Category Archives: teaching piano to adult students

Piano Practicing: Breathing into phrases and blocking out passages (Mozart Sonata, example)

I’ve picked the first two pages of Mozart’s Sonata in Bb Major, K. 281, last movement, Rondeau, Allegro to explore breathing and blocking techniques in the learning process. (These principles can be applied to practicing music from a variety of … 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

Posted in "Tales of a Musical Journey" by Irina Gorin, Chopin Waltz in A minor no. 19, classissima, classissima.com, Irina Gorin, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano blogs, piano instrruction, piano lessons, piano lessons for adults, Piano Street, piano studio, piano studio in El Cerrito, piano study, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano technique and breathing, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, practicing piano, practicing piano in slow motion, practicing piano in slow tempo, practicing piano with relaxation, relaxed arms in piano playing, scales, scales and arpeggios, separate hand piano practicing, Shirley Kirsten blog, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, teaching Beethoven Fur Elise, teaching Fur Elise, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to adults, teaching piano to young children, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The business of copying the piano teacher: Who has the final say or PLAY?

The latest provocative teacher exchange is taking place on Facebook at the “Art of Piano Pedagogy” which has now become a private forum. When it comes to teaching philosophies, many are intensely opinionated. From my perspective, I passionately believe in … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classsissima.com, Nairi Grigorian Akimov, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, Shirley Smth Kirsten, skype piano lesson, Skype piano lessons, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, teaching piano online, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to children, The art of phrasing at the piano, the breath and phrasing in piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: Rotation, Turnaround, and Curve around of scales, with application to repertoire (Videos)

Piano students, by and large, don’t relish playing scales. They would rather eat spinach than practice what they view as tedious, finger-trippers. I have a different perspective. For me, scales are my playground and workout space. They keep me in … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, El Cerrito piano studio, Latour Sonatina in C, pianist, piano, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano, teaching piano scales, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to children, teaching piano to teens, teaching scales, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Lesson in progress: Beethoven “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31, No. 2 (shaping the opening phrases) Video

An adult student practiced the transition from the opening Largo broken chord, to grouping double 8th-notes in the Allegro, by blocking them, then unraveling the duple figures. The Adagio that followed required phrasing with an ear toward shaping the line … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, Beethoven "Tempest" in Dminor Op. 31 no.2, Beethoven "Tempest" sonata op. 31 no. 2, classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Ludwig Van Beethoven, pianist, piano, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten certified piano instructor at POWHOW, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, shirley kirsten on POWHOW webcam piano class, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, teaching piano, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to adults, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano lesson-in-progress: Shaping a solo for the right hand in Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” ( a “vocal” transition) Videos

Marie, an adult student practiced measures 32-40 of “Fur Elise,” enlisting the model of a singer who shapes and nuances phrases with meticulous breath control. While pianists are not operatic performers, they must imagine that their arms, wrists and fingers … Continue reading

Posted in Beethoven, classissima, classissima.com, Fur Elise, Ludwig Van Beethoven, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano student, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano, teaching piano to adult students, word press, wordpress.com, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Part Six Piano Instruction, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata No. 17, Op. 31 No. 2 and all FIVE teaching segments preceding

In order from Part One to Six: I. II. III. IV. V. VI. LINKS: Part ONE: Beethoven Tempest Sonata in D minor http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/practicing-tips-for-beethovens-tempest-sonata-op-31-no-2-part-one-video/ Part TWO Instruction http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/piano-instuction-part-two-beethovens-tempest-sonata-hand-cross-over-with-tremolo-in-the-middle-voice/ Part THREE Instruction https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/piano-instruction-part-three-beethoven-tempest-sonata-in-d-minor-op-31-no-2/ Part FOUR Instruction http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/piano-instruction-part-four-beethovens-tempest-sonata-in-d-minor-op-31-no-2-measures-55-93/ Part FIVE Instruction http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/piano-instruction-part-five-beethovens-tempest-sonata-op-31-no-2-measures-93-to-158-development-recitative-submerged-pedal/ PART … 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

Piano Technique: Two nifty warm-up routines, one loopy, the other for zig-zaggers

Claudia, 11, and I do a 20-minute warm-up before she tackles repertoire at her weekly lesson. Today I snatched two routines that might help others with the time-honored, upper arm roll, supple wrist, and elbow swing. Just my bias showing … Continue reading

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More and more “piano” students are going Digital. Is it a good idea?

It’s sad but true that a glut of former piano buyers who would have considered piano lessons for their children at age 7 or so, have made the choice to invest in a DIGITAL. (known as a DP) Of further … Continue reading

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