Category Archives: Mildred Portney Chase

Capturing the first sunrise in our practicing and performing

I always ponder the process of learning a new piece and how I want to experience and re-experience a freshness that seems to come with my earliest exposure to the printed page. As I set out my fingering, isolate lines … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, Jeremy Denk, Mildred Portney Chase, piano, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube.com, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Playing beyond the fingers to sculpt beautiful phrases (Debussy Arabesque no. 1)

Many piano students who practice Debussy’s Arabesque no. 1 tend to grab and articulate notes, rather than let them flow from energy streaming down relaxed arms into supple wrists. Reliance on fingers-down playing becomes the panacea for accuracy, while it … Continue reading

Posted in "Just Being At the Piano", 19th Century music, 20th Century music, arioso 7, arpeggios, arpeggios for the piano, Claude Debussy, Debussy, Debussy Arabesque no. 1, Impressionistic music, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Just Being at the Piano by Mildred Portney Chase, Mildred Portney Chase, pianist, piano, piano lessons, piano teaching, piano world-wide, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, yout tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Chopin Bb minor Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 1, and arm/hand rotation/phrasing (Video)

Chopin’s Bb minor Nocturne (Night Piece) requires a player to use a full arm rotation to fluidly play the arpeggios in the left hand that span over an octave. These broken chords which fill a large space by their expansion, … Continue reading

Posted in arm and hand rotation in playing piano, classissima, classissima.com, Just Being at the Piano by Mildred Portney Chase, Mildred Portney Chase, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano technique and the singing tone, playing piano, Seymour Bernstein, swinging arms in playing piano, teaching piano, With your own Two Hands by Seymour Bernstein | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Profile of a courageous adult piano student (with a video out-take)

I’m fortunate to be working with five adult students who love the piano and its repertoire. Their enthusiasm is at high volume–keeping the live wire connection between student and teacher bristling with energy. Regardless of busy work schedules, they still … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, athletics and piano, baseball and piano, classissima.com, Impressionist Music, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, mindful piano practicing, muscular memory, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, musical phrasing and breathing, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lessons, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, satire, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sports and piano, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to adult students, The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey, whole body listening, whole body music listening, Willie Mays, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, Zen and the Art of Archery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Piano Playing: How Anticipation can trip you up and what you can do about it. (Video)

Anticipation and its adverse influence on piano playing affect nearly every pianist regardless of level. It’s a form of mind-wandering where the player’s focus shifts from the here and now to musical events that will take place measures, if not … Continue reading

Posted in keyboard technique, mental imagery, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music and heart, music and the breath, music teachers association of california, music theory, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, nature and music, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano practicing, piano studio, piano teacher, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, sightreading at the piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, technique, Timothy Gallwey, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memorization at the piano: How to improve your skills

Memorization should be a natural outflow of consistent, thoughtful practicing. Thoughtful is underscored because it’s the most important ingredient in the process of playing a studied piece without music. It means having mental assists that relate to mapping out a … Continue reading

Posted in creative learning environment, developing sight-reading skills as an aid to memorization, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, harmonic analysis, improving sight reading skills, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, keyboard technique, Lillian Freundlich, Major and minor scales, memorizing piano music, mental imagery, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music, music and heart, music and the breath, music memorization, music teachers association of california, musical phrasing, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano student, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, Rondo form, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching scales, technique, Theory, Uncategorized, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Piano Instruction: Avoiding a Crash and Burn in Fast Tempo (Video)

One of my adult students asked about how to stay in control when playing fast passages on the piano. She had found herself stumbling in brisk tempos, getting anxious, over-crowding the notes, and finally becoming so tangled up that she … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, Lillian Freundlich, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, MTAC, music and the breath, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lessons, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, Theory, uk-piano-forums, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: The Virtues of Slow Motion Practicing and Attentive Listening

It takes patience to approach a piece well behind tempo, tuning in to every nuance and turn of phrase. With ears alert and sensitive, the player tries to create a feeling state where he’s submerged in sound to the exclusion … Continue reading

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, Internet, mental imagery, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, music, music and heart, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, musical inspiration, New York, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, technique, uk-piano-forums | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Piano Universe of Discussion Boards, Digital Feedback, and Self-analysis (Video)

I love to scan the Boards at Piano World, UK Forums, Piano Street, Piano Addict, and other stop-off points such as My Music Life Blogspot and Color in my Piano to get a feel for the concerns of piano students … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, blog, blogger, blogging, California, Chopin Black Key Etude, classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Fresno California, harmonic analysis, humor, Mildred Portney Chase, MTAC, music, music and heart, music teachers association of california, musicology, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Romantic music, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Sony Camcorder, technique, uk-piano-forums, video performances, videotaped replay, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Making Pianistic Compromises: Schubert Impromptu in Eb, Op. 90

I was struck by a post at Piano World.com about making compromises when playing difficult passages. The writer referred to a technically challenging Chopin work: “But I simply cannot manage to get every note in on the two long runs, … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Franz Schubert, Frederic Chopin, Fresno California, humor, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Schubert Impromptus, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, video performances, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments