Monthly Archives: July 2011

Debussy Arabesque no. 1 (with some new ideas)–Video

I think what’s very telling, is revisiting a videotape of yourself playing a composition a few days after you post it. For me, at least, I know what my response will be, and it’s 90% likely I will end up … Continue reading

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Aiden Cat’s Choice of Musical Instruments (Photos)

I’ve always fantasized about what instruments Aiden might choose if he wasn’t swamped with pianos. Let’s see: It looks like all he needed was a bow. Love in full bloom with the cello (actually my favorite sounding instrument) Aiden! That’s … Continue reading

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More Lesson-in-Progress excerpts, Chopin Waltz in A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous (Video)

Preserving teaching moments on video allows students an opportunity to review what transpired at their lesson as a springboard to improve practicing during the week. In this particular situation, I was able to e-mail the You Tube link to Claudia, … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Spot Practicing a nagging E Major Arpeggio in Chopin’s Waltz No. 19 in A minor, Measures 21-24 (video)

Two of my students are studying this Waltz in A minor No. 19, and both have difficulty navigating the E Major Arpeggio, measures 21-24 with its eventual resolution to the A minor tonic. I don’t believe playing this arpeggio smoothly … Continue reading

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An 8-year old’s playing BEFORE and AFTER Skyped piano lessons plus video supplementation (Chopin Waltz in A minor, No. 19-Videos)

This very gifted 8-year old from Oregon started her long distance learning with me in early July, 2011 after her father sent me a playing sample of the Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. Posthumous, no. 19. I had actually … Continue reading

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Aiden cat, joins Claudia, 8, and Teacher Shirley Kirsten at the piano bench for “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (Video)

Claudia is an enthusiastic 8-year old piano student who was eager to learn “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins. In fact, in just one week after practicing the piece very diligently, she was ready to play the duet with me. At first … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: A Beautiful Mozart Minuet in F Major, K. 5 that enlists the dipping wrist (Videos)

I stumbled upon this musical gem when I purchased Mozart, 14 of his Easiest Pieces (Alfred, publisher) Not at all deceived by the description “easiest,” I read through the collection knowing the challenge of interpreting the master’s music with expression … Continue reading

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Piano instruction: The Rhythm of lessons and learning

After decades of teaching, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a rhythm to learning that affects musical progress and a student’s sustained interest in taking piano lessons. On the teacher’s side: He/she invests time in lesson preparation and choice … Continue reading

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Piano Lesson: Chopin Prelude in B minor, Op. 28 (Video) and playing through

This is a very funereal composition, with a sighing if not sobbing right hand motif that permeates the musical mosaic. The left hand has a cello line that provides the solo melodic thread in the course of the Prelude, though … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Chopin Prelude No. 4 in E minor, Op. 28, Teacher, Shirley Kirsten

Chopin composed 24 Preludes in Op. 28 exploring 24 different keys (Major and minor) with each Prelude having its own mood and character. In my step-by-step practicing of the E minor Prelude, I start with the Left Hand with its … Continue reading

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