adult piano instruction, Bach Two Part Inventions, J.S. Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, piano, piano blog, piano instruction

Teaching J.S. Bach Invention 1 in C (BWV 772)

With World Series updates shadowing last night's lesson, three students checked their cell phones inning by inning, but managed a deep-layer connection to Bach and Beethoven. My newest student introduced himself by reading through Bach's Invention 1 in C. As it played out, the composition is one of my favorites to teach. Its rich contrapuntal… Continue reading Teaching J.S. Bach Invention 1 in C (BWV 772)

Domenico Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti birthday, Murray Perahia, piano blog, Richard Goode, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, The Musical Offering Cafe, The Musical Offering Cafe in Berkeley, Zellerbach Hall

Celebrating Domenico Scarlatti’s birthday at the Musical Offering Cafe in Berkeley (Video)

A great prelude to Richard Goode’s Berkeley piano recital was my brief stop-off at the colorful Musical Offering Cafe (2430 Bancroft Way) which sits directly across from Zellerbach Hall. Even the parking lot that hosts guests at both locations, has a gorgeous mural that lures concertgoers to the charming, arts-centered bistro. Packed with Classical CDs… Continue reading Celebrating Domenico Scarlatti’s birthday at the Musical Offering Cafe in Berkeley (Video)

Berkeley, Berkeley CA, classissima, classissima.com, Franz Schubert, Franz Schubert sonatas, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, Richard Goode, Schubert, Zellerbach Hall, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, Zellerbach in Berkeley California

A Feast of pianist, Richard Goode’s Artistry and a walk down memory lane

I hand-selected a particular recital for an outing with my adult student, Jocel. While he'd suggested a Yuja Wang foray at Davies Concert Hall in San Francisco, I prodded him to first experience the sublime artistry of Richard Goode. (Location: Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley, CA, CAL PERFORMANCES series) We were not disappointed. http://youtu.be/Dh4I_b9KipQ The last… Continue reading A Feast of pianist, Richard Goode’s Artistry and a walk down memory lane

adult piano instruction, E minor Arpeggio, piano blog, piano instruction, piano lessons, piano technique, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Piano Technique: E minor arpeggios in staccato (various practicing approaches)–Video

Playing staccato triplets through romping arpeggios poses challenges for many students. Tension is triggered by what seems like disconnected notes, when in fact, the root, third, fifth progression should have a connecting thread. (despite note detachment) That's why I'll often recommend blocking out the arpeggio as the first preliminary to playing in LEGATO (smooth and… Continue reading Piano Technique: E minor arpeggios in staccato (various practicing approaches)–Video

adult piano instruction, piano blog, piano blogging, piano lessons, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten

Piano Technique: Breathing through inverted chords and 4-note arpeggios

A thoughtful journey through 4-note (double root) C Major Chords in INVERSIONS was a lesson preliminary to unraveling them with shape and contour. As a start, an adult student imagined the sound intended, breathed through a string of sonorities, and became aware of sensory and muscle memory dimensions of practicing. These fed nicely into the… Continue reading Piano Technique: Breathing through inverted chords and 4-note arpeggios

adult piano instruction, Chopin Waltz in A minor Op. Posthumous, Classical music blog, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano blog, piano instruction, piano lesson, piano teaching, Shirley Kirsten

The Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor is Poetry in Motion

Adult piano students who aspire to play the Op. Posthumous A minor Waltz must immerse themselves in a poetic musical framing, floating notes with supple wrists and relaxed arms. In the bass, support for a horizontally spun melody should prevail, with after beats (chords) unobtrusively humming along. Fluidly played ornaments have their unique breath, artfully… Continue reading The Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor is Poetry in Motion

classissima.com, Irina Morozova, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano blog, piano blogging, playing scales, Special Music School Kaufman Center

Teaching piano technique with artistry at the Special Music School/Kaufman Center

Master teacher, Irina Morozova infuses her piano lessons with an expressive music-making approach that applies to technique and repertoire. Scales, arpeggios, chords, Czerny etudes, etc. are not compartmentalized as pedantic exercises bundled in torturous repetitions. To the contrary, they're the substance of a musical craft that she honors with specific, singing-tone framed demonstrations of kinetic… Continue reading Teaching piano technique with artistry at the Special Music School/Kaufman Center