Category Archives: fresno filmmakers alliance

The Art of Phrasing at the Piano: Starting the process with Beginners (Videos)

For some unexplained reason, my earliest piano studies never included the art of phrasing. My primer teacher stressed naming notes, finding them, affixing correct fingering and counting out robotic beats. I knew nothing about feeling a melodic landscape; putting the … Continue reading

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Appealing piano repertoire for students: Ballade by Burgmuller (Video) and a Lesson-in-Progress

A piece that’s popular among piano students and often steers them back on course, is Burgmuller’s “Ballade.” In previous blogs, I highlighted “The Chase,” “Harmony of the Angels,” and “Tarentelle,” from this Op. 100 Collection of 25 Progressive Pieces. Burgmuller’s … Continue reading

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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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Piano Instruction: Spot Practicing, Presto Agitato movement 3, Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata

Beethoven’s C# minor Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2, the “Moonlight”) RELATED: http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/piano-instruction-out-of-a-rut-with-spot-practicing/

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Piano Technique: Thumb Shifts in Playing Scales and Arpeggios (Video)

The great pianist, Josef Hofmann, imparted words of wisdom when he answered the following question posed by a student that related to the thumb and piano technique: “What is the matter with my scales? I cannot play them without a … Continue reading

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The Piano Teacher as Composer: Using my MOONBEAMS collection as an example (Video)

Why not give composing a try? I did. For the most part, you don’t need a degree in composition, but a Theory background helps things along with voice leading in the bass part and understanding the rules of notation. Above … Continue reading

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Bach to Nature: A Paradise of Images Wedded to Music

A lake, ducks, geese, and Bach’s Prelude no. 1 from the Well Tempered Clavier….. Backdrop: Oso De Oro Park in Fresno, California. Producers and photographers, Shirley Kirsten and Aviva Kirsten Capturing nature’s flow with a hand held video camera. Oso … Continue reading

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In a Piano Teacher’s Arsenal: The Magic bullet piece (VIDEO with Aiden Cat joining in)

There’s always a piece of music lurking somewhere that can save a young student from quitting piano. For those of us who teach the great masterworks, passing a cultural legacy to the next generation, we know lickety-split when it’s time … Continue reading

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PULLS AND TUGS: Two sides of the piano student/teacher relationship

There are two sides to every story, so in all fairness I’ve posited a number of situations that crop up in the piano lesson environment, with an analysis from the Teacher and Student’s point of view. In some instances, I’ve … 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

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