Category Archives: piano instruction

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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Overscheduled Piano Students

Here’s a snapshot of overloaded kids FOLLOWING lessons: (Friday Afternoon) MOM: “Shiloh, Get ready for swimming. Your towel is folded into your knapsack…. Math Club reminder. Your cubic folder is on top of your cups. (athletic protector), and grab your … Continue reading

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Video supplements for piano students assist practicing

Whether giving piano lessons LIVE or by SKYPE, sending students video excerpts of their lessons-in-progress, or creating a short film that zeroes in on a particular technical challenge, is always helpful. In the old days when I studied with Lillian … Continue reading

Posted in filming piano lessons, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano lessons by Skype, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching adult students, video instruction, video uploading, videotaped instruction, videotaping piano lessons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Adult student Rhythmic REHAB

I have four piano students in rehab who are grappling with metrical issues. They might start with a healthy quarter note in a five-finger position warm-up; manage proportioned 8th notes, but totally relapse playing 16ths. That’s when their confidence sinks … Continue reading

Posted in adult piano students, classissima, classissima.com, helping adult piano students with rhythm, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, K. 5, Mozart, Mozart Minuet in F, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Can we rise above the hammer mechanism of our beloved piano?

I say yes to naysayers on various Internet forums. They would have you believe that playing a series of notes cannot be altered by a physical approach to the keys that includes a supple wrist. Their gospel is, it’s all … Continue reading

Posted in Burgmuller, Burgmuller Harmony of the Angels, classissima, classissima.com, Friedrich Burgmuller, hammer mechanism of the piano, Harmony of the Angels, Harmony of the Angels by Burgmuller, piano, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano tone production, wordpress, wordpress.com, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Piano instruction: Arrangements of Classics or the real deal?

One of my adult transfer students brought an arrangement of Chopin’s “Raindrop Prelude” that was an insult to the composer’s original intention. It was poorly transcribed in an alien key, awkwardly fingered, and contained a mountain of additional challenges– a … Continue reading

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The El Cerrito Hills are alive with the sound of music

In the old days, I commuted by Amtrak from Central CA to the East Bay, chugging along the scenic route with my digital camera pressed against the train window. A few awesome seascapes managed to squeak through the bumpy ride, … Continue reading

Posted in Chopin Waltz in c# minor Op. 64 no.2, piano instruction, piano lessons, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments