Category Archives: Theory

Piano Instruction: Can we over-analyze a Bach fugue?

Little Bach Fugue in C, BWV 952 required insights into its organized structure so I could better teach it. But how much analysis was required and could it be trusted? Continue reading

Posted in Bach, Bach Little Fugue in C major BWV 952, Baroque form fugue, classissima, classissima.com, Elaine Comparone, fugue form analysis, J.S. Bach BWV 952 in C Major, J.S. Bach Fugue form, Jan Karman, Lance Walton, piano instruction, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Theory, Theory and piano lessons, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, word press.com, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Lessons: Theory and Christmas Music interwoven (Videos)

Music Theory is often dreaded by piano students so why not make it intrinsic to learning an appealing selection. Continue reading

Posted in Christmas music, Harry Simeone, Henry Onorati, Katherine Davis, Little Drummer Boy Christmas carol, piano, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano teaching, Theory, Theory and piano lessons, word press, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube video, you tube.com, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The importance of Sight-singing, Ear-Training, and Theory in Piano Study

Theory and Ear-Training are indispensable ingredients of a well-rounded music education. Continue reading

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Using piano repertoire as a springboard for a theory lesson: Major, minor and Diminished Chords (Videos)

One of my adult students is working on the gorgeous J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor which has a second page full of “Major,” “Minor” and “Diminished” chords. The sonorities progress in sequences, but they also have a secondary dominant … Continue reading

Posted in J. C. Bach Prelude in A Minor, J.C. Bach, Major minor and diminished chords, musical phrasing, musical phrasing and breathing, phrasing at the piano, pianist, piano, piano learning, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano playing, piano regulation, piano studio, piano studio in El Cerrito, piano study, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano tutorial, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing pentascales, playing piano, playing the piano, playing the piano with a singing tone, POWHOW, POWHOW instruction, practicing piano, publishers marketplace, publishersmarketplace, repertoire for piano students, rolling forward wrist motions in piano playing, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Kirsten on POWHOW, shirley kirsten on POWHOW webcam piano class, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, studying piano, teaching piano, teaching piano to adults, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano pedaling, Theory, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press.com, wordpress, you tube video, yout tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Lesson Excerpts: Practicing the Bach Invention 13 in A minor (Videos)

This morning, Claudia, 11, practiced the J.S. Bach A minor Invention behind tempo, (in slow motion) to improve her musical/technical understanding of the composition. She worked on “weaving”/shaping the main idea or subject, which is a broken chord figure. The … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: Using a spring forward wrist, and arc motions for hand crossovers in Scarlatti Sonata in A, K. 113 (three videos)

Every so often I revisit a composition I’ve previously studied applying a different perspective. In Scarlatti’s A Major Sonata, with its very demanding Allegrissimo tempo marking that makes the crossed hand sections seem impossibly difficult, I decided to parcel out … Continue reading

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Sight-reading through two pieces: Putting myself in the hot seat! (Videos)

I vowed at some point to do a hands-on follow up to my sight-reading post, and tonight was my chosen time to brave the virgin territory of two compositions from “Anna Magdalena’s Notebook,” edited by Keith Snell. I randomly picked … Continue reading

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Piano Study and the value of SINGING against a cultural backdrop of vocal inhibition

Singing has always been a basic, if not primitive form of communication between parent and infant. A tender melody often lulls a colicky baby into blissful sleep along with rhythmic rocking motions. As the tyke eventually babbles and coos high-pitched sounds … Continue reading

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More Lesson-in-Progress excerpts, Chopin Waltz in A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous (Video)

Preserving teaching moments on video allows students an opportunity to review what transpired at their lesson as a springboard to improve practicing during the week. In this particular situation, I was able to e-mail the You Tube link to Claudia, … Continue reading

Posted in Chopin Waltz in A minor, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano practicing, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, skyped piano lessons, slow piano practicing, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway studio upright, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, tempo rubato, Theory, uk-piano-forums, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Piano Instruction: A Beautiful Mozart Minuet in F Major, K. 5 that enlists the dipping wrist (Videos)

I stumbled upon this musical gem when I purchased Mozart, 14 of his Easiest Pieces (Alfred, publisher) Not at all deceived by the description “easiest,” I read through the collection knowing the challenge of interpreting the master’s music with expression … Continue reading

Posted in Mozart, Mozart MInuet in F K.5, music teachers association of california, musicology, New York City High School of Performing Arts, New York University, Oberlin, Oberlin Conservatory, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano room, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, Pianostreet.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, Theory, uk-piano-forums, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment