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Piano Lessons and dropout rates: How the initial interview is better than a crystal ball

I've been eyeing the forums lately at Piano World, and a hot topic is why students drop out of lessons, some after only a few months. A related thread had jabber about a circulating statistic that level 2 method books took a significant marketplace nose dive. What could it mean? I looked into my crystal… Continue reading Piano Lessons and dropout rates: How the initial interview is better than a crystal ball

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Practicing “Flight of the Bumblebee” in slow tempo (Rachmaninoff Arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov)-Video

"Flight of the Bumblebee" was originally composed for orchestra. It was the Interlude of the opera, Legend of the Tsar Sultan (1900) by Rimsky-Korsakov. According to the plot, a prince becomes a bee and stings his villainous relatives. The piece has been arranged many times over for various instruments including the piano. The edition that… Continue reading Practicing “Flight of the Bumblebee” in slow tempo (Rachmaninoff Arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov)-Video

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Piano Instruction: Working on the flexible wrist with a hair band (Videos)

I videotaped Nayelli, age 10, practicing the use of a flexible wrist. I also integrated the hair band (demonstrated by Irina Gorin) into the lesson for the purpose of teaching the dead weight drop into notes with a dipping wrist. All advance the singing tone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmBrKEuk3bo Nayelli plays Faber's "Scarf Dance" (Lesson Book 1, Piano… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Working on the flexible wrist with a hair band (Videos)

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Piano Instruction: Learning from our colleagues (Videos)

Since we are very isolated as piano teachers, nurturing one-to-one relationships with our students for months and years at a time, we sometimes forget that there are other teaching universes beyond our own with repositories of ideas that may enrich the learning environment. One example, is the cosmos of Irina Gorin's studio in Indiana. I've… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Learning from our colleagues (Videos)

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Digitals, Acoustics, the economy, and piano lessons

After I showered myself in digitals these past two days, I pleasantly dried out and came home to my dearly beloved acoustic pianos. (Two Steinways and a Haddorff) Now nothing is perfect in the world of electronics or acoustics. There are a repository of pitfalls associated with each, and it can be maddening to deal… Continue reading Digitals, Acoustics, the economy, and piano lessons

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Digital Piano Review continued: On Location at Best Buy in Fresno CA (6 videos)

This was such a smooth experience. Matthew Wheeler was found playing drums and keyboard in Best Buy's atrium, for want of a better name, and he stopped what he was doing to film me sampling digitals. These were console models: Roland F110, Casio 830, and Yamaha Arius YDP 141. There are six videos, including a… Continue reading Digital Piano Review continued: On Location at Best Buy in Fresno CA (6 videos)

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Scoping out Hammer-Weighted Digital Pianos: On Location at Guitar Center, Fresno, CA (Videos)

I managed to get to Guitar Center right as it opened this morning, and had the good fortune to avoid the crowds along with obtrusive pop style background music. Unfortunately, I bumped my head a few times on the same shelved keyboard that hadn't qualified as a hammer weighted digital. Maybe it was retribution for… Continue reading Scoping out Hammer-Weighted Digital Pianos: On Location at Guitar Center, Fresno, CA (Videos)