Category Archives: the art of piano playing

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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A Purr-fect sedative for a Cat

“Harmony of the Angels” has a soporific effect on Aiden cat while it provided a relaxing prelude to Rina’s earliest piano lessons. Students, young and old, love its thread of sonorities. Continue reading

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Piano Instruction: Pastorale in D Major, K. 415 by Domenico Scarlatti, a stepwise approach

The Pastorale in D, included in Margery Halford’s Scarlatti, An Introduction to his Keyboard Works, poses significant musical challenges. In the technical realm, the composer has a tricky landscape of two-note legato figures as offbeats in the treble, and these … Continue reading

Posted in Baroque keyboard music, classissima, classissima.com, Domenico Scarlatti, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Margery Halford Scarlatti an Inroduc tion to his Keyboard Works, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, Piano Street, Piano World, playing piano, POWHOW.com, Scarlatti Pastorale in D K. 415, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching the works of Domenico Scarlatti, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano playing, video piano instruction, videotaped piano instruction, virtual piano lessons, virtual piano teaching, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In the Piano Universe: Two You Tube Treasures not to miss!

Every so often, I stumble upon an uploaded You Yube performance that grabs my ears. In this instance, it was a Mozart encore offered by pianist, Mitsuko Uchida, that led straight to a compelling videotaped interview with her. With my … Continue reading

Posted in arioso 7, authorsden, interpreting Mozart, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Kinderszenen, legato playing at the piano, Mitsuko Uchida, Mozart piano Sonata in C K. 545, Mozart Sonata K. 545 Andante, music, music and heart, musical inspiration, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, talkclassical.com, teaching piano, technique, the art of piano playing, Uchida pianist, W.A. Mozart, whole body listening, whole body music listening, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, yout tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Technique: The big hand/little hand controversy (Videos)

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked the same question by either parents, or people I meet on Amtrak. It’s about “piano fingers,” “hand size,” and the best physiological fit for the keyboard. Next in line are queries … Continue reading

Posted in alica delarrocha, Artur Rubinstein, Daniel Barenboim, pianists with big hands, pianists with little hands, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano pedaling, the art of piano playing, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Lesson planning for a 5-year old piano student–(Video)

Rina who’s into her sixth month of study, is ready to learn dotted-half notes. Up to now, she’s been saturated with black and white cardboard circles included within a packet along with Irina Gorin’s Tales of a Musical Journey instruction. … 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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Piano Lesson: An adult student continues her Beethoven “Fur Elise” learning process (Video)

These are excerpts from today’s lesson where we covered: 1. Broken chord blocking; refreshing inversions of the Tonic as applied to practicing Fur Elise. 2. Voice balancing: fleshing out the treble (soprano) melody, on page 2 (F Major section) Using … Continue reading

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The joy and value of teaching a piano student over many years

Claudia, age 6 playing a duet with me I recall Elaine Comparone, the renowned harpsichordist having described a student she had mentored for 35 years before a move cut short a lasting musical relationship. “She was the real deal,” the … Continue reading

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The piano teacher as conductor–sometimes shaping gestures help a student phrase better (Video)

I couldn’t resist an opportunity to conduct my student playing the Bach Invention 13 in A minor today. She’s preparing two selections for a competitive Baroque event coming up in two weeks, and the second offering is the Prelude in … Continue reading

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