Irina Gorin, a teaching emissary of the Russian pianistic tradition that’s produced Richter, Gilels, Ashkenazy and Lugansky to name a few, brings her pedagogical efforts glowingly down to the level of a 4-year old.
And it’s delightful to watch. Certainly, more entertaining than my cat’s bungled keyboard performance last night.
Irina would agree that Aiden needed a lesson in keeping his paws supple.
But I doubt that affixing a cute purple furry monkey to him would have softened those bullet-fired impulses, though we did try. (Irina uses the accessory in her studio)
The cat was compliant at first, then quickly raised Cain!
Might I gently wrap his claws around those “apples” Irina has in her studio? They’re the small yellow “rubbery” ones that piano students embrace as they shape hands into relaxed roundness.
All kidding aside, Gorin’s child-like approach to her little students, devising finger-in-the-jello opportunities, and attaching her precious toy monkey to their tiny arms for gentle swings in and out, will produce pianists who have a physical sensitivity to the piano and its singing-tone capability.
They will think twice about “squeezing” the life out of notes, or slapping the keys. Most will learn a nice, easy, and graceful follow-though of their undulating wrists–a continuum of relaxed, flowing arms, “weeping willow” style. With long, natural breaths they’ll craft beautiful phrases, naturally embedded over time.
I know this to be true, as it relates to Rina, my 4-year old piano student. She flows and floats in and out of the keys after just 5 months of instruction.
Puleeze! This is NOT an infomercial, and I don’t have a Swiffer, or whatever it’s called to provide a clean surface to wax poetic about Irina’s materials.
I’ll let the results speak for themselves.
Watch her lovingly instruct a very attentive 4-year old boy,
…and then, take a moment to tap into, “When Great Teaching Must Be Recognized” (with its many embedded you tubes that reveal students playing with unusual sensitivity)
P.S. Stay tuned for my review of this instruction appearing in the Fall 2012 issue of the MTAC California Music Teachers Magazine.
My upcoming class on Teaching Piano to Young Children using Tales of a Musical Journey: