Category Archives: singing tone legato

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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Abby Whiteside and playing beyond the fingers as a point of departure (Videos)

From WIKI: Abby Whiteside (1881–1956) was an influential American piano teacher. She challenged the finger-centric approach of much classical piano teaching and instead advocated a holistic attitude in which the arm and torso are the conductors of a musical image … Continue reading

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Teaching Gillock’s delightfully appealing, Later Elementary Level music: “The Glass Slipper” (Video)

I have no reservation about the immense teaching value of William Gillock’s music from elementary through advanced levels. And while the titles in the first few volumes appeal to children, the pieces can be universally enjoyed by piano students of … Continue reading

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Playing through Chopin’s B minor Waltz with its sighing motif (Video commentary)

Last night I sat myself down at my imperfectly regulated Steinway M grand and managed to sigh several times through torrents of phrases crafted by design and inspiration to tug at the heartstrings. And in the video below, I journeyed … Continue reading

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A Lesson in Progress with an adult student: Debussy Arabesque No. 1 (shaping, looping, wrist dips, swinging elbows in and out) VIDEO

By all accounts, this hard-working pupil should be the next “Student of the Week” because of his six continuous years of applied practicing that has brought him from playing the Clementi Sonatina in C, Op. 36 for which he suffered … Continue reading

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A Skyped supplement to piano lessons (Video)

Here’s an example of a Bay area student taking a Skyped piano lesson to supplement her regular weekly meetings with me. These work well, particularly if a pupil has to catch up from a vacation period absence, or needs reinforcement … Continue reading

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Mozart memories, reflections and revisits (Videos)

Andante: second movement, Mozart Sonata K. 545 played on my Steinway, 1917, M. **** My relationship to Mozart and his music began with the violin. At the Merrywood Music Camp in Lenox, Massachusetts, only a stone’s throw from Tanglewood, I … Continue reading

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Ethereal piano playing: Another Irina, with an i in the middle, brings heaven to earth

This is the special month of Irina, Irena, and still another Irina. The latest messenger of beauty via You Tube is Irina Morozova. And as fate would have it, one of my readers, owner of a Knight piano treasure, e-mailed … 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

Piano Technique: Braving the slippery slope of black keys, practicing the F# Major Arpeggio (VIDEO)

Why all the prejudice against black notes? I, for one, avoided them like the plague for years. And my teachers were enablers, keeping me and other students contentedly in C Major to avoid widespread unrest. Their benign neglect of the … Continue reading

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