Category Archives: Kabalevsky Op. 39 Children’s pieces

Piano Technique: Playing with bigger energies beyond the fingers

Practicing a programmatic miniature from Kabalevsy’s Op. 39 Children’s Pieces can draw on energies well beyond the fingers. “Funny Event” is a good example with its series of sound bursts on the first beat of each measure. If a student … Continue reading

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Kabalevsky’s “A Game” is a delightful way to practice staccato (Videos)

Dimitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987) composed a winner for late elementary and early intermediate level students. While playing “A GAME,” they learn a bouncy staccato with light interspersed accents on downbeats. How refreshing to weave technique into a musical romp that moves … Continue reading

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A third year piano student shines playing J.S. Bach’s C Major Prelude (Well-Tempered Clavier)

Sakura, 12, is preparing the Bach C Major Prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, for the upcoming MTAC Celebration Festival (Music Teachers Association of California) And she’s right on course heading for a satisfying performance in March. Being Left-Handed, … Continue reading

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Aikido and Piano are a good match for Sakura (Video) (Note the rolling forward wrist motion in Kabalevsky’s “Galop”)

Aikido Main article: Aikido Aikido shihōnage technique. “Aikido (合氣道:あいきどう aikidō?) is a modern grappling-based Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平 Ueshiba Morihei, 1883 – 1969). The art consists of “striking”, “throwing” and “joint locking” techniques and is … Continue reading

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Teaching Clowns by Kabalevsky, from the Op. 39 Children’s Pieces for piano

This is a tricky miniature packed with robust energy. The parallel Major/minor duality is fleshed out with a quick build-up to climax. The challenge is to sustain a Left Hand staccato ostinato, a repeated bass pattern, while observing separate articulation … Continue reading

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Stimulating the imagination: choosing piano repertoire that embraces childhood themes (Video)

I was awakened this morning to an inspired Facebook post that featured a six-year old captivated by a delightful piece that amounted to a “playground” of light-hearted chords with engaging harmonies. The piano teacher, Irina Gorin played snippets of Samuel … Continue reading

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Teaching Piano to Teenagers: Classical, Pop, Taylor Swift, Liz on Top of the World and more (Videos)

There’s always room for flexibility in choice of repertoire, especially when teaching teenagers. Alex, 18, had taken lessons during primary school, took a long break and returned to the piano as a senior in high school. His first request was … Continue reading

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The Joy of Teaching Piano to Young Children (Videos)

Starting a very young child on a musical journey is joyful, exciting and challenging. The first baby steps taken at the piano will be memorable for both teacher and student, so careful thought and preparation are needed. At the very … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Favorite Children’s Pieces (Video)

I’ve highlighted three favorite children’s pieces by Dimitri Kabalevsky and Robert Schumann that are very catchy, colorful and harmonically engaging. They fall into the category of programmatic music because the character of the compositions match the titles. Even though Schumann … Continue reading

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After the Fall

It was easy to predict that I would have violated my own ban on making more you tubes. My cold turkey withdrawal was just an overnight phenomenon eclipsed by my hankering to tweak the tripod, move the camera in all … Continue reading

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