adult piano students, Aimi Kobayashi, arpeggios, athletic coaching, athletic training, authorsden, blog, blogger, blogging, California, cd baby, cdbaby, Chopin, Chopin Etude, Circle of Fifths, classissima,, Creative Fresno, El Cerrito piano studio, keyboard technique, Mildred Portney Chase, mind body connection, MTAC, music, music and heart, Music Teachers Asssociation of California, music theory, music therapy, musicology,, New York City High School of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, Piano World,,, pianoworld,, publishers marketplace,, Romantic era music, Romantic music, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Steinway and Sons, Steinway grand piano, Steinway M grand piano,, Teach Street, technique, Uncategorized, video performances, whole body music listening, Wolf Sound Studio, word press,, you tube, you tube video

Teaching Chopin’s Gb Etude, Op. 25 no. 9: Think pogo sticks, “rollaleedles,” and elbow revolutions

Sometimes a piano teacher has no choice but to talk in silly made up syllables while drawing on playground analogies to get a particular piece off the ground.

The Chopin Etude Op. 25 no. 9 in Gb was no exception.

An adult student who revisited this warhorse responded positively to “rollaleedles,” elbow taps, and revolutions of her arm that put a whole new spin on the piece.

“Pogo stick” images also went a long way to ignite the opening motif of 4 notes grouped by twos, ending short and crisp. They bounced across the musical landscape then twirled around in a flourished ending that boosted the student’s confidence.


A piano teacher who runs out of ideas to advance a composition along, can enliven the lesson environment with images of pogo sticks, ping pong balls, trampolines, plus a supply of self concocted swinging syllables that include “roll-a-lee-dle,” “swirl-a-lee-dle and “swoosh-a-lee-dle.”

If you can think of any more, let me know.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.