Category Archives: piano scales

From Legato to Staccato: staying connected at the piano (Video)

The universal chant among my adult students is, “I can’t play those darn staccato scales and arpeggios. They’re impossible!” And the reason for all the moans and groans is, they feel DISCONNECTED, and not safely secure in the keys. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in El Cerrito piano studio, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano scales, piano teaching, piano technique, playing legato to staccato at the piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, the playground as music teacher, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rina, 5, performs at our Spring Recital (after 8 months of piano lessons) Video

Rina is moving right along. She can spin a legato phrase with finesse after having practiced her detached-note playing for months. Now she’s working on using featherlight thumbs to craft smoother lines. Notice her supple wrist approach to the piano: … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: An adult student works on rolling forward wrist motions in Two, Three, and Six-note groupings (Video)

This particular student has come a long way in the six years we’ve worked together, and as always been the case, I’ve probably learned more from her than in reverse. From my second piano, I can gaze over at my … Continue reading

Posted in Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano arpeggios, piano lesson, piano scales, piano teaching, piano technique, playing piano, practicing piano, rolling forward wrist motions in piano playing, Shirley Kirsten, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to adults, undulating wrist in piano playing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Down to the wire: An 11-year old piano student prepares for a competitive Baroque event (VIDEO) with a tender flashback

Claudia has made significant gains this year. She’s shaping her phrases more, and becoming ear-attentive and physically responsive to the music she plays. Today, she made additional headway with J.S. Bach’s Prelude in C minor, BWV 847. Coming into her … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Practicing a difficult section in Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique, Op. 13, movement 1 (Video)

Some piano teachers prefer to improve a student’s technique by selecting difficult passages from the mainstream piano literature rather than assign a load of scales, arpeggios and chords that journey around the Circle of Fifths. I still believe the best … Continue reading

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The nitty gritty reasons why piano students drop out: Two staunchly different opinions

The current rage on the Internet surrounds a Facebook posting that claims a 95% dropout rate among piano students. The nitty gritty reasons cited by the poster are contained in what I view as a tirade against what he terms … Continue reading

Posted in Facebook, philosophy of eduction, pianist, piano, piano drop-outs, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lesson dropouts, piano lessons, piano lessons and parental support, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano scales, piano student, piano students who drop out, piano teacher, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, summer piano lessons, summer piano study, talkclassical.com, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to children, teaching piano to teenagers, word press, wordpress.com | 7 Comments

More ideas about Piano Technique and Mental Imagery (Playing into a Bowl of Molasses)

Continuing my practice of videotaping my Thursday evening lesson, I reviewed the footage and discovered some catch words that helped me clarify ideas about technique and fluency. While it may sound a bit outlandish to think of the piano as … Continue reading

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Learning and Memorizing Clementi Sonatina in C, Op. 36, No. 1, Mvt. 1 (Video)

I begin by playing the Sonatina, first movement and then I map out the composition to advance thoughtful learning and memorization. RELATED: http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/memorization-at-the-piano-how-to-improve-your-skills/

Posted in El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Fresno California, Major and minor scales, memorizing piano music, mental imagery, mind body connection, MTAC, muscular memory, music, music and heart, music memorization, music teachers association of california, music theory, music video, musical inspiration, musical phrasing, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano scales, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano tutorial, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishersmarketplace.com, scale fingerings, scales, self-analysis, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, singing tone legato, sonatina, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, technique, Theory, uk-piano-forums, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Letting my hair down with a snatch of “Let It Be!” (VIDEO)

The piano room was a mess yesterday with music strewn about. Two ’60-’70’s era Beatles albums were excavated from a pile of sheet music, hard bound theory texts, and Urtext editions of Beethoven’s sonatas. Foraging a big carton of stuff … Continue reading

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Piano teachers, students, and reluctant farewells

  Lillian Freundlich *** For many piano teachers who’ve nursed along students from Primer toddlerhood to an Intermediate level confidence-climbing phase, through to the Advanced, smooth riding finish with flashy fingers, the pupil’s farewell is an emotional event. Of course, … Continue reading

Posted in 6 degrees of separation, adult piano students, Bay area, blogger, blogging, California, classical music, classissima.com, Creative Fresno, Douglas Freundlich, El Cerrito, El Cerrito California, El Cerrito piano studio, Facebook, Fresno, Fresno California, Hanon studies, humor, keyboard technique, Major and minor scales, memoir, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, musicology, New York City, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano scales, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano warm-ups, playing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace.com, scale fingerings, scales, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway M grand piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, teaching piano scales, technique, Theory, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments