Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

Instead of playing through laborious Hanon and Czerny exercises to improve aspects of piano technique, a student can cut to the chase, by snatching selected passages from their pieces that magnify a particular technical/musical challenge.

As an example, one of my adult students, devoted part of her lesson time to practicing a series of descending melodic sequences in the Latour Sonatina no. 1 in C Major. (I’ve bracketed pertinent measures)

At first I demonstrated how to enlist a forward rolling wrist motion for these passages, before the student emulated the approach.


The instruction below explores this wrist motion in creating a “round” melodic contour. It avoids the more angular, vertical type of playing that lacks “shape.”

Too often, students will play these notes with vertical finger pokes, creating a very “notey” sounding phrase. The forward roll wrist motion helps to counter this tendency. The instruction also fleshes out ways…

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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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