Category Archives: Northwest Fresno

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

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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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The MTAC Celebration Festival, Anna Magdalena Bach, and Meeting Keith Snell (VIDEO)

Last weekend I journeyed to the Fresno State University Music Building to monitor Room 1 for the Celebration Festival sponsored by the Fresno branch of the Music Teachers Association of California. Every February students from our city and surrounding areas … Continue reading

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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

Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in A, K. 113–in leaps and bounds

I can always use an extra pair of hands to navigate the Baroque composer’s technically challenging sonata It’s a real workout playing Domenico Scarlatti’s essercizi or sonatas. The impossible leaps, crossed hands, trills and syncopation that permeate the composer’s music … Continue reading

Posted in arpeggios, Baroque music, California, camera tricks, classical music, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, Domenico Scarlatti, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, five finger positions, Fresno, Fresno California, harpsichord, humor, keyboard technique, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, music teachers association of california, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, my space, New York, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, ornaments, pentachords, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, piano tutorial, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Rondo form, talkclassical.com, technique, uk-piano-forums, video performances, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Grieg’s music survived a failing lithium battery!

I was about to throw my camcorder across the room as the supposedly fully charged battery was flickering and about to shut down! There was no reason for the cam to go on strike, especially within minutes of Evan’s arrival. … Continue reading

Posted in Edvard Grieg, Elfin Dance, MTAC, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano room, piano student, piano teacher, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, Romantic era music, Romantic music, satire, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Sony Camcorder, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, talkclassical.com, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)

After decades of teaching the Chopin Waltzes, I’ve come to the conclusion that the A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous is the best student introduction to the form as the composer cultivated it. While many other Waltzes in Chopin’s collection … 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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The mapped out manuscript for Bach Invention No. 1 in C

Here’s my hand-written analysis of the Bach Two Part Invention No. 1 in C that supplements the video. I’ve added more at: http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/revisiting-j-s-bachs-invention-1-in-c-bwv-772-video/ The Main Idea or subject is bracketed, as well as an Inverted form of it. Key changes … Continue reading

Posted in athletic coaching, athletic training, Bach Invention, Bach Inventions, Bach Two Part Inventions, Baroque music, California, Circle of Fifths, classical music, classissima.com, counterpoint, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Fresno, Fresno California, gymnastics, harpsichord, Internet, J.S. Bach, J.S. Bach two part Inventions, JS Bach, keyboard technique, Lillian Freundlich, Major and minor scales, MTAC, music, music history, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, my space, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Northwest Bronx, Northwest Fresno, Oberlin Conservatory, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, pentachords, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano room, piano scales, Piano Street, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano warm-ups, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, Teach Street, teaching piano to teenagers, technique, whole body music listening, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments