Category Archives: piano instruction

Sequences and Phrase contouring in J. S. Bach’s French Suite No. 5, BWV 816

An adult student and I explored sequences in the Allemande opener of Bach’s French Suite in G as we parceled out the treble and bass lines. (Still another voice that danced from the alto to tenor range, was separately identified … Continue reading

Posted in J.S. Bach French Suite No. 5 in G, J.S. Bach French Suite no. 5 in G Major BWV 816, Jourhal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano instuction, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, teaching piano to adult students, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Respiration NOT perspiration

My students remind me to breathe long, natural breaths when playing through scales and arpeggios from moderate to brisk tempos. Through a selective process of elimination, we’ve collectively come to the conclusion that SWEATING it out, or driving technique to … Continue reading

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Shaping a J.S. Bach Two-Part Invention

Many students play J.S. Bach’s music with a typed out, articulated approach, forgetting to shape and contour phrases. In Bach’s F Major Invention, BWV 779, the tendency is to overemphasize every element of broken chord F, A, C, F, in … Continue reading

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The funnies of finding the right piano student

Ever heard of takelessons.com or related web links that hook up teachers and students? It’s like Match.com when it comes to a mountain of challenges. Here’s an On SITE sample where a music teacher BIDS for a job, like a … Continue reading

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Parceling out voices in Chopin’s Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15

Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass scoring in Chopin’s hauntingly beautiful F Major Nocturne (opening section) begs for an artistic examination through voice parceling. One cannot just paste the left hand onto the right, deferring entirely to the soprano. (soloist) Meandering chromatics … Continue reading

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A message to music students and parents

This says it all: I thank my dear friend and colleague, Louise Hullinger for posting this gem. And here’s another treasure from Kurt Vonnegut: “Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter … Continue reading

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Piano Practicing: Taking the robot out of fast passages

It’s easy to stare at a Presto Rondo from the Classical era, and wonder how to navigate scads of notes that can end up on the assembly line, pumped out with no sense of individuality. And while herds of them … Continue reading

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