Category Archives: piano teaching

“Clouds,” “cushions,” and “veils” permeate a Chopin Lesson (Waltz in A minor)

Floating arms, supple wrists, delicate relaxed ornaments and trills, and an oxymoron-driven, perfect parachute landing flowed into a lesson last night with a musically responsive adult student. The keyboard was transformed into a soft cushion receiving fingers energized with bigger … Continue reading

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If it sounds like a lark, it must be one (Tchaikovsky’s “Song of the Lark”)

After I recorded Tchaikovsky’s precious tableau from his Op. 39 Children’s Album, I discovered a true-to-life rendering by Russian pianist, Igor Galenkov, who delicately imported a bird to embellish his performance. *** Instruction: The rolling forward wrist motion in Lark … Continue reading

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Piano Gym and remedial practice

I put myself out there in the piano gym arena not as a paragon of perfection but as a work in progress. The growth process counts most to me, along with the joy of fine tuning it. That’s how I … Continue reading

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Piano Practicing: Infusing repetition with imagination

A popular discussion on Internet Piano forums is how to approach repetitions in the context of piano study. For many students the very act of going over a passage, scale, or five-finger position more than once, amounts to meaningless drudgery. … Continue reading

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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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When bad news arrives by E-mail that a student is dropping piano

There’s a hot discussion brewing on a Facebook forum about how piano teachers should handle e-mailed lesson terminations. Some in our profession take the position that it’s no big deal. After all, anyone should be able to quit at any … Continue reading

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The Adult Piano Student Rhythmic Quagmire

It’s practically a universal problem area for adult students in the beginner to intermediate range. Keeping a steady pulse in scale playing, and then making transitions to double speed, as from 16ths to 32nds is a big challenge for them. … Continue reading

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Should a teacher demonstrate phrasing and interpretation for a student?

I asked a few piano teachers and a harpsichordist if they felt playing passages, phrases for a student was a viable way to teach, and why? Seymour Bernstein, author, With Your Own Two Hands, rendered a riveting opinion: “I have … Continue reading

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Top FIVE Piano Lesson by SKYPE Interruptions! (Videos)

Group web cam lessons on Bow-wow ( Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota) Top Notch Tone Tutorial Class 1) out-take 2) out-take 3) Cat jumps out the window (United Kingdom) 4) 5 month-old Baby on lap (Alaska) 5) Earthquake! (Brazil)

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Piano Instruction: Mozart Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545, Allegro (updated Video)

Play through

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