Category Archives: scales

Building a piano lesson around J.S. Bach Invention 4 (d minor)

The scale of D minor (Harmonic form) feeds nicely into the study of Bach’s Invention 4, BWV 775, and within this Baroque inspired universe, Alton, (Life Begins at 77) continued his musical journey. First my play through of the Two-Part … Continue reading

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The piano learning process at all levels of study

In spite of my having studied piano for decades, each learning experience is filled with challenges that I must approach with a glut of patience. A new composition has its own form, architecture, harmonic rhythm, fingering that requires a big … 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

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Piano Technique: A Bouncy Scale workout with forward arm rolls and supple wrist motions–Enjoy the romp! (Videos)

Scales can be a great workout routine if you let your arms loose, dip your pliant wrists and go with the flow. And it’s a great cardio. (No treadmill or weights required) Just apply principles of balance and buoyancy. Here … Continue reading

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Piano Lesson: Analyzing/playing Bach Invention in D minor, No. 4, BWV 775 in slow tempo (Videos)

In J.S. Bach’s Two-part Inventions both voices overlap and imitate each other creating counterpoint. The SUBJECT of no. 4 contains a d-minor Harmonic form scale whose 6th note, B flat does NOT continue in an upward motion to the leading … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: More wrist-forward rolling motion in Sonatina by Clementi Op. 36 no. 1 Vivace (Videos)

In two videos, I flesh out the need for a rolling forward wrist motion in playing the last movement of Clementi’s well-known Sonatina in C, vivace. In addition, a 3/8 meter designation in rapid tempo requires the “feeling” of ONE … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Exploring contrasting emotions when practicing a piece (as Daniil Trifonov, pianist, recommended in his videotaped interview)

I put into “practice” one of Trifonov’s recommendations, as I mentored a second year piano student this evening. We started the lesson by playing “happy” and then “angry” consecutive staccato thirds. (“Hopping” from Dozen a Day) Eventually after completing our … Continue reading

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Warm-up routines with an adult piano student (Video)

This pupil is into her fourth year of study and plays the Chopin Waltz in A minor, and Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.” Here is a sample of our weekly warm-up routine using pentascales (five finger positions) in Major and minor, followed … Continue reading

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“Piano Student of the Week,” Claudia S. practices Bach and improves her playing (Video)

Claudia is one of the old-timers around here at age 11. She came to study piano with me when she was just 6 and in those days, I gave her Noona’s “The Red Drum,” in addition to selections from Book … Continue reading

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When a piano student is not working up to potential, the meeting and e-mail that are needed…

I was reminded by a reader of my post titled, “When love for the piano dies..” and in that particular writing I focused on situations where certain pressures brought by parents and/or the piano teacher can trigger practicing avoidance, leading … Continue reading

Posted in piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lesson dropouts, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano practicing motivators, piano student, piano students who drop out, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, piano tutorial, piano warm-ups, Piano World, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, playing the piano with long nails, scales, scales and arpeggios, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, singing tone legato, stuck in a rut, studying piano, Teach Street, teaching a piano student about melody, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, technique, the art of piano playing, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments