrusive accents and unbalanced playing. They need to be lightened and directed toward springing thirds between them. (Again the wrist cannot be locked through blocked practicing or in the unraveling process of broken chord playing) Its flexibility is pivotal to artful, expressive arpeggio playing both in legato and staccato forms.

In the footage attached, I devised a few practice modalities for a student who has exceptionally big hands, though their size had no bearing on playing the E, G, B, E configuration of notes.

His reminder that I had imparted a specific routine that helped him navigate the terrain produced the following:

I had him practice a spring forward wrist motion from E to GB (played together), then, the same followed from octave to octave. It’s a rhythmic grouping with lots of vitality that unlocks tension in the hands, wrists and arms, while it enlists a bigger, more relaxed, channeled flow of energy.

Here are the clearest examples of the approaches referenced.

Recommended Fingering:
RH E, G, B, E (1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, etc.)
LH E, G, B, E (5, 4, 2, 1 4, 2, 1, etc.)

Posted in adult piano instruction, E minor Arpeggio, piano blog, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Piano Lesson by Skype Primer

Three split screen webcam views

All you’ll want to know about Skyping piano lessons is bundled into a short video that should assist teachers and students in their Online quest. For me this was prep for my Springtime presentation at the local Music Teachers Association of California on this very subject of braving the new technology….

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Side Keyboard WEB CAM View: Snatch of F# minor scale, last octave turnaround practice for Melodic form in dotted 8th/16th rhythms

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Lesson-in-progress recorded in split-screen:

Mozart Sonata in C, K. 545, Andante

LINK:

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/multi-cam-views-during-skype-or-facetime-piano-lessons/

Posted in classissima.com, Logitech C920, Logitech webcam, long distance piano, long distance piano instruction, long distance piano learning, long distance piano teaching, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano lessons by Skype, piano lessons by web cam, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Skype, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Technique: Breathing through inverted chords and 4-note arpeggios

A thoughtful journey through 4-note (double root) C Major Chords in INVERSIONS was a lesson preliminary to unraveling them with shape and contour. As a start, an adult student imagined the sound intended, breathed through a string of sonorities, and became aware of sensory and muscle memory dimensions of practicing. These fed nicely into the repertoire segment of instruction.

In the following video sample, the pupil’s slowly rendered, wrist-flexible chords (without IMPACT, or key attack) transitioned naturally to well-spun out arpeggios.

In this second excerpt of a lesson given by Irina Morozova, (Manhattan’s Special Music School), rolled-out chords in A minor preceded a spin-off to their “broken,” horizontally rendered form.

LINK:

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/teaching-piano-technique-with-artistry-at-the-special-music-schoolkaufman-center/

Hear it before you play it!
http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/hear-it-before-you-play-it/

Posted in adult piano instruction, piano blog, piano blogging, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor is Poetry in Motion

Adult piano students who aspire to play the Op. Posthumous A minor Waltz must immerse themselves in a poetic musical framing, floating notes with supple wrists and relaxed arms. In the bass, support for a horizontally spun melody should prevail, with after beats (chords) unobtrusively humming along.

Fluidly played ornaments have their unique breath, artfully embellishing principle notes. Follow through movements of the arms, wrists, thread these along without pokes or accents.

The singing tone underlies all…

Sculpted phrases, expressive lines, naturally breathed note groupings, sequential outpourings with dynamic shifts, resolutions of harmony, wrist-tapered cadences contribute to a satisfying playing experience.

In a recorded lesson-in-progress, an adult student strives to realize these aspirations.

Posted in adult piano instruction, Chopin Waltz in A minor Op. Posthumous, Classical music blog, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano blog, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teaching piano technique with artistry at the Special Music School/Kaufman Center

Master teacher, Irina Morozova infuses her piano lessons with an expressive music-making approach that applies to technique and repertoire.

Scales, arpeggios, chords, Czerny etudes, etc. are not compartmentalized as pedantic exercises bundled in torturous repetitions. To the contrary, they’re the substance of a musical craft that she honors with specific, singing-tone framed demonstrations of kinetic fluency and phrase-shaping.

In the following lesson excerpts, Irina mentors Olivier, a gifted 12-year old, during the scale and arpeggio segment of his lesson. To cap the second video, a snatch from a lively Czerny Etude is offered. (Op. 822, No. 9)

As Irina aptly says, “It’s so much fun!”

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A minor Scales

A minor Chords, Arpeggios, Czerny Study

LINKS:

http://www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/sms

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/manhattans-special-music-schoolkaufman-center-has-a-wealth-of-gifted-students-and-teachers/ (Lesson segments with 6th grader, Daniel Mori–Clementi Sonata in F# minor; Liszt Leggierezza)

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/a-six-year-old-child-is-awakened-to-the-singing-tone-and-how-to-produce-it/

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/irina-morozova-pianist-waxes-poetic-about-phrasing-chopins-music-in-words/

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/the-right-chemistry-between-piano-teacher-and-student/

During the interview below, Irina Morozova discussed her approach to teaching Daniel from the very beginning of his studies. (included is a 2012 sample of her student’s artistry)

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/pianist-irina-morozova-blends-a-satisfying-career-of-teaching-and-performing-videos/

BIO: Irina Morozova

Piano; B.M. with Honors, Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music; M.M., Manhattan School of Music; piano studies with Vladimir Shakin, Galina Orlovskaya, Arkady Aronov; performances include Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, New American Chamber orchestra; participated in Film America’s “Music in the 20th Century” series; awards include Frinna Awerbuch, San Antonio International Piano Competitions; teaches, performs at International Keyboard Institute and Festival in NY; faculty, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan school of Music, Special Music School.

“Irina Morozova made her New York debut with a solo recital at Carnegie Hall in 1996 after winning Artists International Auditions. Critics raved, “Morozova possesses an astonishing beauty of sound and power of ideas…she is the sort of pianist who can turn a simple phrase into magic….”

“Born to a musical family, Irina Morozova began her musical studies at the Leningrad Special Music School for Gifted Children and graduated with honors from the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music where her major teacher was Galina Orlovskaya. Studying with Vladimir Shakin at the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory, she performed in the concert halls of Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, and many other cities in the former Soviet Union. She also toured former East Germany and appeared with the Berlin Radio Symphony in the famed Schauspielhaus.

(A list of performance credits is too long to tabulate, though they encompass a variety of international venues.)

“Ms. Morozova received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Dr. Arkady Aronov. Since 1997 she has been on the faculties of Mannes College of Music and the Special Music School at Kaufman Center.”

Posted in classissima.com, Irina Morozova, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano blog, piano blogging, playing scales, Special Music School Kaufman Center | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A six-year old child is awakened to the singing tone and how to produce it

The earliest exposure to the piano in the primary lesson learning environment comes with an opportunity to teach the singing tone– to sensitize young ears to the instrument’s capacity to resonate with beauty. It’s not just an ear-training experience. The exploration of physical/musical expression, with imagination intertwined, can fill a very young child’s lesson with the most essential ingredients of learning. These lay the groundwork for further growth and development over time.

Irina Morozova, an inspiring pianist and teacher, invited me into her elementary learning sanctuary at the Special Music School/Kaufman Center. It was on a balmy autumn Monday afternoon that I propped my tripod in a crowded corner of a room with two grand pianos; a small child perched at the Steinway; her dad watching, and a camcorder in automatic recording mode.

In the morning I had observed advanced instruction with Olivier and Daniel. The latter, a sixth-grader, had been mentored by Irina since Kindergarten so I was about to understand how a student could progress from musical infancy to a level of conspicuous maturation under the wings of a great teacher.

In summary, a rich musical journey taken in baby steps becomes meaningful when all the senses are tapped into, and imagination infused. Even the very youngest piano student can absorb what it means to “sing” through the piano, and how to enlist graceful, supple wrist fluid motions to create beauty and experience sensory fulfillment.

Thanks to Irina Morozova and Hana’s parents for permitting this glimpse at a lovely work in progress.

Links:

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/manhattans-special-music-schoolkaufman-center-has-a-wealth-of-gifted-students-and-teachers/

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/irina-morozova-pianist-waxes-poetic-about-phrasing-chopins-music-in-words/

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/the-right-chemistry-between-piano-teacher-and-student/

During the interview below, Irina Morozova discussed her approach to teaching Daniel from the very beginning of his studies. (included is a 2012 sample of her student’s artistry)

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/pianist-irina-morozova-blends-a-satisfying-career-of-teaching-and-performing-videos/

BIO: Irina Morozova

Piano; B.M. with Honors, Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music; M.M., Manhattan School of Music; piano studies with Vladimir Shakin, Galina Orlovskaya, Arkady Aronov; performances include Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, New American Chamber orchestra; participated in Film America’s “Music in the 20th Century” series; awards include Frinna Awerbuch, San Antonio International Piano Competitions; teaches, performs at International Keyboard Institute and Festival in NY; faculty, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan school of Music, Special Music School.

“Irina Morozova made her New York debut with a solo recital at Carnegie Hall in 1996 after winning Artists International Auditions. Critics raved, “Morozova possesses an astonishing beauty of sound and power of ideas…she is the sort of pianist who can turn a simple phrase into magic….”

“Born to a musical family, Irina Morozova began her musical studies at the Leningrad Special Music School for Gifted Children and graduated with honors from the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music where her major teacher was Galina Orlovskaya. Studying with Vladimir Shakin at the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory, she performed in the concert halls of Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, and many other cities in the former Soviet Union. She also toured former East Germany and appeared with the Berlin Radio Symphony in the famed Schauspielhaus.

(A list of performance credits is too long to tabulate, though they encompass a variety of international venues.)

“Ms. Morozova received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Dr. Arkady Aronov. Since 1997 she has been on the faculties of Mannes College of Music and the Special Music School at Kaufman Center.”

Posted in classissima.com, early music education, Irina Morozova, music education, piano blog, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano to young children, The Special Music School/Kaufman Center | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Manhattan’s Special Music School/Kaufman Center has a wealth of gifted students and teachers

The Special Music School-Kaufman Center

The original vision of Vladimir Feltsman, the Special Music School, with its serious commitment to musical development, is a K-8 public school with a private endowment. Located in the hub of Lincoln Center on W. 67th, its easy access to the great concert halls of the world, and the Juilliard School make it a draw for students in all five boroughs. For 15 openings, there may be 500 applications.

front desk The Special Music School

More About the School

“Special Music School, P. S. 859, is the first and only public elementary school in the United States that combines a full academic program with performance-oriented music training within the regular school day starting in Kindergarten. The music program includes private instrumental lessons and classes in music theory, history and chorus. The academic program emphasizes an integrated learning approach that develops problem-solving skills through hands-on cooperative learning experiences. The dedicated staff and faculty are committed to helping each child realize his/her full potential musically, academically, and socially.

“The Special Music School is a public/private partnership between the New York City Department of Education and Kaufman Music Center. As a public school, Special Music School is tuition-free. The Department of Education, through tax levy funds, provides the academic program and materials, while Kaufman Music Center, through its annual fund-raising efforts, provides each student with a full, merit-based music scholarship. The School is located in Kaufman Music Center’s facility at 129 West 67th Street, west of Broadway.”

In 2013, a “new” high school was added in a separate building in the Martin Luther King Educational Complex a few blocks from Kaufman. “… Dedicated to providing talented young musicians the opportunity to pursue serious, pre-professional along with a rigorous curriculum,” this secondary educational tier promotes “the development of the student as a musician for the 21st century.”

Performanc Class The Special Music School

I was fortunate to observe three piano students in the elementary grades taught by Irina Morozova, a towering pianist and teacher in the great Russian tradition.

The first of her brood, Daniel Mori, began his lessons in Kindergarten and has musically flourished under his able teacher’s wings into sixth grade. With awards and competition-related honors amassing, the youngster approaches the piano as a singing instrument with an embedded technical fluency grown assiduously by Maestra Morozova.

In these recorded lesson-in-progress segments, Daniel works on the Clementi Sonata in F# minor, Op. 25, No. 5, and Liszt’s Leggierezza.

The Special Music School Website:

http://www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/sms

Links to blogs about Daniel and his progress:

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/the-right-chemistry-between-piano-teacher-and-student/

During the interview below, Irina Morozova discussed her approach to teaching Daniel from the very beginning of his studies. (included is a 2012 sample of her student’s artistry)

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/pianist-irina-morozova-blends-a-satisfying-career-of-teaching-and-performing-videos/

Irina Morozova BIO:

Piano; B.M. with Honors, Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music; M.M., Manhattan School of Music; piano studies with Vladimir Shakin, Galina Orlovskaya, Arkady Aronov; performances include Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, New American Chamber orchestra; participated in Film America’s “Music in the 20th Century” series; awards include Frinna Awerbuch, San Antonio International Piano Competitions; teaches, performs at International Keyboard Institute and Festival in NY; faculty, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan school of Music, Special Music School.

“Irina Morozova made her New York debut with a solo recital at Carnegie Hall in 1996 after winning Artists International Auditions. Critics raved, “Morozova possesses an astonishing beauty of sound and power of ideas…she is the sort of pianist who can turn a simple phrase into magic….”

“Born to a musical family, Irina Morozova began her musical studies at the Leningrad Special Music School for Gifted Children and graduated with honors from the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music where her major teacher was Galina Orlovskaya. Studying with Vladimir Shakin at the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory, she performed in the concert halls of Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, and many other cities in the former Soviet Union. She also toured former East Germany and appeared with the Berlin Radio Symphony in the famed Schauspielhaus.

(A list of performance credits is too long to tabulate, though they encompass a variety of international venues.)

“Ms. Morozova received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Dr. Arkady Aronov. Since 1997 she has been on the faculties of Mannes College of Music and the Special Music School at Kaufman Center.”

Posted in Daniel Mori, Irina Morozova, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano blog, piano blogging, piano teacher, The Special Music School of Kaufman Center | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment