Category Archives: piano technique

A Romp through F# Major scales and arpeggios

F# Major, from a certain perspective, happens to be one of the easier scales to play because it falls into patterns of triple black and double black keys with thumbs meeting in between. In fact, both hands have mirror fingers … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, F# Major scale, piano technique, scales and arpeggios, wordpress.com, you tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Instruction and Comparative performances of Beethoven’s Bagatelle in G minor, Op. 119 No. 1

Wikipedia: “The Eleven Bagatelles, Op. 119 were written by Ludwig van Beethoven between the 1790s and the early 1820s. By the end of 1803, he had already sketched Bagatelles Nos. 1 through 5 (along with several other short works for … Continue reading

Posted in piano technique, Shura Cherkassky | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: On the way to Velocity, doing the groundwork (Video)

When faced with a composition in Presto tempo, it’s best to practice slowly, preferably separate hands, (at first) to secure a good fingering, understand HARMONIC flow (or progressions) and piece out the phrasing, that encompasses articulation and dynamics. In my … Continue reading

Posted in Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, piano technique, Shirley Smith Kirsten, velocity in piano playing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: balance and bearings on the black notes (Video)

One of my adult students confided that her five-finger warm-up in F# Major made her feel shaky and insecure. “It’s like I’m going to slip off the key when I play my 5th finger,” (pinky)–C# (Notes in F# Major penta-scale … Continue reading

Posted in classissima.com, piano, piano technique, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Instruction: Teaching a good hand position and technical skills to very young children

Teaching wee beginners a natural approach to the piano, that includes a relaxed hand position, flowing arms and supple wrists allows the birth of beautiful music-making while it promotes injury avoidance. Irina Gorin is one of the best teacher models … Continue reading

Posted in classissima.com, piano technique, 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

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Franz Josef Haydn, Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52 (Rondo), Haydn Sonatas, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Oberlin Conservatory, piano lessons, piano study, piano technique, Schmitt exercises, Shirley Kirsten, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Franz Josef Haydn, harmonic rhythm, Haydn, Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52 (Rondo), Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube.com, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Playing BEYOND the fingers

Many students get finger-trapped playing the piano, hammering away at tricky passages with tight wrists and stiff, plunky fingers. The more glitches they encounter, the tenser they get, which sets up a vicious cycle. I always advise these harrowed pupils … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Power forearm staccato/e minor scales AND arpeggios

A good workout at the gym is a great prelim to a power trip at the piano. Take the forearm staccato. A UK piano student in cyber space landed a crisp, definitive set of notes at forte level after a … Continue reading

Posted in forearm staccato, piano, piano technique, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Geography, choreography, and muscle memory in practicing scales (Video instruction)

Today’s lesson by Skype from Berkeley, CA to the UK focused on refining e minor scales. Of particular interest, was the segment, midway, that explored un-snagging a portion of the Harmonic minor form in STACCATO. A valuable technique applied included … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, e minor scales, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano lessons by Skype, piano technique, practicing scales for piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, you tube.com, youtube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments