Category Archives: piano playing

Ear Training and Transposing are intrinsic to piano lessons (examples from an Adult lesson in progress)

It’s not easy to plan a one hour piano lesson to include ear training, solfege and transposing. (They belong together, bundled with Theory, and enrich the learning environment) At the Oberlin Conservatory, Theory, Keyboard Harmony, and Eurhythmics were taught separately. … Continue reading

Posted in classical music, classissima, classissima. om, ear training, Fundamentals of Piano Theory by Snell and Ashleigh, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Mozart Sonata in C Major Rondo Allegretto, Mozart Sonata no. 16 in C Major K. 545, music theory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano lessons in El Cerrito California, piano pedagogy, piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Revisiting an old piano piece learned years earlier

I find my current musical journey down memory lane to be joyful and challenging–especially as I cut and paste the Mozart Rondo: Allegro, K. 311 pages to fit comfortably on the piano rack. (Deja Vu, Haydn C Major Hoboken XVI35–Haydn … Continue reading

Posted in Emanuel Ax, Lillian Freundlich, mindful piano practicing, Mozart, Mozart Sonata no. 9 in D K. 311, ornaments, phrasing at the piano, pianist, pianists, piano, piano addict, piano addict.com, piano blog, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano lessons by Skype, piano lessons for adults, piano lessons in Berkeley California, piano lessons in El Cerrito California, piano pedagogy, piano playing, piano playing and the singing tone, piano practicing, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano teaching philosophy, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, the undulating wrist, the undulating wrist in piano playing, trills, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old World piano playing (1949) with a pronounced wrist break

The supple wrist amounts to a “wrist break” that is discouraged among partisans of the Taubman approach. In the main, they adhere to a forearm-driven piano technique along with rotation, and relaxation . The videos embedded, however, contradict such rigid thinking about the wrist, as demonstrated by the performance of a Polish pianist (1949) A Chopin Mazurka is energized by redundant wrist breaks without incurred injury. As one colleague related in reference to Taubman/Golandsky, “how could decades of Russian teaching so easily be tossed aside.” Continue reading

Posted in Chopin, Chopin Mazurka, Chopin Mazurka Op. 63 No.3, Chopin Mazurka Op. 68 No. 2, classissima, classissima.com, Frederic Chopin, Halina Czerny-Stefanska, Irina Morozova, piano playing, piano technique, Romantic era music, supple wrist in piano playing, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: The Spongy Wrist is a great shock absorber and singing tone supporter

Rina, age 5, and Emily, 13, both learned about the supple wrist and how it nurtures a beautiful singing tone at the piano. Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito piano studio, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano playing, piano teaching, producing a singing tone at the piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smth Kirsten, whole body listening, whole body music listening, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Gym: Routines that build technique (Videos)

In the Olympiad era, bespectacled piano teachers and their students are assumed to be lockouts, pouring over eclectic music manuscripts in sheltered studios of higher learning. We’re viewed as eternal bench-warmers, leading sedentary lives; practicing archaic music for hours at … Continue reading

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Rina, 5, moves right along in her piano studies (Videos)

Rina takes to piano like a duck in water. Yesterday, she began her lesson with a five-finger romp through D Major and minor, adding chords to her repertoire. Did I say “chords?” It’s every child’s dream to play more than … Continue reading

Posted in Diller-Quaille duets, Diller-Quaille piano materials, piano, piano instruction, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano playing, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano practicing, piano practicing motivators, teaching piano to children, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: “All elbows” isn’t such a bad thing (Videos)

The popular expression, to be “all elbows” has a negative connotation. It usually refers to a clumsy person who’s plainly awkward. His elbows are always knocking things about. On the other hand, (no pun intended) when you ask for elbow … Continue reading

Posted in all elbows, elbow, elbow room, piano, piano lessons, piano playing, piano teaching, piano technique, using the elbows in piano playing, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Debussy Arabesque No. 1 blends well with East Bay seascapes (Video)

I couldn’t resist the temptation to embed Bay panoramas in a Debussy soundtrack. It followed my journey along the scenic Amtrak 711 route. A new set of vistas were framed by a whizzing train’s marred window. Yet the mood paintings … Continue reading

Posted in Claude Debussy, Debussy, Debussy Arabesque no. 1, El Cerrito piano studio, piano, piano playing, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Using piano repertoire as a springboard for a theory lesson: Major, minor and Diminished Chords (Videos)

One of my adult students is working on the gorgeous J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor which has a second page full of “Major,” “Minor” and “Diminished” chords. The sonorities progress in sequences, but they also have a secondary dominant … Continue reading

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Growing piano technique in baby steps: Rina, 5, advances to hands together five-finger positions (adding in 10ths)

Rina may not know the words “pentascales” and “tenths,” but she has the intelligence to notice when her fingers move up and down together, playing the same notes an “octave” apart. With a sound knowledge of the music alphabet in … Continue reading

Posted in "Tales of a Musical Journey" by Irina Gorin, acoustic piano, arioso 7, blog, blogger, blogging, blogging about piano, blogs about piano, children's music, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano instruction, El Cerrito piano studio, emotion in music, fingering and phrasing at the piano, fingering and piano technique, five finger positions at the piano, five finger warm-ups, Irina Gorin, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Just Being at the Piano by Mildred Portney-Chase, legato playing at the piano, mental imagery, mindful piano practicing, mindful practicing, molto cantabile, MTAC, MTAC.org, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pentascales, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano blog, piano blogging, piano blogs, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano playing, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano studio in El Cerrito, piano study, piano teacher, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing five-finger positions, playing legato at the piano, playing piano, playing staccato, playing staccato at the piano, playing the piano, POWHOW, POWHOW instruction, POWHOW piano instruction, POWHOW.com, practicing a piece in 7 different emotions, practicing arpeggios, practicing piano, practicing piano with relaxation, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, Rina, Rina 4 takes piano lessons, Rina takes piano lessons, rotation in piano playing, scales, shirley kirsten piano teacher in El Cerrito, Shirley Kirsten teaches classes at POWHOW, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Skype a piano lesson to Australia, Skype piano lessons, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, teaching piano to young children, teaching Rina piano, teachinig piano to young children, technique, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment