Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

My original opinion on this topic was unequivocal. I would never use a metronome under any circumstances in my teaching except to consult for overall tempo. The expression, to be “ticked off” summed up my attitude toward the robotic beat counter.

Setting the wand to any magic number created a despairing search for the downbeat that eluded me when trying to keep up with it. As Thoreau would say, I was marching to the beat of a different drummer.

For students who had endlessly strained and struggled to play five finger step-wise warm-ups, subdividing quarters into 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and, I would tell them countless times that there was hope beyond the bounds of the ticking timer. The beat would eventually flow out of the unconscious, when the player allowed it to “breathe.”

In truth, the metronome cannot breathe or allow for a tempo rubato, the…

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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: OR or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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