Category Archives: piano lessons

Piano Technique: Breathing through inverted chords and 4-note arpeggios

A thoughtful journey through 4-note (double root) C Major Chords in INVERSIONS was a lesson preliminary to unraveling them with shape and contour. As a start, an adult student imagined the sound intended, breathed through a string of sonorities, and … Continue reading

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A six-year old child is awakened to the singing tone and how to produce it

The earliest exposure to the piano in the primary lesson learning environment comes with an opportunity to teach the singing tone– to sensitize young ears to the instrument’s capacity to resonate with beauty. It’s not just an ear-training experience. The … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Studying/Mapping out the F# minor scale and arpeggio (Video)

Exploring the two octave model is a good start with a separate hand approach to clarify fingering. I prefer making an adjustment for the opening F#, G#, A in the Right Hand (2, 3, 1) instead of 3, 4, 1 … Continue reading

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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 is about flexibility not finger strength

I remember my days at the Oberlin Conservatory pumping out meaningless Schmitt finger exercises, often holding notes down, while a selected persecuted finger had to brave the pain is gain ritual. (tap, tap, tap, tap, and move on to the … 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

Posted in Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, overscheduled piano students, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano students and sports conflicts, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments