Teaching Piano to Teenagers: Classical, Pop, Taylor Swift, Liz on Top of the World and more (Videos)

There’s always room for flexibility in choice of repertoire, especially when teaching teenagers. Alex, 18, had taken lessons during primary school, took a long break and returned to the piano as a senior in high school. His first request was to study “Liz on Top of the World,” by Dario Marianelli from the movie, “Pride and Prejudice.” I felt it was a bit above his head, but I realized it could be a terrific practicing motivator. Alex and I struck a deal. He promised to work on a Classical sonatina (Latour, in C Major), the “Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach” and a regimen of scales and arpeggios going around the Circle of Fifths as the mainstay of his piano study. “Liz” would be his dessert piece. The plan worked.

Alex took the camera spotlight as he practiced “Liz on Top of the World” in a methodical way, chunking or grouping notes together in the first section using separate hands. He continued by playing the next part, a soaringly beautiful melodic section with his right hand only as I provided the bass.

The melody played out in such a way that chunking two notes at a time was helpful. (The student learned interval relationships through this approach: clumping harmonic 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths) The bass line in this second section is an ostinato, or repeated, pattern that is easily assimilated. It’s a sequence of redundant broken chords that creates a rolling effect.

Related:

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/alex-breaks-the-choke-hold-on-his-scales-on-you-tube/

Allyse, 16, who is Alex’s sister, also returned to the piano after a long hiatus. A junior in high school, she had requested to play “100 Years” by John Ondrasik, and Taylor Swift’s “Forever and Always.” To balance out her repertoire, she had agreed to work on Menuet en Rondeau by Rameau and simultaneously practice scales/arpeggios in all Major and minor keys.

Here’s a snatch from a lesson with Allyse. This was the dessert following the main menu of classics.

Related:
https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/teens-popular-music-then-and-now-taylor-swift-throw-in-five-for-fighting-100-years/

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
This entry was posted in Oberlin Conservatory, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Liz on Top of the World, piano, piano teacher, MTAC, memoir, pianist, Shirley Kirsten, you tube, JS Bach, pianoaddict.com, El Cerrito, humor, tennis, scales, arpeggios, piano instruction, Fresno, Theory, Baroque music, word press, piano technique, athletic training, wordpress.com, ping pong, ping pong balls, classical music, popular music, keyboard technique, piano lesson, you tube video, New York City High School of Performing Arts, piano student, Piano World, Classical era, J.S. Bach, counterpoint, Piano Street, Pianostreet.com, Teach Street, piano finding, talkclassical.com, piano scales, pianoworld, piano society, uk-piano-forums, authorsden, Fresno Piano Store, Steinway and Sons, piano room, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano, Shirley Kirsten blog, Fresno California, El Cerrito California, musicology, piano pedagogy, gymnastics, cdbaby, video performances, Classical period sonata, five finger positions, five finger warm-ups, Major and minor scales, California, Fresno Famous, Facebook, Northwest Fresno, Fig Garden Village, piano tutorial, music teachers association, music teachers association of california, piano addict, music teachers associationo of California, Bay area, my space, piano warm-ups, piano purchase, Old Fig Garden in Fresno, Creative Fresno, Album for the Young, Kabalevsky Op. 39 Children's pieces, dream piano, Faber Primer Piano Adventures, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, Musictogether.com, music appreciation classes, piano teaching repertoire, athletic coaching, Pride and Prejudice, teenagers, teaching piano to teenagers, 100 years, Five for Fighting, Jane Austen, sonatina, Classical sonatina, Forever and Always, Latour, Circle of Fifths, Dario Marianelli and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Teaching Piano to Teenagers: Classical, Pop, Taylor Swift, Liz on Top of the World and more (Videos)

  1. Shelli says:

    Useful info. Fortunate me I discovered your website by accident, and I am surprised why this coincidence did not came about earlier!
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    Like

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