Category Archives: music appreciation classes

Piano Lesson: An Adult student practices the Presto agitato mvt. Beethoven “Moonlight” Sonata (Video)

The Chromatic scale to the end of movement: R.K. wished to remain anonymous because of the nature of his work, but, nevertheless, he’s a devoted student of the piano. I met him at the American Cancer Discovery Shop, on Bullard … Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Phrasing and singing–A 10 year old beginner plays “Russian Sailor Dance,” Faber Bk. 1 (Video)

Singing is the best model for phrasing. In the learning environment, the student and teacher are on an interactive vocal wavelength experiencing the contour and shape of a musical line. Using syllables of various kinds that reflect the inner density … Continue reading

Posted in El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno, Fresno California, music, music and heart, music appreciation classes, music teachers association of california, music video, Nayelli, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, uk-piano-forums, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More trills, but bucolic and serene: Scarlatti’s d minor “pastorale” K. 9 (VIDEO)

Domenico Scarlatti Sonata K. 9 in d minor (the “pastorale”) The trills in K. 9 are far different than those permeating Scarlatti’s sonata K. 159 in C Major. The latter has a robust horn call opening with a lavish assortment … Continue reading

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Why Play Scales? (with an adult piano student’s updated video)

My pupil, Yukiko, demonstrates a sequence of E Major Scales in Legato/staccato–Parallel and Contrary Motion: These provide a repository of articulations and dynamics that apply directly to her repertoire of pieces. *** The Backdrop: As a young piano student living … Continue reading

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Piano Lesson: Step by step Diminished 7th arpeggio warm-up with a 10 yr. old student

I previously discussed diminished 7th chords and how they are constructed as an introduction to an actual warm-up routine. The missing ingredient was the student: http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/piano-instruction-playing-diminished-7th-chords-and-arpeggios-video/ In this video, a ten year old pupil fills the bill, romping over the … Continue reading

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The iPhone Invades Piano Lessons

Monday, Jan. 24th, was a first! Esmeralda, a retired attorney, who’d been taking lessons from me for a year, entered my El Cerrito piano studio with a bright red iPhone as a sign of the times. A dangling rectangular prism … Continue reading

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Music Comes from the Heart

Musical expression arises from the deepest part of ourselves so as we relax into the here and now, focused on the flow and shape of phrases, our arms, wrists and fingers work together as an ensemble to produce an artful … 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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Piano Lessons: The Two-Way Learning Process, Teaching Albertina, and her sister, Ilyana

First Lesson: “Flamenco” by Gillock (Early Intermediate Level) Student: Albertina, age 10 This is a teacher/student musical exploration with the use of the second piano at the studio The second piano provides a unique opportunity to share back and forth, … Continue reading

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Scales and Arpeggios with videotaped replay

I often think of piano technique as in the same league as sports. Why not? I practically grew up in the bleachers at Ebbets Field watching the Brooklyn Bums battle their adversaries. And not to forget that I was a … Continue reading

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