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Ear Training and Transposing are intrinsic to piano lessons (examples from an Adult lesson in progress)

It's not easy to plan a one hour piano lesson to include ear training, solfege and transposing. (They belong together, bundled with Theory, and enrich the learning environment) At the Oberlin Conservatory, Theory, Keyboard Harmony, and Eurhythmics were taught separately. Our piano teachers (applied study) adhered to their rigid routine, rarely fitting solfege, sight-reading, improvising,… Continue reading Ear Training and Transposing are intrinsic to piano lessons (examples from an Adult lesson in progress)

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Spot practicing Chopin’s Waltz in C# minor with an adult student

This pupil demonstrates patient, behind tempo practicing: http://youtu.be/xQzGrSCfBLU My play through (with flexible forward wrist motions to help sculpt phrases) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbzKAmz2r_A LINK: https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/piano-warm-up-routines-with-an-adult-student/

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Piano warm-up routines with an adult student

This pupil is working on the Chopin Waltz in C# minor Op. 64 alongside Mozart's K. 545 Sonata in C. (I'll have snatches of her spot practicing in another post) She's made considerable progress because of her conscientious step-by-step, layered approach to learning. (We spend substantial time playing separate hands, under tempo, and we don't… Continue reading Piano warm-up routines with an adult student

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Piano Lessons: The parent/teacher relationship– striking the right balance (Humor)

A humorous set of testy circumstances

Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

The relationship between the piano teacher and parent is a work in progress. Nothing should be taken for granted.

Here are various case scenarios and categories:

I. The Arm chair teacher-parent, aka the back seat driver equivalent

Description: Parent sits in during the entire lesson providing an unsolicited running commentary on child’s playing.

He/she will bellow out note corrections and beat reinforcements. (This parent will often hand the teacher a recommended curriculum with a detailed list of repertoire)

On occasion he/she will come to the piano and red-line or circle notes that were incorrectly played.

Teacher’s jaw is dropped, and she’s nearly stunned into silence.

Remedy to restore teacher/parent equilibrium:

Remand parent to observer status with a follow-up e-mail defining clear-cut boundaries during piano lessons.

II. The Stage Parent, Type A

Stays for the complete lesson and often comes ten minutes early to shower teacher with plans for child’s future…

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Piano practicing and blocking techniques

I was originally enlightened about the value of blocking out intricate and tricky passages when I attended a rehearsal of Rudolf Serkin and the New York Philharmonic. He was about to play the Beethoven "Emperor" Concerto No. 5 with its majestic opener of broken chords (arpeggios) and as a warm-up, he silently blocked out a… Continue reading Piano practicing and blocking techniques

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Revisiting Beethoven’s “Pathetique” Sonata, Op. 13 GRAVE

It's nostalgia time for me, reconnecting with the Pathetique that I butchered as a teenager before I landed in the good hands of mentor, Lillian Freundlich. The teacher before, lived about 4 blocks away, but was miles off the mark in her teaching. She had me studying the Chopin Scherzo in Bb minor before I… Continue reading Revisiting Beethoven’s “Pathetique” Sonata, Op. 13 GRAVE

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Piano Technique: Scoop it up, loop around 4-note Arpeggios (in inversions)

These particular arpeggios in 4-note sequences are some of my favorite warm-up routines. http://youtu.be/LISoCWi_obY Although most students find them tricky to navigate, certain "cues" planted in the psyche assist a smoother ride. The video demonstration below lays out preliminary blocking techniques to reinforce fingering and centering for each 4-note broken chord starting with the first… Continue reading Piano Technique: Scoop it up, loop around 4-note Arpeggios (in inversions)