Category Archives: five finger positions

Piano Instruction: Solfeggio and Transposing (Videos)

Solfeggio, or using Do, Re, Mi, etc. musical syllables is a valuable adjunct to naming notes with letter names. It improves sight-reading and transposing while it develops ear-training skills. Continue reading

Posted in Circle of Fifths, classissima, classissima.com, ear training, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fundamentals of Piano Theory by Keith Snell and Martha Ashleigh, Keith Snell, Keith Snell and Martha Ashleigh, Martha Ashleigh, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lessons, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, sigtht-singing, solfeggio, transposing music, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Piano Lesson: Fritz, Age 7, performs his composed piece, “FINDING GOLD” (Video)

Over a period of three weeks, seven year old Fritz, who’d been taking piano lessons for about 7 months, composed a piece that he titled, “Finding Gold.” The student has been using Faber Primer Piano Adventures, with my inserted modifications. … Continue reading

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Music Theory and Piano Study: It doesn’t have to be drudgery

Music Theory doesn’t have to be drudgery If I turn the clock back to my early days as a piano student, I can say without a doubt that I absolutely HATED “Music Theory” or anything remotely related to it. And … Continue reading

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Scouting a Piano Teacher

I have to thank “Lisa” for generating this idea for a new blog. Sometimes, the fountain runs dry until a student experience, teacher-related crisis, or musical event renew the supply. Let me think about this whole issue of picking and … Continue reading

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Letting my hair down with a snatch of “Let It Be!” (VIDEO)

The piano room was a mess yesterday with music strewn about. Two ’60-’70′s era Beatles albums were excavated from a pile of sheet music, hard bound theory texts, and Urtext editions of Beethoven’s sonatas. Foraging a big carton of stuff … Continue reading

Posted in 100 years, 6 degrees of separation, 77 Sunset Strip, adult piano students, Amsterdam Avenue and 74th Street, arpeggios, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, Bach Inventions, Baroque music, Baroque trills, Beatles albums, Beethoven, blog, blogger, blogging, boxing, boxing lessons, California, Caroline Scheer, casio privia 110, cdbaby, Classical era, classical music, Classical period sonata, classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Facebook friend, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Five for Fighting, Forever and Always, Fresno, Fresno Famous, fresno filmmakers alliance, Gospel Music, Guitar Center, humor, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano scales, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano tuning, piano warm-ups, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, popular music, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Ralph Cato, satire, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sparring partner, Steinway and Sons, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, Steinway studio upright, talkclassical.com, Taylor Swift, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to teenagers, teaching scales, technique, teenagers, The Beatles, Uncategorized, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What can you do with a Performance-Piano Degree?

Face the music! Most new Conservatory grads with fancy Bachelor of Music, Performance-Piano Degrees bound in leather must improvise when catapulted into the competitive job market. With only a tiny space on the world stage reserved for budding soloists, many … Continue reading

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Adult piano students say and do the darndest things.

I remember Art Linkletter’s show, “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” which made me think of a few adult piano students and their hauntingly memorable words. Yesterday, for example, I was forewarned by a 70-year old pupil, that I should expect … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Big Leaps, Crossed Hands, and shifty eyeballs (with slow motion video replay)

up tempo: Be prepared to exercise your eyeballs minus head movements when tackling large leaps, especially those hand-over-hand acrobatics that are intrinsic to many of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas. In the first video I’ve isolated a few of these jumps from … Continue reading

Posted in arpeggios, athletic coaching, athletic training, California, cdbaby, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Elaine Comparone, essercizi, Facebook, Fig Garden Village, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, fresno filmmakers alliance, gymnastics, harpsichord, humor, Internet, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, mind body connection, MTAC, MTAC Baroque Festival, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, pianist, piano, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano room, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld.com, ping pong balls, publishersmarketplace.com, scales, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sports, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, technique, Theory, trills, uk-piano-forums, video performances, videotaped replay, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Domenico Scarlatti Sonata (Toccata) in D minor, K. 141 with reams of repeated notes (VIDEO)

Domenico Scarlatti never fails to come up with a flashy pyrotechnical escapade that can make or break a player in progress. I know, because I’ve walked the plank with this piece until I was able to reverse my fortune and … Continue reading

Posted in arpeggios, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, Baroque music, Bay area, California, classical music, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, crossed hands, diminished 7th arpeggios, diminished 7th chords, diminished chords, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Elaine Comparone, essercizi, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno Famous, fresno filmmakers alliance, gymnastics, harpsichord, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, mind body connection, music, music and heart, music teachers association of california, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, ornaments, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, pyrotechnical exercises, Ralph Kirkpatrick, repeated notes, scales, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, technique, Theory, trills, uk-piano-forums, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Baroque Festival!

I cleared most of my Saturday morning lessons so I could be on time for a special rehearsal at Fresno State. I took no chances given the steady rain these past few days that caused dangerously deep puddles along Shaw … Continue reading

Posted in "Just Being At the Piano", "The Inner Game of Tennis", 6 degrees of separation, Amtrak station, Apple iPhone, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, Bach Invention, Bach Inventions, Bach Two Part Inventions, Baroque music, Bay area, Beethoven, Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, California, classical music, classissima, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, cyber technology, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, email, essercizi, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, Fresno State University, gymnastics, humor, Internet, iPhone, J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach two part Inventions, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, memoir, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, MTAC, MTAC Baroque Festival, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, pentachords, performance anxiety, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano room, piano society, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, pyrotechnical exercises, satire, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sports, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, technique, uk-piano-forums, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, Yamaha piano, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment